Information for the broader "Embedding Working Memory Training within Math Problem Solving" project is described below. This project page will eventually contain full data/codebooks related to this broader grant and its aims, but in the meantime will gradually make the data available via linking out to published articles produced from this overarching project, as well as making available the data associated with each of these individual studies/manuscripts. Purpose: The research team will test the efficacy of a fullydeveloped intervention intended for elementary school students at risk for poor math problem solving outcomes, which embeds working memory (WM) training into a previously validated math problem solving intervention (Pirate Math). WM is the resourcelimited capacity that allocates attention and plans and sequences and maintains information in short term memory while processing the same or other information. The efficacy study will test the embedded WM training intervention against Pirate Math only, general WM training (with separate math problem solving practice), and businessasusual instruction. Even though previous efficacy studies have demonstrated strong effects of Pirate Math for improving math outcomes for students at risk for poor math problem solving outcomes, a substantial proportion of these studies' samples failed to show improvements. An alternative approach to intervention that seems potentially promising for these students involves training to strengthen the cognitive or linguistic resources associated with learning. The embedded WM training intervention is intended to both strengthen WM while increasing math problem solving skills and provide linkages between WM training activities and math problem solving. Project Activities: The research team will conduct a randomized control trial to test the efficacy of the embedded WM intervention against two intervention contrast conditions and a control condition. The embedded WM intervention combines WM training with math problem solving training and is intended to improve math outcomes for students at risk for poor math problem solving outcomes. Data collection will occur in four cohorts, one during each project year. Products: The products of this project will be evidence of the efficacy of the embedded WM intervention for second grade students at risk for poor math problem solving outcomes, and peerreviewed publications. Setting: Participating elementary schools are located in a large, urban/suburban district in Tennessee. Sample: The sample will include approximately 300 second grade, atrisk students and about 270 second grade, lowrisk students. "At risk" will be defined as performing below the 30th percentile on a math problem solving screener, below the 65th percentile on a composite of two WM span tasks, and above 80 on both Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) subtests at the start of second grade. Intervention: This efficacy study includes three different intervention conditions, with the embedded WM intervention being the primary intervention of interest. In Pirate Math without WM training, students are taught by tutors to understand the common underlying structure of problem types, recognize problems as belonging to those problem types, represent the structure of each problem type with a metaequation, and use the metaequation to solve the problem. The intervention is taught as units, with cumulative reviews incorporated throughout. The embedded WM intervention combines Pirate Math with WM training by replacing the Sorting Game with Memory Games appropriate for the unit being studied. Finally, the general WM plus math problem solving practice intervention is CogMed, a WM training program that includes eight types of general WM activities not connected to academic content, plus 15 minutes of math problem solving practice during each session. CogMed is administered on a computer, though a tutor leads the training, tracks results, and provides support. The tutor will provide math problem solving practice, including independent problem solving with corrective feedback. Research Design and Methods: The research team will conduct a randomized control trial with three levels of naturallyoccurring nesting: students nested within classrooms nested within schools. Data collection will occur in four cohorts, one during each project year. The efficacy study includes four conditions: embedded WM, two intervention contrast conditions, and a control condition. Each year, participating students are given a series of screenings, and those identified as atrisk for poor math problem solving outcomes are randomly assigned at the individual level to condition and pretests are administered. For all three intervention conditions, a tutor will deliver the intervention for 20 weeks, 3 times per week, and 30 minutes per session to a single student at a time in a quiet location outside the classroom. Tutors will participate in a 2day workshop and weekly training meetings to ensure high levels of implementation. Atrisk students will be given a set of pretests, will complete the intervention sessions, and then will take a series of posttests and delayed (administered in the fall of the following year) posttests. Students not identified as atrisk will be given the pretests, posttests, and delayed posttests at the same time as the atrisk students. Researchers will measure fidelity of implementation through audiotapes, observations, and checklists of key lesson activities. Control Condition: In the businessasusual control condition, students will receive standard classroom instruction and school interventions (if naturally occurring). Key Measures: Primary measures for screening for atrisk status will include the Pennies Test and the KeyMathRevised Problem Solving, which both measure students' ability to solve and comprehend word problems respectively, as well as the Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI), which measures general cognitive ability. Primary outcome measures will include the Vanderbilt Story Problems test and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills Data Interpretation and Problem Solving, which both measure students' math problem solving skills. Students will also be assessed on WM specific to math problem solving through a researcher designed assessment. Researchers will assess WM span with the Automated Working Memory Assessment. The research team will measure other cognitive/linguistic variables using the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT)4Arithmetic, the WRATReading, WASI Vocabulary and WASI Matrix Reasoning, and the Strengths/Weaknesses of ADHDSymptoms & NormalBehavior.
Project: Embedding Working Memory Training within Math Problem Solving
DOI
10.33009/ldbase.1676309652.bcae
Project Active From
September 2015
to
August 2021
Educational Environment
Educational Curricula
Project Method(s)
Developmental Design
Funding Agency
/ Grant Number
Institute of Educational Sciences [IES]
/ R305A150200
Most Recent Datasets in Project

Dataset: Baseline Working Memory as a Moderator of Working Memory Training and Word Problem Intervention Students on Posttest Working Memory and Posttest Math for Students with Math Difficulty
Last update: June 30, 2023
Description: This file contains data associated with "Children’s Baseline Working Memory Moderates the Effects of Working Memory Training,” a paper submitted for publication by Lynn Fuchs, Sonya Sterba, Marcia Bar... 
Dataset: Working Memory Training and Math Students with MD at Pre Post Delayed Post
Last update: June 26, 2023
Description: This file contains data associated with "Building WordProblem Solving and Working Memory Capacity: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Three Intervention Approaches," a publication in the Journal... 
Dataset: FollowAlong Classmates Working , Memory, Math, and Demographics at Pre and Post
Last update: March 8, 2023
Description: This file contains data associated with "Building WordProblem Solving and Working Memory Capacity: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Three Intervention Approaches", a publication in the Journal...
Most Recent Documents in Project

Codebook: Codebook for Baseline Working Memory as a Moderator of Working Memory Training on Working Memory Outcomes
Last update: June 30, 2023
Description: This is the codebook accompanying the dataset Baseline Working Memory as a Moderator of Working Memory Training on Working Memory Outcomes. 
Codebook: Building WordProblem Solving and Working Memory Capacity: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Three Intervention Approaches. Codebook
Last update: June 18, 2023
Description: This document is the codebook for all data associated with the manuscript Building WordProblem Solving and Working Memory Capacity: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Three Intervention Approach... 
Document: Building WordProblem Solving and Working Memory Capacity: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Three Intervention Approaches
Last update: March 8, 2023
Description: Publication in the Journal of Education Psychology (2022), 2022, Vol. 114, No. 7, 1633–1653. The purpose of this study was to contrast alternative approaches to structure wordproblem solving (WPS)...