Showing posts with label Progress monitoring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Progress monitoring. Show all posts

Feeling unsure about a student's phonics level? This new resource will instantly help

Have you ever sat in a meeting reviewing phonics data and someone asks if the student has mastered reading digraphs because the student doesn't demonstrate this in their small group?

Whether in an RTI meeting or just reviewing the data, this information helps plan the student's specific next steps. 

If your phonics program is like mine--it didn't come with a quick way to progress monitor a student after you have taught a sound (phonogram). And sometimes you need more than dictation and how they read in the last decodable text.

Progress Monitoring Tool for Phonics

You need more than a gut check BUT you need a number to prove what the student knows.

This Progress Monitoring Tools for Phonics solves this problem. It's quick and super easy to give after you have taught a sound. You can learn if students can read the phonogram at the word level (real & nonsense), sentence level, or in a paragraph with controlled text. 

I use this Phonics Tool as a pre/post with mixed sounds. This has a very specific set of sounds such as all short, all R-controlled or all digraphs. Then I can teach the sounds in the pattern, reassess and have the data to prove if they have it or not.

The teacher's copy of the tool is colored-coded to make it super easy to score and make decisions about what to do next. This progress monitoring tool can be completed by teachers, para-professionals, or volunteers. 

Each phonogram has its own page and you can find it again on a mixed pattern page. I have made the Phonics Progress Monitoring Tool paperless as well. It can be used with Google. The link is within the product.

As of today's writing, in this bottomless product you get:
Short Vowels (a, e, i, o, u)
Digraphs (ch, th, wh, sh)
VCe (a, e, i, o, u)

These sheets can be completed are perfect for small targeted groups and are a perfect addition to any Orton-Gillingham Practice or Phonics Intervention.

You can expect updates throughout the year including Vowel teams, Suffixes, -ng & -nk, and more!! 

Grab your today before the price increases!

Chat Soon,

101: MTSS & RTI

What is MTSS?

A Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a framework of team-driven data-based problem solving for improving the outcomes of every student through family, school, and community partnering and a layered continuum of evidence-based practices applied at the classroom, school, district, region, and state level. MTSS is a coherent continuum of evidence-based, system-wide practices to support a rapid response to academic and behavioral needs, with frequent data-based monitoring for instructional decision-making to empower each student to achieve high standards.MTSS models rely on data to assess student needs and help teachers understand which kinds of intervention they need within each tier.

What is Response to Intervention?

Response to Intervention, or RTI, is an educational approach designed to help all learners to succeed, through a combination of high-quality instruction, early identification of struggling students, and responsive, targeted evidence-based interventions to address specific learning needs. RTI uses ongoing progress monitoring and data collection to facilitate data-based decision-making. In addition, the implementation of RTI will assist in the correct identification of learning or other disorders.

In my building, MTSS is the umbrella and RTI falls under it. All students are active participants in MTSS but not all students will be active participants in RTI. 

how the RTI tiers look with MTSS

How does RTI work?

It operates on a 3-tiered framework of interventions at increasing levels of intensity. The process begins with high-quality core instruction in the general education classroom. Teachers use a variety of instructional methods to maximize student engagement and learning: modeling of skills, small group instruction, guided practice, independent practice, to name a few.

Through universal screening methods, struggling learners are identified and are given more intense instruction and interventions that are more targeted to individual needs. By giving frequent assessments and analyzing data, teachers make decisions about what levels of intervention will best support student achievement.

What are the Tiers?

