Browsing by Subject "NUMBER SENSE"

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  • Holm, Marja E.; Aunio, Pirjo; Björn, Piia M.; Klenberg, Liisa; Korhonen, Johan; Hannula, Markku S. (2018)
    This study investigates behavioral executive functions (EFs) in the mathematics classroom context among adolescents with different mathematics performance levels. The EF problems were assessed by teachers using a behavioral rating inventory. Using cutoff scores on a standardized mathematics assessment, groups with mathematics difficulties (MD; n = 124), low mathematics performance (LA; n = 140), and average or higher scores (AC; n = 355) were identified. Results showed that the MD group had more problems with distractibility, directing attention, shifting attention, initiative, execution of action, planning, and evaluation than the LA group, whereas the differences in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and sustaining attention were not significant. Compared to the AC group, the MD group showed more problems with all behavioral EFs except hyperactivity and impulsivity, while the LA group showed more problems only with shifting attention. Male adolescents showed more behavioral EF problems than female adolescents, but this gender difference was negligible within the MD group. The practical implications of the results are discussed.
  • Aunio, Pirjo; Korhonen, Johan; Ragpot, Lara; Törmänen, Minna; Mononen, Riikka; Henning, Elizabeth (2019)
    The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of cognitive skills (executive function), language factors (listening comprehension, English as a second language, ESL) and kindergarten attendance on early numeracy in a cross-sectional sample of South African children (N = 442) in the beginning of Grade 1. The mean age of children was 81.62 months (SD =5.40). Structural equation path models showed that kindergarten attendance predicted children’s early numeracy performance even when controlling for executive function and language skills. Listening comprehension skills predicted the early numeracy skills more strongly than did executive function skills. ESL was associated with weaker early numeracy performance.
  • Hellstrand, Heidi; Korhonen, Johan; Räsänen, Pekka; Linnanmäki, Karin; Aunio, Pirjo (2020)
    This study investigated reliability and validity evidence regarding the Early Numeracy WA (EN-test) in a sample of 1139 Swedish-speaking children (587 girls) in kindergarten (n = 361), first grade (n = 321), and second grade (n = 457). Structural validity evidence was established through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), which showed that a four-factor model fit the data significantly better than a one-factor or two-factor model. The known-group and cross-cultural validity were established through multigroup CFAs, finding that the four-factor model fit the gender, age and language groups equally well. Internal consistency for the WA and sub-skills varied from good to excellent. The EN-test can be considered as an appropriate assessment to identify children at risk for mathematical learning difficulties.
  • Aunio, Pirjo; Mononen, Riikka (2018)
    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of an educational computer game, Lola’s World, on low-performing children’s early numeracy skills. Four preschools with 33 children from families of low socio-economic status (Mage = 5.5 years) took part in this study. Of the 33 children, 23 were split randomly into two groups: an intervention group playing a numeracy game (Lola’s World) and an active control group playing an early reading skills game (Lola’s ABC party). The remaining 10 children served as a passive control group. The intervention phase lasted three weeks, during which time the children played the games daily for about 15 min. The children’s numeracy skills were measured using the Early Numeracy Test. Those children (n = 22) who exhibited low numeracy (i.e. at risk for learning difficulties in mathematics) were included in the analyses. The three groups did not differ in terms of parental educational levels or home languages. They were comparable in terms of nonverbal reasoning and the amount of time spent playing. The Lola’s World group improved its early numeracy performance from pretest to post-test. No between-group differences were found. The results are discussed in relation to providing game-based support for low-performing preschoolers.
  • Lopez-Pedersen, Anita; Mononen, Riikka; Korhonen, Johan; Aunio, Pirjo; Melby-Lervåg, Monica (2021)
    This study investigated the psychometric properties of the Early Numeracy Screener. The Early Numeracy Screener is a teacher-administered, paper-and-pencil test measuring counting skills, numerical relational skills, and basic arithmetic skills. Three hundred and sixty-six first graders took the Early Numeracy Screener at the beginning of the school year. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted in order to examine whether the screening tool was identified as a one-factor model or a three-factor model. The confirmatory factor analysis found evidence for the three-factor model, establishing construct validity. Evidence for criterion-related validity was found in crosstabulation and correlation with the national test measuring overall mathematics performance taken towards the end of the school year. The Early Numeracy Screener may serve as an indicator of young children's performance in early numeracy. The brevity and ease of use of the Early Numeracy Screener make it suitable for classroom instructional settings.