What is ICUE?

Improving Children's Understanding of Equivalence (ICUE) is a supplemental math program to improve children's understanding of math equivalence. It includes 32 20-minute sessions and should be used twice a week for 16 weeks. ICUE was iteratively developed by the CLAD Lab at Notre Dame through 1:1 and classroom-based design cycles, and it has been rigorously tested in a small-scale randomized experiment and in a larger efficacy study (conducted by WestEd in collaboration with the CLAD Lab). The results from the design-based work and both experiments suggest that children who use ICUE achieve meaningful improvements in their understanding of mathematics. That's convergence! Two different approaches--one user design-based and one experimental-- have shown the benefits of ICUE, thus increasing our confidence that we have a true result that is not produced by bias. Hooray for cognitive science!

Why use ICUE?

Children's formal understanding of mathematical equivalence in elementary school predicts their algebra readiness in middle school (Hornburg, Devlin, & McNeil, 2022). Unfortunately, most children are not currently getting the support they need to construct a formal understanding of this foundational concept.

Want to learn more?

The ICUE student workbook and teacher manual are openly available to download for free. Simply click on the "Open Resources" tab. ICUE was featured in the University of Notre Dame's "What Would You Fight For" video series. Check it out below.