1. We have validated a construct map and accompanying assessment for assessing elementary-school children’s knowledge of a key algebraic concept - mathematical equivalence (the idea that two sides of an equation represent the same amount). This assessment provides a more detailed and continuous measure of student knowledge from Grades 2 to 6.

2. We have developed a construct map and assessment for assessing elementary-schol children's knowledge of function tables.

3. We are currently developing a repeating-pattern assessment for use with preschoolers.

4. In our first tutoring study, we found that students understood concepts better if they first explored solving equivalence problems before receiving a lesson on the concept of equivalence, rather than receiving the lesson before solving the problems. These findings highlight the importance of problem exploration for preparing students to learn from direct instruction.

JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS

Rittle-Johnson, B., Taylor, R., Matthews, P.G., & McEldoon, K. (in press). Assessing Knowledge of Mathematical Equivalence: A Construct Modeling Approach. Journal of Educational Psychology.

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

McEldoon, K. & Rittle-Johnson, B. (2010, October). Assessing Elementary Students' Functional Thinking Skills: The Case of Function Tables. Proceedings of the 2010 annual meeting of the North American Chapters of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education.

Rittle-Johnson, B., Matthews, P., Taylor, R. & McEldoon, K. (2010, October). Assessing Knowledge of Mathematical Equivalence: A Construct Modeling Approach. Proceedings of the 2010 annual meeting of the North American Chapters of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education.

DeCaro, M. & Rittle-Johnson, B. (2010, August). The Capacity to Discover: Working Memory and the Ability to Use Self-Explanation to Discover Early Algebra Concepts. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society 2010 Annual Meeting.

McEldoon, K., Cochrane-Braswell, C., & Rittle-Johnson, B. (2010, August). Effects of Problem Context on Strategy Use within Functional Thinking. To appear in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society 2010 Annual Meeting.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

Matthews, P. G., Rittle-Johnson, B., Taylor, R. S., McEldoon, K. (2010, March). Understanding the Equals Sign as a Gateway to Algebraic Thinking. Paper presented at the 2010 Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) conference, Washington DC.

Taylor, R., Rittle-Johnson, B., Matthews, P., & McEldoon, K., (2009, March). Mapping children’s understanding of mathematical equivalence. Paper presented at the 2009 Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness conference, Washington DC.

Assessments available on project website!