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Describe about the teaching and learning related topic that is selected is “Development of numeracy skills for 4th grade student”?



Often with the course of learning it is seen that students are lacking basic numeracy skills. Therefore, it is required to develop the basic learning skill of student right from their childhood. Keeping such motive, the topic that has been selected for this research is “Development of numeracy skills for 4th grade student”. Fifteen scholarly articles have been included in this literature review and it has been found that enhancing the basic learning capability increases the numeracy skillsin children from their childhood. It has been found that agile approach will enhance the learning procedure by motivating more children in solving numeracy.


Numeracy Skills, cognitive thinking, self-grading, statistics, development, virtual representation

Research Topic

The topic related to teaching and learning is “Development of numeracy skills for 4th grade student”. This topic has been selected because lower grade students find it quite difficult to solve numerical problems, and thus right from their childhood a matter of fear and struggling approach arise regarding numeracy. It is very common among students to hardly pass in the numeracy course and thereby ignore the learning process. This research topic will help in finding the gap in the learning process for the lower grade students in future.

Research Problem

There is a problem in the research taken, as when both the teachers and students are considered for being beneficial, there will be surely a gap in practice. For a teacher it may not be possible to concentrate on each of the students to distinguish the education deliverable. For students as well, approaches like direct instruction and agile approach may not be suitable, which will create more confusion. Despite of the fact that teachers are trying to get idea from student’s background and their ability to solve numeracy, still it will become hard for teachers to apply those for each student as they have a limited time to educate students. This problem has negatively impacted on the teachers in their professional career and partially for students as well because teachers may be under too much pressure to handle each student, which will create a gap between both teacher and student. Direct teaching will need to concentrate on each of the student that will need more amount of time and thus creating more pressure on individual teachers, which may impact on numeracy development for 4th grade students. A possible cause of this problem is students were not categorized or classes of students were not grouped, and so each of the students was taken into concern, which will be too much impractical in practice.  Perhaps a study, which investigates category of student by Q method and interviews, could remedy the situation.


Purpose Statement

The purpose of this research is to identify how operations and algebraic thinking capabilities for the students from 3rd to 5th grade can be upgraded in future. Moreover, it is quite common that professional teachers are not able to deliver assistance to all students within limited timeframe. Thus, the purpose is to identify the kind of assistance required from teachers for upgrading cognitive thinking capabilities of students by upgrading the learning style for 3rd to 5th grade students. Furthermore, the purpose is to identify whether teachers are making any kind of changes in learning method for 4th grade students or not in the present system of education.

As a conclusion, it can be said that there is a gap in education style with regards to numeracy. It has been found that teachers are not able to give enough time regarding numeracy skill development for each of the student. Though teachers have tried to apply agile approach in making innovative approach to education, still many students are not able to operate computers. Teachers have tried to introduce working pattern, which is a visual representation of counting, but keeping a keen eye on each student is a quite tough job for teachers.

Research Questions

What is the effect of direct teaching method on students’ development regarding operations and algebraic skills in 3rd to 5th grade students?


Direct teaching of operations and algebraic skills will not increase test score for third, fourth and fifth graders.

Justification of Research Approach

Quantitative research approach is most suitable for research as this will help in understanding the gap in teaching professionalism. Relationship between variables can be identified and subjectivity can be justified by quantitative research (Learning, 2015). With the help of quantitative research, several conclusions can be drawn regarding the type of education style that is practiced by the teachers. Basically, there is a gap in teaching style, which can be understood by the derived statistical data from this approach. Apart from that, through the empirical studies, several options can be identified, which can be further implemented in future for developing the operations and algebraic thinking capabilities in 3rd to 5th grade student. Such data can be utilized further in future to make the professionalism and education style more concrete for 3rd to 5th grade students. Professionalism of teachers is even affected by direct teaching as the expectations of students are mitigated when teachers directly communicate with them. In turn, this will affect the teachers as well as more amount of pressure is to be handled by them if each of the students is to be taken care within a limited amount of time.


Literature Review

Focus on Numerical Disability

One of the most important aspects of numeracy learning is that it must start from early childhood. If 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students are considered, then it can be found that such students are lacking basic numeracy skills, which are impacting on cognitive skill developments in their life. According to (Jimenez & Staples, 2015), functional relationship helps in enhancing the common core standards of mathematics. Graphic organizers can only dissolve intellectual disability, which relates to the selected topic. Being an empirical article, the approach of T-test might not have delivered best results as there were more than 35 students, and hence relation between self-development and evaluation was not achieved satisfactorily. On the other hand, (Jimenez & Kemmery, 2013), in their article defined that non-standard measurements like calendar and counting skills and working patterns help in developing cognitive skill development right from an early age in students. Moreover, it can be said that thoughtful visual representations helps in developing cognitive skills of students, as at an average students cannot go beyond limited imagination, which is found in the article of building numeracy skill in kindergarten by (Aunio, Heiskari, Van Luit, & Vuorio, 2015).

