Number Worlds

Research & Success

Research-Proven Math Intervention for Grades PreK-8

College and career readiness today requires a solid mathematical foundation. Based on the findings from field tests, effectiveness studies, education research, and research around how children learn, Number Worlds® and Building Blocks® are proven as effective curriculum intervention solutions to bring students struggling in mathematics up to par with their peers in math literacy and fluency.

Results with Number Worlds

Rigorous field testing shows that students who began at a disadvantage surpassed the performance of students who began on level with their peers, simply with the help of the Number Worlds program. A longitudinal study, measuring the progress of three groups of children from the beginning of Kindergarten to the end of Grade 2, demonstrates the program's efficacy.

Results with Building Blocks

Building Blocks software, embedded in the Number Worlds program, is the result of National Science Foundation-funded research. Building Blocks includes online activities and an adaptive assignment engine that guides children through research-based learning trajectories. In research studies, Building Blocks software was shown to increase children's knowledge of essential mathematical concepts and skills. One study tested Building Blocks against a comparable math program and a no- treatment control group. All classrooms were randomly assigned – the "gold standard" of scientific evaluation.

Customer Success Stories

Number Worlds: Supporting Math Teachers with Accelerated Learning

"The best thing I like about it is the practice time it allows for the students to reach mastery. It breaks down the math skills into smaller parts, and offers direct instruction for the smaller pieces. I also like how it offers many opportunities for practice with the skills, and the use of manipulatives and games for the practice. My students like the applications of the skills and are able to understand them. For example, with fractions, they apply the skills to cooking, which my students loved. Overall, Number Worlds is a fabulous Math program that offers direct instruction at the student's level, and with time for practice and mastery of all skills taught."

-JoAnne, Intervention Specialist North Carolina

"Number Worlds is a great complement to our core curriculum and standards. It addresses a myriad of specific skills that assist students through understanding concepts, and applying the necessary skills to gain mastery. The Building Blocks component also allows for the students to visually see their progress, and set expected outcomes, which encourages them to become involved in the decision-making process for their education."

-Cassandra, Intervention Teacher Florida

"In our Developmental Program, we love using the Number Worlds Program, because it effectively differentiates instruction to meet the individual academic needs of our students. The materials are easy to use and are highly engaging to all of students across all levels. The use of this program has helped our students to successfully meet their goals and objectives."

-Erika, Intervention Teacher Massachusetts

Doug Clements Discusses Learning Trajectories

Children typically follow an observable developmental progression in learning math concepts with recognizable stages or levels. This developmental path can be described as part of a learning trajectory. Applying Number Worlds and Building Blocks in the classroom leads children through the natural developmental progression, allowing them to retain and understand concepts more thoroughly.


Meet the Authors

Sharon Griffin, Ph.D.

Sharon Griffin is Professor Emerita of Education and Psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in Psychology from McGill University, a M.A. in Education from the University of New Hampshire, and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from the University of Toronto. Before coming to Clark University in 1989, she worked as a Research Associate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. During the past 25 years, she has received several research awards to use the findings of cognitive science to (a) improve mathematics learning and achievement for at-risk children, (b) teach number sense, and (c) enable teachers of mathematics to acquire the skills needed to enhance their students' math learning and achievement. Dr. Griffin has also served on several national and international advisory boards on projects designed to enhance the cognitive,mathematical, and language development of children from birth through the elementary school years. As a member of the Mathematical Sciences Education Board at the National Academies of Science (NAS) and the Center of Education Research and Innovation at the Organization for Economic Collaboration and Development (OECD), she also helped shape the direction of education research and policy for the United States, Canada, the U.K., and several European countries.

Douglas Clements, Ph.D. & Julie Sarama, Ph.D.

Dr. Douglas Clements, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and Professor at the University of Denver, is widely regarded as "the major scholar" in the field of early childhood mathematics education, one with equal relevance to the academy, to the classroom, and to the educational policy arena. At the national, level, his contributions have led to the development of new mathematics curricula, teaching approaches, teacher training initiatives, and models of "scaling up" interventions, as well as having a tremendous impact on educational planning and policy, particularly in the area of mathematical literacy and access. Most recently, Dr. Clements was selected to sit on the National Research Council Committee on Science of Children Birth to Age 8: Deepening and Broadening the Foundation for Success for The National Academies of Sciences' Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Julie Sarama is Kennedy Endowed Chair in Innovative Learning Technologies and Professor at the University of Denver. She conducts research on young children's development of mathematical concepts and competencies, implementation and scale-up of educational reform, professional development models and their influence on student learning, and implementation and effects of software environments (including those she has created) in mathematics classrooms. These studies have been published in more than 50 refereed articles, 4 books, 30 chapters, and 60 additional publications. She has been both Principal and Co-Principal Investigator on seven projects funded by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Sarama is also co-directing three large-scale studies funded by the U.S. Education Department's Institute of Educational Studies (IES).

White Papers

The number line is a tool used in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Recent research suggests the importance of the number line as a tool for helping children develop greater flexibility in mental arithmetic. Find out how Number Worlds provides activities involving the number line.

The Number Worlds curriculum is often referred to as a "research-based" program to distinguish it from more traditional mathematics programs that are produced by educational publishing houses to teach learning goals established by the mathematics education community.

Project-Based Learning activities focus on extending standards, while giving students experience working in group settings. Learn more about the built-in Project-Based learning lessons in Number Worlds.

Number Worlds professional development is built around five guiding principles of effective professional learning: content-specific, active engagement, teaching models, collaborative learning, and applied practice. Professional development activities in the program offer materials that result in effective professional development activities.

For more than a decade, increasing numbers of educators have stopped relying solely on print-based materials; instead, they have been incorporating digital programs into their daily approaches to lesson planning, instruction, and assessment. Find out how Number Worlds utilizes the digital component of Building Blocks™.

Rigor is a sought-after element in mathematics classrooms around the country. Adding rigor to program design provides students with the conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application of learning context. Number Worlds is proven to develop conceptual understanding and procedural knowledge.

Case Studies

Number Worlds is proven to help struggling students accelerate math success with a proven approach. See what people in the educational community have to say about the results they've seen with Number Worlds.