How should Ms. Begay communicate José’s reading progress?

Page 8: Communicating with Students, Parents, and Other Professionals (Step 6)

Lynn Fuchs
Lynn Fuchs, PhD
Nicholas Hobbs Chair of Special
Education and Human Development
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Listen as Lynn Fuchs describes the ways in which students can use CBM graphs (time: 1:01).

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Communicating with Students

Students who are aware of their progress are more knowledgeable about their learning. By seeing their academic growth in an easily understood format, such as on a graph, students can appreciate the relationship between their effort and progress.


  • Give students a visual representation of their progress
  • Provide students with specific feedback that their hard work pays off
  • Motivate students to maintain their efforts or work harder
  • Allow students to set appropriate goals for themselves

Communicating with Parents

CBM data are also an excellent resource for teachers to use when they communicate student progress to parents. During a parent-teacher meeting—for instance an IEP meeting—parents are typically interested in:

  • How their child is progressing compared to his or her past achievement
  • How their child is progressing compared to other students
  • What goals their child is expected to meet by the end of the school year

Jessica Weisenbach Sellers, MEd, BCBA
Former Teacher
Behavior Analyst
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
Nashville, TN

Listen as Jessica Weisenbach Sellers describes how she communicates CBM reading scores to parents during an IEP meeting (time: 0:32).

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At José’s IEP meeting, Ms. Begay uses his CBM graph to discuss his progress with his parents and other professionals at the meeting (time: 1:19).

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Communicating with Other Professionals

CBM graphs and data provide educators and other professionals with a straightforward way to:

  • Review a student’s progress
  • Monitor the appropriateness of student goals
  • Compare and contrast the successful and unsuccessful instructional aspects of a student’s program
  • Share student academic information at IEP meetings
  • Document the need for additional resources
  • Provide a concrete picture of the student’s growth
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