Z—How do I give the two-minute progress monitoring tests?

How do I give the two-minute progress monitoring tests?

Before you begin, have students look on their Individual Student Graphs and see what their previous best was. Have them write that down as their goal — to meet or beat their previous best. The first day their goal is to do some!

Students should be reminded repeatedly that their goal is simply to improve. You may tell students, “Everyone starts out in different places and we do not want you to compare yourself to anyone else. Just work to get better yourself. Your goal is to meet or beat your previous highest score.” It is good to be overt about this. It might look something like this:

Teacher: “Students, open to your graph for two-minute timings. Put your finger on the number of facts that you answered correctly last week. Your job today is to try to beat that goal. Even if you only get one more correct this week than you got last week, you will have improved. Everybody, if you get one more than you got last week, will you have done a good job?”
Students “Yes!”
Rinse and repeat. (You may have to do this every week. It is important to keep students motivated on these two-minute timings.) Remind them that they are being tested on some facts that they haven’t even practiced yet, so this is hard and if they beat last week’s score, it is a big, huge, monstrous deal!


Whenever any student beats their previous high score recognize them in some manner and make sure they graph their results.

You can have all students do the same number timing, e.g., Timing 3. This will facilitate correcting their timings as well as refilling their folders. Do not provide a practice time, simply have students get ready by putting their pencils in the air and begin. You time while students write.

Please note: Students who must answer orally can be paired. One student checks by looking at the answers while the other says the answers. The students then switch roles, while you conduct a second timing for the oral
students, the others are correcting.

At the end of the timing have students exchange papers to correct the timings. If you have students in different operations you will have to copy off the answer keys so that students can correct each other’s timings using their copy of the answer key. If everyone is on the same operation, then you can have them exchange papers and correct after the timing. (A great way to correct is to have the students read all the problems and say the correct answer together. That will give extra practice! Don’t try this if you were at an especially good party the night before or if you have a headache for another reason. Trust us.)

When students have finished correcting, they should enter the date and record their score (the number of problems they answered correctly) on their Individual Student Graph. Then they get to color in the bar up to the level they have achieved. This coloring activity is their reward—don’t skimp on it. This graph should have been stapled on the front side of each student’s folder back when folders were constructed. Steady yourself. Here comes another reminder to recognize the students who beat their previous best! Make sure that this is a big deal for students and worth striving for.

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