- Sarah R Powell
Sarah R Powell
Sarah R. Powell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Powell is currently Principal Investigator (PI) of an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) efficacy grant related to word problems and equation solving for third-grade students experiencing mathematics difficulties. Powell is also PI of an IES efficacy grant related to multi-step word-problem solving at fourth grade. Powell is PI of the Teaching Early Math by Providing Language Exploration (TEMPLE) project funded by the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, PI of a Texas Education Agency network (Tiered Interventions using Evidence-based Research: TIER), co-PI of a National Science Foundation grant aimed at developing a science intervention for second-grade students with learning difficulties, co-PI of an Office of Special Education Programs model demonstration grant for middle school algebra readiness (Supporting Teaching of Algebra with Individual Readiness: STAIR), co-PI of an Office of Innovation and Improvement grant about kindergarten computational thinking through music, and co-PI of a EF+Math grant funded by the NewSchools Venture Fund (My Math Stories). Powell was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2019. Powell's research interests include developing and testing interventions for students with mathematics difficulties, with a special emphasis on peer tutoring, word-problem solving, mathematics writing, and the symbols and vocabulary within mathematics.
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
M.S.Ed., Vanderbilt University
B.A., Centre College
Develops and tests interventions for students with mathematics difficulties, emphasizing word-problem solving, mathematics writing, and the vocabulary within math.
Associate Editor, Journal of Learning Disabilities(2017 - Present)
Editorial Review Board, Journal of Learning Disabilities(2014)
Editorial Review Board, Teaching Exceptional Children(2014)
Associate Editor, Assessment for Effective Intervention(2013 - 2016)
Editorial Review Board, Learning Disabilities Research and Practice(2013)
Editorial Review Board, Learning Disability Quarterly(2013)
Benz, S. A. & Powell, S. R. (2020). The influence of behavior on performance within a word-problem intervention for students with mathematics difficulty. Remedial and Special Education. doi:10.1177/0741932520923063.
Nurnberger-Haag, J., Alexander, A. N. & Powell, S. R. (2020). What counts in number books? A content-domain specific typology to evaluate childrens books for mathematics. Mathematical Thinking and Learning. doi:10.1080/109860652020.1777365.
Powell, S. R., Berry, K. A. & Benz, S. A. (2020). Analyzing the word-problem performance and strategies of students experiencing mathematics difficulty. Journal of Mathematical Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.jmathb.2020.100759.
Powell, S. R., Berry, K. A., Fall, A.-M., Roberts, G., Fuchs, L. S. & Barnes, M. A. (2020). Alternative paths to improved word-problem performance: An advantage for embedding pre-algebraic reasoning instruction within word-problem intervention. Journal of Educational Psychology. doi:10.1037/edu0000513.
Powell, S. R., Hebert, M. A. & Hughes, E. M. (2020). How educators use mathematics writing in the classroom: A national survey of mathematics educators. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-020-10076-8.
Powell, S. R., Lembke, E., Ketterlin-Geller, L., Petscher, Y., Hwang, J., Bos, S. E., Cix, T., Hirt, S., Mason, E. N., Pruitt-Britton, T., Thomas, E. & Tipton, S. (2020). Data-based individualization in mathematics to support middle-school teachers and their students with mathematics learning difficulty. Studies in Educational Evaluation. doi:10.1016/j.stueduc.2020.100897.
Powell, S. R., Urrutia, V. Y., Berry, K. A. & Barnes, M. A. (2020). The word-problem solving and explanations of students experiencing mathematics difficulty: A comparison based on dual-language status. Learning Disability Quarterly. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/0731948720922198.
Fuchs, L. S., Powell, S. R., Fall, A.-M., Roberts, G., Cirino, P., Fuchs, D. & Gilbert, J. K. (2020). Do the processes engaged during mathematical word-problem solving differ along the distribution of word-problem competence?. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 60(101811), 1–9. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2019.101811.
Hughes, E. M., Powell, S. R. & Lee, J.-Y. (2020). Development and psychometric report of a middle school mathematics vocabulary measure. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 45(3), 226–234. doi:10.1177/1534508418820116.
Martinez-Lincoln, A., Tran, L. M. & Powell, S. R. (2020). What the hands tell us about mathematical learning: A synthesis of gesture use in mathematics instruction. Gesture, 17(3), 374–415. doi:https://doi.org/10.1075/gest.17014.mar.
