How to Implement Progress Monitoring

Video: Kari Pofahl offers advice for those starting progress monitoring.


Screening is the first step of the progress monitoring process. Screening is used to identify:

  1. students’ current level of performance,
  2. students’ need for specialized services,
  3. students’ performance level relative to their peers, or
  4. students’ performance relative to their placement and expectations.

Screening is conducted quarterly (i.e. October, February, May)

While not required, it is advisable to screen using grade level passages, that is, the grade level in which the student is placed or expected to participate.

  • Students may have different level passages for progress monitoring as commensurate to their instructional level, but screening is intended to be the ‘big picture.’
  • Use the SAME process for screening each time. The SAME passages may be used for screening each time.

Video: Stan Deno discusses CBM measures.

Note: At this point you may be wondering about students being able to remember the correct answers to the screening passages? If the student can recall the correct answers, this is great! This is an indicator that they have great recall and are able to read and comprehend the passages.

CBM procedures are standardized. The scores may be used to contrast an individual’s performance to that of a group only if the procedures and material used are the same.

  • The use of local norms is common for this purpose, but norms are not required. Benchmarks available on most of the websites are based on hearing students. Benchmarks available on deaf and hard of hearing students are limited to a small sample (N=155) and grade range (3rd through 12th) of students (6).
  • With your participation, perhaps we will have better data soon.
  • Both hearing norms and local peer (classroom) norms should be considered when screening and monitoring student progress.

Video: Stan Deno’s suggestions for level screening.

Periodic screening of all students, hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf students alike, is recommended. Periodic screening provides information about students’ performance in reading before there is significant failure to thrive in the general education setting. Periodic screening provides information when a student may graduate out of intensive intervention or special education.


Screening procedures are the same as progress monitoring procedures described in the next section with two exceptions:

  1. Passages used for screening are generally at the grade placement level of the student, for example, if the student is placed in the 5th grade classroom, 5th grade passages are used for the purpose of screening.
  2. Three 1-minute passages are administered. These passages may be given on the same day, on three consecutive days, or within one week.

Video: Stan Deno discusses why timing is important in the procedures.