Motion Math Blog

Early number sense – that’s the ticket

Three recent academic studies gave us much inspiration and confidence that our number sense game suite is targeting a super-crucial area of early mental development:

• A study from Carnegie Mellon University found that “the more linear a child’s number line, the better the child was at remembering numbers,” both for preschool and elementary school children. (The mental number line seems to originate on the logarithmic scale and only with training become more linear!)

• A recent study from Johns Hopkins University, covered in the NYT, showed that children who were better at estimation were also better at simple math problems. This was true in children as young as three – children without formal training.

• Lastly, a five-year-long study at the University of Missouri which concluded this summer correlated first graders’ number sense and basic arithmetic skills with their math achievement as fifth graders. (One of the key metrics was how the child estimated values on the number line.) The study suggests that early gains in number sense could have a big impact on a child’s math achievement.

We’re currently conducting our own formal study of our first game, in conjunction with Professor Michelle Riconscente of USC. We’re excited to soon report our own findings.

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