Early Learning in Mathematics (ELM) is a core mathematics program for kindergartners that provides 120 45-minute lessons, in addition to daily 15-minute calendar activities. The curriculum emphasizes a small number of key ideas in math to provide more focused coverage, instead of trying to teach a comprehensive but more surface set of skills. Explicit and systematic instructional design is used.
A study comparing ELM to a control group on the Test of Early Mathematics Ability found a positive effect size of +0.11 that was not statistically significant at the cluster level but was significant at the student level. This qualified ELM for the ESSA “Promising” category. Effect sizes were much more positive for students who were initially low achievers than for high achievers. Particularly large effects were found for English Learners (ES = +0.30). However, a follow-up to the middle of first grade on the SAT-10 found no differences (effect size= 0.00).
ELM is designed to be delivered by the kindergarten teacher to a whole class of students. Calendar lessons can be scheduled and delivered at a separate time and are often incorporated into kindergarten morning circle/opening activities.
Given the nature of an explicit scripted core math program, it is recommended that teachers receive a minimum of a full day of training prior to starting the program with an additional full day of training prior to implementing the second half of the program. Experienced trainers can be found on the CTL Marketplace website.