Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

With board games, it's how children count that counts

18.11.2013
Boston College and Carnegie Mellon researchers find 'count-on' method yields learning gains

Teachers and parents like to use board games to teach skills that range from fair play to counting. When it comes to improving early number skills, a new report by Boston College and Carnegie Mellon University researchers finds that how children count is what really counts.

Games like Chutes & Ladders require players to count out the spaces along which they move their tokens at each turn. Earlier studies have pointed to the benefits to young children of playing games that require counting.

The new study suggests the simple act of playing a number game may not yield the benefits earlier studies have detailed. What matters is how children count while they play, Boston College Assistant Professor of Education Elida Laski and Carnegie Mellon Professor of Psychology Robert S. Siegler report in the journal Developmental Psychology.

... more about:
»Psychology »board games »number skills

"We found that it's the way that children count – whether the counting procedure forces them to attend to the numbers in the spaces of a board game – that yields real benefits in the use of numbers," said Laski, a developmental psychologist. "What's most important is whether you count within a larger series of numbers, or simply start from one each time you move a piece."

The researchers tested two counting methods in a study of 40 children who played a 100-space board game designed by the researchers to mimic products like Chutes & Ladders. In the first method, referred to as "count-from-1", children started counting from the number one each time they moved a piece. In the other method, students would "count on" from the actual numerical place of their latest landing spot in the game. So a child who had moved her piece 15 spaces would "count-on" from 16 during her next move.

The process of counting on allows children to develop their ability to encode the relationship between numbers and spaces, Laski and her colleagues report in the journal article "Learning From Number Board Games: You Learn What You Encode." That, in turn, improved their abilities to estimate the size of numbers on number lines, identify numbers and to count-on.

Playing the same game, the standard "count-from-1" method led to considerably less learning, the researchers found. In a second experiment, the researchers found that students who practiced encoding numbers 1 through 100 via methods beyond a board game showed no appreciable gain in number line estimation.

The new results suggest that simply playing board games may not yield improvements in counting skills. Instead, parents and teachers need to direct children's attention to the numbers on the game boards to realize those benefits.

"Board games help children understand the magnitude of numbers by improving their abilities to estimate, to count and to identify numbers," said Laski. "But the benefits depend on how children count during the game. By counting-on, parents and their children can see some real benefits from board games. It's a simple way to enhance any game they have at home and still have fun playing it."

Ed Hayward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bc.edu

Further reports about: Psychology board games number skills

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Starting school boosts development
11.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>