easyCBM Reading is a universal screening and progress monitoring assessment system for kindergarten to 6th grade. Online and tablet-based administration streamlines student assessment.
What is easyCBM Reading?
easyCBM Reading is a set of measures for assessing early literacy skills from kindergarten to sixth grade. Some of the measures are group administered and some are individually administered. Testing can be administered entirly online.
The easyCBM Reading measures are designed to integrate with a Response to Intervention (RTI) model and provide critical data to your instructional decision making process. Developed by researchers at the University of Oregon, these assessments measure skills in the Common Core State Standards and the Big Ideas in Beginning Reading. easyCBM Reading is comprised of eight curriculum-based measures (CBMs) that assess multiple literacy skills at each grade level with standardized administration and scoring.
Better data, better outcomes
The easyCBM Reading assessments were developed and refined as part of several federally funded research grants targeting the improvement of progress monitoring resources and the RTI process. This more recent work builds on previous research by Deno and colleagues through the Institute for Research and Learning Disabilities at the University of Minnesota in the 1970s-80s (e.g., Deno and Mirkin, 1977; Deno, 1985; Deno and Fuchs, 1987; Shinn, 1989). Like the original CBM, easyCBM Reading was developed to be economical and efficient indicators of a student's progress toward achieving a general outcome. easyCBM Reading provides reliable and valid data to improve instruction, decision making and student outcomes.
General Outcome Measures (GOMs) like easyCBM Reading differ in meaningful and important ways from other commonly used formative assessment approaches. The most common formative assessment approach is assessment of a child's progress in the curriculum, often called mastery measurement. End-of-unit tests are one example of mastery measurement. Teachers teach skills and then test for mastery of the skills just taught. They then teach the next set of skills in the sequence and assess mastery of those skills. Both the type and difficulty of the skills assessed change from test to test; therefore scores from different times in the school year cannot be compared. Mastery-based formative assessment such as end-of-unit tests addresses the question, "has the student learned the content taught?" In contrast, GOMs are designed to answer the question, "is the student learning and making progress toward the long-term goal?"
In much the same way as an individual's temperature or blood pressure can be used to indicate the effectiveness of a medical intervention, GOMs in the area of education can be used to indicate the effectiveness of our teaching. However, the powerful predictive validity of the measures does not mean that their content should become the sole components of our instruction. In other words, unlike mastery based assessment in which it is appropriate to teach the exact skills tested, each easyCBM Reading indicator represents a broader sequence of skills to be taught. easyCBM Reading measures are designed to be brief to help you maximize instructional time.
The easyCBM Reading assessment measure skills in the Common Core State Standards and the Big Ideas in Beginning Reading.
easyCBM Reading is comprised of eight curriculum-based measures (CBMs) that assess multiple literacy skills at each grade level with standardized administration and scoring.
The vocabulary, CCSS Reading and MCRC assessments are group administered on our secure website. These measures are untimed and take 10-15 minutes for Vocabulary and 20 to 30 minutes each for CCSS Reading and MCRC. The other measures including Letter Names, Letter Sounds, Phoneme Segmentation, Word Reading Fluency and Passage Reading Fluency are administered individually using grade-level booklets for each student and a set of display materials. Individually administered measures are delivered via the HiFi Reading app or paper/pencil and are quick and easy to score. Individual administration time varies but typically takes approximately 5-10 minutes per student. Student scores are used to determine how each student is doing in relation to national percentiles.
Benchmark testing is the systematic process of screening all students on essential skills predictive of later literacy performance. Benchmark testing is one part of a comprehensive assessment system that includes universal screening, progress monitoring, summative assessments and other formal and informal assessments all designed to get the critical information needed to make informed instructional decisions. It is a foundational link between assessment, instruction and goal setting.
The easyCBM Reading assessments have been researched and validated specifically for benchmark screening and progress monitoring in kindergarten through 6th grade. We recommend screening all students three times per year with grade-level materials. Research indicates that early identification and early intervention are essential for helping students who are at risk for future difficulties, or are currently having difficulties. Screening all students, including those who met earlier goals, also provides a complete data set that is needed to determine if reading instruction is effective with all students at the school or district level. Benchmark data can help answer the following types of questions:
- Is our reading program effective with all students at all grade levels?
- Are there exemplar schools (or classes) in our district on which we can model successful reading instruction?
