Task list that represents a paper process that teachers used to follow to plan standards-based goals for students
Written by Laurie McDanel on March 12, 2023

Cognitive-based Instruction

How to look at your progress monitoring scores differently

“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.”

– Carly Fiorina

With so many data sources in schools currently, the question is how can you turn data into insight to help teachers in supporting students?  Two students may receive the same progress monitoring score. Does the same score equal the same problem? Whereas, one student may have that score due to difficulty remembering; however, the other student may have difficulty understanding. In fact, the same score tells two different stories. If you look at the image below, you can start to understand how a student thinks and learns.

Collaboration can occur during any of your MTSS or IEP meetings. During these meetings, it is important to spend time looking at authentic student work and notes about how the student is responding to instruction. Teacher notes are an important data source. They document where in the learning process a student struggles. To be productive, it’s essential that all team members collaborate effectively and communicate openly. This may involve active listening, asking clarifying questions, and offering suggestions or feedback.

In conclusion, everyone should have the opportunity to share their expertise and insights. Indeed, teams can help identify effective instruction to meet each student’s unique needs when they understand why a student is having difficulty. The example below illustrates the importance of taking time to understand “the why.”  Two students may have the same progress monitoring score for two very different reasons.


If your team needs more support identifying the why.  Please see the checklist below.

In summary, progress monitoring is an essential practice in education that involves collecting data to evaluate student progress toward academic and behavioral goals. Progress monitoring can help teachers to identify why students are struggling and to adjust their instruction to better meet student needs. Without a doubt, this can help to prevent students from falling further behind and to support them in achieving academic and behavioral success.

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