Getting Started with Star CBM
Star CBM allows you to accurately assess students’ reading and math development so that you can better target instruction and intervention to each learner’s specific needs. Teachers administer one-on-one assessments of one minute (or ninety seconds for Rapid Color Naming), then use the results to understand students' learning gaps, instructional needs, and patterns of errors so they can leverage students' strengths and identify opportunities for growth. As you give the assessments again over time, you can see how students are progressing.
Before teachers can begin using Star CBM, students, teachers, courses, and classes need to be added to your Renaissance software. The classes that will use Star CBM must have one of these products assigned (depending on the licenses your district has purchased): Star CBM Reading, Star CBM Math, Star CBM Reading and Math, Star Elementary, or Star 360. For more information about setting up your users and classes, see Setting Up Renaissance.
Getting to Know the Available Measures
The measures that are available for assessment depend on which Star CBM products you have (Star CBM Reading and/or Star CBM Math). Each domain includes several assessments.
Star CBM Reading includes the following measures (recommended grades are in parentheses):
For Letter Naming assessments, students tell the teacher the name of each letter on the form. Letters are presented in random order and in uppercase and lowercase. Letter naming is a very early predictor of later reading achievement; it can be used to identify candidates for early intervention.
For Letter Sounds assessments, students tell the teacher the phonetic sound for each letter on the form. Letters are presented in uppercase and lowercase. Only consonants are used, and either sound is accepted for C and G. Letter sounds are a very early skill related to later reading achievement; they can be used to identify candidates for early intervention.
For Phoneme Segmentation assessments, the teacher says common words that contain three phonemes, or sounds. The student then tells the teacher each of the three sounds in that word. This demonstrates the student's developing ability to segment words. Phoneme Segmentation does not have a student form since the student listens to the words and then answers verbally with the three sounds.
For Receptive Nonsense Words assessments, the teacher says a three-letter consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) nonsense word, and the student must choose the correct matching word from three possible choices, based on the sounds in the word the teacher said. This assessment includes a practice first in which pictures are used instead of words; this helps to ensure that the student understands how to select their answer to the questions using a touchscreen or mouse. This is a very early measure of the student’s decoding skill.
In Expressive Nonsense Words assessments, students pronounce three-letter consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) nonsense words based on the sounds the letters make. (Short vowel sounds are expected.) This is an early measure of the student’s decoding skill.
In Passage Oral Reading assessments, students read a grade-appropriate passage aloud to the teacher for one minute. This measure assesses both decoding and comprehension, and is seen as a critical measure of reading fluency. The results of this measure are sensitive to short-term student gains in reading skills and predictive of long-term reading success.
Rapid Color Naming assessments are available when you select Rapid Automatic Naming above the table on the CBM Assessments tab. In Rapid Color Naming assessments, students name a series of colors. By assessing "speed of recall" for known information, this measure, as part of a multi-element screening for characteristics associated with risk for dyslexia, can be used for the early identification of students who are at risk for reading problems. You will need a color printer if you administer this assessment in Mixed or Print mode.
Rapid Picture Naming assessments are available when you select Rapid Automatic Naming above the table on the CBM Assessments tab. In Rapid Picture Naming assessments, students name a series of pictures; this checks the student's speed naming known items. By assessing "speed of recall" for known information, this measure, as part of a multi-element screening for characteristics associated with risk for dyslexia, can be used for the early identification of students who are at risk for reading problems. You will need a color printer if you administer this assessment in Mixed or Print mode.
Rapid Letter Naming Field Test assessments are available when you select Rapid Automatic Naming above the table on the CBM Assessments tab. In Rapid Letter Naming assessments, students name uppercase letters; five known letters are used on the form. By assessing "speed of recall" for known information, this measure, as part of a multi-element screening for characteristics associated with risk for dyslexia, can be used for the early identification of students who are at risk for reading problems.
Rapid Letter Naming assessments are currently being field tested, so no benchmarks are available for scores, and you cannot set goals for these assessments. The assessment scores are not included on the Student Details page or in exports.