Namkung, J. M., Hebert, M. A., Powell, S. R., Hoins, M., Bricko, N. & Torchia, M. (2020). Comparing and validating four methods for scoring mathematics writing. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 36(2), 157–175. doi:10.1080/10573569.2019.1700858.
Powell, S. R., Berry, K. A. & Barnes, M. A. (2020). The role of pre-algebraic reasoning with a word-problem intervention for third-grade students with mathematics difficulty. ZDM Mathematics Education, 52(1), 151–163. doi:10.1007/s11858-019-01093-1.
Powell, S. R., Berry, K. A. & Tran, L. M. (2020). Performance differences on a measure of mathematics vocabulary for English Learners and non-English Learners with and without mathematics difficulty. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 36(2), 124–141. doi:10.1080/10573569.2019.1677538.
Powell, S. R., Doabler, C. T., Akinola, O., Therrien, W. J., Maddox, S. A. & Hess, K. E. (2020). A synthesis of elementary mathematics interventions: Comparisons of students with mathematics difficulty with and without comorbid reading difficulty. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 53(4), 244–276. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219419881646.
Powell, S. R. & Fluhler, S. K. (2020). A brief measure of mathematics symbols: Performance at grades 1, 3, and 5. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 45(5), 266–276. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1534508418809884.
Powell, S. R., Stevens, E. A. & Hughes, E. M. (2019). Math language in middle school: Be more specific. Teaching Exceptional Children, 51(4), 286–295. doi:10.1177/0040059918808762.
Powell, S. R., Stevens, E. A. & Berry, K. A. (2019). Effects of a word-problem intervention on word-problem language features for third-grade students with mathematics difficulty. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 24(3), 1–14. doi:10.18666/LDMJ-2019-V24-I2-9835.
Powell, S. R., Fuchs, L. S. & Gilbert, J. K. (2019). Variables influencing algebra performance: Understanding rational numbers is essential. Learning and Individual Differences, 74(101758). doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2019.101758.
Hebert, M. A., Powell, S. R., Bohaty, J. J. & Roehling, J. (2019). Piloting a mathematics writing intervention with late elementary students at-risk for learning difficulties. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 34(3), 144–157. doi:10.1111/ldrp.12202.
Stevens, E. A., Rodgers, M. A. & Powell, S. R. (2018). Intensive interventions in mathematics for upper elementary and secondary students: A meta-analysis of research. Remedial and Special Education, 39(6), 327–340. doi:10.1177/0741932517731887.
Nelson, G. & Powell, S. R. (2018). A systematic review of longitudinal studies of mathematics difficulty. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 51(6), 523–539. doi:10.1177/0022219417714773.
Nelson, G. & Powell, S. (2018). Computation error analysis: Students with mathematics difficulty compared to typically achieving students. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 43, 144–156. doi:10.1177/1534508417745627.
Forysth, S. R. & Powell, S. R. (2017). Differences in the mathematics-vocabulary knowledge of fifth-grade students with and without learning difficulties. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 32(4), 231–245. doi:10.1111/ldrp.12144.
Powell, S. R. & Nelson, G. (2017). An investigation of the mathematics-vocabulary knowledge of first-grade students. The Elementary School Journal, 117(4), 664–686. doi:10.1086/691604.
Powell, S. R., Hebert, M. A., Cohen, J. A., Casa, T. M. & Firmender, J. M. (2017). A synthesis of mathematics writing: Assessments, interventions, and surveys. Journal of Writing Research, 8(3), 493–526. doi:10.17239/jowr-2017.08.03.04.
Powell, S. R., Driver, M. K., Roberts, G. & Fall, A.-M. (2017). An analysis of the mathematics vocabulary knowledge of third- and fifth-grade students: Connections to general vocabulary and mathematics computation.. Learning and Individual Differences, 57, 22–32. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2017.05.011.
Powell, S. R., Cirino, P. T. & Malone, A. S. (2017). Child-level predictors of responsiveness to evidence-based mathematics intervention. Exceptional Children, 83(4), 359–377. doi:10.1177/0014402917690728.
Powell, S. R., Berry, K. A., Benz, S. A., Forsyth, S. R. & Martinez-Lincoln, A. (2017). Teaching students to understand and solve word problems. Texas Mathematics Teacher, 63(2), 6–12.
