Effects of a multitier support system on calculation, word problem, and prealgebraic performance among at-risk learners


The focus of the present study was enhancing word problem and calculation achievement in ways that support prealgebraic thinking among second-grade students at risk for mathematics difficulty. Intervention relied on a multitier support system (i.e., responsiveness to intervention, or RTI) in which at-risk students participate in general classroom instruction and receive supplementary small-group tutoring. Participants were 265 students in 110 classrooms in 25 schools. Teachers were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: calculation RTI, word problem RTI, or business-as-usual control. Intervention lasted 17 weeks. Multilevel modeling indicated that calculation RTI improved calculation but not word problem outcomes, word problem RTI enhanced proximal word problem outcomes as well as performance on some calculation outcomes, and word problem RTI provided a stronger route than calculation RTI to prealgebraic knowledge.




Copyright 2015 Exceptional Children. This is a post-print version of a published paper that is available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0014402914563702. Recommended citation: Powell, Sarah R., Lynn S. Fuchs, Paul T. Cirino, Douglas Fuchs, Donald L. Compton, and Paul C. Changas. "Effects of a Multitier Support System on Calculation, Word Problem, and Prealgebraic Performance Among At-Risk Learners." Exceptional Children 81, no. 4 (2015): 443 - 470. doi: 10.1177/0014402914563702. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author's permission.