Rapid Number Naming Field Test assessments are available when you select Rapid Automatic Naming above the table on the CBM Assessments tab. In Rapid Number Naming assessments, students name numbers; five known single-digit numbers are used on the form. By assessing "speed of recall" for known information, this measure, as part of a multi-element screening for characteristics associated with risk for dyslexia, can be used for the early identification of students who are at risk for reading problems.
Rapid Number Naming assessments are currently being field tested, so no benchmarks are available for scores, and you cannot set goals for these assessments. The assessment scores are not included on the Student Details page or in exports.
Star CBM Math includes the following measures (recommended grades are in parentheses):
In Numeral Recognition assessments, students identify one-digit and two-digit numbers from 0 to 99. Numeral recognition is a necessary skill for the subsequent development of mathematics.
In Quantity Comparison assessments, students compare pairs of numbers and identify the larger number in each pair. Numbers range from 0 to 30. Recognizing differences in quantity is an early requirement for later mastery of mathematical operations.
In Addition to 10 assessments, students answer addition problems that include two numbers whose sums are no more than 10. Computational fluency measures a student's accuracy and speed in completing math facts using basic number operations. It is a strong predictor of later success in higher-level math coursework.
In Addition to 20 assessments, students answer addition problems that include two numbers whose sums are no more than 20. More difficult than Addition to 10, this measure describes a student’s growing speed and accuracy in completing basic math facts.
In Subtraction from 10 assessments, students answer subtraction problems that include two numbers whose minuend is no larger than 10 and whose answer is no less than 0. Computational fluency measures a student's accuracy and speed in completing math facts using basic number operations. It is a strong predictor of later success in higher-level math coursework.
In Mixed Addition and Subtraction assessments, students answer addition and subtraction problems that include two numbers whose sums or differences are no greater than 20 and no less than 0. This combination of addition and subtraction problems continues assessment of the student’s growth in speed and accuracy for basic math operations.
In Multiplication to 100 assessments, students answer multiplication problems that include two numbers whose product is no greater than 100. More difficult than addition and/or subtraction, this measures a student’s continued development of speed and accuracy in basic math facts, which are the essential building blocks for later mathematical competence.
Which Assessment Should I Start With?
While you can assess on any measure at any time, Star CBM helps you decide which measures to start with. For each student, you'll see the indicator for the assessment that is suggested for the student's grade if the student has not already taken that assessment during the current season. (If the student has taken the assessment in a previous season, you will see the indicator below the previous score.) If you prefer to start with another assessment, you can select the cell for any measure.
Select the cell; then, select Start or Print Assessment. You will then be asked to choose how you want to administer the assessment.
Star CBM assessments can be administered by any adult who has some experience working on academic material with students — current and retired teachers, para-educators, academic subject-area coaches, administrators, or experienced volunteers. The only requirement is that the adult can read the instructions aloud to the student and score responses as correct/incorrect as described in the instructions for each measure. No special training is required.
There are three ways to administer assessments. Click the link for each for instructions:
- Online: Both the teacher and the student use a computer or device (not available for Phoneme Segmentation). Teacher and student do not need to be in the same location (remote administration) if video/audio are available; see Administering Star CBM Remotely and the related Family Guide.
- Mixed: The teacher uses the computer, while the student uses a paper form. Each student is assigned a different form; be sure to print or use the correct form after you choose the Mixed Format for that student.
- Print: Both the the teacher and student use paper forms during the assessment, and the teacher enters scores later. Each student is assigned a different form; be sure to print or use the correct teacher and student forms for each student after you choose the Print format.
For more information about the three formats, see How to Administer Star CBM Assessments.
How the Table Shows CBM Assessment Scores
For each student, you will see the student's grade and the student's latest Correct Per Minute (CPM) score (if any) for each type of assessment. When benchmarks are available for a student's score and the current season (Fall, Winter, or Spring), the background color shows which benchmark category the score falls into. Note: For Rapid Color Naming and Rapid Picture Naming assessments, there are just two benchmark categories: At/Above Benchmark (green) and At Risk (red).