Tier I: This is the guaranteed and viable curriculum that all students receive each day within their general education classrooms. It is High quality, research-based core instruction in the general education classroom. All students are given universal screening assessments to ensure that they are progressing and are learning essential skills. {Sidenote: A guaranteed and viable curriculum is one that guarantees equal opportunity for learning for all students. Similarly, it guarantees adequate time for teachers to teach content and for students to learn it. A guaranteed and viable curriculum is one that guarantees that the curriculum being taught is the curriculum being assessed. It is viable when adequate time is ensured to teach all determined essential content.}

Within Tier 1, all students receive high-quality, scientifically based instruction provided by qualified personnel to ensure that their difficulties are not due to inadequate instruction. All students are screened on a periodic basis to establish an academic and behavioral baseline and to identify struggling learners who need additional support. Students identified as being “at-risk” through universal screenings and/or results on state- or district-wide tests receive supplemental instruction during the school day in the regular classroom. The length of time for this step can vary, but it generally should not exceed 8 weeks. During that time, student progress is closely monitored using a validated screening system and documentation method.

Tier II: More intensive, targeted instruction, matched to student needs, is delivered to students who are not making adequate progress in Tier I; they often receive instruction in small groups. They receive progress monitoring weekly, and teachers regularly evaluate data to assess whether students are making progress or need different or more intense intervention.

Targeted Interventions are a part of Tier 2 for students not making adequate progress in the regular classroom in Tier 1 are provided with increasingly intensive instruction matched to their needs on the basis of levels of performance and rates of progress. Intensity varies across group size, frequency and duration of intervention, and level of training of the professionals providing instruction or intervention. These services and interventions are provided in small-group settings in addition to instruction in the general curriculum. In the early grades (kindergarten through 3rd grade), interventions are usually in the areas of reading and math. A longer period of time may be required for this tier, but it should generally not exceed a grading period. Tier II interventions serve approximately 15% of the student population. Students who continue to show too little progress at this level of intervention are then considered for more intensive interventions as part of Tier 3.

Tier III: The most intensive, individualized level of intervention. Students who have not responded to Tier II intervention receive daily, small group or one-on-one instruction. Students in this level often are already receiving special education services, or are referred for further evaluation for special education.

Here students receive individualized, intensive interventions that target the students’ skill deficits. Students who do not achieve the desired level of progress in response to these targeted interventions are then referred for a comprehensive evaluation and considered for eligibility for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004). The data collected during Tiers 1, 2, and 3 are included and used to make the eligibility decision. This is typically about 5% of your student population. 

How the levels of support look across all 3 tiers in MTSS and RTI

So what does all of this mean???

What that means is this. A teacher or parent identifies a student’s needs, and they try some interventions. Sounds simple enough, right? 

So what’s the problem?

I have a family member who was struggling in reading. Mom talked to the teacher. The Teacher put the child in the RTI reading program. And she made progress and caught up with her peers. 

That is the main benefit of RTI. For the right kid, with the right intervention, that’s all they need. 

It can also look like a gifted student receiving enrichment in an area of strength like math. 

MTSS diamond of supports for remedial and enrichment for students
The downside to RTI, it can feel like the school or district is stalling to identify special education needs. Remember, students are general education students first. 

RTI is a general education progress. It's open to all students who fall below a benchmark. In Colorado, we look at iReady cut scores. Interventions need to be evidenced-based (which doesn’t always happen). This means teachers have to progress monitor students to ensure they are making progress within the selected intervention and if they are not bring them to the building RTI team. 

Every building works this process differently. In my building, we ask all teachers who have concerns about students to bring them to the RTI team. This ensures that teachers feel supported, the correct interventions are in place and should the student need to move forward with a special education evaluation the data the team needs is there. We also encourage parents to join the meetings. There is always a follow-up meeting scheduled 6 to 8 weeks out.

IDEA specifically addresses RTI and evaluations.

The 2004 reauthorization of IDEA makes mention of RTI as a method of part of the process of identifying SLD:

  • In diagnosing learning disabilities, schools are no longer required to use the discrepancy model. The act states that “a local educational agency shall not be required to take into consideration whether a child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability[…]”
  • Response to intervention is specifically mentioned in the regulations in conjunction with the identification of a specific learning disability. IDEA 2004 states, “a local educational agency may use a process that determines if the child responds to scientific, research-based intervention as a part of the evaluation procedures.”
  • Early Intervening Services (EIS) are prominently mentioned in IDEA for the first time. These services are directed at interventions for students prior to referral in an attempt to avoid inappropriate classification, which proponents claim an RTI model does. IDEA now authorizes the use of up to 15% of IDEA allocated funds for EIS.

