Games for Young Mathematicians Research

Promoting children’s mathematical thinking, school readiness, and perseverance skills through the use of games is at the root of EDC’s Young Mathematicians (YM) program. Supporting young children to become strong mathematicians requires thinking about the development of mathematical ideas and about the social and emotional aspects of learning.

Check out 5 ways to help preschoolers persist in math: https://www.edc.org/5-ways-help-preschoolers-persist-mathematics

EDC is currently investigating how to best support families’ participation in mathematics games and activities through a family math intervention. Researchers are studying the relation between these interventions and low-income preschool children’s school-readiness skills and mathematics learning.

Young Mathematician’s Family Math research projects developed and tested a set of complementary classroom- and home-based mathematics learning activities that promote young children’s mathematical thinking and persistence. The activities are designed to promote positive parent-child interactions about mathematics in ways that are practical, accessible, and sustainable at home.

Research Findings

  1. There was a significant main effect of Young Mathematicians Family Math Intervention on children’s mathematics learning.
  2. There was a significant main effect of Young Mathematicians Family Math Intervention on teachers’ instructional support as rated by the CLASS.
  3. Teachers love the games materials. They are fun, easy-to-use, and children love playing the games and ask to come to the math center.
  4. Teachers in the PD reported that they knew more about each child’s mathematics learning than in previous years, and that they were doing (and enjoying doing) more math throughout the day.
  5. Early childhood program directors were overwhelmingly interested in bringing early math PD to their teachers and integrating more math activities into their school day.
  6. Children who played the math games more frequently had higher math scores in the spring, even after controlling for fall mathematics scores.
  7. Teachers and families increased their confidence in their ability to teach math to preschoolers.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, and Overdeck Family Foundation, our program provides preschool teachers with a set of carefully designed, developmentally appropriate, and mathematically challenging games to support young children’s early mathematics learning and social-emotional development and a complementary set of at-home mathematics learning activities that are fun for families.