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Drive Student Growth in the Classroom With Fastbridge Assessments and Tools

August 14th, 2017

Written By: Rachel Brown Ph.D., NCSP and Jesse Kember Ph. D.

FastBridge Learning offers two assessment tools designed to help teachers select and use the most appropriate reading and math screening assessments for their individual students within a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework. 

With the goal of increasing efficiency, FASTreading and FASTmathare menu options that display grade-appropriate screening assessments for students. 

As FastBridge Learning continues to grow its suite of available assessments in reading and math, we want to make it as easy as possible to identify which assessments are appropriate for your students.

Table of Contents

  • Fastbridge Assessments
  • Fastbridge Assessments: From Screening to Intervention
  • New Updates and Features for Fastbridge FASTtrack Assessment

Fastbridge Assessments

Currently, FastBridge Learning offers five assessments of reading… 

  • earlyReading
  • CBMreading 
  • CBMcomp
  • aReading; and 
  • AUTOreading), 

… and three assessments of mathematics … 

  • earlyMath
  • CBMmath; and
  • aMath.

Located in the website’s screening section, FASTreading and FASTmath were specifically designed to be used in conjunction with the Screening to Intervention™ (s2i) reports for reading and math because they allow teachers to examine each student’s individual learning.

FastBridge Learning offers assessments for reading, mathematics and behavior, including computer-adaptive and curriculum-based measures. 

Too many assessments and too much data can be overwhelming and difficult to interpret. 

That’s why we introduced FASTtrack Reading and the Screening to Intervention Report (S2i) for Reading last summer.

And this year, we’re adding the same one-click approach to math assessment with FASTtrack Math and an all-new math S2i report. Together, it’ll be easier to identify and address both reading and math skills.

Fastbridge FASTtrack Reading

FASTreading is a single point of access that provides grade-specific guidance for the right combination of reading measures to guide instruction.

It emphasizes both basic skills and broad higher-level skills. It places emphasis on individually administered assessments in the early primary grades, but graduates to a computer-administered and scored measures in the later grades (AUTOreading, aReading) for improved efficiency.

Providing grade-specific guidance, FASTreading emphasizes individually administered assessments in the early primary grades, and graduates to computer-administered and scored measures in the later grades (e.g., aReading, AUTOreading) for improved efficiency.

This approach recommends the use of different measures for those individual students at risk. FASTreading addresses basic skills (i.e., accuracy and automaticity/fluency), as well as broad higher-level reading skills (i.e., applied skills such as comprehension and vocabulary).

Below is a screenshot of the FASTreading screen.  By selecting FASTreading, the user will see all available reading assessments that might be useful for a class of students.

Fig. 2, FASTreading Screening Page

The above example includes measures that might be used in first grade. The FASTreading screen displays the assessments by two main categories: 

  • Computer-administered; and 
  • Teacher-administered. 

Under each of these headings are columns for each reading assessment that could be used for benchmark screening in the area of reading. 

Student names are listed in the far left column and the teacher clicks on the “FAST™ clock” icon for a specific student and assessment to begin that test. Studentscan also access the test using their own individual FAST™ usernames and passwords for the computer-based assessments.  

In the above first grade example, five computer-based and five teacher-administered screening assessments could be used. 

These measures are:

Computer-Administered Teacher-Administered
aReading earlyReading: Sight Words
AUTOreading: Picture Naming earlyReading: Word Segmenting
AUTOreading: Identification earlyReading: Nonsense Words
AUTOreading: Encoding earlyReading: Sentence Reading
AUTOreading: Vocabulary CBMreading

 

Note that not all of these assessments would be used with all students. Instead, the school or district team would decide which ones to use with all students for screening.  

Accessing FASTtrack Reading

To access Fastbridge’s FASTreading, log in to your online FAST account. 

While in teacher view, select the “Screening” tab. There will be three displays on the left-hand side of your screen: FASTreading ,FASTmath, and All Assessments. 

Select FASTreading. Below is an example of a FASTreading view for a first grade classroom teacher. Student names have been removed for privacy purposes.

As shown in the example provided above, assessments are organized by Computer-Administered (“Computer Admin”) and Teacher-Administered (“Teacher Admin”) assessments. 