Green: At/Above Benchmark
Blue: On Watch
For measures that don't have norms and benchmarks for the student's grade and season, scores are shown on a gray background. If you see a green check mark next to the score, that score would fall within the At/Above Benchmark category in the nearest grade and season where benchmarks exist for the measure. (For Passage Oral Reading, when the student is assessed at another grade level, the benchmarks for the passage's grade level and the nearest season to the student's grade are used for the check mark.)
You can sort the scores for a measure in ascending or descending order by clicking the column heading for the measure.
After you finish or score an assessment, you will see the Score Pending message for a short time as the software calculates the score. You can click the refresh icon on the cell to refresh the page and to see if the score is ready yet.
Some Correct Per Minute (CPM) scores are adjusted (equated) based on form difficulty or because forms were completed before time ran out. In both of these instances, the score will be higher than the observed score. For more information, see Correct Per Minute Scores and How They Are Adjusted (Equated).
Scores across measures aren't comparable. For example, a Correct Per Minute score that may be At/Above Benchmark for Phoneme Segmentation may indicate a need for Intervention in Passage Oral Reading.
For Passage Oral Reading, benchmarks are only available for passages at the student's current grade level, not passages at other grade levels.
Measures that are currently being field tested (Rapid Letter Naming and Rapid Number Naming) do not have benchmarks.
Seasons and Benchmarks
In Star CBM, benchmarks show whether students are performing as expected on the measure for the grade level and season. Seasons include Fall, Winter, and Spring:
||Either the school year start date or August 1 (whichever is earlier) through November 30
||December 1 through March 31
||April 1 through the end of the school year (or July 31)
Benchmarks are available for the measures that are recommended for each grade and season. Scores with benchmarks are shown on a background color that reflects the benchmark category; scores that don't have benchmarks are shown on a gray background. Note: Star CBM benchmarks cannot be changed. For detailed information about the benchmark categories and the related scores, see Star CBM Score and Benchmark Tables.
||Reading Measures That Have Benchmarks
||Math Measures That Have Benchmarks
- Letter Sounds*
- Phoneme Segmentation
- Letter Naming
- Receptive Nonsense Words
- Numeral Recognition*
- Quantity Comparison
- Letter Sounds (Fall only)
- Expressive Nonsense Words
- Phoneme Segmentation
- Passage Oral Reading (Grade 1)*
- Numeral Recognition (Fall only)
- Quantity Comparison*
- Addition to 10
- Expressive Nonsense Words
- Passage Oral Reading (Grade 2)*
- Addition to 10
- Addition to 20*
- Subtraction from 10
- Passage Oral Reading (Grade 3)*
- Subtraction from 10
- Mixed Addition and Subtraction*
- Multiplication to 100
- Passage Oral Reading (Grade 4)*
- Passage Oral Reading (Grade 5)*
- Passage Oral Reading (Grade 6)*
* Recommended screening measure for the grade and subject. For Passage Oral Reading, only passages at the student's grade have benchmarks.
Once the first assessment has been scored, at the top of the page you will also see the Star CBM Reading or Star CBM Math status bar. This bar shows you the latest assessment results for the selected subject based on each student's last assessment (even if the students weren't assessed on the same measure). The bars indicate how many students tested in the At/Above Benchmark, On Watch, or Intervention categories in their last assessment. The gray portion of the bar shows you how many students took assessments that don't have a benchmark for their grade level. The white portion with the dashed line shows how many students haven't taken any assessments. If you move the cursor over the bar, you will see how many students are in each category.
Rapid Color Naming and Rapid Picture Naming assessments are not included in the status bar.
You will also see the latest assessment results for other Star assessments that your students took for the selected subject (reading or math). Each bar includes only students' most recent Star Reading or Math assessments for English and for Spanish, so if a student has taken both Star Reading and Star Early Literacy assessments in one language, only the most recent test will be included in the status bars.