So this is the part where I expect to get pushback. But RTI has been overused and abused. Used to delay Special Education Evaluations and Services. Often.

So much so that the OSEP has put out multiple guidance letters about this.

If your child is in RTI and is doing well, great! I mean it! I am always happy to see a child’s needs being met. However, just have it on your radar that RTI is sometimes used to delay evaluations or IEPs. The old “Let’s try RTI and ‘wait and see.‘ ” Go with your gut. If you believe your child needs an IEP, request IEP evaluations.

Bonus tip: Your child can be going through the IEP evaluation process and receive RTI interventions at the same time!

Parents, how do you know if their children are making progress?

An essential element of RTI is ongoing communication between teachers and parents. As parents, you are kept involved and informed of the process every step of the way, beginning with notification that your child has been identified as struggling in one or more areas and will receive more intensive intervention. If your child receives more targeted instruction in Tier II or Tier III, he or she will be progress monitored frequently. Teachers will share progress monitoring data with you regularly through meetings, phone calls, or emails, as well as progress reports sent home showing assessment data. 

When in doubt, ask the teacher for the data. 

This is one way the process can look. The big piece for RTI to work is having the process monitoring data so decisions can be made timely. 

RTI Process Flow Chart

Parents, what are your questions about this process? I'd love to hear them. Teacher's what supports do you need to make this process work within your classrooms? Share your thoughts below. 

Be sure to check out how Shelia from Dualatiedu (a Bilingual Teacher) implements RTI with her teachers.

Chat Soon,

PS: Teachers are you looking for a document that has it all in one place. This doc has student strengths, and needs, you can list interventions with goals and progress monitoring, and a place a parent communication.  Click on the FREEBIE Alert to get yours

RTI-Springing into Your Progress Monitoring

It’s the time of year, where those last minute special education referrals come in. I know for my team we have to have most of our paperwork in by the beginning of May because we are changing IEP systems for next year. Most of the questions I field these days are do we or don’t we. So I thought that this would be a good reminder for all who are on the fence about a kidoo.  Most of the time it boils down to adequate progress but what does that look like.

It looks different for each kid. I look at the progress monitoring data and the classroom data. I ask myself, “What does one expect for a typical student and can they do that?” For example take MAPS testing-we don’t really use it for anything but I do like the act that all students take it and I can get the average class score, the average gap, the student’s gap and compare numbers. I do the same with iReady. We don’t use much in the way of progress monitoring like DIBELs or AIMSweb.

Elements of Effective Progress-Monitoring Measures

To be effective, progress-monitoring measures must be available in alternate forms, comparable in difficulty and conceptualization, and representative of the performance desired at the end of the year. Measures that vary in difficulty and conceptualization over time could possibly produce inconsistent results that may be difficult to quantify and interpret. Likewise, using the same measure for each administration may produce a testing effect, wherein performance on a subsequent administration is influenced by student familiarity with the content.

By using measures that have alternate forms and are comparable in difficulty and conceptualization, a teacher can use slope (e.g., academic performance across time) to quantify rate of learning. Slope can also be used to measure a student’s response to a specific instructional program, signaling a need for program adjustment when responsiveness is inadequate. Excel spreadsheets are great to add trend lines and other data points to create a plug and play graph.
Effective progress-monitoring measures should also be short and easily administered by a classroom teacher or special education teacher.

