Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Swafford, Jeanne

Committee Member

Franz, Dana

Committee Member

Miller, Vivien

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Elementary Education

Degree Name

Educational Specialist


College of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to help a second grade student, who struggled with mathematics but excelled in reading, to develop a conceptual understanding of number sense, using a teacher researcher-created intervention. The five-step, one-on-one intervention included the following: (1) use trade books to build mathematical knowledge and vocabulary (2) teacher modeling of concepts, (3) guided practice with manipulatives, (4) review using games and a ?Fact Pack?, and (5) journal writing to explain concepts. The Early Mathematics Assessment-3 (TEMA-3) was used as a pre- and post-test assessment the student?s mathematical knowledge. Other data included transcriptions of audio taped intervention sessions, notes from video-taped intervention sessions, fieldnotes, and artifacts from the classroom and intervention sessions. Data sources were triangulated. On the TEMA-3 Pretest, the student scored at the first grade, fourth month (1.4) level. After 13 Lessons covered in 22 sessions (approximately 11 hours of one-on-one instruction), the student scored at the second grade, second month (2.2) level. She also scored Proficient on the state curriculum test in mathematics. Four aspects of the intervention seem to help the student most in her development of number sense. They included the use of (1) a number line; (2) a number structure, which visually depicted the value of numbers; (3) trade books to provide an anchor for each skill and a memorable context; and (4) journaling. In addition, the data revealed that once the student understood the concept of ten?s and one?s, her ability to count and add extended to include numbers 1 to 100. Recommendations for students who excel in reading and writing, but struggle with mathematics, include the following: the use of trade books and writing may help them better understand mathematics concepts; review of mathematical concepts through enjoyable, meaningful games and the use of a Fact Pack are useful; the use a horizontal number line and number structure, which is consistent with left-to-right directionality of reading and writing, may help students better understand the concepts of more, less, before, and after; and consistent use of vocabulary during instruction may help students better understand number concepts.