According to (Aunio, Heiskari, Van Luit, & Vuorio, 2015), post hoc group comparisons help in relating the mathematical scales, where one student helps the other, and thus students get interested in the learning process. They have also argued that if the students are educated by visual representations, then it helps in creating the base of practical mathematical implications right from their childhood. In this way, when students are attracted in the learning process, then they even get interested in developing their skills. Moreover, according to (Culaste, 2015), contextual information, procedural calculation, and mental visualization help in developing the cognitive ability of the student right from childhood. Though, it can be found from the article that the metacognitive representation cannot be well configured through visual representations, specifically for numeracy, and so development can be reached by working patterns. Thus, it can be said that working patterns will help the teachers to figure out which particular student is lacking numeracy skill, and in this way their skill will be developed.

Furthermore, according to (Olkun, Altun, GoçerÅžahin, & AkkurtDenizli, 2015), statistical concepts from the research show the practical picture of reduction in numeracy skills for children of 3rd to 5th grade. Teachers can understand how to deliver numeracy education to students by concentrating on each student through their disability and ability. From this article, one can find about the leniency of professional teachers and it is evident that teachers are trying to increase the style of education but they are not being to concentrate on every student, which has even been supported by (Aunio, Heiskari, Van Luit, & Vuorio, 2015). (Jimenez & Staples, 2015),gave the idea of functional relationship determination, which may not be fulfilled only by working patterns, and hence from the review it is evident that cognitive numeracy ability will be enhanced in future.


Developing Learning and Teaching Ability

According to (Mulligan, 2015), in order to develop numeracy skills, teachers need to take initiatives to go beyond basic numeracy skill development. According to him, data modeling helps in creating meta-representational competencies. Quantitative approach has been taken and statistical data shows learning development through informed judgments. Basic numeracy skill development does not take much time and along with that data-modeling has to be included to increase the mathematical judgments right from childhood. On the other hand, (AbdulhameedAufan Al-Makahleh, 2011), gave the idea of direct instruction for mitigating learning difficulties. As there are a lot of students with varying disabilities, professional teachers can only enhance the teaching procedure by direct instruction. Many times it is found that the students, which consume a huge time, cannot figure out logical representations. Thus, it will be better for the teacher to give direct instruction to solve such numeracy from where students get ideas to solve future numerical problems.

(Garcia-Retamero, Galesic, Ghazal, Schulz, & Cokely, 2012),pointed out through his article about the outcome of Berlin Psychometric Test. This test gave the view about how students feel while solving numerical problems. From this article it was found that students eventually take longer time in solving patterns and logical representations. Thus, it can be said that (Jimenez & Kemmery, 2013), gave the practical approach in solving numerical problems through working patterns and logical representations. It is quite evident that students need to get better assistance and better considerations from teachers in solving logical numeracy.

According to (Van Hoof, Verschaffel, & Van Dooren, 2015), natural number bias is another aspect that confuses students. There are several formulas for natural numbers and rational numbers numeracy and hence students get confused in solving such problems. Hence, it can be said that teachers need to work over here to mitigate such confusions, but this article does not provide the method to enhance traditional learning procedure. On the other hand, (Skwarchuk, Sowinski, & LeFevre, 2014), give the idea that agile approach must be included in the education system. The approach of virtual representation helps in increasing the attraction of children. According to them, virtual approach is very much necessary in this era as traditional means of learning has saturated the process of learning. In their method of quantitative approach, they gave the view that children are considerably taking less time in solving patterns as they need not create illustrations in minds. This is an innovative approach in numeracy education, which was found to be required by (Mulligan, 2015).

Thus, from the articles it can be said that students will get better learning approaches with the initiative of virtual representations through the agile approach. In this way, the selected topic will be justified, as students will get best assistance in future.


Activities for Numeracy Skill Development

According to (Skwarchuk, Sowinski, & LeFevre, 2014), formal home learning activities are one of the best ways to increase the learning capabilities of children. Most of the time, it is found that children lack assistance from their parents who are busy in jobs. Parents feel students cannot get motivation in solving numeracy unless parents play an active role. On the other hand, they contradicted that due to their busy life they are unable to spend time with their wards and often experience a feeling of frustration, leading to a gap between parents and children. Thus, it can be said that professional teachers are best for creating the base of numeracy of students. On the other hand, (Toll, Luit, & Johannes, 2013), pointed out that limited working memory skills will decrease the complexity of the learning procedure. They believe that students will get more time in solving basic numeracy right from kindergarten if working memory is optimized. In their quantitative approach, they went through multivariable analysis and found that cognitive skills and self-developing are developed by limiting the complexity. Thus, it can be said that through changes in learning procedure children will be more accompanied by teachers and thereby enhance the style of numeracy skill development.

