The earlyMath assessment is designed to screen and monitor early numeracy skills for students in kindergarten and first grade. The development of earlyMath is based on a thorough examination of the most recent research literature and professional consultation in test development and mathematics education. Each of the subtests is aligned with National Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) and three domains of number sense: (a) number, (b) relations, and (c) operations (Purpura & Lonigan, 2013; National Research Council, 2009). Early numeracy skills measured within the three domains include: naming numerals, using the mental number line, counting with one-to-one correspondence, understanding the relation between numerals and quantities, composing and decomposing numbers, basic verbal fact fluency, an understanding of place value, and knowledge of symbols in story problems.
earlyMath Subtests
Subtest |
Skill Measured |
Numeral Identification NI-K |
Recognizing numerals |
Numeral Identification NI-1 |
Recognizing numerals |
Subitizing |
Immediate recognition of quantities |
Match Quantity |
Matching a numeral with the quantity it represents |
Quantity Discrimination Most |
Identifying the largest number in a set |
Quantity Discrimination Least |
Identifying the smallest number in a set |
Number Sequence NS-K |
Providing the correct oral sequence of numbers |
Number Sentence NS-1 |
Providing the correct oral sequence of numbers |
Composing |
Identifying a missing part in a part-part-whole problem |
Decomposing DC-K |
Identifying a missing part in a part-part-whole problem |
Decomposing DC-1 |
Identifying a missing part in a part-part-whole problem |
Counting Objects |
Counting with one-to-one correspondence and cardinality |
Equal Partitioning |
Identifying equal and unequal sets |
Verbal Addition | Providing the answer to an addition problem (without paper and pencil) |
Verbal Subtraction | Providing the answer to a subtraction problem (without paper and pencil) |
Story Problems |
Solving verbally presented word problems |
Place Value |
Identifying the place values and amounts of pictured objects |
Subtest Descriptions
Numeral Identification NI
Numeral Identification assesses a student's ability to correctly identify the name of the symbol that represents a number. Numeral Identification is considered to be one of the many aspects of number sense, and is typically represented within the counting component of number sense. Number sense counting tasks have been identified as powerful short and long-term predictors of mathematical achievement.
Subitizing
The Subitizing subtest assesses a student's ability to recognize the correct quantity of dots on a sheet of paper when flashed by the presenter for less than 1 second. Subitizing is viewed as a nonserial process rather than a conscious counting procedure. Typically developing children between ages three to five should be able to subitize arrays of three objects.
Match Quantity
Match Quantity assesses a student's ability to correctly identify the symbol/numeral that represents a given quantity. This task differs from Numeral Identification in that students are making a connection between quantity and numeral, instead of the symbol and the name of the numeral.
Quantity Discrimination Most
The Quantity Discrimination-Most assessment assesses a student's ability to select the largest of four visually presented numerals between one and ten. For the 30-second administration, the examiner shows the student four numerals and asks, "Which is the most?" The resulting score is "1" if the student correctly points to or says the correct numeral/number. The final score is prorated from the number of items responded to correctly in 30 seconds to be the total correct in 60 seconds.
Quantity Discrimination Least
The Quantity Discrimination-Least assessment assesses a student's ability to select the smallest of four visually presented numerals between one and ten. For the 30-second administration, the examiner shows the student four numerals and asks, "Which is least?" The resulting score is "1" if the student correctly points to or says the correct numeral/number. The final score is prorated from the number of items responded to correctly in 30 seconds to be the total correct in 60 seconds.
Number Sequence NS
The Number Sequence test assesses the student's understanding of the mental number line. The test is completely verbal, and no student stimulus materials are used. There are 13 or 14 items separated by the type of question asked. Types of items include: Count Sequence, Number After, Number Before, and Number Between. As the student responds to each item, the examiner marks any errors on his/her score form. The resulting score is the number of items responded to correctly.
Composing
The Composing test assesses the student's ability to put together quantities to demonstrate an understanding of "parts" and a "whole." There are eight items representing the composing skills and they are also separated into composing five (5) and ten (10) with the use of five-frames and ten-frames. Students are presented with either frame partially filled with dots, with some open boxes. The examiner says, "How" many more to make five?" or "How" many more to make ten?" As the student responds to each item, the examiner marks any errors on his/her score form. The resulting score is the number of items responded to correctly.
Decomposing DC
The Decomposing test assesses the student's ability to put together and take apart numbers by using "parts" and a "whole." As the student verbalizes the number that represents the missing "part" the examiner marks any errors on his/her copy of the score form. The resulting score is the total number of items responded to correctly.
Counting Objects
The Counting Objects test assesses a student's ability to count a set of dots with one-on-one correspondence, and his/her ability to recognize that the last number counted in a sequence represents the overall quantity.
Equal Partitioning
The Equal Partitioning test assesses the student's ability to recognize if two groups of objects are equal quantities, and his/her ability to equally divide a set of manipulatives. As the student responds to/demonstrates each item, the examiner marks any errors on his/her score form. If the student responds/demonstrates correctly, the student receives a score of one. The resulting score is the number of items responded to correctly.
