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

Page 7: Making Instructional Decisions (Step 5)

Once a student’s data have been graphed, teachers can use the relationship between the data points and the goal line to make instructional decisions. One way a teacher can use CBM data to determine the effectiveness of an instructional method is to view the relationship between the four most recent data points on a student’s graph and the student’s goal line. The table below shows how a teacher can use the information from CBM graphs to make instructional decisions.

Position of the Four Most Recent Data Points Instructional Decision
above the goal lineAbove the goal line…

Increase the goal.

If most of the points are higher than the goal line, the student’s performance is exceeding expectations and a slightly more ambitious goal is needed.

Graph showing the red data line below the blue goal lineBelow the goal line…

Change instruction.

Something isn’t working. Try a different instructional approach and continue to collect data to see if it helps.

Graph showing the red data line consistent with the blue goal lineAround the goal line…

Make no changes.

The student is on target to meet the year-end goal, and the method appears to be working.


Teacher standing behind students working at a tableMs. Begay has been administering Maze Fluency CBM probes for several weeks. She’s graphed the first three data points for each student and has established a goal using the end-of-year performance goal (Option 1) for the typically developing students in her class.

Over the next four weeks, Ms. Begay continues to collect data. Please help Ms. Begay graph the most recent data for one of her students. The student scored 11, 9, 12, and 11 points on the last four probes.

Click here to plot the data points for weeks 4 through 7 and complete this activity.

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