What Works in Preschool Mathematics?

  • Posted on: 29 January 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

When we think of preschool, mathematics isn't usually the first thing that comes to mind.  However, there is strong evidence that early mathematics instruction can make a big difference for our littlest students!

Pre-K Mathematics, combined with computer software called DLM Early Childhood Express Math, has been shown to have strong evidence of positive effects for students, with no overriding contrary evidence.  The evidence is statistically significant and fell in the 'medium to large' category (as opposed to the small evidence base we see for most interventions). 

According to the What Works Clearinghouse, "Pre-K Mathematics is a supplemental curriculum designed to develop the informal mathematical knowledge and skills of preschool children with content organized into seven units. Specific math concepts and skills from each unit are taught in the classroom through teacher-guided, small-group activities with concrete manipulatives. The curriculum also includes take-home activities that parallel the small-group classroom activities, and are designed to help parents support their children’s mathematical development at home. The DLM Early Childhood Express Math software includes corresponding math-based activities to reinforce math concepts taught in the classroom". Read more about the effectiveness of this approach at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/interventionreport.aspx?sid=381. 

Pre-K Mathematics, paired with DLM Early Childhood Express Math, is a promising way to get our students off to a strong start in mathematics!