Volume 39, Issue 2 (2010)
Validating a Number Sense Screening Tool for Use in Kindergarten and First Grade: Prediction of Mathematics Proficiency in Third Grade
Nancy C. Jordan, Joseph Glutting, Chaitanya Ramineni, and Marley W. Watkins
Abstract. Using a longitudinal design, children were given a brief number sense screener (NSB) screener (N = 204) over six time points, from the beginning of kindergarten to the middle of first grade. The NSB is based on research showing the importance of number competence (number, number relations, and number operations) for success in mathematics. Children’s mathematics achievement on a validated high-stakes state test was measured 3 years later, at the end of third grade. Test–retest reliability estimates were obtained for the NSB. Two criterion groups were then formed on the basis of the third-grade achievement test (children who met and who did not meet mathematics standards). Diagnostic validity analyses for the NSB were completed using repeated measures analyses of variance and receiver operator curve analyses. Results from all analyses revealed that scores on the NSB in kindergarten and first grade predicted mathematics proficiency in third grade. Areas under the receiver operator curve indicated that the NSB has high diagnostic accuracy (areas under the receiver operator curve = 0.78–0.88). Findings suggest that kindergarten and first-grade performance on the NSB is meaningful for predicting which children experience later mathematics difficulties.
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