How can teachers determine whether students are making appropriate progress?
Page 6: Administer, Score, and Graph
Now that the teacher has prepared a graph for each of her students, she is ready to administer and score GOM reading measures. The teacher should take care to ensure fidelity of implementation by following any accompanying guidelines for the measure. After the teacher has administered and scored each probe, she should graph each student’s scores to create a visual representation of his performance over time. Read on to learn more about this process.
The teacher should administer the selected progress monitoring measure frequently and at regular intervals. Some commercially available measures indicate how frequently the measure should be administered. Some measures are designed to be used weekly or bi-weekly, others once or twice a month. However, progress monitoring measures should be administered once per month at a minimum. Reading measures can be administered in a variety of ways. These include:
- Individually — The teacher administers the measures—such as letter sound fluency, word identification fluency, passage reading fluency—to individual students.
- In groups — The teacher administers the measures, such as maze, to the entire class at the same time.
- Using a computer — Students individually complete the measures on a computer.
Regardless of how they are administered, probes have a specified time limit. Although some require more time, many measures take only one to eight minutes to administer, depending on the grade level and the type of measure.
Tips for Administering Probes
- Explain to students that although they may have low scores at first, as the year progresses and they learn new skills, their scores will increase.
- Establish consistent administration procedures. This allows comparison of students’ performance across time to be sure that their scores are accurate reflections of their ability and not the result of inconsistent administration.
- Administer probes at the same time of day, back to back, and in the same order.
- Have two copies of the reading probe available—one for the student to read and another for the teacher to mark errors.
- Make sure students with disabilities whose individualized education programs (IEPs) specify testing accommodations receive the accommodations each time a probe is administered.
Commercially available probes include detailed scoring procedures that are standardized to produce reliable and valid scores. Failing to follow the scoring procedures can lead to inaccurate and misleading conclusions. In general, scoring a reading probe is simply a matter of determining how many words the student read or identified correctly.
When administering a probe for English learners, be sure to consider their accent and dialect before marking a response incorrect.
Demonstration of Administering and Scoring CBM Probes
The three students below are in Ms. Chee’s fourth-grade classroom. Ms. Chee administers a word identification probe to José because he is currently reading at a 1st-grade level. Typically, Ms. Chee uses maze measures with the students in her class, but for the sake of this illustration, let’s say that in this instance she is administering a passage reading fluency measure to Sidney. Click on each student’s picture below to view demonstrations of Ms. Chee administering and scoring each of these measures.
It’s your turn! Practice administering and scoring reading CBM probes. Click on each student’s picture below to practice implementing different types of CBM probes. Try all three and compare the differences in administration and scoring.
Fluency measures are courtesy of Lynn and Doug Fuchs.
Most companies that provide progress monitoring measures include a tool that graphs students’ test scores, or data. Alternatively, the teacher or the student can graph the scores on paper or by using a graphing program or application. Regardless, by examining the data on the GOM graph, the teacher can determine whether a student is making adequate progress.