OVER 50 PERCENT IMPROVEMENT IN ONE MONTH!
The 52 pupils in 2nd grade in Lilla Alby school, outside Stockholm, Sweden, were tested after one month
working with Math Bakery. The study has been evaluated by Kristina Juter, a researcher in pedagogy at the
university college in Kristianstad, Sweden.
The pupils improved on average by over 50 percent. Several of them by more than 100 percent!
HOW THE MATH BAKERY WAS USED DURING THE TEST PERIOD
Instead of the traditional maths books the pupils used the apps 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a week. The pupils worked with the apps either alone or in pairs.
The school in Lilla Alby is a socio-economically mixed school and the maths abilities varied from “rather weak” to “very strong”.
The study started with a diagnostic test with 36 addition problems and 36 subtraction problems to be completed within a certain time. The test is designed to measure the comprehension of numbers and mental arithmetic.
The teachers in the participating classes say, amongst other things, that they have noticed a clear improvement of mental arithmetic since the pupils started working with the apps. The test results confirmed this.
The best improvement in the speed measure was in subtraction which the pupils had worked less with than addition.
IMPROVED SPEED IN SUBTRACTION
In the part of the test using subtraction 34 of 41 pupils improved their results, in several cases the time was halved, 4 pupils had the same time at both tests, 3 had a marginally worse time.
On average the speed increased by 57% from 5 mins 18 secs to 3 mins 22 secs.
IMPROVED SKILL AT SUBTRACTING
At the pre-test 21 pupils reached the maximum score (36 points). At the test, at the end of the trial the number was 24 pupils.
IMPROVED SPEED AT ADDITION
30 of 39 pupils improved their speed, 3 had the same speed as before and 4 had a worse time.
At the pre-test the pupils needed an average of 3 mins 46 secs to solve the 36 problems. At the end this had gone down to 3 mins 3 secs.
On average the speed improved by 23%.
IMPROVED SKILL AT ADDING
At the pre-test 14 pupils reached the maximum score (36 points). At the test at the end of the trial the number was 23.
INTERVIEW WITH THE TEACHER LOTTA NILSSON
Have you noticed any improvement in the children since you started using the “Math Bakery”?
– Absolutely! The pupils have become much better at mental arithmetic. I find that they have become faster when they are doing maths and also that more hands come up to mark that they are ready much quicker. Also, the children are more daring. They feel more confident when we go through the results. This is especially true for the weaker pupils. And they enjoy maths much more, they keep asking if the can play the Math Bakery today.
Another positive thing compared to the maths book is that they can work together. They explain things in a slightly different way the way I do, often more simply. In this way those who have difficulties get another run-through. But even someone who explains to a friend has to think more, so they have started “talking maths” in a different way.
In The Math Bakery the pupils have had to calculate with algorithms even though we haven’t started that yet. So when we start that in the 3rd grade it will be a lot easier since they have learnt the system: they know they have to start with the units and have the tens in memory. The game is very intuitive and pedagogically constructed, so they have quickly understood how to work.
LOTTA NILSSON, TEACHER FOR GRADES 1-7, LILLA ALBY SKOLA
-The Pilot study shows that the pupils have become more confident and faster at mental arithmetic by the practice and the new representations of mathematics they have met in the game. These are two characteristics which give a greater flexibility in the mathematical thinking, which is an important base for their future development of the continued development of all four rules of arithmetic. The pupils perceive the work with the apps as something positive and they have the possibility to communicate mathematics in a way that the teacher describes above.
KRISTINA JUTER, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN MATHEMATICS EDUCATION, HÖGSKOLAN KRISTIANSTAD