Common Progress-Monitoring Measures

Progress can be monitored by a variety of methods. From a norm-referenced standpoint, it is possible to use widely available assessments such as the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE; Torgesen et al., 1999) or the Woodcock-Johnson Achievement Battery (Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001). With such tests, alternate forms are available to demonstrate student improvement over time, but usually there is at least three months between administrations (Fletcher et al., 2007). Other measures, such as the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy Skills (DIBELS; Good, Simmons, & Kame'enui, 2001), have been reviewed by the National Center for Student Progress Monitoring and vary considerably in reliability, validity, and other key progress-monitoring standards.
CBM is a form of classroom assessment that 1) describes academic competence in reading, spelling, and mathematics; 2) tracks academic development; and 3) improves student achievement. It can be used to determine the effectiveness of the instruction for all students and to enhance educational programs for students who are struggling.

I hope these ideas help you out as we move into Spring. Be sure to pick up a freebie too.

Power of Data & Freebies

 Data is a way of life in special education. It tells a unique story. It can be one of glows or one of grows. Several years ago, my building moved to using the three colored pocket charts (below) so classroom teachers could visual see where their class was using specific data points.

The data used varies depending on the grade. For primary (1-3): DIBELS, End of the Year DRA, BEAR (reading comprehension); Kindergarten: DIBELS; Intermediate (4-6): End of the Year DRA and Acuity Form C. These data points change around mid-year 3-6: for 3rd CSAP Reading/Writing and Form A Acuity; 4-6: Previous years CSAP Reading/Writing and Form A Acuity. As the year progresses, teachers up date the cards with progress monitoring data and Acuity data as it becomes available. The intervention team meets with teachers every 6 weeks and students are moved based on the progress monitoring. Up or Down--the point and hope is that classroom teachers are responsibility of the vast majority of this not the intervention team. This has helped move students through RTI and out of RTI.

The Special Education team doesn't have one for just the identified students and those within their groups. We have created informal ones to help with making sure that the most intensive students (i.e., that spend 3 plus hours out of the classroom a day) are making progress but not formal. One of my hopes for the coming year (with a new team mate) is to have 3 charts. Why 3? I think the team needs to directly monitor reading, writing, and math. Students create date for all three why not use it. Many identified students have goals in more than reading. The team can also see who is not making progress before meeting and make changes to IEPs so the student gets back on track.

The colors would stay the same but have additional meaning. Red would be our most intensive students. Those that are more than 3 years behind, made no progress the year before, and spend most of their day outside of the classroom. Yellow: made 6 months of growth the year before, between two and three years behind and seen for only one subject. Green: made a year or more growth the year before, less than two years behind, and seen for only one subject or at grade level (think artic only kidoos). This could be used to track all students in that group--the RTI students as well.

This move would hold the team accountable plus classroom teachers can see is students are making more specific gains. They have the big picture on their own charts but really have no clue if they are really making gains at the end of the day. I think with the addition of SMART goals on ours, we can hold the team to progress monitoring and student growth. Since, as a building we are not great at getting together every 6 weeks to make changes this would at least provide a conversation starter with classroom teachers about what they are seeing and move students out of intervention groups faster (instead of having them for the whole year).

Students are moved on the classroom charts twice a year. Once at mid-year and after Spring Break. We don't move them offend enough. In creating one for intervention groups, the intervention team can move students at the end of each SMART goal. I have created cards (editable) that allow me to change the color of the card depending on the outcome of the SMART Goal. Having this data visible makes it easy for anyone to walk in and see what is going on during interventions and if its working or not.

My students love, love knowing where they are at and set many of their on goals. They would love this as they could see where they are--the cards would have to be turned around to show just names and not the data. My know that their data belongs to only them and no one else. (They know I share with teachers and parents but no other students.)

I'm sure there are many other ways to track students in the RTI process to ensure that they are making gains, I'd love to hear about them. I have attached freebies to help you to use this thinking. Have a great weekend and if your traveling "Safe Travels."

