10 Quick Progress Monitoring Ideas for Primary Students


Back-to-school time means it is time to find assessment and progress monitoring ideas.  Summer has flown by, and now you will have a new class of smiling (hopefully) faces looking to you for some teaching. Like any new year, you will have your beginning of the year assessments to complete. But, the school B.O.Y. assessments don’t always tell you every child’s immediate needs. And lesson plans are coming due! I have put together some quick progress monitoring ideas you can use with your students to get this year off to a great start.

1. Using Fluency and Comprehension Passages as Quick Progress Monitoring Ideas

There is always a grade-level passage for my students to read with my school assessments. A considerable problem occurs, though, as I always have children who can’t read at grade level OR who read above grade level. I need more than just one passage to measure my students. Let me tell you some ways that I use the Fluency and Comprehension Passages from ETTC as a progress monitoring idea:

1. Informal Assessments

I like to add a few passages at various levels into each student’s binder. Your students can do a cold-timed read for your informal progress monitoring assessments. Then they can continue their fluency practice on the subsequent two reads and answer the comprehension questions. Working in small groups, students answer the questions together but also go back and highlight where in the text they found the answer! Pictured below is an example of our Leveled Reading Passages with Comprehension Questions A-N:

2. Self-Monitoring

Toss a passage in your fluency center with a recording graph and a sand timer, and your students can be in charge of monitoring their fluency progress. Or have your students’ partners read and help each other track their progress. Once they’ve recorded the number of words read and their errors, they can complete the comprehension questions or take those to the next center rotation. With ten different passages per month, you have plenty to keep on hand.

2. Using Fall Color by Number as Quick Progress Monitoring Ideas

Method #1: I would use our Color by Number as a formative beginning of the year assessment. This method will require effort by you, the teacher. Grab a clipboard and a spreadsheet with the activities/skills you are using with the Color by Number. Now, WALK AROUND and observe the students while completing the activity. Ask the students what they are working on, have them show you their work, or read a part of the activity. Ask each student a different problem (there’s PLENTY on each page, I promise). Use this formative progress monitoring assessment to form small groups or pull for one-on-one practice.

Method #2:  each student can complete the entire page independently at their desk or a center. Afterward, you collect the pages. With one quick glance, you can determine if the page was colored correctly and then determine errors and additional practice needs! Change the pages easily and print to use this resource for progress monitoring.

3. Editable Color by Code:  another Quick Progress Monitoring Idea

With this resource, you will have unlimited skill practice options to use all year AND as the beginning of the year assessments and for progress monitoring! So many, we cannot wait to hear how teachers use this new resource. We provide the picture and the code with specific, clear directions on how YOU can do either math, social studies, science, E.L.A., S.E.L., etc., with these pages. Type. Print. Go. I am excited to see how many ways I can use these pages this year!

4. Kindergarten Data Tracking Printables

In our Kindergarten Data Tracking Bundle, we have included a cookie theme data tracker where you can grab a baseline for your incoming kindergarten students and progress monitor throughout the year. Each student will have their data book, which teachers can modify throughout the year to show progress.

I love this Possible Goals page and have all of my students complete this one at the beginning of the year:

5. Recognize, Name, and Write Upper and Lowercase Alphabet. Kids can show you what letters they can recognize, name, and write with these adorable cookie pages. I put a couple of sheets of each skill in each binder so I can have them self-monitor their progress. The students love taking an active part in their learning!

6. Recognizing, Naming, and Writing Numbers much the same as the Alphabet pages; students can color in the cookies for the numbers they know now. Throughout the year, have students re-test to see their progress!

7. Premium Membership

With our premium membership, you can search for any resource! Do you wish to check fluency? Got it! How about sight words or CVC words? Yep, we have all of it! Looking for some math sheets to see how well your students perform? You guessed it! We have those too! You should join us today to access 10,000+ on-demand resources from the world’s most trusted educators! Need help finding something? We got you there too!

8. Self Portrait as a Beginning of the Year Assessment

This is my favorite quick back-to-school assessment for K-2! Hand out paper and have students grab their pencils or crayons.  Don’t be surprised at the number of stick people looking back at you from their papers. I periodically photograph each student’s work samples to use drawings as a progress monitoring tool.

9. Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Sheets

I know many of you are huge Heggerty fans and use Heggerty Phonemic Awareness books to supplement your instruction. Did you know that Heggerty has student assessments at each level?

  • includes segmenting, deleting sounds, substituting sounds, rhyming, beginning sounds, medial sounds, and ending sounds
  • These student assessments can be used to progress monitor phonological and phonemic awareness skills, and the results can be used to plan your instruction.
  • Assess at the beginning of the year with the whole assessment. Then use your results to focus on skills you would like to progress monitor. You can easily do this by taking data from the daily lessons!

10. C.O.R.E. Binder

The C.O.R.E Binder is the ULTIMATE resource that covers daily activities from classroom routines, math, and ELA.  These Classroom Organizers and Resources for Education also include social and emotional tools because we know teaching isn’t all 123s and ABCs. But, my favorite part of the C.O.R.E. Binder has to be the multiple ways it can be used–like for your beginning of the year assessments and ongoing progress monitoring! I have picked just 3 pages to show you now, but there are countless ways to use multiple pages within this resource for progress monitoring ideas!

Math for K/1

Can your students trace, copy, write, and show numbers?

Math for K/2

Can students write the numbers to 100 with a model, without a model (we also have a 120s chart!)?

ELA for K/1

How many -at words can your students write?

Hopefully, you are now set with some quick progress monitoring ideas for this school year! If you want all of these resources and don’t want to pick just one, I strongly recommend our Premium Membership!

For one low monthly price, or only a $99.00 annual price, you will have first access to everything ETTC. You will be able to immediately download over 10,000 high-quality teaching printables to get your planning done faster and have more time for all the other things teachers do weekly!

And if you want some great ideas from teachers around the world, join our Fearless First Grade Teachers Facebook Group, our Fearless Kindergarten Teachers Group, or Fearless Second Grade Teachers!

Written by Suzanne Kelley

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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.