Written Expression Probe Generator

Curriculum-Based Measurement Written Expression probes are brief, timed (4-minute) assessments that look at a student’s mastery of writing mechanics and conventions. The student is given a ‘story starter’, a brief introductory story stem that serves as a stimulus for the student to create his or her own writing sample.

Written expression probes can be used at any grade level in which students are still working on such writing skills as punctuation, grammar, spelling, and capitalization. They can also be administered to individual students or entire groups. NOTE: You can download instructions for administering and scoring CBM Written Expression probes by clicking here.

Directions: You can use this application to generate your own custom CBM Written Expression Story Starter to use immediately with your student(s). Just follow these steps:

  1. Select a title [optional].  You can give your story starter sheet a custom title (e.g., ‘Jim’s Writing Sample: October 24, 2011’) by typing your title into the textbox ‘Select a title for this worksheet’ below.
  2. Select or write a story starter. Enter a story starter of your choosing into the textbox ‘Type in the story starter’ below. Of course, you can write your own story starter. Or you can click on any of the pre-formatted story starters on the right side of the page and that story starter will automatically load into the text box for you to edit as needed.
  3. Download and view the Writing Probe Sheet. When you have finished formatting your writing probe, you can download and view it in pdf format by clicking on the ‘Download PDF’ button.
  4. Email the Writing Probe Sheet [optional]. As a convenience, this application allows you to email your finished Writing Probe Sheet to whomever you choose by clicking on the ‘Email PDF’ button and following directions to enter your own email address as well as that of the intended recipient.


Word Count: 0 (Min: 7, Max: 100 words)