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What is a Running Record?

A running record allows you to assess a student's reading performance as she/he reads from a benchmark book. Benchmark books are books selected for running record assessment purposes. A running record form, with text from the book printed on the form, accompanies each of the benchmark books. Only the first 1 !1" words of the longer benchmark books are used for the upper le#el running records. A blank running record form is supplied for teachers who wish to perform running records on books other than the benchmark books or for additional text from the upper le#el benchmark books. $here are conflicting #iews on whether students should be assessed using a book they ha#e ne#er read #ersus using a book they are familiar with. %e belie#e using a book that has not been pre#iously read will gi#e a more accurate measure of a student's ability to handle text at the assessed le#el. &or this reason, we pro#ide two benchmark books at each le#el' one fiction and one non!fiction. (ou can always opt to read the book before doing a running record if you prefer using pre#iously!read text for your running record. After completing a running record, you may want to assess a student's comprehension of the book read. )eading A!* pro#ides )etelling )ubrics for this purpose. Both fiction and non!fiction )etelling )ubrics are pro#ided. $op

Taking a Running Record

)unning records are taken most often at the earlier stages of reading. +tudents who are not progressing at the expected rate should be assessed e#en more fre,uently than the schedule suggested below.

-arly -mergent readers ./e#els aa 0 12' e#ery 3 to 4 weeks -mergent readers ./e#els 5 0 62' e#ery 4 to 7 weeks -arly fluent readers ./e#els 8 0 92' e#ery 7 to : weeks &luent readers ./e#els ; 0 *2' e#ery : to 1 weeks

$aking a running record takes practice. Before attempting a running record, read the procedural steps below, then go to the section on <arking a )unning )ecord &orm.

1. +elect a book that approximates the student's reading le#el. -xplain that she/he will read out loud as you obser#e and record
her/his reading skills.

2. %ith the running record form in hand, sit next to the student so that you can see the text and the student's finger and eye
mo#ements as she/he reads the text.

3. As the student reads, mark each work on the running record form by using the appropriate )unning )ecord +ymbols and
<arking 1on#entions shown below. 9lace a checkmark abo#e each work that is read correctly.

4. =f the student reads incorrectly, record abo#e the word what the student reads. 5. =f the student is reading too fast for you to record the running record, ask her/him to pause until you catch up. 6. Be sure to pay attention to the reader's beha#ior. =s the student using meaning .<2, structural .+2, and #isual .>2 cues to read
words and gather meaning?

7. =nter#ene as little as possible while the student is reading. 8. =f the student is stuck and unable to continue, wait " to 1 seconds, then tell her/him the word. =f the student seems confused,
pro#ide an explanation to clear up the confusion and say, @$ry again.@ $op


Marking a Running Record Form

+e#eral terms are used when marking a running record form. (ou should become familiar with these terms by re#iewing the explanations below.

-rrors .-2!!-rrors are tallied during the reading whene#er a child does any of the following'

!!+ubstitutes another word for a word in the text !!Omits a word !!=nserts a word !!Aas to be told a word

+elf!correction .+12!!+elf!correction occurs when a child realiBes her or his error and corrects it. %hen a child makes a self! correction, the pre#ious substitution is not scored as an error. <eaning .<2!!<eaning is part of the cueing system in which the child takes her or his cue to make sense of text by thinking about the story background, information from pictures, or the meaning of a sentence. $hese cues assist in the reading of a word or phrase. +tructure .+2!!+tructure refers to the structure of language and is often referred to as syntax. =mplicit knowledge of structure helps the reader know if what she or he reads sounds correct. >isual .>2!!>isual information is related to the look of the letters in a word and the word itself. A reader uses #isual information when she or he studies the beginning sound, word length, familiar word chunks, and so forth.