King, S. A., Powell, S. R., Lemons, C. J. & Davidson, K. A. (2017). Comparison of mathematics performance of children and adolescents with and without Down syndrome. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 52(2), 208–222.
Driver, M. K.. & Powell, S. R.. (2017). Culturally and linguistically responsive schema intervention: Improving word-problem solving for English language learners with mathematics difficulty. Learning Disability Quarterly, 40(1), 41–53. doi:10.1177/0731948716646730.
Hughes, E. M., Powell, S. R. & Stevens, E. A. (2016). Supporting clear and concise mathematics language: Instead of that, say this. Teaching Exceptional Children, 49(1), 7–17. doi:10.1177/0040059916654901.
Stevens, E. A. & Powell, S. R. (2016). Unpacking word problems for diverse learners: A guide to using schemas. Childhood Education, 92, 86–91. doi:10.1080/00094056.2016.1134253.
Hughes, E. M., Powell, S. R., Lembke, E. S. & Riley-Tillman, T. C. (2016). Taking the guesswork out of locating evidence-based practices for diverse learners. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 31(3), 130141. doi:10.1111/ldrp.12103.
Hebert, M. A. & Powell, S. R. (2016). Examining fourth-grade mathematics writing: Features of organization, mathematics vocabulary, and mathematical representations. Reading and Writing, 29(7), 15111537. doi:10.1007/s11145-016-9649-5.
Powell, S. R. & Nurnberger-Haag, J. (2015). Everybody counts, but usually just to 10! A systematic analysis of number representations in childrens books. Early Education and Development, 26(3), 377–398. doi:10.1080/10409289.2015.994466.
Powell, S. R. & Driver, M. K. (2015). The influence of mathematics vocabulary instruction embedded within addition tutoring for first-grade students with mathematics difficulty. Learning Disability Quarterly, 38(4), 221–233. doi:10.1177/0731948714564574.
Powell, S. R. (2015). The influence of symbols and equations on understanding mathematical equivalence. Intervention in School and Clinic, 50(5), 266–272. doi:10.1177/0731948714564574.
Powell, S. R. (2015). Connecting evidence-based practice with implementation opportunities in special education mathematics preparation. Intervention in School and Clinic, 51(2), 90–96. doi:10.1177/1053451215579269.
Powell, S. R., Driver, M. K. & Julian, T. E. (2015). The effect of tutoring with nonstandard equations on the mathematics performance of second-grade students with mathematics difficulty. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48(5), 523–534. doi:10.1177/0022219413512613.
Powell, S. R., Fuchs, L. S., Cirino, P. T., Fuchs, D., Compton, D. L. & Changas, P. C.. (2015). Effects of a multi-tier support system on calculation, word-problem, and pre-algebraic learning among at-risk learners. Exceptional Children, 81(4), 443–470. doi:10.1177/0014402914563702.
Powell, S. R. & Fuchs, L. S. (2015). Intensive intervention in mathematics. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 30, 182192. doi:10.1111/ldrp.12087.
Lemons, C. J., Powell, S. R., King, S. A. & Davidson, K. (2015). Mathematics interventions for children and adolescents with Down syndrome: A research synthesis. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 59(8), 767783. doi:10.1111/jir.12188.
Cirino, P. T., Fuchs, L. S., Elias, J., Powell, S. R. & Schumacher, R. F. (2015). Cognitive and mathematical profiles for different forms of learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48(2), 156175. doi:10.1177/0022219413494239.
Powell, S. R. & Stecker, P. M. (2014). Using data-based individualization to intensify mathematics intervention for students with disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(4), 31–37. doi:10.1177/0040059914523735.
Powell, S. R., Fuchs, L. S. & Fuchs, D. (2013). Reaching the mountaintop: Addressing the Common Core Standards in mathematics for students with mathematics difficulties. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 28(1), 38–48. doi:10.1111/ldrp.12001.
Powell, S. R. (2012). Equations and the equal sign in elementary mathematics textbooks. The Elementary School Journal, 112, 627–648. doi:10.1086/665009.
Powell, S. R. (2012). High-stakes testing for students with mathematics difficulty: Response format effects in mathematics problem solving. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 35(1), 3–9. doi:10.1177/0731948711428773.
Powell, S. (2011). Solving word problems using schemas: A review of the literature. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 26(2), 94–108. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5826.2011.00329.x.
