FastBridge offers many different progress monitoring measures to track student progress toward learning goals. Some of the progress measures are specifically recommended for use at certain grade levels and others are not. This article explains how the recommended measures were selected and why.
Recommended Progress Measures
In order to understand the selection of the best progress measure, it is important first to determine whether the student will be working toward a grade-level skill or toward skills below grade level. This is important because the measure must match the intervention skill level.
- If the student is working toward a grade level goal, use the recommended measure as outlined in Recommended Progress Monitoring Assessments and Measures.
- If the student is working toward a goal that reflects skills from a lower level, then select a progress measure that matches the intervention skill. Due to variations in how interventions are structured, the best progress measure may be different from the ones listed below.
How Were the Recommended Progress Measures Selected?
Although the curricula used in each school and district varies, there are some skills that are typically taught at specific grade levels across most or all curricula. For example, in most core reading programs, learning to read long vowels when there is a silent e at the end of a word happens in first grade. Similarly, addition facts to 20 are typically taught in first grade as well. Such skills are widely recognized as essential for all learners and necessary for later school success. FastBridge uses information about the most essential reading and math skills at each grade level to identify a progress measure that will show a student’s progress toward those key skills. For behavior, FastBridge offers only one progress measure, Direct Behavior Rating (DBR). The behaviors monitored in DBR are student-specific so having different measures is not necessary.
Recommended Reading Progress Measures
The recommended FastBridge reading progress measures were selected because:
- earlyReading English - Letter Sounds measures a student’s accuracy and rate matching individual English letters with their most common sounds. It is recommended for monitoring the progress of kindergarten students working toward grade-level reading skills because it is the most important reading skill that is expected by the end of the kindergarten year. Letter sounds are the foundation for phonics and fluency instruction, which is the focus of reading instruction in grades 1 through 3.
- CBMreading English measures a student’s accuracy, automaticity, and prosody while reading out loud. It is recommended for monitoring the progress of students working toward grade-level reading goals in grades 1 through 12 because it is a highly sensitive measure of a student’s overall reading skills. Numerous research studies have consistently shown that a student’s oral reading fluency score is the single best predictor of overall reading skills. Importantly, the content and difficulty level of the CBMreading passages changes from grades 1 through 8 to reflect the types of narrative texts that students in each of those grades are expected to read. For students in grades 9 through 12, the grade 8 CBMreading English passages are recommended because they reflect the skills needed to access high school texts. Specifically, high school students monitored with CBMreading English should work toward the grade 8 spring benchmark score (177) because students who can read on par with those meeting that benchmark can succeed in reading and comprehending high school texts.
- earlyReading English - Nonsense Words measures the automatic reading of CVC pseudowords. This measure is recommended in certain situations when a student is not yet ready to read connected text.
Recommended Math Progress Measures
There are more options provided in the recommended math progress measures because mathematics skills do not build exclusively on each other and they reflect a broader range of topics. Nonetheless, there are certain mathematics skills widely recognized as the most predictive of overall mathematics achievement. These include the following.
- earlyMath - Numeral Identification-K measures a student’s accuracy and rate of identifying numerals 1 through 30. It is recommended for monitoring the progress of kindergarten students working toward grade-level math goals because being able to recognize and name these numerals is widely recognized as one of the most important mathematics skills expected by the end of kindergarten. Automaticity with numerals prepares students to learn about the quantities they represent and then add, subtract, multiply, and divide during grades 1 through 3.
- earlyMath - Decomposing-1 measures a student’s accuracy and automaticity in identifying part-whole relationships. It is recommended for monitoring the progress of grade 1 students working toward grade-level math goals because it represents one of the most important mathematics skills expected by the end of first grade. Understanding part-whole relationships prepare students for the computation skills taught in grades 2 and 3.
- CBMmath Automaticity - L2 GOM measures a student’s accuracy and automaticity with the addition and subtraction of numbers to and from 100. It is recommended for monitoring the progress of grade 2 students working toward grade-level math goals because it includes items that represent the most important mathematics skills expected by the end of second grade. Mastery of addition and subtraction prepares students for multiplication and division skills taught in grade 3.
- CBMmath Automaticity - L3 GOM measures a student’s accuracy and automaticity with addition and subtraction to and from 100, multiplication facts to 12, and division from 100. It is recommended for monitoring the progress of grade 3 students working toward grade-level math goals because it includes items that represent the most important mathematics skills expected by the end of third grade, specifically the mastery of all computation facts. This measure is also recommended for students in grades 4 and above whose overall mathematics performance indicates gaps in computation fact fluency. Mastery of computation facts prepares students for solving problems with bigger numbers as well as word problems.