- What are the strengths of our reading program?
- What areas of our reading program need improvement?
- Did we meet our literacy goals this year?
- Which students may need additional support?
- Is Jonny on-track for meeting reading goals?
Progress monitoring is a key component of providing differentiated and individualized reading instruction. Student performance and development of literacy skills should be monitored frequently for all students who are at risk of reading difficulty. The data gathered during progress monitoring can be used in the instructional decision making process.
Benchmark testing with easyCBM Reading can help determine which students are at risk for later reading difficulties. Students who receive supplemental instructional support should be progress monitored. The assessment used to monitor progress should align with the instructional priorities of the supplemental reading instruction. For example, if a student’s area of weakness is identified as fluency with connected text then monitoring with Passage Reading Fluency (PRF) is the best option since PRF measures reading fluency. See our Big Ideas in Beginning Reading pages for information on targeting instruction and the relationship between assessment and instruction. Progress monitoring materials consist of alternate forms of the Benchmark assessments.
The progress monitoring probes are all approximately at the same difficulty level within each grade. For example, PRF passage 1 in grade 1 is approximately the same reading level as PRF passage 20 in grade 1. The probes should be given in order since they are arranged in a specific way to account for small differences in difficulty. Progress monitoring probes should not be used for practice or as instructional materials.
Appropriate level of materials
Typically, the level of assessment used for monitoring should match the student’s instructional level. Progress monitoring can be done with grade-level or out-of-grade-level materials. Testing with the appropriate level of materials will provide the best feedback for planning instruction.
If the student’s benchmark score is in the Strategic Level of Support then grade-level materials are most likely the appropriate level at which to progress monitor. If the student’s benchmark score is in the Intensive Level of Support, you may want to administer a measure or PRF passage from one grade-level below. You can continue administering passages and moving down grade levels until you find a level that will allow you to measure growth.
Frequency and duration
For a student identified as needing Core instruction (i.e., at benchmark/low risk), we recommend screening during the three benchmark periods. For a student identified as Strategic (below benchmark/some risk) who receives additional instructional support, we recommend progress monitoring 1 to 2 times per month on the measure(s) assessing the skill(s) targeted in the intervention. For a student identified as Intensive (well below benchmark/at risk) who begins receiving additional, intensive instructional support, we recommend progress monitoring 2 to 4 times per month on the measure(s) assessing the skill(s) targeted in the intervention.
The duration that each student is progress monitored may vary. When using the DIBELS Data System several reports help track student progress. If a student score is above the aimline but hasn't yet reached the end-of-year target goal, you may want to continue monitoring if the student is receiving additional instructional support. However, if a student's score is consistently above the aimline (e.g., three times or more), you may review whether the student needs to continue to receive additional instructional support as well as progress monitoring.
The UO DIBELS Data System provides full data management support for easyCBM Reading.
easyCBM Reading includes benchmark testing and progress monitoring 3 times per year for kindergarten through sixth grade. The measures are consistent with many of the Common Core State Standards in Reading. Combined, the measures form an assessment system of early literacy development that allows educators to readily and reliably determine student progress.
Computer based administration
Save time with easyCBM Reading computer-based assessments. The vocabulary measure and two reading comprehension measures are group administered on our secure website. HiFi Reading facilitates the administration of the individually administered measures. Scoring is completed automatically and reports are available immediately after assessment.
District, school and project reports provide immediate feedback for decision making. Class and student reports help identify students who need additional support and monitor response to intervention. Create reports and analyze data immediately after assessments are completed or scores are entered, to provide immediate feedback and allow for timely decision making. View all reports
Browse the online assessments and complete them as a student would.
Administration & Scoring Training Slides
UO DIBELS Data System accounts include access to download free training slides on the administration and scoring of easyCBM Reading measures.
Our research to your classroom
Building upon decades of research on curriculum based measurement, the easyCBM Reading project began in 2006 and continues today. easyCBM Reading measures align with the Big Ideas in Beginning Reading and the Common Core State Standards. Developed by a team of reading experts at the University of Oregon and experienced classroom teachers, the measures have high reliability and validity. The latest addition to the easyCBM Reading suite, CCSS Reading, is a comprehension measure that was piloted in schools and analyzed with Item Response Theory (IRT) to increase the accuracy of the measure while at the same time increasing the internal consistency of probes administered across the entire school year. (See our library of technical reports)