The effect of math strategy notebooks on executive function at Midtown International School

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Montana State University - Bozeman, Graduate School


Within a second grade classroom of gifted learners, many students could master advanced content and concepts, but had difficulty with the application and analysis within problem-solving scenarios. The executive functions that support these higher-order thinking skills such as working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility are not fully developed until later grades. To determine if these executive functions could be strengthened or supported in the math classroom, a strategy notebook was implemented for the students to utilize within their daily lessons. The notebook required students to record multiple strategies to increase cognitive flexibility. Additionally, the notebook layout was designed to assist working memory and increase student inhibition when solving the math problems. The results of the treatment concluded that the notebooks did increase the executive functions of cognitive flexibility. In contrast, the strategy notebooks did not increase the executive functions of working memory and inhibition.




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