Math Progress Monitoring

Every teacher has to do some sort of progress monitoring. In my building we reading very, very well--it's second nature. But math we just can't seem to get our hands around. For me as well. I have two small math intervention groups and I have to say I relay on student work samples to determine if they have it or not. This is not enough to determine a student has a math disability or even if they are making progress within the intervention. Exit tickets work to show what if the student got the material taught that day and can be used as part of the data collection but for me these tend to be once or twice a week. One of the classroom teachers, I co-teach with during math uses them to make his small groups during the unit--they don't cover skills from previous units or missing skills. These are all great things but according to Colorado not enough or the right thing. (Go figure--that they tell you this know half way through the year.)

Colorado has outlined what a math intervention needs to look like and what the progress monitoring needs to be. (This would have been great to know- oh I don't know like in August. But moving on.) Interventions should be no longer than 10 weeks with a clearly defined baseline from a diagnostic measure with weekly progress monitoring. The instruction should cover no more than two to four domains as a focus for instruction (i.e., combinations to 10, skip counting by 5’s, counting across 100). My lesson plan should be broken into two pieces:

  • Inquiry mode: Activity that produces something new for the student (involves challenging, but solvable tasks)
  • Rehearsal mode: Develop automaticity with something that has been learned before
The instruction should be explicit and systematic. This includes providing models of proficient problem solving, verbalization of thought processes, guided practice, corrective feedback, and frequent cumulative review.
  • Ensure that instructional materials are systematic and explicit. In particular, they should include numerous clear models of easy and difficult problems, with accompanying teacher think-alouds.
  • Provide students with opportunities to solve problems in a group and communicate problem-solving strategies.
  • Ensure that instructional materials include cumulative review in each session
My students have the black and white part down in math. They can use the algorithm and have their basic facts down. It's word problems they have the most problem with. I have several that just shut down when they are come across one. With this in mind, I talked with my coach before break and we talked about what progress monitoring could look like and still make the state happy. I have created a ten-week word problem progress monitoring tool that I started to use with on of my groups. Its based off our 1st grade math curriculum; most are single questions and all are addition and subtraction. I give them twice a week with one posted on the board and one in front of them. This makes it easier for them, since they have to complete it using Explain Everything. (A student favorite.) 

Why word problems? Word problems tell you more about what a student needs. Can they explain their thinking? Did they get the right answer but can't tell you how they got there? This describes my student. My curriculum has more word problem type of thinking than algorithms. Plus, this where Common Core is taking us. Scoring word problems is rubric based--so even if they get the wrong answer they can still get points for explaining how their thinking. Which is why I love using Explain Everything--the word gets done because they don't have to write their thinking.  Click on the picture to a copy. 

I'm planning on creating more since I'm needing them before returning to work next month. I hop you have a wonderful Christmas Break and safe travels if you are out visiting family and friends. See you all next year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

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.

Data Notebooks

I'm a firm believer that if you make students responsible for their own data, they will challenge themselves they will work harder and smarter than with me just telling what their goal needs to be. Over the last year, I've shared a number of pieces that I put in my students data notebooks to own and keep track of their data.

The piece I want to share today, I believe is the one that helps students be smarter about the goals they set. It's a reflection sheet. Just as teachers need to reflect on their own practices and student data--students need to do the same thing. I'm always asked, "How do you get students to make reasonable goals?" I always tell them "You don't." I guide my students. I tell them where they are and where they need to be be. (On some of the graphs I do put what the grade level goal is.) At first my student make wild goals and don't make it. But even in the failure--I find a success and celebrate. No matter what it is--I find something that we can celebrate. Those failures help them set smarter goals as the year progresses. Before too long the goals students set begin to make more sense but they own it.

Once the end of the four week cycle comes to an end and I've talked to all the students in the group. I hand out the reflection sheet. I tend to work through it as a group. I provide them with ideas about things that they could have done or those things that went well. After they have reflected on what they did. Students then create a new goal. Having them reflect on what they did, gets them to be smarter about what they did the last time. It's also a great way to see what strategies they are using and which ones students need more direct practice with. Does anyone you some kind of student reflection tool?

