Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Playing Numerical Board Games Boosts Number Skills Of Low-income Preschoolers

Date:
March 27, 2008
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
A study conducted with low-income preschoolers attending Head Start found that certain numerical board games increased early math learning. Board games with consecutively numbered, linearly arranged spaces helped children learn about counting, identifying numerals and comparing the sizes of numbers. Children playing an identical game that varied in color rather than number did not improve in these areas. Playing such board games could help lessen discrepancies in early math learning, which predicts later math achievement.

Playing numerical board games can improve low-income preschoolers' number skills, offering a promising way to reduce the discrepancies in numerical knowledge between children from poor families and those from middle-income families.

Children vary greatly in the math knowledge they bring to school, with children from poor families tending to have far less math knowledge than their peers from middle-class families. These differences appear to have large and long-term consequences, with proficiency in math at the start of kindergarten strongly predictive of math achievement test scores years later. The gap in math knowledge likely reflects differences in exposure at home to informal numerical activities, including numerical board games.

Board games with consecutively numbered, linearly arranged spaces--think Chutes and Ladders--provide children with good opportunities to learn about the relation between numerals and their sizes.

Would providing low-income preschoolers with experience playing numerical board games improve their understanding of numbers?

The study was carried out by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. In the study, preschool students from low-income backgrounds who attended Head Start centers played a numerical board game for four 15-minute sessions. The researchers found that this activity increased the children's proficiency at counting, identifying printed numerals, comparing the relative sizes of numbers, and estimating the position of numbers on number lines. All of the gains remained nine weeks after the experience, and were comparable for African American and White children. Children who played an identical board game, except that the squares varied in color rather than number, did not improve any of the four skills.

"Playing numerical board games appears to be a promising (and inexpensive) way to improve preschoolers' numerical knowledge and to reduce discrepancies in the numerical knowledge that children from low-income and middle-income families bring to school," report Geetha B. Ramani, who is now assistant professor of human development at the University of Maryland, and Robert Siegler, Teresa Heinz Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, the study's authors.

Summarized from Child Development, Vol. 79, Issue 2, Promoting Broad and Stable Improvements in Low-Income Children's Numerical Knowledge through Playing Number Board Games by Ramani, GB (University of Maryland), and Siegler, RS (Carnegie Mellon University). The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Education.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Playing Numerical Board Games Boosts Number Skills Of Low-income Preschoolers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080325083304.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2008, March 27). Playing Numerical Board Games Boosts Number Skills Of Low-income Preschoolers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080325083304.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Playing Numerical Board Games Boosts Number Skills Of Low-income Preschoolers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080325083304.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New numbers show a decade's worth of changes in the number of kids with disabilities. They suggest mental disabilities are up; physical ones are down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins