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.

Administrator Setup

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.

Teacher Example

Student Example

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.

Teacher Example

Student Example

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.

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.

Administering Assessments

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 each student's 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 the 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. For measures that don't have benchmarks for the student's grade and season, scores are shown on a gray background.

Green: At/Above Benchmark

Blue: On Watch

Red: Intervention

Note: For Rapid Color Naming and Rapid Picture Naming assessments, there are two benchmark categories: At/Above Benchmark (green) and At Risk (red).

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.

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.

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:

Season Timeframe
Fall School year start date (or August 1) through November 30
Winter December 1 through March 31
Spring 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.

Grade Reading Measures That Have Benchmarks Math Measures That Have Benchmarks
Kindergarten
  • Letter Sounds*
  • Phoneme Segmentation
  • Letter Naming
  • Receptive Nonsense Words
  • Numeral Recognition*
  • Quantity Comparison
Grade 1
  • Letter Sounds (Fall only)
  • Expressive Nonsense Words
  • Phoneme Segmentation
  • Passage Oral Reading (Grade 1)*
  • Numeral Recognition (Fall only)
  • Quantity Comparison*
  • Addition to 10
Grade 2
  • Expressive Nonsense Words
  • Passage Oral Reading (Grade 2)*
  • Addition to 10
  • Addition to 20*
  • Subtraction from 10
Grade 3
  • Passage Oral Reading (Grade 3)*
  • Subtraction from 10
  • Mixed Addition and Subtraction*
  • Multiplication to 100
Grade 4
  • Passage Oral Reading (Grade 4)*
N/A
Grade 5
  • Passage Oral Reading (Grade 5)*
N/A
Grade 6
  • Passage Oral Reading (Grade 6)*
N/A

* Recommended screening measure for the grade and subject.

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.

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.
  • 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).

Setting Goals

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; however, students can only have a goal for one reading measure and/or one math measure at a time. You cannot set a goal for students who have not taken any Star CBM assessments. Goals are not available for Rapid Color Naming or Rapid Picture Naming.

The Goal column on the CBM 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 the score on the screening measure), Star CBM isn't prompting you to set one at this time.
Add Goal Star CBM recommends that you set goal for the student. When you select Add Goal, the recommended measure will be selected.
Needs Screening The student hasn't taken any Star CBM assessments. You can't set a goal until the student has taken at least one assessment.
Not Assessed 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.
Track Goal You have set a goal for the student; the measure that you set the goal for is 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 the 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.