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Content Area Progress Monitoring

Content Area Progress Monitoring

Author: Nicole Bucka

As teachers of content, secondary educators need a way to measure students' learning as well as their maintenance of content throughout the school year.  Research demonstrates positive effects and a potential solution, but it is emerging and has not been practically implemented in non-research situations.  The processes and lessons learned in this tutorial are thanks to a pilot group of Rhode Island secondary school science teachers who attempt to bridge the research-practice gap and seek to share their learning with other educators.

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The Why (26 min)

National Center on Student Progress Monitoring

This center's mission is to disseminate information about progress monitoring practices proven to work in different academic content areas and it has a wealth of great webinars and resources.

Funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), it is housed at the American Institutes for Research working in conjunction with researchers from Vanderbilt University.

Research: Using Curriculum Based Measure to Prevent Failure and Assess Learning in the Content Areas

Research: Curriculum-Based Measurement in the Content Areas-Vocabulary Matching as an Indicator of Progress in Social Studies Learning

The HOW (31 min)

Probe Administration (2 min)

This is just an example of the teacher reviewing briefly the standardized probe instructions. Since students take the 3 minute probes bi-weekly and they are now accustomed to the probes, this does not include the modeling and think-aloud of initial instruction.

Students Graphing their Data (2 min)

Once the probe is administered, students will graph their raw score (number correct). They use a simple bar graph and periodically reflect on their progress.

Students Collaboratively Reviewing (2:50)

Interestingly enough, a lesson learned in this work is that students really need to be taught how to collaborate, self-reflect (e.g. How do I remember that? Why do I always get those confused?), and how to explain their thinking to others. This is an area of focus for Year 2.

Teacher's Manual (DRAFT)

This manual, with elements taken from a variety of resources noted, was created to not only assist these four teachers in standardizing their process, but also to use in the future for training new teachers or expanding this work to additional departments.


Four Quadrant Sort (DRAFT)


Data Analysis Template

This template outlines the data analysis steps shared in "The How".


The Do (and Lessons Learned) (11min)