- CBMmath Concepts and Applications (CAP) - Levels 4-8 measure the full range of mathematics domains in the Common Core State Standards. This measure might be appropriate for students who have mastered their basic math facts and need to work on applied math skills. Note that, due to the large breadth of skills included on CBMmath CAP, the typical score growth over short periods of time is limited. For this reason, it is best to use CBMmath CAP as a progress measure every 2 to 4 weeks, instead of weekly.
Why are Some Measures Not Recommended for Progress Monitoring at Grade Level?
FastBridge offers many other assessments, not in the recommended list of progress measures. Except for those still in the Lab phase, these measures are reliable and valid indicators of certain types of skills; however, they are either less predictive or do not reflect the most important end-of-grade skills.
Please note that this does not mean educators should avoid using the progress measures shown in the tables below. There are times when each of these progress measures is appropriate, particularly when students are working towards goals that reflect skills from a lower level.
The following tables list the other available FastBridge progress measures and why they are not the recommended grade-level ones.
Other FastBridge Reading Progress Measures
Measure |
Reason Not Recommended as the Standard Grade Level Progress Measure |
earlyReading English - Onset Sounds |
This measures identification of the first sound in a word. This is one of the first skills taught in kindergarten and something that students should master well before the end of the kindergarten year. |
earlyReading English - Word Blending |
This measures the identification and blending of all the sounds in a word. This is an important beginning transition skill in kindergarten and something that students should master well before the end of the kindergarten year. |
earlyReading English - Word Segmenting |
This measures the identification and segmenting of all the sounds in a word. This is an important advanced transition skill in kindergarten and something that students should master well before the end of the kindergarten year. |
earlyReading English - Decodable Words |
This measures the automatic reading of real CVC words. This skill is more advanced than expected by the end of kindergarten but easier than expected in grades 1 through 12. |
earlyReading English - Sight Words-50 |
This measures the automatic reading of up to 50 high-frequency words. This skill is important in reading development but not an end unto itself. It is more important for kindergarten students to master letter sounds. This measure is too simple for students in grades 1 and above. |
earlyReading English - Sight Words-150 |
This measures the automatic reading of up to 150 high-frequency words. This skill is important in reading development but not an end unto itself. This skill is incorporated in CBMreading passages and thus measured there. |
CBMreading English + CBMcomp |
This optional extension of CBMreading includes student recall of story facts followed by 10 questions about the story. Although understanding what is read is a critical skill for students in grades 1 through 12, the CBMcomp scores are actually less predictive of a student’s overall reading skills than the CBMreading score. |
AUTOreading |
This suite of subtests includes measures of very specific reading subskills, but not any measures of reading connected text. Given that reading connected text is the primary goal for reading at all grades, AUTOreading is not as strong a measure of overall reading proficiency as CBMreading English. |
COMPefficiency |
This measure is still in the Lab. |
Other FastBridge Math Progress Measures
Measure |
Reason Not Recommended as the Standard Grade Level Progress Measure |
earlyMath - Numeral Identification-1 |
This measures the recognition and automaticity of numerals through 130. This is a transition skill for first graders but does not incorporate part-whole relationships. |
earlyMath - Number Sequence-K |
This measures accuracy with the correct oral sequence of numbers. This is a transition skill for kindergarten students but does not include visual numerals. |
earlyMath - Match Quantity |
This measures the accurate matching of a numeral with the quantity it represents. This is a transition skill for first graders but does not include identifying a missing quantity. |
earlyMath Quantity - Discrimination Most |
This measures identifying the largest number in a set. This is a transition skill for first graders but does not include identifying a missing quantity. |
earlyMath Quantity - Discrimination Least |
This measures identifying the smallest number in a set. This is a transition skill for first graders but does not include identifying a missing quantity. |
earlyMath - Place Value |
This measures identifying the place values and amounts of pictured objects. This is a transition skill for first graders but does not include identifying a missing quantity. |
CBMmath CAP |
This measures a student’s accuracy and automaticity in solving multi-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems, including decimals. This measure is appropriate if a student has mastered basic math facts, but makes errors with the steps for solving multi-digit, multi-step problems. |