How will Ms. Begay know if her current reading intervention is working or if her students need a different kind of instruction?

Page 6: Setting Goals (Step 4)

After a few CBM probes have been administered and scored, it’s time to start setting goals. These can be determined by the teacher using the options listed below or with help from computer software.

Three Options for Setting End-of-the-Year Goals

To learn more about each option, click on its name.

Grade End of the Year Performance Goal
K Letter Sound Fluency
40 letter sounds per minute
1 Word Identification Fluency
40 words correct per minute
2 Passage Reading Fluency
75 words correct per minute
3 Passage Reading Fluency
100 words correct per minute
4 Maze Fluency
20 correct replacements per 2.5 minutes
5 Maze Fluency
25 correct replacements per 2.5 minutes
6 Maze Fluency
30 correct replacements per 2.5 minutes

Source: Fuchs, Fuchs, & Powell (2004).

This is a good goal-setting option for typically developing students performing at grade level. For example, Luke is a typically developing fourth grader. Using this option, Ms. Begay would set a goal for Luke of 20 correct replacements in 2.5 minutes on the Maze Fluency task.

CBM Norms for Weekly Student Growth

Grade Letter Sound Fluency
(number of correct sounds)
Word Identification Fluency
(number of correct words)
Passage Reading Fluency
(number of correct words)
Maze Fluency
(number of correct words)
K 1.20
1 1.50 2.00 .40
2 1.50 .40
3 1.00 .40
4 0.90 .40
5 0.50 .40
6 0.30 .40


Source: Fuchs, Fuchs, Hamlett, Walz, & Germann (1993).

To determine a goal using this option:

Step 1:
.90

Step 2:
.90 x 32 = 28.8

Step 3:
28.8 + 55 = 83.8

  1. Identify the average weekly rate of improvement for a student by using the national norm chart above. Let’s use Louisa as our example. Louisa is a fourth grader, so we would expect a growth rate of .90 words gained per week on the Passage Reading Fluency task.
  2. To set an ambitious goal for Louisa, Ms. Begay would multiply the weekly rate of growth expected for fourth graders (.90) by the number of weeks left in the year (32), which equals 28.8 words.
  3. Louisa’s median score from her first three CBM passages was 55. Ms. Begay would take 28.8 words read correctly per minute and add it to Louisa’s median score of 55 words to calculate her end-of-the-year goal, which is 83.8 words per minute.
  4. Louisa’s end-of-the-year goal is 84 words per minute (83.8 rounded up) on the CBM Passage Reading Fluency task.

This option can be used for either typically developing students or at-risk students who are receiving reading instruction.

  1. Calculate the student’s rate of improvement. Take the first eight CBM scores and find the difference between the highest and lowest score. José’s first eight scores were 20, 22, 19, 24, 22, 25, 22, 24. The difference between the highest (25) and lowest score (19) is 6 [25-19 = 6].
  2. Now, divide the difference (6) by the number of scores (8) [6/8 = .75]. José’s individual growth rate is .75.
  3. Multiply the individual growth rate by 1.5 [.75 x 1.5 = 1.125].
  4. Multiply this number by the number of weeks left in the school year. There are 32 weeks left in the school year for José [1.125 x 32 = 36].
  5. The median of José’s first eight CBM scores was 22. Add the median scoreto 36 to determine the end-of-the-year goal [22 + 36 = 58]. José’s end of the year goal for the Word Identification Fluency task is 58 words per minute.

José

Step 1:
25 – 19 = 6

Step 2:
6 ÷ 8 = .75

Step 3:
.75 x 1.5 = 1.125

Step 4:
1.125 x 32 = 36

Step 5:
22 + 36 = 58

58 is José’s year-end goal

This option, used to determine an end-of-the-year goal based on the student’s individual rate of improvement, is often used by special educators for students who learn at a different rate than peers.

Putting the Pieces Together

On the previous resource page, you learned how to label the vertical and horizontal axes of your CBM master graph. Now that you have determined an end-of-year goal using one of the above options, you can indicate it on your master graph with an X (see the graph below).

Adding the end of the year goal on the CBM graph

The Adding the End-of-the-Year Goal graph shows the number of correctly read words per minute per weeks of instruction. The horizontal axis is labeled “Instructional Weeks,” from 1 to 14, in one-week increments. The vertical axis is labeled “Correctly Identified Words Per Minute,” from 0 to 100 in 10-word increments. There are three data points plotted for weeks 1, 2, and 3, all between 40 to 50 correctly read words per minute. There is an X plotted for week 13 at around 60 correctly read words per minute. The X is the end-of-the year performance goal.

Once you have plotted at least three CBM probe scores on a student’s graph, you can draw the goal line between the median of the first three scores and the end-of-year goal.

Drawing the line between the median score and the goal.

The Drawing the Goal line graph shows the number of correctly read words per minute per weeks of instruction. The horizontal axis is labeled “Instructional Weeks,” from 1 to 14, in one-week increments. The vertical axis is labeled “Correctly Identified Words Per Minute,” from 0 to 100 in 10-word increments. There are three data points plotted for weeks 1, 2, and 3, all between 40 to 50 correctly read words per minute. There is an X plotted for week 13 at around 60 correctly read words per minute. The X is the end-of-the year performance goal. There is a dashed line, known as the goal line, drawn between the median score and the X.

Once you have established an end-of-year goal for each student and have drawn the goal line on each student’s graph, you will use these graphs to monitor students’ progress for the remainder of the school year. As you administer and score probes, you or your students will add these score points to the graphs. You can then use these data to help you make instructional decisions.

Click on the movie below to see how Ms. Begay implements CBM in her classroom (time: 1:34).

View Transcript

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