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.
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.
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.
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).