Reading Probes for Curriculum Based Measurements


Research indicates that ongoing monitoring and feedback improves student achievement. Curriculum Based Assessments/ Measurements (CBA/M) can facilitate this type of research-based instructional strategy, as it applies to the accuracy and speed of students' probes in reading, writing, and math. Consequently, teachers, teacher aides, administrators and PRC/504 teams can all utilize CBA/Ms to assess students' current functioning in these subjects and develop, implement, and monitor interventions, which address corresponding academic difficulties. Reading problems are a major impediment to teaching and learning and there is a solid research-base on effective strategies to address these problems. Consequently, we focus on these probes for reading fluency.


Readability Levels and Digitized Texts and CBA/CBM -

The increasing development of digitized texts will assist in addressing the diverse needs of our students. Many Newark's textbooks can be accessed digitally by teachers and PRC/504 teams for the CBAs. For example, for language arts literacy in the 6th to 8th grades, the text books are available digitally for Newark's students and teachers on the web ( However, the various reading selections students are presented with have a wide range of readability levels. For example, Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Ugly Duckling” total story has a Flesch-Kincaid readability level of 4.2 and 3,768 words. The story’s range goes from a 2.2 grade equivalence to 7.0 grade equivalence, which must be considered in reading selections. It also suggests that many reading probes of varying degrees of readability can be chosen from one reading selection.


Once texts are available in a digitized format, most computers’ word processors can assist in developing these CBA probes. For example, Microsoft Word has the ability to count the number of words in a reading selection (word count in the tools), as well as the readability of the text (i.e. Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and the Flesch Reading Ease) by using the "Spelling and Grammar" tool. Therefore, these tools can facilitate the selection of text with an appropriate readability level, as well as counting the number of words read during the selected time period. To utilize this tool:


a. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab.

b. Select the Check grammar with spelling check box.

c. Select the Show readability statistics check box, and then click OK.

d. When Microsoft Word finishes checking spelling and grammar, it displays information about the reading level of the document.


Selecting Reading Probes –

For the purpose of illustration, we have utilized these texts and classic, non copyrighted texts to create an array of reading probes, utilizing the same font sizes as the corresponding texts. These reading probes, as well as the corresponding assessor's copy, can be accessed through the hyperlinked reading probe table of contents.

Analysis of Reading Probes and Subsequent Interventions

1. Assessor's Form for reading fluency and accuracy - This hyperlinked form, developed by the Newark Teachers Union (NTU) and the Newark Public Schools, can provide significant guidance in identifying an assessed student's strengths and weaknesses, as well as subsequent interventions.

2. The National Reading Panel identified research-based strategies, which are effective in increasing a student's oral reading fluency and accuracy. Consequently, based on assessed weaknesses, lesson plans, PRC/504 RFAs and interventions, and parent involvement may utilize the following hyperlinked strategies:

3. In addition to the above interventions, ongoing feedback can facilitate intervention implementation and effective. The hyperlinked reading feedback form can be utilized and/or modified in this endeavor.