Effects of math centers on third grade assessment scores

The purpose of this study was to determine if math centers, in addition to a daily math curriculum, could improve the achievement of English Language Learners (ELLs) on math assessments. A quantitative, action research study examined the efficacy of math centers -rotating students through activities that included computerized software, topic-related math games, and a teacher-led study session with the use of virtual and hand-held manipulatives. The centers provided students with the opportunity to strengthen their ability to independently solve word problems by including common math vocabulary within each center. The literature reviewed by the author indicated that the use of technology and active learning in cooperative, interactive groups would increase student engagement, target individual needs, and provide students with additional reinforcement of the topics covered. The outcomes of the study indicated that the use of technology and vocabulary within the centers assisted students in math comprehension, which was supported by the students' increase in post-test results. Therefore, the curricular recommendation for further math language development is to incorporate math vocabulary into each center, which indicated a positive impact on student scores. Further research on curriculum implementation and student test score analysis of the centers will be necessary to isolate whether a particular center is determined to be most effective. KEY WORDS: centers, elementary education, English language learners, math, technology