Verbal Addition
The Verbal Addition test assesses the student's' ability and automaticity in responding to basic addition facts. The test is completely verbal, and no student stimulus materials are used. As the student responds to each item, the examiner marks any errors on his/her score form. The resulting score is the number of items responded to correctly.
Verbal Subtraction
The Verbal Subtraction test assesses the student's' ability and automaticity in responding to basic subtraction facts. The test is completely verbal, and no student stimulus materials are used. As the student responds to each item, the examiner marks any errors on his/her score form. The resulting score is the number of items responded to correctly.
Story Problems
The Story Problems test assesses the student's ability to correctly identify a number expression that matches a story problem read out loud by the examiner. As the student points to the number expression that represents the story problem, the examiner marks any errors on his/her copy of the score form. The resulting score is the total number of items responded to correctly.
Place Value
The Place Value assessment assesses the student's ability to correctly produce the numeral that corresponds with a set of base-10 blocks, and his/her ability to select the correct grouping of base-10 blocks when presented with a numeral. This test is conducted on an individual or group basis, and the examiner scores the student's work after the test is complete. The resulting score is the total number of items responded to correctly per minute.
earlyMath - Composite Subtests
GRADE | FALL | WINTER | SPRING |
K | Match Quantity | Decomposing DC-K | Decomposing DC-K |
K | Number Sequence NS-K | Number Sequence NS-K | Number Sequence NS-K |
K | Numeral Identification NI-K | Numeral Identification NI-K | Numeral Identification NI-K |
1 | Decomposing DC-1 | Decomposing DC-1 | Decomposing DC-1 |
1 | Number Sequence NS-1 | Number Sequence NS-1 | Place Value |
1 | Numeral Identification NI-1 | Place Value | Story Problems |
Composite Scores for earlyMath
The best estimate of student early mathematics skill is the earlyMath composite score. The composite score is comprised of subtest scores from multiple tests administered during a universal screening period. These composite scores were developed to be optimal predictors of spring broad reading achievement in kindergarten and first grade.
The individual subtests included in the Composite were selected to assess skill in all three domains of early numeracy (i.e., Number, Relations and Operations) in each screening period, and weighted to optimize the predictive relationship between earlyMath and broad math achievement scores. Following the developmental trajectories of mathematics skills, more of an emphasis on the Number domain is seen in kindergarten, while more Operations skills are assessed in first grade. The composite scores should be interpreted first, followed by the subtest scores. A variety of patterns might be observed. Interpreting the subtest scores also provides a sense of each student's strengths and weaknesses. It is common for students to perform consistently above or below benchmark on the Composite and subtests; however, it is also possible to observe that a particular student is above benchmark on one or two subtests, but below the Composite benchmark. It is also possible for a student to be below benchmark on one or two subtests, but above the Composite benchmark. Although atypical, this phenomenon is not problematic. It occurs, in part, because a continuous score is dichotomized to indicate above or below benchmark. The recommendation is to combine the use of Composite and subtest scores in order to optimize the decision-making process. Overall, the Composite scores are the best predictors of future mathematics success.
Kindergarten
The composite score for kindergarten students in the fall includes Match Quantity, Numeral Identification and Number Sequence. The winter and spring composite scores include Decomposing, Numeral Identification, and Number Sequence.
First Grade
The composite score for first grade students in the fall includes Numeral Identification, Number Sequence, and Decomposing. In the winter, the composite score includes Number Sequence, Decomposing and Place Value. Finally, in the spring the composite score includes Decomposing, Place Value and Story Problems.
Subtest weighting is indicated in the chart below by L (low), M (medium) and H (high).
Progress Monitoring with earlyMath
FastBridge recommends weekly progress monitoring in earlyMath with one of the subtests that has progress monitoring forms.
earlyMath Subtests for Available for Progress Monitoring
- Numeral Identification
- Decomposing-1
- Match Quantity
- Quantity Discrimination (Least and Most)
- Place Value
We strongly recommend monitoring students with certain subtests (see the recommendations in the table below). These recommendations are grounded in research supporting student performance on these subtests and more comprehensive measures of mathematics.
GRADE | MEASURE |
K | Numeral Identification NI-K |
1 | Decomposing DC-1 |
Subtest Schedule
Below outlines which subtests appear for each season as well as the order they appear in.
Kindergarten
Fall | Winter | Spring |
1. Numeral Identification-K | 1. Numeral Identification-K | 1. Numeral Identification-K |
2. Match Quantity | 2. Number Sequence - K | 2. Number Sequence - K |
3. Number Sequence-K |
3. Decomposing - K | 3. Decomposing - K |
Grade 1
Fall | Winter | Spring |
1. Numeral Identification - 1 | 1. Numeral Identification - 1 | 1. Decomposing - 1 |
2. Decomposing-1 | 2. Number Sequence - 1 | 2. Story Problems |
3. Number Sequence-1 |
3. Place Value | 3. Place Value |