By Marta Pellegrini, University of Florence, Italy
A recent study published in The Elementary School Journal reports on the results of the ROOTS Efficacy Project on students’ math skills in kindergarten. The project presents in the same article three studies carried out with schools in Massachusetts and Oregon.
ROOTS is a small-group tutoring program delivered in 20-min sessions five days per week by paraprofessionals. It was designed to supplement core math instruction and is delivered outside the classroom in groups of two or five students. In this study 1,149 at-risk kindergarten students were assigned to either the tutoring intervention or to the control group, which continued with regular instruction. Students in the intervention group received the program in groups of two or five for four months. The effects were measured using three independent tests: NSB that assesses counting knowledge and number recognition and combinations; TEMA-3 that assesses whole number understanding; and SESAT that assesses problem solving and procedures.
Results showed better performance in math skills for students in the ROOTS group compared to the control group. The effect sizes for NSB, TEMA-3, and SESAT were +0.18, +0.23 and +0.23, respectively.