According to (Brinkman, Gregory, Harris, Hart, Blackmore, & Janus, 2013), early development is instrumental for numeracy skill enhancement, which will increase the motivation of children towards increasing their skill. In this empirical article, the dependent variable such as ‘development’ has been viewed to be increased with respect to kindergarten children just with the change method in learning development. Earlier, Electronic Data Interchange methods were quite traditional and that does not fit with the standard school assessment at present. This study was conducted in Australia, where they feltthat the education system needs to undergo change from an initial stage so that the base of students can be made concrete right from the start. On the other hand, (Van Hoof, Verschaffel, & Van Dooren, 2015), gave the view that numeracy development does not need to be changed from kindergarten, as this will hamper the basic numeracy skill development. This research-based article gives the view of early numeracy skill development from 3rd grade. According to them, the statistical analysis gave the view of early skill development and the variance is prominent from 3rd grade students as such students have the capability of data-modeling and logical representation ability. This idea has been supported by (Davenport & Johnston, 2015) as well. According to them, professional teachers get the idea from the article as to where contingency educational skill can be applied for distinct student. They also contradicted that intervention strategy may not be beneficial for teachers, as application of this will decrease confidence of students. This can be termed as the weakness for teachers in professional life.

From the analysis, it can be concluded that development of early numeracy skill can be well achieved if professionals take initiatives. Measures such as virtual approach, direct instruction and working pattern will surely enhance the learning procedure.



AbdulhameedAufan Al-Makahleh, A. (2011). The effect of direct instruction strategy on math achievement of primary 4th and 5th grade students with learning difficulties. International Education Studies , 199.

Aunio, P., Heiskari, P., Van Luit, J. E., & Vuorio, J. (2015). The development of early numeracy skills in kindergarten in low-, average- and high-performance groups. Journal of Early Childhood Research , 3-16.

Brinkman, S., Gregory, T., Harris, J., Hart, B., Blackmore, S., & Janus, M. (2013). Associations between the early development instrument at age 5, and reading and numeracy skills at ages 8, 10 and 12: A prospective linked data study. . Child Indicators Research , 695-708.

Culaste, I. (2015). Cognitive Skills of Mathematical Problem Solving of Grade 6 Children. . International Journal of Innovative Interdisciplinary Research .

Davenport, L. A., & Johnston, S. S. (2015). Using most-to-least prompting and contingent consequences to teach numeracy in inclusive early childhood classrooms. . Topics in Early Childhood Special Education , 250-261.

Garcia-Retamero, R., Galesic, M., Ghazal, S., Schulz, E., & Cokely, E. T. (2012). Measuring risk literacy: The Berlin numeracy test. . Judgment and Decision Making , 25-47.

Jimenez, B. A., & Kemmery, M. (2013). Building the early numeracy skills of students with moderate intellectual disability. Education and Training in Austin and Developmental Disabilities , 479.

Jimenez, B. A., & Staples, K. (2015). Access to the common core state standards in mathematics through early numeracy skill building for students with significant intellectual disability. . Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities , 17.

Learning, I. (2015). Importance of Quantitative Research. Retrieved 12 28, 2015, from

Luit, V., Johannes, E. H., & Toll, S. W. (2014). Explaining numeracy development in weak performing kindergartners. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology , 97-111.

Mulligan, J. (2015). Moving beyond basic numeracy: Data modeling in the early years of schooling. . Zdm , 653-663.

Olkun, S., Altun, A., GoçerÅžahin, S., & AkkurtDenizli, Z. ( 2015). Deficits in basic number competencies may cause low numeracy in primary school children. Ted EÄŸitimVeBilim .

Skwarchuk, S., Sowinski, C., & LeFevre, J. (2014). Formal and informal home learning activities in relation to children's early numeracy and literacy skills: The development of a home numeracy model. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology , 63.

Toll, S., Luit, V., & Johannes, E. H. (2013). Accelerating the early numeracy development of kindergartners with limited working memory skills through remedial education. Research in Developmental Disabilities , 745-755.

Van Hoof, J., Verschaffel, L., & Van Dooren, W. (2015). Inappropriately applying natural number properties in rational number tasks: Characterizing the development of the natural number bias through primary and secondary education. Educational Studies in Mathematics , 39-56.

Vasconcelos de Castro, M., Silva Bissaco, M., Panccioni, B. M., S., C. M., & Domingues, A. M. (2014). Effect of a virtual environment on the development of mathematical skills in children with dyscalculia. E103354. PloS ONe .


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