This image provided by the University of Missouri shows an illustration part of a University of Missouri study that examined first-graders’ "number system knowledge." That’s how well

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This image provided by the University of Missouri shows an illustration part of a University of Missouri study that examined first-graders’ "number system knowledge." That’s how well they understand such things as that numbers represent quantities. Youngsters who didn’t have a good grasp of these concepts went on have lower scores on a key math skills test years later when they were in seventh grade. We know a lot about how babies learn to talk, and youngsters learn to read. Now scientists are unraveling the earliest building blocks of math _ and what children know about numbers as they begin first grade seems to play a big role in how well they do everyday calculations later on. (AP Photo/University of Missouri) less 

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Associated Press
Mon, Mar 25, 2013 7:24 PM EDT