Each of the three FastBridge™ CBMmath measures has unique features that need to be considered when selecting the best progress measure for a specific student. This article will review the key features, intended uses, and expected growth rates for CBMmath Concepts and Applications (CAP).
Features
CBMmath CAP is a computer-administered timed assessment of the math knowledge and skills covered by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for kindergarten through Grade 8. CBMmath CAP is a broad measure of a student’s overall mathematics skills. Here is a table summarizing the CBMmath CAP features.
Feature |
Description |
Content |
Math knowledge and skills covered by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for kindergarten through Grade 8 |
Format |
Computer-based assessment |
Timing |
15-30 minutes |
Scores |
Number correct in 10 minutes |
Students log in to a computer or tablet device to complete this assessment. Each student needs headphones in order to hear the directions. Answers are entered by selecting the correct answer from four choices, or by entering numerals on the screen using either a mouse or finger. CBMmath CAP allows the student to skip items during the test and either return to them at the end, if time allows, or skip them entirely. The specific times allowed for progress monitoring are shown in the following table.
Grades |
Time |
K-5 |
15 minutes |
6-8 |
20 minutes |
The student completes as many problems are possible in the allotted time and then the assessment ends. The student is shown a completion screen but not his or her score when done. The score reported on FastBridge™ reports is adjusted from the student’s raw score and is the number of correct answers in 10 minutes. The prorated 10-minute score is used because it allows comparison with similar assessments from other publishers.
Intended Uses
CBMmath CAP is designed to be used for both universal screening and for progress monitoring.
Screening: The content in CBMmath CAP matches the skills typically taught in kindergarten through grade 8. It can be used to screen all students in those grades.
Progress Monitoring: CBMmath CAP can also be used to monitor progress of students in any grade who are participating in interventions to improve their applied mathematics skills. For example, problems include a combination of number and word problems, sometimes accompanied by figures or illustrations. Just like the screening version, the progress monitoring versions of CBMmath CAP include items representing the CCSS for each grade level. It is normal for there to be a mix of items from a range of grade levels on the forms within a grade level. This is because CCSS skill representation varies by grade level and is cumulative. In other words, students might be tested on skills from lower grades because those skills are also needed in the current grade. In some cases, a student might answer a small number of items from a higher grade. In such cases, these items are ones that are introduced in the current grade level but not expected to be mastered until a higher grade level. Having a mixture of item levels allows the test to be more sensitive to all students’ skill levels.
After determining what type of applied math intervention a student needs, the teacher can select the CBMmath CAP grade level to use for progress monitoring. Although all CBMmath CAP forms are general outcome measures (GOM) the types of questions vary across the grade levels. When a student’s intervention focuses on CCSS skills primarily covered in a lower grade level, the teacher can select a lower grade level for progress monitoring. It is important to remember that if CBMmath CAP is also used for universal screening, those students who use it at a lower grade level for progress monitoring will complete the grade-level version at the next screening interval.
Growth Rates
There are two ways to evaluate whether a student’s progress toward a goal is likely to result in reaching the goal. One way is to look at the student’s progress scores and see how close they are to the goal. The other is to examine the student’s growth over time. On some FastBridge™ reports, growth is referred to as rate of improvement (ROI). National norms provide information about expected scores and growth. There are growth tables for all FastBridge™ assessments and these can be found in the Training & Resources section of the website. The expected growth values are found in the Norms tables for each grade. All norms and growth values (ROI) are calculated based on screening scores because their purpose is to show typical and expected performance. It would be very difficult to calculate norms and growth from progress data because only a small subset of students complete progress assessments. Additionally, the students who complete progress measures are those who are struggling with the skill and their progress (e.g., ROI) might not be typical of other students. Here is an example of the norms and growth table for CBMmath CAP for grade 5. The growth numbers are expressed in weekly units.
Information about the different types of growth calculations can be found in the article Growth Score Explanation.
Growth data are important for two reasons. First they provide a basis for comparing an individual student’s growth to see if it is typical or atypical. Such information can support decisions about continuing or changing math interventions. Second, growth data provide information about a measure’s sensitivity to change over time. The most helpful progress measures are those that will reveal meaningful improvements in students’ skills as a result of intervention. The amount of change that can be expected is one way to consider a measure’s sensitivity to change. The three FastBridge™ CBMmath measures vary in the amount of typical and expected growth over time.
CBMmath CAP is sensitive to student growth over longer periods of time, but less sensitive over shorter periods. Using the fifth grade norms shown above and selecting the scores at the 50th percentile, we see that typical growth on this assessment went from 4 in the fall and winter to 5 in the spring. It is normal for growth rates to vary during different times of the school year based on when certain skills are taught. In this example, no growth is expected on fifth grade CBMmath CAP from the fall to winter. Limited growth is expected from winter to spring.
CBMmath CAP’s typical growth is much smaller than the other CBMmath assessments because this measure includes very broad math skill content. This means that each time a student completes CBMmath CAP, a combination of different types of math problems that reflect all of the relevant standards for the monitored grade level are included. Usually, math interventions focus on one or a very narrow set of skills. It is expected that students will have growth in the intervention skill focus but not necessarily all other skills. In the case of students whose math intervention has a very narrow focus on skills such as math facts, CBMmath CAP might not be the best progress measure to use. CBMmath CAP is best utilized for progress monitoring when the focus of student intervention is the full range of math skills included in the monitored grade level. For example, if the math intervention focuses on the student knowing what operations to use for a variety of problem types, or for diverse word problems, CBMmath CAP is the logical progress assessment to use.