Each status bar will show you the proportion of students who have scored in each benchmark category for that assessment, and if you move the mouse over the bar, you will see how many students are in each category. Students whose tests have no benchmarks (Star Math Algebra and Geometry tests) will be shown in gray. The white area surrounded by the dashed bar shows how many students either haven't taken the assessment or have a different, more recent Star assessment for the same subject and language.
Viewing Previous Scores
When you select a score, you can see the student's last four scores for the selected measure in this school year. For Passage Oral Reading, the grade level of the passage is shown next to each score. If you see after a score, it means audio was recorded for the assessment. means the teacher entered notes for the assessment.
From here, you can do the following:
- Select Details to the right of a score and assessment date to view detailed results for a specific assessment, including the score, any notes you entered, and the items that were marked wrong. You can also edit the score. If an audio recording is available, you can listen to that recording (and remove it if you'd like).
- Select Start or Print Assessment to start a new assessment of this type for the student.
- Select the measure name at the bottom of the popup window to see a chart of the student's assessments on this measure during this school year.
You can also select a student's name to see the student's details, which include all of the student's Star CBM scores and progress toward the student's goal (if you have set one).
In Star CBM, goals help you monitor a student's progress toward a desired outcome over time. You can set a student goal for any measure that you have administered to the student at least once. Students can have multiple goals, but they can only have one goal per measure at a time (except for Passage Oral Reading, where students can have one goal per grade level). You cannot set a goal for students who have not taken any Star CBM assessments. Goals are not available for Rapid Automatic Naming assessments.
The Goal column on the CBM English Assessments tab provides more information for student goal-setting:
|Goal Column Message
||What It Means
||The student has taken at least one assessment. You can set a goal by selecting …, but based on the measure assessed (or an At/Above Benchmark score on the screening measure), Star CBM isn't prompting you to set one at this time.
||Star CBM recommends that you set goal for the student based on the student's score on the screening measure. When you select Add Goal, the recommended measure will be selected. Note: Even if you don't see the "Add Goal" message, you can still set a goal for the student by selecting the student's latest score for a measure and selecting Add Goal.
||The student hasn't taken any Star CBM assessments. You can't set a goal until the student has taken at least one assessment.
||There is no recommended screening measure for the student's grade (may be seen for Pre-K or grades above the recommendations), and the student has not taken any assessments. You can't set a goal until the student has taken at least one assessment.
||You have set at least one goal for the student; the measures that you have set goals for are labeled "Monitor Progress." When you select Track Goal, you will go to the Student Details page with the Star CBM tab selected. On that page, you'll see a chart showing the student's progress toward each goal, and you can select Edit Goal if you need to change or end the goal.
For more information about setting and monitoring goals, see Goals and Star CBM.
When you select the Star CBM Reading or Star CBM Math tile on the Home page, you can select Data Insights to see the following by class, grade, school, or the district:
- the percentage of your students who have been administered the recommended screening measure for their grade in the current screening window, and
- the percentage of students who have completed any reading or math CBM assessment in the current screening window
- the percentage who are proficient on the screening measure (those who scored in the At/Above Benchmarks category) - if you select Explore the Data, you can get more information about proficiency for any measure
- the percentage of students whose scores on the recommended screening measure have moved up from Intervention to On Watch or At/Above Benchmark (and how students in general have transitioned between benchmark categories)
You can also go to Data Insights by selecting the Reports tile on the Home page and selecting Star CBM Data Insights.
The Data Insights allow you to see data across your classes and schools and to see lists of students who haven't been screened, students who haven't completed a CBM assessment, students who scored in each benchmark category, and students who transitioned from one benchmark category to another. You can view data from screening windows in the current school year and the previous school year. You can also filter and sort data, print the data or save it to a file (PDF), and export data for use in your spreadsheet program. For more information, see Star CBM Data Insights.