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Special Education Progress Monitoring

Want to know how a student is making progress in special education?

11 Tips to Increase Special EducationProgress Monitoring Success

What is progress monitoring

Progress monitoring for special education is a process through which teachers track the progress of students with disabilities in order to determine whether they are making adequate progress

What is good data and what is not

Good data is information that is accurate, timely, and relevant. It can be used to make informed decisions about a variety of topics

Progress monitoring is not assessment

Progress monitoring is a process of measuring a student's progress over time in order to make decisions about changes to instruction. Assessment, on the other hand, is a one-time measure of student performance.

What is
Another name
How often
Common goals
Using data
Improving instruction

What is progress monitoring?

Progress monitoring is a process of regularly checking how well students are progressing towards specific goals. This information can help teachers determine what interventions or accommodations are needed to help students reach their goals.

What is another name for progress monitoring?

Progress monitoring is also sometimes called student tracking or goal tracking. There are two types of progress monitoring: formative and summative. Formative progress monitoring is ongoing and informal, while summative progress monitoring is more structured and usually happens at the end of a unit or grading period. Additionally, curriculum-based measures (CBM) is used as another name for progress monitoring


What are examples of progress monitoring?

There are many types of progress monitoring tools and techniques. Here are a few examples:

  • Checklists or surveys to track student's functional abilities

  • Oral reading tests to measure decoding skills

  • Anecdotal records to track changes in behavior or engagement

  • Assessments to track academic skills such as reading, math, or writing

  • Frequency counts to track the number of times a behavior occurs

  • Running records to track reading accuracy and fluency

  • Time-sampling to track on-task behavior


How often should progress monitoring data be collected?

The frequency of progress monitoring data collection will depend on the student's needs. For some students, data may need to be collected daily, while others may only need data collected every few weeks. In fact, some progress monitoring data may only need to be collected once or twice a year. It is important to collect data at the right frequency so that interventions can be implemented quickly if needed. For special education IEP goals progress monitoring, more formal and systematic collection should happen at least three times a year, with each data point spaced about four to six weeks apart.


What are some common progress-monitoring goals?

Progress monitoring can be used to assess any goal, but there are a few common goals that are often targeted in special education. These include:

  • Reading skills

  • Math skills

  • Spelling skills

  • Writing skills

  • Conversational language skills

  • Fine motor skills

  • Gross motor skills

  • Self-help skills


How can progress monitoring data be used to improve instruction?

Once progress monitoring data has been collected, it can be used to improve instruction. For example, if a student is not making the expected progress on a goal, then the teacher can adjust the instruction to help the student meet the goal. Additionally, progress monitoring data can be used to assess the effectiveness of interventions or accommodations. If the data shows that an intervention is not working, then the teacher can make adjustments to find a more successful intervention.


How can I use progress monitoring data?

Progress monitoring data can be used in a variety of ways, including:

To inform instruction: Progress data can help you adjust your teaching methods to better meet the needs of your students.


To identify students who need additional support: By tracking progress over time, you can identify students who may need additional interventions or accommodations.

To monitor student progress: Progress data can help you determine if students are making the expected amount of progress, or if they need more support to reach their goals.

Progress monitoring is an essential part of special education. Therefore, it is important to find ways to make progress monitoring more successful. Here are 11 tips to increase special education progress monitoring success!


1. Use a variety of progress monitoring tools.

There are many different types of progress monitoring tools available. It is important to use a variety to get a well-rounded view of student progress.


2. Set clear goals and objectives.

Before you start progress monitoring, be sure to set clear goals and objectives. This will help you focus your efforts and track progress more effectively.


3. Choose appropriate data collection methods.

There are many ways to collect progress monitoring data. Choose the methods that will work best for your students and goals.


4. Collect data regularly.

It is important to collect data frequently in order to track student progress accurately. Try to collect data at least once a week.


5. Use multiple measures.

When tracking progress, be sure to use multiple measures. This will give you a more accurate view of student progress.


6. Analyze data carefully.

Don't just glance at your data and move on. Take the time to analyze it carefully to see what trends or patterns emerge. This can help you determine which interventions are most effective.


7. Adjust interventions as needed.

If a student isn't making the expected amount of progress, don't be afraid to adjust the interventions you're using. This will help ensure that students are getting the support they need to reach their goals.


8. Communicate with families.

Keep families updated on their child's progress. This can help them understand what their child is working on and how they can support them at home.


9. Use data to inform instruction.

Progress monitoring data can be a valuable instructional tool. Use it to adjust your teaching methods as needed to better meet the needs of your students.


10. Be patient.

Progress doesn't always happen overnight. Be patient and consistent with your efforts, and you will see results over time.


11. Seek professional development opportunities.

If you want to learn more about progress monitoring, seek out professional development opportunities. There are many great resources available to help you improve your progress monitoring skills.

Progress monitoring is an essential part of special education. By using these tips, you can increase the success of your progress monitoring efforts and better meet the needs of your students.


What is the difference between progress monitoring and formative assessment?

Formative assessment is a type of assessment that is used to provide feedback to students and teachers during the instructional process. Progress monitoring, on the other hand, is the data collected from students progress over time as they work to master a goal or skill. Both progress monitoring and formative assessment can be used to inform instruction and improve student achievement. However, they are not the same thing.




“Student Progress Monitoring: What This Means for Your Child.” Reading Rockets, 7 Nov. 2013, 


“What Is Progress Monitoring?” Illuminate Education, 24 Feb. 2021, 

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