Can moving their hands help children learn math? This question was investigated by the authors of the paper “Gesturing Gives Children New Ideas about Math” (Psychological Science [ 2009]: 267– 272). A study was conducted to compare two different methods for teaching children how to solve math problems of the form 3 + 2 + 8 = + 8. One method involved having students point to the 3 – 2 on the left side of the equal sign with one hand and then point to the blank on the right side of the equal sign before filling in the blank to complete the equation. The other method did not involve using these hand gestures. To compare the two methods, 128 children were assigned at random to one of the methods. Each child then took a test with six problems, and the number correct was determined for each child. The researchers planned to see if the resulting data supported the theory that the mean number correct for children who use hand gestures is higher than the mean number correct for children who do not use hand gestures. |

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