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Curriculum-Based Measurement Case Study Part One

Criterion-Based Measurement Case Study Part One Title Image

What is a case study?  Heale and Twycross (2018) defined a case study as “research methodology, typically seen in social and life sciences. There is no one definition of case study research.  However, very simply… ‘a case study can be defined as an intensive study about a person, a group of people or a unit, which is aimed to generalize over several units’.”  The case study we are about to explore for explicit teaching follows a teacher as she is restructuring her lesson plan for a phonics lesson.  We will explore who this teacher is, who her students are, how she adjusts her lesson plans and how she demonstrates this during her instruction.  So…let’s meet the teacher.

(Please note that this case study is not a real life example and the occurrence of names to real people is a coincidence. All materials you will see in this case study are original.)


Miss Erickson and Mrs. Franks are co-teachers in a 2nd grade reading class.  They work in a small rural school district at a school that serves students K-6.  They have been co-teaching together for 2 years and are going into their third-year teaching together.  There class is made up of 19 students, 6 of which have an identified disability.  Four of the students are identified as having a learning disability, one has a diagnosis of emotional behavior disorder and one has a diagnosis of other health impairment (ADHD).

Let’s take a look at how Miss Erickson and Mrs. Franks uses curriculum-based measurement with their co-taught reading class.


Title Image for Case Study Introduction


Miss Erickson and Mrs. Franks are looking at the universal curriculum-base screener that each student at their school takes three times a year.  They are looking at their fall benchmarks to see how their students are doing with oral reading fluency.  They take their scores and graph them.  They add a line to the graph that shows where their students should be for the winter benchmark.  This line tells them how many correct words per minute the students should be reading when they take this benchmark again in the winter.



Bar graph with CBM fluency scores ranging from 8 to 100 with an aim line drawn across the graph at 80.



They chart their data and notice that not all their students are on track to meet the goal by the winter benchmark.  Miss Erickson and Mrs. Franks decide that they want to use criterion-based measurement data to track not only their student progress, but how their instruction is impacting their students reading skills.


Now that Miss Erickson and Mrs. Franks have decided to used criterion-based measurement with their reading class, let’s visit Case Study Part II to see how they implement it.



Click on this image to access the page for CBE Case Study Part Two

Click on this image to return to the CBM Home Page.




Heale, R., & Twycross, A. (2018). What is a case study? Evidence – Based Nursing, 21(1), 7.