Thesis Title

Influence of the Time-of-Day on Student Performance on Mathematical Algorithms

Graduation Date

Fall 2005

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name



In the current school climate of standards-based curriculum and the emphasis on measuring student achievement by state-mandated standardized testing, teachers have to carefully allocate instructional time with emphasis on reading and mathematics. The assumption often is that these subjects need to be taught in the morning when students are more alert. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of time-of-day on elementary students’ accuracy in computing mathematical algorithms. This study used an explanatory mixed methods design to collect data on addition quizzes at three different times of the day over a period of three weeks. This study also used a student questionnaire so that students could reflect and explain when they felt they concentrated the best on the quizzes. The sample population used in this study includes eighteen third grade students from a suburban elementary school.

An analysis of variance was performed on the data. Time-of-day influences were found not to be significant on student performance on the quizzes. An examination of the mean scores showed a trend toward higher scores in the morning, followed by the mid-morning, then the afternoon. The responses to the student questionnaires revealed trends in why they felt they concentrated best at different times, but the responses did not correspond to any particular time- of-day. The results of this study add further information on the effects time-of-day has on student performance in mathematics.

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