Under each of these headings are columns for each reading assessment that could be used for benchmark screening in the area of reading. 

To begin the assessment, the teacher clicks on the “FastBridge clock” icon. For those assessments listed under Computer-Administered, students can access the assessment using their own individual FastBridge usernames and passwords or with a Group Proctor account. 

Although the example lists five computer-administered assessments, and five teacher-administered assessments, not all of these assessments would need to be used with all students. 

Instead, the school or district team would decide which assessments to use with all students for screening. Below is an overview of FASTreadingrecommendations by grade level.

Fastbridge FASTtrack Math 

FASTmath is the single point of access for the recommended math measures. It provides guidance and automation to screen student performance on basic facts, multi-step computation, and higher-order applied mathematics.

FASTmath items are displayed in a format very similar to FASTreading. The following example shows a list of students in fourth grade.

Similar to reading, FASTmath is the single point of access for the recommended math measures. It provides guidance and automation to screen student performance on basic facts, multi-step computation, and higher-order applied mathematics.

FASTmath items are displayed in a format very similar to FASTreading. The following example shows a list of students in fourth grade.

Fig. 2, FASTmath Screening Page

In this example, the available screening options are:

Computer-Administered Teacher-Administered
aMath CBMmath: Process
CBMmath: Automaticity

 

Notice in the example that the levels for Automaticity and Process are below fourth grade.  

This is because if a student scores low on aMath, most likely his or her overall math skills are below grade level and using a lower level additional screening to set up progress monitoring will be necessary. 

Also notice that in both the FASTreading and FASTmath examples above, there is a column labeled “s2i Need”. This refers to a new report in FAST™ called Screening to Intervention. 

This report is linked with the FASTreading and FASTmath tools and combines information from two assessments to identify a student’s current learning needs in a more automated fashion.

Below is an overview of FASTmath recommendations by grade level.

FASTreading and FASTmath were specifically designed to be used in conjunction with the Screening to Intervention™ (s2i) reports for reading and math because they allow teachers to examine each student’s individual learning.

Fastbridge Assessments: From Screening to Intervention

FASTreading and FASTmath are designed to make it easier for teachers to select and use the most appropriate FAST™ screening measures. 

After conducting screening with FASTreading and/or FASTmath, teachers can examine each student’s individual learning needs using the Screening to Intervention (s2i) reports. 

This report is found in the Reports Manager section of the FAST™ system.

Fig. 3, Screening to Intervention (s2i)

The Screening to Intervention report shows each student’s current reading (or math) skill levels and includes recommended types of interventions and progress measures. 

The report extracts information from two different reading or math assessments. In addition, it includes columns with information about each student’s general (also called broad) and specific skills. 

In the example above, reading data from a class of second-grade students has been combined from the aReading and CBMreading assessments. With the students’ scores on these reading assessments, the following information is provided in the Screening to Intervention reading report:

  • ACC (Accuracy): Reading accuracy percentage
  • AUTO (Automaticity): Number of words read correctly in 1 minute
  • BRD (Broad): aReading broad reading score
  • Estimated Score 1 (Lexile is shown): Optional choice from 11 possible estimated other reading indicators, including MAP RIT, Lexile, Lexile L, Fall reading level, Spring reading level, Reading Recovery, Fountas and Pinnell, DRA, Basal, ATOS, ATOS-L
  • Estimated Score 2 (Basal is shown): Exact same list as in Estimated score 1
  • Intervention Need: The area of reading in which the student needs intervention (if needed)
  • Intervention: If set up by the district, the specific reading intervention available for the identified area of need
  • Recommendations for:
    • Tier: What tier of instruction or intervention the student needs
    • Monitoring frequency: How often to monitor progress
    • Progress measure: What FAST™ progress measure to use
    • Goal score: What score the student will work to reach
  • Current Progress Monitoring Groups
  • Other: Current groups using the recommended measure
  • Recommended: Current groups using the recommended measure at the recommended level

Notice that it is possible for schools and districts to enter names of specific interventions into FAST™ to be listed on the Screening to Intervention report in the interventions column.  This feature is optional and will display names of specific interventions only if they are set up by the school or district manager.  