Things I Send Home

I have something short to share as I'm busy getting ready for the first day of school on Monday.

I send home many things throughout the year depending on information I wish to share. I do data folders (Boomerang Folders) for all my students. It doesn't matter if they are general education or have an IEP. I started this last year. I would send home newsletters, weekly data, homework, etc. Most of the pieces go home within the first ten weeks of school--depending on when the SMART goal is completed. Many parents are not familiar with what a SMART if or why they should they should know about them, so I created a 1 pager that I send home with the first round of data.

When I start sending homework, I send parents a "Questions you Can Ask" 1-pager. (As well as bring it to conferences.) It's lists out sample questions that parents can ask before, during, or after reading something. The questions are not reading level specific so they are good for the whole year and easy for parents to use at home.

RTI: Part 2

Part 2 of RTI Q and A:

1) What is student progress monitoring?
Progress monitoring is defined as repeated measurement of performance to inform the instruction of individual students in general and special education. The amount of progress monitoring depends on where the student is in the pyramid. A student our is only needing core instruction-benchmarks assessments are all you need to do. Like DIBELS where you give beginning, middle and end of the year screening. Students in Tier 2 it's suggested that they are progress monitored bi-monthly.

Tier 3 students weekly or bi-weekly. It should be noted that progress monitoring Tier 3 weekly allows you to make changes more quickly and move these students through the referral process in a timely fashion. Depending on the skill, I'm working on, I do daily collection with things like letter identification, letter sounds, or number identification.

I'm a huge fan of having my students do their own graphing of their progress. It keeps them motivated and moving towards goals. I also send on these graphs home weekly. This is one way to keep parents in the loop on student progress. Parent involvement in the RTI process is huge and in Colorado required by the time a student is staffed for a learning disability. Part of our paperwork is to document what we did to keep parents informed through the whole process.

2) What are culturally and linguistically responsive practices?
The use of culturally and linguistically responsive practices by teachers involves purposeful considerations of the cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic factors that my have an impact on students' success or failure in the classroom. Attention to these factors, along with inclusion of cultural elements in the delivery of instruction, will help make the strongest possible connection between the culture and expectations of the school and the culture(s) that students bring to the school. Instruction should be differentiated according to how students learn, build on existing student knowledge and experience, and be language appropriate. In addition, decisions about Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions should be aware of students' cultural and linguistic strengths and challenges in how they respond to instruction.

In Colorado, (and I'm sure with others) this means making sure core instruction in the classroom uses those research based strategies. That doesn't mean teachers providing interventions should tune in to those strategies. This is were my team tends to get hung up in the referral process. We have to prove that students are receiving those strategies in core and not making progress-when compared to others ELL students in the grade. This is where progress monitoring is a huge help.

Sites to check out:

Remember Sale ends 7/15

Using Formative Assessment to Monitor Progress

Have you every asked: "Are there any questions?", "Are you all with me?", "Am I going to fast?. 

We are all guilty about checking for students understanding this way. These are not ways to check for student understanding. Checking for understanding means that students are able to use knowledge and skills in new situations in the correct way. While recall important information is important it's the same as memorizing the information.

Progress monitoring helps you to know if students are on track to make goals. I know because of the way I have set up my progress monitoring, it takes me a day to get through everyone. Formative assessment is another way to collect data about the connections students are making, about the levels of thinks they are doing, and about the clues they are picking up from my teaching about what is important.  Formative assessment is about giving students growth producing feedback and have the opportunity to make adjustments to their work based on that feedback before the end of the unit.

One way that's quick and I can look at latter are Exit Slips. Exit Slips are written responses to questions the teacher poses at the end of a lesson or a class to assess student understanding of key concepts.  They should take no more than 5 minutes to complete and are taken up as students leave the classroom.  I can quickly determine which students have it, which ones need a little help, and which ones are going to require much more instruction on the concept.  By assessing the responses on the Exit Slips I can better adjust the instruction in order to accomodate students' needs for the next class. 

