What is CBMSkills?

If you have a Deluxe easyCBM account, there is a free program in the easyCBM family called CBMSkills. This program enables students to practice and master standards-aligned math skills so teachers can individualize instruction. Modules progress through major math skills that help students prepare for easyCBM's benchmarks and progress-monitoring measures.

It is designed to give K-5 teachers a variety of discrete-skill online practice "worksheets" for use with their students. You should be able to select the specific skills you're focusing on, instructionally, on the CBMSkills site. Unfortunately, there's not a simple way to add the students to CBMSkills from your easyCBM account, but hopefuly it will not be too difficult a lift.

CBMSkills (Beta version) is a new tool available free of charge to educators with easyCBM accounts that offers an infinite number of skill-based math measures aligned to mathematics standards. The CBMSills measures are a great way to have your students practice their essential math knowledge. Currently available for K-3 math standards; grade 4-5 coming soon! CBMSkills is designed for use on a computer screen and may not work correctly on small devices, such as cell phones.

CBMSkills provides nine modules per grade (K-5). Each module has 100 alternate items that test a specific skill. Gamification and badges create a fun environment for learning while also providing students with immediate feedback. If you teach math in Kindergarten through Grade 5, please check it out and register for a free account at CBMSkills

CBMskills

  • Roster your students into CBMskills using a downloaded csv of all studentsin your easyCBM account (you can do this on the Reports page/Groups tab) or use your Google Classroom account.
  • Form a group of students to take either a grade level set of modules or a combination (subset) of modules from within or across various grade levels.
  • Have students enroll by entering your designated class code, selecting their name, and taking the modules you’ve assigned to them by completing all the items (in sets of 10) for the modules.

* The system uses badges to award proficiency: 70% is Bronze, 80% is Silver, and 90% is Gold. A motivational system is added so that, if a student is within one item of attaining a specific badge, they are administered one more item (making it 11 not 10 items to denote proficiency).

or login to your account and click on the Admin link and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Both easyCBM and CBMskills can be used in conjunction with each other in the following manner.

easyCBM

  • Administer the easyCBM benchmark (BM) screening measures in fall, winter, or spring to determine students’ relative standing (percentile rank – PR). If a student is performing in a low PR (e.g., < 20th PR), consider the student at risk and in need of special interventions (smaller groups, direct instruction, different feedback, etc.).
  • View the “Christmas Tree” Item Analysis plot in the BMs in which items are listed from the easiest to the most difficult, noting the students who missed each item. The display is an inverted V that looks like a Christmas tree: hence, the name. Typically, only a few students miss easy problems, but many students miss difficult problems.
  • Administer easyCBM progress monitoring (PM) measures to determine if the student is progressing (showing a positive slope) and analyze the problem types where the student is making mistakes.

CBMskills

  • Roster your students into CBMskills using a downloaded csv of all studentsin your easyCBM account (you can do this on the Reports page/Groups tab) or use your Google Classroom account.
  • Form a group of students to take either a grade level set of modules or a combination (subset) of modules from within or across various grade levels.
  • Have students enroll by entering your designated class code, selecting their name, and taking the modules you’ve assigned to them by completing all the items (in sets of 10) for the modules.

Administer another PM measure from easyCBM to monitor individual improvement on the more general outcome basic or proficient math measure once a student reaches proficiency* (at the desired level). To ensure students are indeed improving in their relative standing as compared to grade-level peers, evaluate their performance on the next season’s BM.

* The system uses badges to award proficiency: 70% is Bronze, 80% is Silver, and 90% is Gold. A motivational system is added so that, if a student is within one item of attaining a specific badge, they are administered one more item (making it 11 not 10 items to denote proficiency).

We hope you will try CBMskills and see how it supports all level of learners in your class. Sign up at CBMskills.com or click on the link from your easyCBM admin page.

The new CBM Skills system (to which an easyCBM Deluxe subscription gains you free access) are limited to grades K-3 currently, with grades 4-5 being added in the next few months (we're in the process of finishing up the behind-the-scenes algorithm that makes it possible for the computer to auto-generate an endless number of alternate forms). If you are asking about the CBM Skills measures, specifically, those will only go up to Grade 5 because the standards once you move into the middle school grades are such that we haven't yet been able to come up with a viable way to program the computer to create endless alternate forms.

The CBM Skills measures will be most appropriate for use as "online practice worksheets" to help students build mastery of key math concepts and operations. They are available for most (but not all) of the Common Core State Standards in mathematics -- the standards we were able to program into the computer, for automatic form generation. With their focus on building student mastery of fairly narrowly-defined standards, they might well be appropriate for use with middle school students who are still struggling with elementary school math standards.

We will be adding literacy measures to the CBMSkills system in the year or two, but they won't be there in time to use next school year, I'm afraid (it generally takes about 18 months to develop each new measure (because measurement development includes conducting and writing up a variety of reliability and validity studies in addition to creating the measures themselves). Once the nonsense word fluency measures are added, they will be available for multiple grades (I anticipate K-2)

The two systems (easyCBM and CBMSkills) are complementary, but distinct, systems. Both will continue to be available. For assistance with your account,  please contact: support@cbmskills.com

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