Friday--Progress Monitoring

Progress monitoring. What's to say. Some do it without thinking about it. While others of us run and hide. Some think that in a data rich environment that there's no need. This may be true but if you had prove how students were responding to instruction, could you? In an Response to Intervention Model (RTI) it has to be done.

What is progress monitoring?
Progress monitoring is a scientifically based practice that is used to assess students’ academic performance and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. Progress monitoring can be implemented with individual students or an entire class.

The benefits are great for everyone involved. Some benefits include:
  •  accelerated learning because students are receiving more appropriate instruction;
  • more informed instructional decisions;
  • documentation of student progress for accountability purposes;
  • more efficient communication with families and other professionals about students’ progress;
  • higher expectations for students by teachers; and
  • fewer Special Education referrals.

Overall, the use of progress monitoring results in more efficient and appropriately targeted instructional techniques and goals, which together, move all students to faster attainment of important state standards of achievement.

Another reason to progress monitor students is RTI. 
The problem-solving approach is as fundamental to the success of the Response to Intervention Model. In the problem solving approach, problems are identified (clarified in terms of target and actual performance); strategies are developed to address them; measurements are designed to evaluate progress; plans for who will do what, when and where are devised; plans are carried out; results are evaluated; and the ensuing analysis informs the next round of instruction and intervention. Progress monitoring assessments are essential to evaluating students' progress and evaluating students' results.
I always ask myself two questions when I look at student progress monitoring data:
  1. is she making progress towards a grade-level expectation or long-term goal?
  2. is she making progress towards mastery of a targeted skill?
District-wide curriculum-based measures (CBM) are often used by teachers to answer the first question, while teacher-made probes often provide data to answer the second question. While often confused with curriculum-based assessment, curriculum-based measures are a particular type of standardized assessments that allow a teacher to determine students' progress toward long-term goals. 

CBM's monitor student progress through direct, continuous assessment of basic skills (ie: letter name fluency, reading fluency, maze comprehension, spelling, math calculations). Students are presented multidimensional probes that integrate various skills that students need to meet grade-level expectations. For example, three times a year benchmarks to determine the number of words correct per minute a child can read on a grade-level text. Examples of curriculum-based measures include Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), Monitoring Basic Skills Progress (MBSP) and AIMSweb. 

Progress monitoring goes beyond timed one minute drills. It also includes rubrics, pre/post tests, and quizzes. Just about anything can be used to show whether students are getting it or not.  

Over the last year, I have begun having students create their own goal. They last no more that 4 weeks. This helps with by-in and encourages them to continue to improve. I found that once students know how to graph their own data, they can do it. So I let them. I also have created graphs that have students predict how they will do and then complete the monitoring--students graphing both. At the beginning of the year, students are way, way off with their predictions but by Thanksgiving the two numbers begin to match up.

I also prefer graphs that are in five to six week segments. This makes it easier for students to see their progress and it's easier for students to use on their own.  Each Friday in June, I will post about the tricks and tools I use to make progress monitoring manageable and student/parent friendly. What progress monitoring tricks and tools have you found that you use with your students?

This freebie, has progress monitoring tools attached and a graph for sight words where you can have students predict how well they will do. Enjoy.
Sight Word Fluency Prediction and Record Sheet
Tic Tac -At Word Family

1 comment:

  1. What a terrific post and freebies! Thanks for linking up at TBA! I'm your newest follower!
    Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!


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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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