My favorite is 3-2-1 (Three things I learned, Two things I found interesting, and One question I still have).  I have created these forms I just hand them to students to fill out before they leave but you could also create an anchor chart and they use their own paper for it. I also use mine to have students rate their focus and effort.  With this check in I can change what I'm doing without having to take a day to progress monitor my students. Plus, its quick and doesn't take any extra time for them to do. I can use the data I collect to monitor progress and behavior.
3-2-1 Exit Slip Windshield Formative Assessment

Happy Friday--Progress Monitoring

Last Friday, I explained the basics behind progress monitoring. I want to share one way I have found to keep both me and my students focused that's by using SMART goals. 

S: Specific, Significant, & SimpleGoals need to be specific. To set a specific goal set a well defined goal. 

M: Measurable & Manageable: Goals need to be measurable. How will you measure your success? 
A: Attainable & AppropriateGoals need to be attainable. Be ambitious. Don’t settle for average results.R: Relevant, Results-focused, & Results-oriented: Goals need to be relevant and results oriented. Is the goal relevant to your career, business or personal goals? Be honest in the evaluation of yourself.
T: Time-bound: Goals need to have a time-frame. Make sure to consider the time it will take you to complete your goal by setting a time-frame and timeline to complete the goal. Be wise and give yourself enough time to complete the goal.
My students set their own SMART goals. I give them the structure and they have to come up with the goal and how long they think it will take them to make it. I try to encourage them to make is attainable but if they shoot high and miss--we work through that. They get better at the more they do them. I usually try to keep them to no longer than 6 week goals or they get lost in the shuffle. Goals are tied to the intervention they are working on with me and students only get one goal per period. Since all intervention and exceptional needs students have goals in our online student intervention database, the goals match this as well. I try to keep everything aligned because I want the students to do the data collection. 
I always do the timed piece of the students goal but they are  responsible for graphing, tracking, and reflection. If they have to make predictions before hand they take care of that too. I have done this many different ways over the years since I work primarily in small groups I tend to take one day a week and do all  my progress monitoring at once. This ensures that I don't miss anyone and it gives students enough time to take care of their SMART goals.  Student SMART goals are placed in their binders on a blank sheet of paper, so I get type them out and the student tapes them down. An example is: By (DATE), (STUDENT NAME) will increase the number of words read correctly by (STUDENT SETS GOAL) a week as measured by grade level oral reading fluency drill. At the end of the monitoring period, everything comes out and we see if they made it. The form below help keep students on track every week. They have their graphs to help them determine how much they need to improve by each week. This forms are for oral reading fluency. One is Intermediate and the other is primary. They are in a student friendly goal making format. Students turn them then weekly with their graphs, so I can share the information with teachers and parents. How do you share students progress monitoring data with parents?
Intermediate Fluency Smart Goal Primary Fluency Smart Goal

Guided Math Book Study

Grab your highlighter and stickies. Bring your questions. Get ready to join myself and a fabulous group of bloggers to take an in-depth look at Laney Sammons's "Guided Math." I'll be co-hosting Chapter 5. Head on over to Primary Inspired this week to get started.

I've create a new basic addition math game that can be used at home or at school. My students love playing anything "High Speed."  This game has helped my students learn the basic addition facts and master them. Once my students learn how to play the game, ask to take it home and practice so they can "beat" someone in class. The progress monitoring tools help them to see their progress and its easy enough that they can track their own progress each week. With them doing their own progress monitoring, I have seen more growth and way more by-in, than when I do it myself. They own the data and celebrate their progress. For more on progress monitoring see my previous post last Friday.  Here's a sample for you. You can find the full version at my TpT Store.

High Speed Plus 5 Addition Facts

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

About Me

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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