Portfolios are an authentic way to show student progress. With the Solve It! Excel application that tracks problem-solving proficiency on a cumulative graph, teachers can assist students in documenting and showcasing their progress.

In the Solve It! approach, the purpose of monitoring student progress over time is to determine if students are applying the Solve It! routine effectively and efficiently and, thus, improving their ability to solve math word problems. To do this systematically, curriculum-based measures (CBMs) are used in Solve It!

Each of the CBMs consists of 10 one-, two-, and three-step math word problems that do not require specialized mathematical knowledge. Rather, they require only knowledge of the four basic operations (add, subtract, multiply, divide) and the ability to compute using whole numbers and decimals. These CBMs were constructed in this way to provide an assessment of problem-solving ability rather than an assessment of specialized math concepts and skills.

Performance on the CBMs informs the teacher about individual student performance and also informs the students about their progress. Based on this information, teachers can adjust the program to address individual student needs.

The ultimate goal of Solve It! is to have students achieve a criterion of at least 7 correct on the 10-problem CBMs and then maintain that level of performance. Students can chart their progress on the CBMs by plotting their scores on the Solve It! Student Progress Graph that they keep in their Solve It! folders. Solve It! Student Progress Graphs can be scanned quickly to determine whether students are making consistent progress and moving toward mastery. In this way, a student’s improvement over time is demonstrated and the success of the instructional program for each student is established. https://www.exinn.net/solve-it/