Hi! Thanks for joining us for part 3 of our RTI series! Today we are going to dive into assigning Progress Monitoring for your tier 2 and tier 3 students. 

To start off our series you saw RtI in action! We had an interview discussing how a successful RtI program was set up and executed. In Part 2 we discussed how screening data will help you get everything in place for a successful RTI process. 

Students are screened, tiers identified and intervention is in place for tier 2 and 3 students. Now it’s vital to monitor their progress at the student’s performance level. 

What exactly IS Progress Monitoring? Why do we need it? 

Progress monitoring is a standardized method of formative assessment that tells us how well students are responding to intervention.

Progress monitoring is used:

  • To assess student progress or performance in those areas in which they were identified by universal screening as being at-risk for failure. 

  • To identify students who are not making adequate progress

  • To help build effective intervention programs for those students 

Why do we need it? 

  • students learn more quickly because they are receiving more appropriate instruction 

  • teachers use it to make more informed instructional decisions 

  • documentation of student progress is available for accountability purposes

  • communication improves between families and professionals about student progress 

  • teachers have higher expectations for their students

  • (and as a result) there is a decrease in special education referrals. 

The first step is to choose a tool. 

Progress monitoring tools should have these characteristics:

  • Brief assessments

  • Repeated measures that capture student learning

  • Measures of age appropriate outcomes

  • Reliable, valid and evidenced based

CBM is the gold-standard accepted methodology for progress monitoring. CBM stands for Curriculum-Based Measurement. There are two types of CBM – Robust Indicators and Curriculum Sampling. Both indicate student progress on the general curriculum and overall effectiveness of the intervention. A robust indicator assesses specific abilities that have an overall impact on student outcomes, where curriculum sampling measures the student's understanding of a grade level curriculum.

In order to best accommodate all grades, the Classworks model uses Curriculum Sampling.

Curriculum Sampling uses items related to the grade-level curriculum and is appropriate for measuring content, concepts, and problem-solving skills – areas beyond basic fluency- critical for older students. A common challenge with the Robust Indicator methodology is that the measures of fluency appropriate for primary grades are not relevant or effective for intermediate, middle, or high school students.

That’s tricky right? Middle and high school students respond differently to interventions. The structure of the Classworks model at middle and high school works really well for these students and helps keep the focus on transitions and dropout prevention. 

Curriculum sampling meets the needs of a larger number of students!

Now that you have your tool, let’s look at putting it into action. CBMs need to be at the student’s performance level.

 If your students are using a Classworks assessment, this level is indicated for you based on assessment results. 

As you see here, Justin is a sixth grade student who took a Classworks assessment. That assessment has indicated his performance level is on 3rd grade level. His intervention is put in place as an Individualized Learning Path or ILP in Classworks which will reflect that level as well. Progress Monitoring at that level will allow careful monitoring of Justin’s response to the intervention. 

If you are using another assessment, Classworks progress monitoring will default to one grade level below the students assigned grade level. So if your assessment data indicates that a student’s performance level is, for instance, 2nd grade, just adjust the level. An ILP in Classworks driven by that assessment data will serve as intervention and Justin’s response to that intervention is measured through Classworks Progress Monitoring. 

When students log in they will see  a Progress Monitoring CBM probe ready to take. These probes will appear automatically each week. If you only want a student to take it every other week, just have him skip a week!

So, what happens now? 

In Classworks, assessment data drives an individualized instructional plan for each student. Progress Monitoring is now in place to measure the student’s responsiveness. 

Next time, we will look at the intervention itself and discuss instructional best practices to ensure effectiveness. 

See you then! 

Additional Reading:

What is Progress Monitoring? 

Getting Started with Progress Monitoring? 

How do I start a Progress Monitoring session for my student?

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