Math PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Strategies) is a supplemental program designed to support mathematics learning through structured peer tutoring activities. Student dyads are created by matching students with similar level of math skills. The program also includes initial professional development to support teachers to deliver the intervention.
A recent evaluation published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness assessed the effectiveness of Math PALS in elementary school. The study randomly assigned 28 first grade classrooms (n=454 students) in northern rural Florida to the intervention or control group. After one school year, results showed that:
- There were no significant effects on Woodcock-Johnson III math assessment for both subtests: Math Fluency (ES = +0.16; n.s.) and Applied Problems (ES = +0.06; n.s.),
- However, the intervention effectiveness varied based on initial mathematics skills. For students with higher initial skills (at the 75thpercentile of the sample) there was a positive effect of Math PALS on Fluency subtest while for the lower performing students (at the 25th percentile) the effect was negative.
Source: Wood, T., Mazzocco, M. M., Calhoon, M. B., Crowe, E. C., & Connor, C. M. (2020). The Effect of Peer-Assisted Mathematics Learning Opportunities in First Grade Classrooms: What Works for Whom?. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness. Advance Online Publications. DOI: 10.1080/19345747.2020.1772422