The Basic Math assessments are based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Focal Point Standards in Mathematics and include three test types per grade (aligned with the NCTM Curriculum Focal Points for each grade level). The progress monitoring focal points that are being assessed have 16 items, and there are 10 probes for each of the 3 focal points for a total of 30 progress monitoring tests available within one grade level. The Basic Math screening measures have 45 items being tested for each season.
The Basic Math assessments in easyCBM® were developed to assess students’ mastery of the knowledge and skills outlined in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Focal Point Standards. They were designed to focus more on students’ conceptual understanding than basic computational skills.
Like all measures on easyCBM®, alternate forms of each math test were designed to be of equivalent difficulty. Teachers can progress monitor students every month throughout the year, and compare progress to subsequent screening assessments.
During the screening window, when a student takes the Basic Math assessment, the three focal point standards from their grade level are being assessed. In between the benchmark testing windows, teachers can select a single focal point standard to use for monitoring progress, or they can draw from across the different focal points at that grade level. The math tests from a given focal point should be used no more than once every 3 weeks for monitoring progress.
If teachers want to monitor progress weekly, they need to cycle through the different focal points so each one is administered every 3 weeks. Items on the math progress monitoring tests increase in difficulty from Item 1 through Item 16, with one exception. On every test, Item #5 is actually the most difficult item (based on our pilot studies of the items). Item #16 is actually the fifth-easiest item. We made the Item 5/Item 16 substitution on each form to provide teachers with additional information. If students get Items 6, 7, and 8 correct but miss Item 16, it is likely that they simply stopped trying by the end of the test, because the last item should be easier than the previous items.
The math items that have words in the question itself come with a ‘read aloud’ option. Students can click on a speaker icon and have the math item read aloud to them. For this reason, it is important that students have headphones available when testing.