Why do we use Running
'Learning to take a running record takes practice.
It is, however, an effective way to closely observe the strategies a child
uses (or fails to use) as he or she reads. With first and second graders
who read short books slowly enough to allow teachers to mark all the errors,
the teacher uses a Running Record form or a blank sheet of paper. On this
paper the teacher notes miscues and analyzes errors and self-corrections.
For older students, who read too quickly for the teacher to make notes,
it is easier to copy pages of selected text at several grade levels. In
this way, the teacher can make the notations directly on the paper, again
noting error patterns and reading strategies.
to evaluate text difficulty
to examine the acceleration of the child
to monitor progress of the child
to allow different children to move through
different books at different speeds while keeping track of (and records
of) individual progress
to observe particular difficulties in particular
to guide classroom instruction
How to take running
A running record is a short one-on-one
assessment tool which can help guide teacher instruction. The teacher's
role is passive. The reader should be given
at least 5 seconds to think before the
teacher gives him the word. If the child asks for help, the teacher notes
the appeal (A) on the sheet. The teacher should encourage the student to
"try something." Approximately 120-150 words of text ensure an accurate
running record. As the teacher observes the reader, she/he will be looking
for use of the three cueing systems (or strategies). Was the child obtaining
To take a running record
it is helpful to have the following:
the meaning or semantics of the text (M) Does
what I read make sense?
the structure or syntax of the sentence (S)
Does what I read sound right?
something from the visual cues (V) Does what
I read look right?
||Running Record Sheet
||Common Conventions for Scoring
||Calculation and Conversion
||MSV Error Analysis Guide
||Strategy Focus for Subsequent
With practice, a running record should
take only 5-7 minutes. In that short duration, an observant teacher can
learn a great deal about the child's reading behaviors or strategies. The
primary goal of a running record is to assess fluency. Without fluency,
comprehension suffers as the child struggles to decode each word. Both
fluency and comprehension are necessary for a competent reader.