University of Oulu

Lopez-Pedersen, A., Mononen, R., Aunio, P., Scherer, R., & Melby-Lervåg, M. (2022). Improving Numeracy Skills in First Graders with low performance in early numeracy: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Remedial and Special Education, 0(0).

Improving numeracy skills in first graders with low performance in early numeracy : a randomized controlled trial

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Author: Lopez-Pedersen, Anita1; Mononen, Riikka1,2; Aunio, Pirjo3;
Organizations: 1University of Oslo, Norway
2University of Oulu, Finland
3University of Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: SAGE Publications, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-10-21


Children with low performance in early numeracy are at risk of facing learning difficulties in mathematics, but few trials have examined how this can be ameliorated. A total of 120 first-grade children (Mage = 6.4 years) were randomly assigned to an intervention or a control condition. The 14-week intervention targeted early numeracy skills and was delivered in small groups three times a week. Immediately after the initial 8-week intervention phase, moderate and positive effects were found on early numeracy (d = 0.19), word problem solving (d = 0.41), and approximate number sense (d = 0.35). However, only the effects on word problems were significant, and all effects disappeared after the children undertook a second 6-week intervention phase. Overall, results indicate that (a) early numeracy skills are malleable in low-performing children, but (b) frequent and long-term interventions are needed for the positive effects to last.

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Series: Remedial and special education
ISSN: 0741-9325
ISSN-E: 1538-4756
ISSN-L: 0741-9325
DOI: 10.1177/07419325221102537
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (