FastBridge Developmental Milestones (devMilestones) is a brief rating scale with utility in tracking student development in key areas of functioning during preschool and kindergarten. The devMilestones is criterion-referenced, in that the tool is designed to evaluate each student's performance relative to established milestones. Teachers complete devMilestones on a computer. The devMilestones is currently in Lab status.
Uses and Applications
The items on the devMilestones scale are descriptions of behaviors exhibited in early childhood, with each devMilestones rating scale item specifying a sequence of milestones each student should achieve primarily during the kindergarten year. Specifically, student performance indicators represented within each devMilestones item correspond to one of these levels of expected functioning:
- Inquiring: skills a student should display at kindergarten entry
- Emerging: skills a student should display by the fall of kindergarten
- Incorporating: skills a student should display by the winter of kindergarten
- Mastering: skills a student should display by the spring of kindergarten
The above kindergarten standards are qualitative in nature and might not match the skills expected of your students during the kindergarten year. When completing the DevMilestones items, it is best to use the rating descriptions as shown on each item screen to rate each student's current skills. If a student has previously met a standard, continue to rate that student with a 4 on later screening submissions.
The devMilestones is grounded within a conceptual model, which specifies that a student's success in kindergarten is predicated upon the development of skills across a number of domains. Each of these domains corresponds to a devMilestones sub-scale:
- Language, Literacy, and Communications - skills related to a student's ability to acquire and use language in support of academic tasks and social interactions.
- Cognitive Development - skills related to a student's ability to acquire and use mathematical knowledge in support of academic tasks. Also reflective of a student's capacity to reason and appreciate human interconnectedness.
- Social and Emotional Development - skills related to a student's awareness of his or her own cognition, emotions, and behaviors, as well as that of other adults and peers. Also related to a student's sense of self and ability to establish and maintain relationships with adults and peers.
- Creativity and the Arts - skills related to a student's capacity to appreciate art, as well as generate artistic works.
- Approaches to Learning - attitudes and behaviors that influence a student's ability to effectively engage and benefit from instruction.
- Physical and Motor Development - skills and behaviors indicative of a student's physical capabilities and understanding of physical health and well-being.
The devMilestones can be used to identify students who are at risk for general, social, academic, and emotional behaviors at least three times a year. By evaluating in which of the six specific domains a student is at risk, educators may determine what type of support is most appropriate and which problem behaviors should be prioritized through intervention. For instance, if a student is only at risk for emotional problems, then a school may decide to target emotional behaviors via the application of social-emotional learning programs.
The devMilestones was designed to monitor the development of a student over the kindergarten year. It can also be used with students in pre-kindergarten programs as well as those in grade 1 who have exhibited developmental delays.
FastBridge is supported by an extensive set of materials to support teachers and students, including self-directed training modules that allow teachers to become certified to administer each of the FastBridge assessments. General or special education classroom teachers serve as the most appropriate devMilestones informants. Teachers who complete the devMilestones should have interacted extensively with each target student during the month immediately preceding devMilestones completion. A teacher may complete the devMilestones following an approximately 30-minute training session available via online training modules. Ongoing technical support is available on the website, along with training manuals and materials.
We recommend that teachers complete the devMilestones in an effort to track student development in key areas of functioning across the kindergarten school year. To support its use for this purpose, it is suggested that the devMilestones be completed three times per year for all students in a classroom. Therefore, if 20 students are enrolled in a particular teacher's classroom, the teacher will complete the devMilestones for all 20 students. It is estimated that it should take approximately 100-140 minutes to complete the devMilestones for a classroom of 20 students. The devMilestones may be completed using a desktop or laptop computer, as well as a tablet device.
To complete each devMilestones item, the teacher indicates how frequently the student in question has displayed each developmental milestone (as described within each item) during the previous month. The teacher is to ONLY consider the development exhibited by the student during the month prior to devMilestones completion. No other development outside of this time period should be taken into consideration during item completion.
DM-K Results and Interpretation
The devMilestones is intended for use in evaluating student achievement of developmental milestones within multiple domains of functioning. The 47 items comprising the devMilestones correspond to the six sub-scales:
- Language, Literacy, and Communications (12 items)
- Cognitive Development (10 items)
- Social and Emotional Development (8 items)
- Creativity and the Arts (4 items)
- Approaches to Learning (6 items)
- Physical and Motor Development (7 items)
To summarize the devMilestones ratings, scores are calculated within each student for individual items and sub-scales, as well as for the broader DM-K scale. Each item rating is converted to a numerical item score. Ratings of "Unable to Rate" are not scored or counted toward any sub-scale scores. The remaining item ratings are scored in the following fashion:
Not yet at the first level
Sub-scale scores are calculated by summing item scores within each sub-scale. "Unable to Rate" items are not counted toward the score total. The devMilestones total score is calculated by summing item scores across all sub-scales.
Higher item scores, mean sub-scale scores, and mean total scores correspond to better student functioning and more advanced development. To interpret each individual student's various scores, it is recommended his or her scores be compared over time with the starting scores. This approach allows educators to determine how the student is developing relative to standards for each individual skill, the domain of skills, and overall functioning.
It is important that each score be compared to developmental expectations for that particular period, as expectations help to determine what should be considered below expectations, meeting expectations, or above expectations. For instance, during the fall administration, a student would be meeting expectations if his or her item, sub-scale, and total scores approximate a score of 2 (Emerging). In contrast, scores approximating 2 during the spring administration would suggest the student's performance is below expectations. Educators are encouraged to use caution when interpreting scores, as one must not anticipate scores near the upper end of the scale (i.e., 4) unless it is the spring portion of the kindergarten school year.
devMilestones results can be interpreted at the item, sub-scale, and total scale levels. Please see below for recommendations regarding how each score might be interpreted.
Total Score is used to determine how the student is performing overall. Higher scores relative to expectations for each administration suggest the student's performance is above expectations across all sub-scales. Lower scores indicate either overall below-expectation performance or rather variable performance across sub-scales (i.e., some above or meeting expectations and some below). The finding of the below-expectation performance should trigger the analysis of sub-scale scores to determine which of the six domains are of concern.
Sub-scale Scores are used to determine how the student is functioning within each of the broad domains. Higher scores relative to expectations for each administration suggest the student's performance is above expectations within the domain of functioning to which the sub-scale corresponds. Lower scores indicate either overall below-expectation performance across all sub-scale items or rather variable performance across sub-scale items (i.e., some above or meeting expectations and some below). The finding of below-expectation performance within a sub-scale should trigger the analysis of individual items within that sub-scale to determine which specific skills are of concern.
Item Scores are used to determine which specific skills should be targeted for intervention. Higher scores relative to expectations for each administration suggest the student's performance is above expectations for that skill. Lower scores indicate below expectation performance of that skill. The finding of below-expectation performance suggests the skill should potentially be targeted for intervention. The student support team, in collaboration with each student's classroom teacher, should determine the ultimate necessity of intervention.