You no longer need to figure it out on your own! FASTreading and FASTmath menu options show all possible screening assessments by grade level. 

Teachers and teams can use these tools to select which screening measures to use and identify what follow-up assessments might be helpful.  

Although FASTreading and FASTmath are visible for all users, they are not required in order to access assessment or the s2i reports. 

Locating and Understanding Fastbridge Assessment s2i Reports

The s2i report can be found in the Reporting function tab of the FAST application and conveniently compiles all available student data to show which skills a student needs to learn and what type of intervention and progress measure are recommended. 

FASTreading and FASTmath are grade-specific, one-stop, points of access to collect the right data at the right time for the right purpose to guide educational decisions and improve reading and math outcomes. 

Both of these online portals emphasize basic skills in the earlier grades, and shift to higher-level skills in the later grade levels.  Across reading and math domains, FastBridge offers a number of screening assessments.

This report utilizes two different FastBridge assessments of reading or math in order to provide details about each student’s basic and broad skills in these areas:

  • Basic skills include those needed to develop proficiency. 
  • Broad skills reflect a student’s mastery of all aspects of a content area. 

By combining both basic and broad assessment data, the s2i report uses multiple sources of information about student performance to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses. 

There are helpful tools built into the FASTreading and FASTmath screens that provide additional information about which assessments to use when.

After students have completed one of the assessments included in the FASTreading or FASTmath screens, additional suggestions for teachers are available. 

FASTreading and FASTmath are organizational tools for teachers to know which assessments to use with students at different grade levels. Each FASTreading and FASTmath screen displays both basic and broad assessment options. 

By combining basic and broad assessments, FastBridge offers multiple sources of information about student skills in a content area all in one place. 

When both basic and broad measures have been used, the FastBridge s2i report displays details about each student’s current performance and instructional needs. For students at risk of not meeting end-of-year grade standards, specific interventions and progress measures are included in the s2i report.  

For more information about the FASTreading and FASTmath tools, consult the Knowledge Base or reach out to the Help Desk.

New Updates and Features for Fastbridge FASTtrack Assessment

We’ve introduced advanced and expanded assessments, intervention supports, and learning opportunities — all while simplifying your FAST experience. More power. Less effort!

Updated Teacher View

FASTtrack assessments are visible to Teachers from the Screening page. In order for FASTtrack Math to be available, the appropriate assessments must be enabled for your District.

Updated Student View

FASTtrack Math Assessments by Grade

Get Customized, Research-Based Coaching and Support

The Screening to Intervention (S2i) report for math and reading recommends the right instruction per child, including groundbreaking, research-based instruction plans and intervention materials. It’s like having a trusted coach with you every step of the way.

FASTtrack Math includes specific assessments measuring students’ skills in areas of Number, Operations and General Math. Students’ performance and risk level data will be populated in the new Math S2i report.

Also available are new math intervention content in the categories of Algebra, Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability, Measurement, Rational Numbers, and Geometry.

Initiate Districtwide Change with Updated Group Screening Report

FastBridge provides school and district leaders new reporting to easily identify achievement gaps across districts by schools and grades — and address them quickly and systemically.

This new view within the Group Screening Report will answer key questions such as “What percentage of students are above/below benchmark by school and grade?” and “How are our students doing this year compared to previous school years?”

AUTOreading

This assessment is moving out of Lab and receiving many updates including a new composite score from the Research Lab, updated reports and updated benchmarks and norms. Updates will be made to the AUTOreading data download file to include the new composite score.

aMath

Based on user feedback, we’re adding additional items to aMath focused on high school grades 9-12.

Intervention Supports

The Intervention Supports in our Training & Resources Center will continue to be available for FREE for another school year. Plus, we’re adding early math intervention supports for no cost.

CompEfficiency Enhancements

Reports have been expanded to include a new teacher view in the Group Screening report, and we’ve granted expanded access to the Group Screening report for leadership-level roles.

Behavior Report Enhancements

Leader roles (district managers, school managers and specialists) can now view summarized SAEBRS and mySAEBRS data via the Group Screening Report.

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