Students' basic math skills in numbers, counting and low-level arithmetic by first grade predict their success in math by the time they reach fifth grade, a new study finds. Researchers from the University of Missouri encourage educators to ensure that young students understand numerals and quantities, and give them plenty of practice with basic arithmetic. "This study reinforces the idea that math knowledge is incremental, and without a good foundation, a student won't do well because the math gets more complex," researcher David Geary said.

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