Cognitive Predictors of Calculations and Number Line Estimation with Whole Numbers and Fractions
The purpose of the present study was to examine the cognitive predictors of calculations and number line estimation with whole numbers and fractions. At-risk 4th-grade students (N = 139) were assessed on 7 domain-general abilities (i.e., working memory, processing speed, concept formation, language, attentive behavior, and nonverbal reasoning) and 1 incoming calculation skill at the beginning for 4th grade. Then, they were assessed on whole-number and fraction calculation and number line estimation outcome measures at the end of 4th grade. Structural equation modeling and path analysis were conducted to identify unique cognitive correlates that predicted each outcome measure. Results indicated that processing speed, attentive behavior, and incoming calculation skills were the significant predictors of whole-number calculations whereas language, in addition to processing speed and attentive behavior, significantly predicted fraction calculations. In contrast, nonverbal reasoning significantly predicted both whole-number and fraction number line estimation with numerical working memory uniquely predicting whole-number number line estimation and language uniquely predicting fraction number line estimation.