Why might our progress monitoring tools focus on skills that we are not teaching?

Question: Why might our progress monitoring tools focus on skills that we are not teaching?

Answer: So progress monitoring might focus on skills that we don’t teach because when we want to capture students’ growth in a specific content area, what we use to measure that needs to really represent a lot of skills. So we are not always necessarily providing instruction on any one of those specific skills, but what we are monitoring progress on would encapsulate or incorporate those skills.

So an example might be on oral passage reading where it really encompasses many skills—decoding and word reading and vocabulary and comprehension—as a proxy of those skills. Now a student may not need specific interventions on any one of those specific skills, but when we monitor their progress we can see them grow. And when we are providing specific interventions or instructions in any one of those skill sets we should see growth on a general outcome measure like passage reading fluency.

The other nice thing that it does is it allows us to see if kids are retaining skills that we may have taught earlier in the year but we currently aren’t focusing on. And it also allows us to see if they are generalizing those skills and holding on to them. So we may not always be teaching exactly what we are monitoring progress on, because what we expect kids to be learning and what we are teaching changes over time, but it should be a really good indication of whether kids are growing in a larger skill domain. 

Developed By: 
National Center on Intensive Intervention