Using brief experimental analyses to identify effective mathematics interventions for early elementary students

Chelsi Ronetta Clark, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

Recognizing the need for early detection and intervention for children with mathematics difficulties, this study aimed to use a brief experimental analysis (BEA) to identify effective interventions within a response to intervention (RTI) framework. Participants included four lower elementary school students who exhibited marked problems in mathematics. The effects of mathematics interventions to increase mathematic computational fluency and accuracy were assessed during the BEA. The intervention that produced the greatest gains during the BEA was compared to the intervention that produced the least gains during an extended analysis phase. It was hypothesized that: (a) during a BEA of math interventions, students will demonstrate differential responding across interventions; (b) during a BEA of math interventions, students will make immediate gains in performance relative to baseline; and (c) the intervention identified as most effective during the BEA, when compared to the least effective intervention will produce stable, valid, and reliable data during the extended analysis phase. Visual analysis was used to compare the interventions during the BEA and extended analysis. Results indicated variability within and across participants with regard to which intervention was most effective. Moreover, results indicated that all students improved their math computation fluency.