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Curriculum-Based Measurement (Cbm) to Help Track a Student's Progress


CBM is just one type of progress monitoring to help see if your instruction methods are effective enough for your students.

There are three advantages of progress monitoring over annual achievement tests:

  • You can get results sooner rather than waiting until after the year is over to begin making assessments and changes in strategies and methods.
  • Results are also more specific, with information about certain skills rather than just a score.
  • Results can be compared in a number of ways so a teacher can determine if improvements need to be made in general classroom instruction or in how an individual is taught.

There are two key differences between mastery measurement and CBM. Mastery measurement tests include only problems or questions about one skill set, in an order determined early in the year, while CBM tests include problems or questions from different skill sets all year, in any order. With mastery measurement, the curriculum doesn't continue until everyone "masters" that skill, while with CBM, success is different for each individual rather than everyone meeting a certain goal.

There are three ways CBM can be used to help at-risk students.

  • CBM can help track progress and growth, with numbers and graphs for visual, concrete illustrations.
  • It can help determine if the curriculum needs to be changed for students not showing progress.
  • Teachers can show parents, guardians, IEP team members and other paraprofessionals how a student is doing so they can better understand a child's needs and performance.

The CBM process consists of six steps:

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  • Creating the tests, or choosing the probes - based on a child's grade level and skills
  • Administering and scoring the tests/probes - regularly, in the same manner and at the same times
  • Graphing the scores - for easier decision-making, and so students can see their own progress
  • Making goals - realistic, and based on the child's scores and graphs.
  • Making decisions - based on the results, about changes in instruction
  • Communicating results - with parents or guardians and other relevant professionals

Additional resources


Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD from Tumkur on May 08, 2008:

AS a techer educater i can't but simply appreciate this article.It is not totally a new concept but now the techniques are much improved. Such CBM tool kits are available and parents and teachers can use them on their children.

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