The Curriculum-Based Measurement Approach


The CBM approach allows students to cultivate an interest in literature by allowing them to read works from many periods and genres. The students work through progressively difficult books that address a variety of key concerns and moral precepts (Missall & Hosp, 2019). Throughout the curriculum, the student gained the talent of selecting, reading, and critically reacting to books in a range of genres and languages. The K-1st grade students are expected to engage with Letter Sound Fluency to identify the sound each letter produces (Missall & Hosp, 2019). It is an essential skill that should be acquired at this level. The 1-6 Grades levels should reflect on two essential skills – word identification fluency and oral reading fluency (Missall & Hosp, 2019). The former implies the ability to read and recognize a certain list of words, which are likely to be widely used (or specifically used in the upcoming reading). The latter skill reflects the students’ ability to read a passage aloud while correctly reading words are counted and listed (Missall & Hosp, 2019). These levels are equipped with the task of understanding the basic texts without specific language or complicated language constructions. It is essential to provide students at this level with simple sentenced text.

From the 4th Grade, the task of mazes can also be employed. When students read the provided text, they can encounter the blank space to choose the fitting word (Tzivinikou et al., 2020). Through this drill, the student can determine the structure of sentences in texts using analytical skills, including simple, complex, and compound sentences (Tzivinikou et al., 2020). Throughout the curriculum, student effectively undertakes the process of comparing sounds and patterns in words in texts from many genres of literature. With confidence and flexibility, students employ phonetic knowledge and diverse word recognition strategies. Students are also expected to effectively grasp a broad vocabulary in materials and tasks (Missall & Hosp, 2019). Furthermore, students use an expanding understanding of word structure and word combinations to independently deduce the meaning of words encountered in texts.

Written Expression

The CBM approach to writing expression is a basic exercise that may be used to assess a student’s writing abilities. Students must write for 3 minutes based on an instructional-level narrative starter for this exam (McMaster et al., 2020). When kids are able to write sentences, the writing CBM tasks can be employed. Teachers can employ five or 10-minute assessment periods if 3 minutes does not give enough samples. In the K-1st level, the primary goal is to acquire familiarity with letter writing. The 1-4 Grade level is expected to write simple sentences on the basic topics (McMaster et al., 2020). The student has to be able to examine and enhance their usage of language aspects in their assessments by studying various parts of the language.

The main indication of scoring consists of three components – total words written, a number of correctly written words, and the number of correctly written sequences (McMaster et al., 2020). The latter factor is mostly used for assessing the underperforming students. A student’s persuasive writing on the later levels (6+ Grade) indicates an understanding of the possible influence of their work on the audience. The overall CBM approach to writing expression is the student’s ability to further develop and build a distinctive style in their work, which is enhanced by the use of numerous ways of writing.


The primary school mathematics curriculum aims to equip learners with a solid foundation in terms of language and mathematics. Mathematics education attempts to educate pupils on critical thinking skills and guarantee that they can communicate mathematically and spatially. Finally, Mathematics emphasizes pupils’ capacity to detect situations in which Math may be employed to aid in the solution and resolution of a problem.

Progress monitoring within the CBM approach can distinguish the skills and CBM tasks to ensure the development of students. For instance, it is needed to take into account that K-1st grade students do not possess the skills to compute certain concepts. Therefore, the needed skills to acquire will be number identification (between 1 and 100) or quantity discrimination, e.g., identifying the bigger number from two (Newkirk-Turner & Johnson, 2018). Another important skill to acquire in this stage will be the identification of a number within a sequence (not larger than 4) (Newkirk-Turner & Johnson, 2018). Quantity array or the identification of the number of something in the box is also crucial to obtain during this grade level. All these tasks are performed individually and no longer than one minute, being evaluated by the total numbers correctly identified.

Grades 1-6, another considered stage, can use more sophisticated probes and applications that are appropriate for the school setting. Being adapted to the curriculum, the main concept to be obtained during this level is computation. Through single or multi-skills tasks, employing skills acquired in the previous stages, the students attempt to compute them individually or in groups (Newkirk-Turner & Johnson, 2018). Grades 6-10 are expected to go beyond single computations and employ different variables in the multi-skill tasks. This can include graph interpretation, measures, or timetables (Newkirk-Turner & Johnson, 2018). The concept application is conducted in groups or individually as well, with different time available (the higher the Grade – the lesser the time).


McMaster, K. L., Lembke, E. S., Shin, J., Poch, A. L., Smith, R. A., Jung, P. G. & Wagner, K. (2020). Supporting teachers’ use of data-based instruction to improve students’ early writing skills. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(1), 1.

Missall, K. N., Hosp, M. K., & Hosp, J. L. (2019). Reading Proficiency in Elementary: Considering statewide testing, teacher ratings and rankings, and reading curriculum-based measurement. School Psychology Review, 48(3), 267-275.

Newkirk-Turner, B. I., & Johnson, V. E. (2018). Curriculum-based language assessment with culturally and linguistically diverse students in the context of mathematics. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(2), 189-196.

Tzivinikou, S., Tsolis, A., Kagkara, D., & Theodosiou, S. (2020). Curriculum-Based Measurement Maze: A Review. Psychology, 11(10), 1592.

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ChalkyPapers. "The Curriculum-Based Measurement Approach." April 13, 2023.