Monday, August 25, 2014


Data, data, and just when you think you are need some more data. Does this sound familiar? It does in my world. Not only do I collect data on all of my kiddos, but I am not the Facilitator of RtI (Response to Intervention) at my school. Math and reading data seem to be pretty easy to collect. However, writing data is a whole new issue. We don't really have a writing curriculum, it's more of a hodgepodge of different programs (Four Square, Step-Up, and Writer's Workshop). One thing that we have struggled with is finding enough data points for writing. Our district found a writing "assessment" that can be used as not only an assessment, but as a progress monitoring tool also.

It is called Curriculum Based Measurement or CBM for Written-Expression Fluency. It takes some getting used to, especially the grading part, but once you get the hang of it, it is so nice to see how your kiddos are doing with writing. We were advised to do ours 3-5 times a week. I like to do mine four days a week. This is how it works.

It consists of a prompt given to your students.You give your kiddos one minute to think about the prompt. I like to read the prompt over and over during that minute. During this time, they should be creating the story in their head.

After the minute is up, they then have three minutes to write as much as possible. There is a great website that gives you all of the instructions needed plus an idea as to where the norm should be for your grade. Click Here to see that site.

Here are examples of some CBM's done by my students.

Another great thing about the CBM writings is the show of growth from beginning of the year to the end of the year. Believe it or not, even your students who aren't a huge fan of writing will show growth.

One of the most difficult things is finding prompts for your kiddos. I decided to help with that. Click here to get my CBM 3 Minute Writing Prompts Pack.

Like I said, it takes some getting used to. However, once you start going on these, you will have a ton of data for writing. Don't forget to check out my pack in my store to help you get started with some easy prompts. I even added an editable template for you to create your own prompts. Enjoy!


  1. Hello - Will you blog at some point about what you do with this information? How does the data you get from this shape your instruction?

  2. You bet! I will put that part up tonight along with how to grade it. :)