Basic Concepts Skills Screener

Screen, Assess, Empower: The Future of Basic Learning

Introducing the Basic Concepts Skills Screener (BCSS) – a revolutionary tool engineered to assess and enhance a child's fundamental understanding of spatial, quantitative, comparative, and temporal concepts. The BCSS serves as a crucial bridge in developing reading, math, and problem-solving skills, offering targeted insights into a child's current conceptual grasp.

Basic Concepts Skills Screener

The Basic Concepts Skills Screener (BCSS) was developed for the purpose of evaluating and describing the basic concepts skills of children. An understanding of basic concepts is fundamental for students to follow directions and develop reading and math skills.

Basic Concepts Skills Screener

A quick screening tool designed to quickly identify gaps in knowledge of basic concepts

The BCSS is individually administered to establish a baseline of basic concepts of skills that are in error.
Children who struggle with basic concepts struggle to achieve the skills necessary for complex learning, our smarty ears blog focuses to fill that gap and provides resources for speech therapy. Because basic concepts are an integral part of language instruction, these children often fall behind those who have mastered the necessary skills (Schlaudecker & Regimbal, 1995). Unfortunately, this often results in the “Mathew Effect” as described by Stanovich (1986) and Walberg & Tsai (1983). In this situation, the child who is already struggling falls farther behind while the child who has mastered the skills continues to make progress. Early recognition and remediation of a child’s struggle with basic concepts through speech therapy may reduce the negative educational impact.

Basic Concepts Skills Screener (BCSS) is a quick, motivational screening tool created to help assess the basic concept skills in children. Designed by certified speech-language pathologists, BCSS uses technology to engage clients while assessing their school readiness skills. BCSS is sure to be a great app for the busy speech-language pathologist, teacher, parent, or caregiver.

Concepts targeted in Basic Concepts Skills Screener:

Basic Concept Skills Screener App

Spatial Concepts

Spatial words indicate the location of an item. Spatial words can also relate to simple relationships (e.g., out of the container). Receptive understanding of spatial words typically occurs before the child can use the words expressively. Most spatial words are mastered by the time a child is kindergarten age (McLaughlin, 1998). Many spatial words are prepositions (e.g., above, off); however, some are also considered nouns such as “corner.” Included in this area are the three-dimensional and perspective taking concepts such as “through” and “under.” Spatial words included are above, off, on, bottom, between, etc.

Quantitative Concepts

Children begin to learn concepts around quantity long before they are able to name numbers. For instance, a child may be able to choose the pile with “more” candy in it, long before he is able to count the pieces (Bracken, 2006). As the child’s number sense grows, it may provide the foundation for a deeper understanding of quantitative concepts. A few of the quantitative concepts could also be listed as comparative (e.g., empty, different). However, because these basic concepts are an integral part of the Common Core State Standards for math skills K.MD.A1 and K.MD.A2, they have been included here (Common Core State, 2012). Quantitative concepts included are whole, all, empty, most, never, etc.

basic concepts speech therapy
Basic Concepts Assessment

Comparative Concepts

Comparative concepts are often called relational concepts because they show a relationship between items such as size, color, texture, and weight (McLaughlin, 1998). For BCSS, we have included feelings in this category because the client is asked to compare pictures to choose the correct emotion. Comparative concepts included are tall, dark, cold, thick, sad, etc.

Temporal Concepts

Temporal concepts indicate how events relate to each other in time. Temporal concepts are some of the most difficult concepts to master because time is abstract and relative. Temporal concepts are comprised of three basic elements: duration, order/sequence, and simultaneity. Younger children tend to master order concepts early (e.g., after, before) while concepts dealing with simultaneity (e.g., while, at the same time) are learned by kindergarten age (McLaughlin, 1998). Temporal concepts included are first, next, starting, second, etc.

basic concepts and skills

Video Tutorial About Basic Concepts Skills Screener:

Imagine a screener that generates a comprehensive report of the child's skill for you!

basic linguistic concepts screener
basic concepts skills screener application

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What do people think of BCSS saying?

This app is great for a baseline screener. I love it for great monitoring tool. The images are clear and the app is intuitive. The simple design is very appropriate and the length of the assessments expected

Jenna Rayburn

“This app is a great way to identify areas where a student is struggling and get ideas goals…I love the color-coded percentage graphs in the report, which are easy to explain parents or other professionals”


Let's Talk Blog

“It’s great to help in assessing pre and post therapy or interventions in basic concept skills.”

Lauren Laur

Let's Talk Blog

“Many times, the iPad is just motivating enough to get kids to participate in baseline data collection and data collection for progress monitoring. Working in preschool, I often get students with objectives for following directions and comprehending concepts. This will be a great way for me to track progress this year!”

Jenn Alcorn

Overall, I am loving this! I think this will be a good way to establish a baseline and monitor progress for students who are working on concept goals. The app is super easy to use, I like the straightforwardness of it. No fluff, it gets right to the point.

Jean Wills



The BCSS is more than an app; it’s a comprehensive tool designed to foster understanding and growth. With a blend of intuitive design and scientific rigor, it provides everything you need to take the right steps toward a child’s educational success. Explore the BCSS and unlock the potential within.

Student Progress Tracking

  • Personalized Profiles: Enter students' information and monitor their growth seamlessly over time.
  • Color-Coded Insights: View students' skill levels with intuitive color-coded scores.

Interactive Assessment Experience

  • In-Session Notes: Add valuable observations and notes directly within the assessment.
  • Instant Feedback: Provides automatic feedback to students, fostering continuous learning.

Robust Data Collection and Reporting

  • Concept-Specific Analysis: Collect data by type of concept or age, along with total percent accuracy.
  • Automated Reports: Generate comprehensive reports with collected data automatically integrated into the narrative.
  • Immediate Results Sharing: E-mail and/or print test results instantly after administration.

Comprehensive Testing Options

  • School Readiness Assessment: Tests essential concepts required for academic success.
  • Flexible Screening Modes: Choose between Full Screening for a detailed assessment or Quick Screening for a quick overview.
  • Real-Time Question Tally: Keep track of the number of questions remaining during the session.

User-Friendly Interface

  • Intuitive Design: Designed for ease of use by educators, clinicians, and parents alike.
  • Visual Engagement: Engaging visuals and animations to make the assessment experience enjoyable for children.

Inclusiveness and Accessibility

  • Diverse Concept Coverage: From spatial to quantitative, comparative, and temporal concepts, BCSS offers an all-inclusive evaluation.

The Evidence Behind Basic Concepts Skills Screener:

  • Bracken, B. (2006) Bracken basic concept scale “ third edition receptive: Manual. San Antonio, TX. Harcourt Assessment, Inc.
  • McLaughlin, S. (1998) Introduction to language development. San Diego, CA. Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
  • Ellis, L., Schlaudecker, C., & Regimbal, C. (1995), Effectiveness of a collaborative consultation instruction with kindergarten children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 26, 69-74.
  • Seifert, H., & Schwarz, I. (1991) Treatment effectiveness of large group basic concept instruction with head start students. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 22, 60-64.

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