Progress Monitoring or Monitoring Progress

The term 'progress monitoring' has been around since the beginnings of Response to Intervention (RTI) or in my district is Response to Instruction.

Progress monitoring is the documentation where I assess students using CBM's (Curriculum Based Measurements) to show whether or not the intervention I'm using with the student is working. I collect a baseline score, I determine a goal, draw an aimline and collect weekly or bi-weekly data from the Progress Monitoring CBM probes. The graphs I use depend on what the goal is, what the CBM is and where the student's baseline is. (I've shared several.) My district uses DIBELS Next K-3 but I'm not always responsible for the progress monitoring. But I have IEP goals that I do have to monitor. Some places online to check out:,, and for online graphs if your not wanting to make your own.

So what's monitoring progress??? It's a core instructional practice that involves monitoring the academic growth of all students. My school wants to makes sure that ALL students are growing, from the low ones all the way up to the high ones because every child deserves a "years’ worth of growth" no matter where they started. 

At my school we all "take ownership of ALL the kids" on the grade level, there are very few practices that one teacher does without all the teachers on the grade level doing it.  No matter if they have a label and nowhere near making grade level benchmarks. Every student is focused on to ensure that they make that growth. We work at a team.

The research of Robert Marzano, specifically points outs some key best practices, Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback, in “Classroom Instruction ThatWorks: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement”.  When students know what it is they need to do, to improve and grow, the more targeted and accelerated their growth will be.  

Robyn Jackson’s book “Never Work Harder than Your Students” has great ideas that are easy to set up and maintain. (If you've not read it, I would highly recommend it.) The use of common formative assessments created by grade level also help students, teachers and parents know which objectives they are learning and which ones they need to continued practice with.  You know my love of graphs and tables that students can use to graph their pre and post assessment throughout the quarter. 

This make sense because you are always changing your instruction to help the student make that target. The target doesn't move because students know where the target is. I have to help them get to the target. (Learning Targets: Helping the Students Aim for Understanding in Today's Lesson by Connie Moss & Susan Brookhart--is my current read)

Monitoring how students interact with the curriculum is how they will make that years growth. Doesn't is matter what you call it-Progress Monitoring or Monitoring Progress--I'm not so sure. What I do know is that you have to monitoring the students to ensure they are getting it; so that can make those targets.


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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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