cstravato's Pre-k World

The life of a Teacher / Student / Mother

A positive Effect of research




As I looked through the current research on early childhood education, I looked further into a study entitled, What Specific Preschool Math Skills Predict Later Math Achievement? (Nguyen, 2015). This caught my attention because it is a recent discussion in our district. What are the most critical areas to focus on in early mathematical discovery?   I found this study very interesting and a great example of the positive effect research can have on children and families with the use of minimal risk research.


This study expanded on previous research that found math achievement levels at school entry are strong indicators of later academic success (Nguyen, 2015) and research that concluded children of low SES families have less mathematical knowledge than families of higher SES(Nguyen, 2015). The goal of this research was to determine specific mathematical competencies in low-income and minority families that predicted later mathematical academic achievement (Nguyen, 2015). The study concluded counting and cardinality are the strongest predictors of later success, then operations and algebraic thinking, and finally geometry skills. The study also concluded measurement and data skills were not predictors of later success by did not discount their importance (Nguyen, 2015).


This study can have a positive impact on children and families. Knowing what areas of early mathematics are predictors of latter success can help narrow standard and curriculum focus in early childhood, allowing professionals to teach more deeply. I feel this study will help schools narrow down early mathematic focus and better support all children and especially low SES and minority children.


More studies and data should continue to be compiled on this topic to qualify the data further and expand the research to a national level. The next important step is to determine how best to teach these critical areas of mathematical development in a developmentally appropriate way to young children.



Nguyen, T., Watts, T.W., Duncan, G. J., Clements, D. H., Sarama, J., Wolfe, C. B., Spitler, E. (2015). What       Specific Preschool Math Skills Predict Later Math Achievement?. Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness.






Author: cstravato

I am a wife of 14 years and have two boys, one is 10 and an the other is 8. They are busy and keep us hopping. I have been a pre-school teacher for 9 years with a break in the middle to teach kindergarten in FL for three years, and I had the luxury of staying home with my two boys for a few years. I enjoy teaching pre-school age children it gives me great pride to help set a generation up to succeed in their school careers and life. I am currently going back to school to complete my masters degree in early childhood education at Walden University.

5 thoughts on “A positive Effect of research

  1. I would say based on the research we have done on low SES children, it is not a surprise they would struggle in mathematical skills in comparison to children with high SES. It just seems children with low SES have the bad end of the stick and will struggle and have to work much harder than their counterparts. What I found interesting is the order of the predictors of success. This is a great article helping teachers tailor their scope to children struggling in mathematical skills. I do recall hearing from one of my teachers in school that some people are simply not good a math because they don’t practice it. If low SES children were to have more exposure to math at home, they could understand it through practical application.


  2. Hi,
    Your post is a great example of research benefitting children and families as well. This piece of research along with previous studies explains the strong focus on concepts related to number and quantity and concepts related to geometric shapes in most state standards for birth to five. The concepts move on a continuum from the most basic in infancy to the more difficult to age five. The concepts that fall under these two main areas are too many to go into detail with here, but, I am attaching a link to Georgia’s early learning standards for you to explore. With young children, in my opinion the concepts are best taught through play with parents/familiar caregivers/ ECE teachers directing or facilitating the learning. For example, a toddler is playing with a few animal figures. The parent or caregiver can say, I see you are playing with animals. How many do you have? And pause… help the child count them by touching each animal and saying 1-2-3-4, etc. You have 4 animals. Ask, how many animals do you have again encouraging the child to count this time. It is really sad that all young children cannot benefit from such research because not all children have parents with capabilities of helping their young children learn these important concepts, not all children have the opportunity to go to nursery school or preschool, and not all preschools are of high quality implementing effective math standards or appropriate experiences. This is another reason research is important because it is a valuable piece of information that can be used when advocating for policy and legislative changes related to access, affordability, and quality as well as best practices.
    GELDS. (2016). Georgia Early Learning Standards: Birth to Five. Retrieved from http://www.gelds.decal.ga.gov/Search.aspx


    • Thanks for sharing this link. I look forward to exploring the Georgia Standards and comparing them to the CT standards. I am interested to see if they are inline with each other.


  3. This article sounds very interesting and one I will be sure to look up myself. The results obtained from this study sound similar to one we shared with our families this year during parent teacher conferences; counting ability upon school entry, were directly linked to mathematics AND reading success in first grade and beyond. I think parents were shocked to hear this and jumped on the opportunity to support their children now as much as possible. I work in Head Start with a population who is classified low-SES and the article you shared speaks to me. I cannot wait to read it!
    Julie Ringle


  4. I really enjoyed your post. I actually picked my own research topic instead of learning about a positive research story. I am glad that you shared the link so I can share to my colleagues. I know how important math is in early childhood. The earlier they understand number concepts the easier they will understand add, subtracting, multiplying, and division. I believe math time is important however I wish that my community would support me more in math to make sure I am meeting the needs.
    Thank you again


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