Powell, S. R. & Fuchs, L. S. (2010). Contribution of equal-sign instruction beyond word-problem tutoring for third-grade students with mathematics difficulty. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(2), 381–394. doi:10.1037/a0018447.
Powell, S. R., Fuchs, L. S. & Fuchs, D. (2010). Embedding number combinations practice within word-problem tutoring. Intervention in School and Clinic, 46(1), 22–30. doi:10.1177/1053451210369516.
Developing connections between word problems and mathematical equations to promote word-problem performance among students with mathematics difficulty.
This is an Institute of Education Sciences Goal 3 efficacy trial in which we determining the role of algebraic reasoning within word-problem solving for third-grade students with learning difficulties.
Understanding the influence of math symbols and vocabulary on math performance
With this National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, I am exploring the mathematics vocabulary and symbol knowledge of students in the elementary and middle school grades.
Investigating the effects of algebra and rational numbers performance on post-secondary preparation, access, and persistence for students with and without mathematics difficulty
With this three-year Greater Texas Foundation Faculty Fellowship, I am investigating the connections between college algebra and rational number understanding.
Interactive read-alouds for prekindergarten and kindergarten to improve literacy and numeracy skills
The primary purpose of this 5-year project is to develop interactive read-aloud resources for educators and caregivers that are empirically derived and improve valued outcomes related to mathematics, language, and reading. We work with educators in preschool and early-elementary settings and the caregivers of the children who receive educational services in such settings. We design interactive read-aloud materials focused on helping educators and caregivers capitalize on the rich array of early-numeracy and literacy trade books available in libraries, classroom collections, or in the home.
Project STAIR: Supporting teaching of algebra: Individual readiness
This is an Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) model demonstration grant funded from 2018-2019. In collaboration with the University of Missouri and Southern Methodist University, we will work with middle school teachers of students with learning difficulties to increase algebra readiness.
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), U.S. Government (2019)
Distinguished Early Career Research Award, Division for Research, Council for Exceptional Children (2018)
Samuel A. Kirk Award, Best Practitioner Article, Division for Learning Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children (2016)
Early Career Publication Award, Council for Exceptional Children, Division for Research (2011)
Dissertation Award, Council for Exception Children, Division for Learning Disabilities (2010)
Outstanding Researcher Award, Council for Learning Disabilities (2009)
Robert Gaylord-Ross Award for Excellence in Scholarly Writing, Vanderbilt University, Department of Special Education (2009)
Dick Shores Teacher Education Award, Vanderbilt University, Department of Special Education (2009)
Xin Lin (Supervisor)
My research focuses on identifying the unique cognitive and academic predictors within mathematics to inform mathematics intervention. I have a special interest in the role of mathematics vocabulary in mathematics learning. My goal is to develop cost-effective interventions teachers can use with students experiencing mathematics difficulties.
Samantha E Bos (Supervisor)
My primary research focus revolves around the need to help support teachers implement evidence-based practices in their own classrooms. I have been very fortunate to be a graduate research assistant on Project STAIR (Supporting Teaching of Algebra: Individual Readiness), funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). My two primary roles in the project have been as a coach to middle school teachers implementing data-based individualization (DBI) and to help create in a rich...
Tessa Arsenault (Supervisor)
|2020||Fall||EDC 370E: 5-Mathematics-F|
|2019||Spring||SED 383: 11- Intrvntns: Math Disablts|
|2018||Fall||EDC 370E: 5-Mathematics-F|
|2018||Spring||SED 383: 11- Intrvntns: Math Disablts|
|2017||Fall||EDC 370E: 5-Mathematics-F|
|2017||Summer||SED f393: 5-Appld Rsch In Sed/Rehab Coun|
|2017||Spring||SED 383: 11- Intrvntns: Math Disablts|
|2017||Spring||SED 395D: 3-Sem In Learning Disabilities|
|2016||Fall||EDC 370E: 5-Mathematics-F|
|2016||Fall||SED 383: 7-Assessment In Special Educ|
|2016||Spring||SED 383: 9-Instructional Adaptations II|
|2015||Fall||EDC 370E: 5-Mathematics-F|
|2015||Spring||SED 383: 9-Instructional Adaptations II|
|2014||Fall||EDC 370E: 5-Mathematics-F|
|2014||Spring||SED 383: 9-Instructional Adaptations II|