What Kind of Math is Most Predictive of Students’ Long-term Learning?

By Huntington Learning Center

Since his time at Huntington, math makes logical sense to him and his grades are very good as a high school freshman. Thank you, Huntington, for preparing my son to be successful in math.”  

- Maryann T., Parent   

When children are elementary school students, learning basic math concepts is important. Those building block skills help students progress from concept to concept, lesson to lesson, and grade to grade in mathematics.  

But if you’ve wondered which elementary school students will be the most successful in math in high school, keep reading. A research study published in Psychological Science shares that certain math knowledge at a younger age is a good indicator of a student’s success in high school math.  

Here’s the summary of the findings (study titled “Early Predictors of High School Mathematics Achievement”):  

  • Elementary school students’ knowledge of fractions and whole-number division predicts their mathematics achievement in high school more than their knowledge of: 
  • Whole-number addition, subtraction, and multiplication
  • Verbal and nonverbal IQ
  • Working memory
  • Family education
  • Family income
  • Poor knowledge of both division and fractions might lead students to give up trying to make sense of math and rely on rote memorization.
  • Fractions and division are more difficult than addition, subtraction, and multiplication, which makes sense that they are more predictive of later math understanding. These concepts, like algebra, require more advanced thinking. 

Give Your Students a Foundational Understanding of Fractions and Division 

If you’re an elementary school teacher, keep these things in mind. The more your student understands the concepts of fractions and whole-number division now, the more likely they will succeed in high school algebra and other math subjects. And if you have a student who is struggling now with these math concepts, refer their parents to Huntington. We’ll identify where the child is having trouble and design a customized program of instruction to help them make big strides and prepare for more advanced mathematics later on.  

Call 1-800 CAN LEARN today!