$here are two steps to marking a running record. +tep 1 in#ol#es marking the text on the running record form as the student reads from the benchmark book. Before taking your first running record, become familiar with the symbols used to mark a running record form. $hese symbols are found in $able 1. Also re#iew the +ample )unning )ecord to see how a completed form looks. =t also is a good idea to take a few practice running records by role!playing with a fellow teacher as she/he plays the role of a de#eloping reader, intentionally making errors for you to record. Once the student has read all the text on the running record form and you ha#e recorded their reading beha#ior, you can complete +tep 3. =n +tep 3 you fill in the boxes to the right of the lines of text you ha#e marked. Begin by looking at any error the student has made in the first line. <ark the number of errors made in the first box to the right of the line. =f the student self corrected any of these errors, mark the number of self!corrections in the second box to the right of the line. Cext determine whether the errors and self!corrections were made as a result of meaning, structure, or #isual cueing. &or a description of each of these cues, re#iew the explanations pro#ided abo#e. %rite <+> in each box for each error and a self!correction made and circle the appropriate letter for the cue used by the student. After completing step two you should total the number of errors and self!corrections and write each total in the box at the bottom of the appropriate column. Cext calculate the student's error rate, accuracy rate, and self!correction rate, found in the next section +coring and AnalyBing a )unning )ecord. (ou do not ha#e to mark the <+> cueing portion of the running record form. =t is simply used to help you further analyBe a student's reading beha#ior and pro#ide deeper insight into a student's possible reading deficiencies. (ou can still use the information on error, self!correction, and accuracy rates to place the student at the de#elopmentally appropriate instructional le#el. $op

Sample Running Record


Scoring and Analyzing a Running Record

+coring' $he information gathered while doing a running record is used to determine error, accuracy, and self!correction rates. 5irections for calculating these rates are gi#en below. $he calculated rates, along with ,ualitati#e information and the student's comprehension of the text, are used to determine the student's reading le#el. Qualitative Analysis: $he ,ualitati#e analysis is based on obser#ations that you make during the running record. =t in#ol#es obser#ing how the student uses the meaning .<2, structural .+2, and #isual .>2 cues to help her/him read. =t also in#ol#es paying attention to fluency, intonation, and phrasing. $hink back to the prompts you offered and how the student responded. $hese obser#ations help you form a picture of the student's reading de#elopment. -rror Accuracy +elf!1orrection

The ormulas !elo" "ere used "ith the sample running record a!ove# $rror Rate -rror rate is expressed as a ratio and is calculated by using the following formula' $otal words / $otal errors D -rror rate Example: EE / : D 13.F:, or 13 rounded to nearest whole number $he ratio is expressed as 1'13. $his means that for each error made, the student read approximately 13 words correctly. Accuracy Rate Accuracy rate is expressed as a percentage. (ou can calculate the accuracy rate using the following formula' .$otal words read 0 $otal errors2 / $otal words read x 1 D Accuracy rate Example: .EE 0 :2 / EE x 1 D Accuracy rate E1/EE x 1 D Accuracy rate .E1E x 1 D E1.EG, or E3G rounded to the nearest whole number (ou can use accuracy rate to determine whether the text read is easy enough for independent reading, appropriate to use without frustration during reading instruction purposes instruction, or too difficult for the reader. $he breakdown of these three categories is as follows' -asy enough for independent reading D E" 0 1 G =nstructional le#el for use in guided reading session D E 0 E4G $oo difficult and will frustrate the reader D :EG and below Sel %&orrection Rate +elf!correction rate is expressed as a ratio and is calculated by using the following formula' .Cumber of errors H Cumber of self corrections2 / Cumber of self corrections D +elf!correction rate Example: .: H F2 / F D +elf!correction rate 11 / F D F.777, or 4 rounded to the nearest whole number $he self!correction rate is expressed as 1'4. $his means that the student corrects approximately 1 out of e#ery 4 errors. =f a student is self!correcting at a rate of 1'4 or less, this indicates that she/he is self!monitoring her/his reading.