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									Effectiveness of Touch Math for Teaching
    Addition to Kindergarten Students


        California State University, Long Beach
                  Vanessa Velasco, M.A.
               Kristin Powers, Ph.D., NCSP
Acknowledgments
 Bradly Snyder
 Bridgette Molina
 Gerianne Alaghehband
 Lydia Velasco
 Norma Salazar
 Tamara Cornette
 Lindsay Tartre, Ph. D.
 Shuhua An, Ph.D.
 The Kindergarten class who participated
Introduction
 The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2000)
  claims that fluency, accuracy, and automaticity with math
  facts are precursors to learning more advanced math.
 Current teaching practices include: drill and practice
  techniques, memorization, manipulatives, and worksheets
 Teachers incorporate supplemental material into lesson plans
  to reach a diverse group of students
What is Touch Math?
 A multi-sensory, supplemental curriculum that
  attempts to bridge the gap between manipulation
  and memorization of math facts (Bullock, 2000;
  Grattino, 2004)
 Follows the sequential learning strategies
  endorsed by Bruner, Piaget, and Vygotsky in their
  developmental theories
 Students point to, touch, and count dots
  representing the quantity of a number
Statement of the Problem
 Presently there is limited research on the
  effectiveness of Touch Math and none on general
  education setting with kindergarten students
 There is even less information available from
  studies that included treatment and comparison
  groups through an experimental design
Purpose of the Study
 Question:
  Is Touch Math an effective supplemental math
  program for teaching addition to kindergarten
  students?

 Hypothesis:
  Kindergarten students in the Touch Math group
  will demonstrate larger gains on the math-post test
  than students in the comparison and control
  groups.
Why is This Study Important
 There is little research available
 The effects of teaching Touch Math to
  kindergarten students is unknown
 Very few comparison studies have been
  conducted, and none have employed
  experimental designs
What Does the Literature Say?
 A growing awareness in early childhood
  mathematics has expanded the knowledge base
  about learning, teaching, and research-based
  curriculum and instruction (NAEYC & NCTM,
  2000).
 High-quality, challenging, and accessible
  mathematics education for 3-6 year old children
  is a vital foundation for future mathematics
  learning
Literature continued
 The developmental theorists suggest that children
  transition from the concrete to the pictorial
  stages of development and end at the symbolic
  stage, which is a later stage where memorization
  and higher levels of cognition are developed.
 The emphasis on evidence-based interventions in
  No Child Left Behind and Individuals with
  Disabilities Improvement Acts warrants a more
  careful analysis of the effects of Touch Math on
  student outcomes.
Literature continued
 Supplemental instruction is part of a larger
  concept known as Response to Intervention
  (RTI), which is a proactive approach to providing
  students with specialized instruction prior to
  failing in an academic area (Murawski & Hughes,
  2009)
 Touch Math is a supplemental program that could
  be used at all levels of instruction
Quasi-Experimental Studies
 A study conducted by Dev, Doyle, and Valente
 (n.d.) included eleven participants who were
 referred by their teachers for evaluation during
 their kindergarten year.
  Taught TM in 1st grade and reviewed as
   necessary in 2nd grade.
  Pre- post-test results indicated that 75% of
   students scored higher than grade level in math
Quasi-Experimental Studies
 Dulgarian (n.d.) employed a quasi-experimental group
  design with twenty 4th and 5th grade students in special
  education at a Title I school for 45 minutes, 3 days a
  week, for 10 weeks
   Group I instructed in TM
   Group II instructed in Math Steps
     TM group scored 68% correct on pre-test and 82%
      correct on post-test
     Math Steps group scored 71% correct and 78%
      correct on the pre- and post-tests, respectively
Single Subject Studies
 A study by Wisniewski and Smith (2002):
   4 students in 3rd and 4th grade special education
   Received instruction in mathematics for 45 minutes daily (20
    minutes were dedicated to TM) for 14 weeks.
     Student 1: Pre-test 85% in 5 minutes. Post-test 100% in 5
      minutes
     Student 2: Pre-test 98% in10 minutes. Post-test 95% in 4
      minutes
     Student 3: Pre-test 100% in7 minutes. Post-test 100% in 4
      minutes
     Student 4: Pre-test 23% in 8 minutes . Post-test 93% in 4
      minutes
Single Subject Studies
 A very brief Touch Math intervention was
 conducted by Rudolph (2008) with her third
 grade students at a suburban school in North
 Carolina
  After one week of instruction for 30 minutes
   daily, all students (N = 17) except for one
   improved in the number of problems
   completed correctly.
Satisfaction Surveys
 The developers of Touch Math, Innovative Learning
  Concepts, Inc., conducted a survey (Grattino, 2004) to
  understand how educators use Touch Math, how it has
  helped them in their classrooms, and to gain a better
  understanding of the impact Touch Math has had on
  teachers and students.

