YM and Family Math 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. EDC is currently investigating how to best support families’ participation in mathematics-rich interactions with their children through a family math intervention. Researchers are studying the relation between these interventions and preschoolers’ school-readiness skills and mathematics learning.

Check out 5 ways to help preschoolers persist at math!

Through our YM Family Math program we have developed and tested a preliminary 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, fun, and joyful parent-child interactions about mathematics. Check out the Math Games here!

Video: Hear first hand from one of our participating programs about the study!

Key Research Findings

The Data:

  1. YM’s Family Math Intervention effectively promotes children’s mathematics learning over and above a classroom-only math intervention.
  2. Children who play the math games more frequently have higher math scores by the end of the school year, even after taking into account their beginning math knowledge.
  3. YM’s Family Math Intervention effectively increases teachers’ instructional support ratings as measured by the CLASS.

What Teachers and Families are saying about YM Family Math:

  1. Teachers report that after participating in YM Family Math and using our games, they know more about each child’s math learning than they ever have in previous years, and that they are doing (and enjoying doing) more math throughout the day.
  2. Teachers and families report that they love using the games because they are fun, easy-to-use, and the children love playing them.
  3. Teachers and families also say that they are more confident about teaching math to preschoolers and have more positive attitudes toward math than they did before.
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.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.