Creating Maze Reading Passages

(from EdCheckUp) (5)

CBM is a process that is designed to monitor a student’s progress within the curriculum that is being used in the classroom. Passages have been developed to allow for standardization and use across classrooms, buildings, districts and the development of national norms, however, teachers may choose to monitor students’ progress within the specific setting and curriculum. This allows the teacher to monitor the student’s growth in direct relationship to what is being taught on any given day. Creating your own MAZE passages may be time consuming initially, but the end result may provide data that is a valuable indicator for appropriateness of placement, curriculum and the effectiveness of instruction.

To Create Your Own Maze Passage

  • Choose material that the students will use throughout the academic year.
  • Choose passages from the end of the grade-level text being used in the classroom.
  • Passages should be at least 200 words, and at least 18 passages are necessary for monitoring progress across the school year. Number the passages 1 through 18 for the purpose of record keeping.
  • Give a title to the passage.
  • Leave the first sentence unaltered.
  • Begin with the second sentence and “delete” every seventh word.
  • Add two distracter words to create 3 word choices. Compared to the correct word, distracters cannot make contextual sense, cannot rhyme, cannot look or sound similar, and should be of a similar length.


Billy brought home a blue ball {can/and/short} played with it.

If the 7th word is a name or acronym, skip that choice and proceed to the next word.

Make sure all choices appear on the same line in the text.

Video: Ann Sullivan on using NWEA test for progress monitoring.