Using Classworks for MTSS: Early Fall

January 9, 2024

Welcome to early fall in your classroom. Your first few weeks were filled with lots of activity. In case you need a refresher, we covered month one for getting started with Classworks for MTSS! This blog series, Using Classworks for MTSS, highlights best practices for implementing the program throughout the year to achieve your goals.

Read on to learn about helping students experience success on their Classworks instruction and turning on Progress Monitoring for your students. 

Early Fall

Set Your Students Up for Success with Intervention Instruction

Now is the time to be sure your students are working on their Classworks instruction. Students’ Classworks instruction is organized in an evidence-based learning progression. You may hear them called Individualized Learning Paths or ILPs. The lessons in their ILPs have been automatically turned on based on their Classworks Universal Screener data or the data from one of our partners. This ensures they are working on skills they are ready to learn and apply independently. 

Our data shows that if students spend 60 minutes per week per subject, they may experience over a year’s worth of growth. However, we understand that making time in schedules can be difficult. We recommend students spend a minimum of 30 minutes weekly in each content area and complete an average of six to eight individualized learning units each month. 

However, quality is as important as quantity. Classworks recommends students achieve an 80% or higher on their units of instruction to have the greatest impact on their growth

Try this: Here’s how to monitor your student’s ILPs and specific student-level details. 

Units of Instruction

The units of instruction are the heart of Classworks. Each student’s Individualized Learning Path consists of multiple units of Classworks instruction. What is a unit? A Classworks instructional unit includes a Mini-Lesson, which is direct instruction to review or reteach the skill, game-like activities to apply learning, and a Quick Quiz - a short formative check for mastery. 

While mini-lessons may be bite-sized, there is nothing mini about the power lessons hold! Remind students to take their time with their mini-lessons. They may want to use the digital Notes feature in Classworks to take notes on the lesson or have a pencil and paper handy. Once completed, you can check the amount of time they spent in each lesson. Often, if students don’t master the unit, it’s because they’ve rushed through the mini-lesson. View our tips for modeling a mini-lesson. 

In addition to the units of instruction in their learning progression, students will also encounter close reading passages and problem-solving activities. These require more reading and deeper comprehension. If you find your students continually struggling with these types of activities, you can turn them off until you’ve had a chance to provide some added support. Learn how to modify the ILP here.

Progress Monitoring

If you are using Classworks Progress Monitoring to support students receiving tiered interventions or to track progress on students’ IEP goals, here is how you assign it to students. 

Progress Monitoring measures how students’ interventions are working. As students complete a CBM probe, their scores are automatically graphed. It’s important for students to understand why they are taking these short assessments each week. We want them to do their best to provide an accurate picture of how their interventions are progressing. Several resources are available to help students understand the importance of doing their best on their assessments. 

Taking Action on Progress Monitoring Data

Once students have taken three probes, you have a trend line available to help you predict how students will perform. After four weeks, it’s time to analyze the data and ensure students are progressing the way you want. You want to see early on if adjustments are needed. Classworks graphs make it easy to see if the student is making progress. 

The 4-Point Rule

After four CBM probes have been completed, make decisions about the student's performance and the effectiveness of instruction.

  • If all four data points are above the goal line, Increase the CBM level and continue the instruction.
  • If all four data points are below the goal line, modify instructional delivery, content, or methodology to better suit the student’s learning needs.
  • If the four data points are above and below the goal line, continue with instruction and data collection until a trend emerges.

Classworks provides coaching sessions to help you understand how to analyze your progress monitoring data! Chat with us from within Classworks or email to request training. 

Try this: Share each student's graphs to get them excited about their progress and encourage them to beat the green line! 

You’ve Got Homework!
Don’t forget to keep the momentum going strong by completing the online Classworks Smartguide courses, designed to set you and your team up for success in Classworks. Here’s how to access the online course. 

Real-World Example


Mrs. Martin is a second-grade teacher who aims to screen all students and address their diverse academic and behavioral needs through MTSS. Let’s follow along as she tackles month two.

Week 5

My students have made such significant progress in their ILP in Classworks. I will continue to monitor the students and assist when needed. 

Weeks 6, 7, 8

I can see the points of progress monitoring data to help me determine any adjustments needed in my students’ interventions and have the data necessary to create academic growth goals. 

I looked at the Rate of Improvement (ROI) tab at the top right of the screen in Classworks for Progress Monitoring today. I can see that two of my students have completed at least three probes out of 6. I can also see that Connie hasn’t completed three probes because it still says TBD under ROI. I made a note to have a quick conversation with her about this and learn how to support her best. I can also see that two of my students have green dots. They are On Target and making the expected progress.
 Now, I will spend time looking at students' 4-points of data to make decisions about their performance and the effectiveness of instruction.
This screen shows Audrey is “on target” with her 2nd-grade level Algebra probes. Audrey is a 5th grader whose present level is 2nd grade. Her academic growth goals are tied to Algebra and Operational Thinking. I’m relieved she’s progressing, but I need more detail to plan instruction thoughtfully. When I click “View Detail,” I see a visual of each performance, including how much time she spends on each probe. I’m using these notes to add a narrative detailing instructional practices, behavioral support, and attendance. 
Scrolling down further, I see the “Cumulative Question Responses” chart. I use this information to see the exact question Audrey worked on during each CBM and which answer choice she chose when she made a mistake.
I’ve been working with Audrey on understanding symbols used in math equations. So, I clicked the first red circle on the first row. This is the question Audrey worked on as part of her Week 2 CBM. The X shows Audrey’s response. The “Check mark” shows the correct answer. This detail is exciting for me to see. It helps me plan targeted support. 
Stay tuned as we check in with Mrs. Martin during the next month for ways to utilize Classworks for MTSS.

District Leaders
Now that the schools within your district have been using Classworks for over a month, you can view valuable insight data within Classworks to get a district-level view of student progress and academic needs in the Insights tab. During month two, we recommend you look at the Individual Learning data; this will let you know the number of students working in Classworks and let you dig into the breakdown of the number of students in Classworks and time on task within each school. This data will give you a launch pad for discussions for specific schools in your district.

Next month, we’ll discuss the other valuable features you can uncover in Insights. 

What’s Next? 

In the next installment of this series, we’ll talk about how to utilize our reports to share with caregivers. 

Need Help?

Chat with us using the button below or from within Classworks, or email us at Let us help ensure you see the success we know is possible with Classworks.

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