   Approximately 99.8% of respondents indicated that
    Touch Math was an effective supplemental math
    program.
Methodology
Subjects
 26 Kindergarteners from a low-income parochial school in
  Santa Ana, CA.
 58% female, 42% male
 54% 5 years old, 42% 6 years old
 92% Hispanic
 27% English Language Learner
 69% Bilingual

 Chi square analyses found no significant difference
  between the four groups in terms of gender, race, disability
  status or bilingual language skills.
Methodology
 Instruments Used (Pre-Post Test Measures)


   DIBELS Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF)
    probe (Good & Kaminski, 2001)
   Curriculum Based Measure-Addition (CBM-A)
    worksheet (20 single digit addition problems
    using numbers 0 – 6)
Assessment Integrity Checks
 PSF Assessment Integrity: 42% of the PSF
  administrations were observed and 97% of behaviors on
  the PSF integrity worksheet were observed. The most
  common mistake was that directions were not read
  verbatim.
 Math Assessment Integrity: 20% of the worksheets were
  scored twice, the inter-rater agreement was 100%.
Intervention Integrity Checks
  20% of the intervention sessions were observed.
  The interventionists were observed leading each of the 3
   groups.
  A 10 item intervention plan implementation checklist was
   developed.
  Touch Math: 98% accurate
  Phonemic Awareness Math group: 98% accurate
  California Math group: 85% accurate (one interventionist
   replaced after first week)
  Most common mistake was not consistently providing
   positive reinforcement.
Methodology
 Procedure
   Students randomly assigned to 4 groups
   Three interventionists rotated to a new group
    every two weeks (all volunteers)
   Pre-tests administered to all students (counter-
    balanced)
   45 minutes of daily instruction for a total 18 days.
   Post-tests administered to all students
   Extended math post-test administered to all
    students six weeks later (math Time 2).
Results


 The data from the pre- and post-test were
  analyzed by Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA)
  with the pre-test serving as the covariate.
 Follow-up pairwise t-tests were conducted on
  significant ANCOVA results.
 Results
 Math Post-Test 1: The means were not statistically different.
  F (3, 22) = 2.94, p = .33
      CA Math: 17.00
      TM: 13.17
      PA: 6.20
      Control: 8.43
 PSF Post-Test: The means were statistically different.
  F (3, 25) = 15.60, p < .001; Pairwise post test indicate PA group
  performed significantly better than the other groups.
      CA Math: 17.17
      TM:8.50
      PA: 39.50**
      Control: 9.00
Results
 Math Extended Post-Test 3: Most means were statistically
  different. F (3, 25) = 9.68, p < .05
      CA Math: 19.79*
      TM: 20.00*
      PA: 10.58
      Control: 8.96


 Pairwise follow-up comparisons found both math groups to
  significantly outperform PA (p<.05) and Control (p<.01) groups.
           Effect Sizes (Cohen’s d)

                     Post PSF   MathTime 1   Math Time 2

TM v. CA Math        -.532      -.435        .045

TM v. PA             -3.56      .699         1.74
TM v. Control        -.057      .667         1.78

CA Math v. PA        -1.47      1.57         1.51

CA Math v. Control   .535       1.65         1.60

PA v. Control        4.68       -.108        .220
Conclusion
 Both math programs improved students’ mastery of single
  digit addition 6 weeks after the intervention. Neither was
  more effective than the other.
   It is important to compare similar academic interventions
 Small group instruction in phonemic awareness produced the
  largest effects.
   May be a result of stronger connection between curriculum and
    assessment.
Conclusion
 Limitations:
   Small sample size
   Study took place in a parochial school, results
    may not generalize to public school settings
   Student Behavior
   Training and experience of volunteer
    interventionists
   Length and duration of interventions
   Teacher advised students to use their fingers on
    1st post-test
Conclusion
 Implications:
   Although students learn new techniques they
    may require further instruction on when to use
    the newly acquired skills (generalization)
   Touch Math is a systematic, sequenced, and
    structured program that shows promise for
    teaching a diverse group of students how to
    add.

								
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