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Running Records. What Are Running Records?. Written record of reading behaviors Assessment for analyzing students’ strengths and needs Assessment of reading level Guide to choosing appropriate reading material Assessment to determine focus of instruction

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what are running records
What Are Running Records?
  • Written record of reading behaviors
  • Assessment for analyzing students’ strengths and needs
  • Assessment of reading level
  • Guide to choosing appropriate reading material
  • Assessment to determine focus of instruction
  • Assessment for monitoring student progress
why do we take running records
Why Do We Take Running Records?
  • To show how students process print
  • Appropriateness of text
  • Grouping Students
  • Monitoring progress
  • Determines lesson focus
  • Provides long-term documentation
  • Focus on strategies used
steps to take
Steps to Take
  • Reading and Record Taking
  • Calculate error, accuracy, and self-correction rate
  • Analyze the running record for cues used
  • Identify appropriate teaching focus
step 1 reading and record taking on seen text
Step 1Reading and Record Taking on Seen Text
  • Text -the book introduced/read the previous day
  • Take the running record

You can use a blank sheet of paper or form

Student reads:

Independently and unprompted

Record text lines as printed in book

**This running record will be used for teaching and planning instruction

reading and record taking on unseen text ex dominie
Reading and Record Taking on Unseen Text (ex. Dominie)
  • Select Text
  • Short Blurb
  • Take the running record

Student reads:

Independently and unprompted

Record text lines as printed in book

** This running record will be used for assessment purposes

step 2
Step 2
  • Calculate error, accuracy, and self-correction rate.
  • Score the following:

Error Rate:

Running words = Error rate


Self-Correction Ratio:

Errors+ Self-corrections = SC Ratio


**Good SC rates are: 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 1;5

step 3 running record analysis a search for sources of information used by readers
Step 3Running Record Analysis:A Search for sources of information used by readers:

Why Running records?

Marie Clay (1993) developed running records as a useful, daily, and more reliable measure of how well children read printed text. Clay felt teachers could use these records to guide them in their decisions about any of the following:

evaluation of text difficulty

grouping children

acceleration of a child

monitoring progress of children

allowing different children to move through different

books at different speeds while keeping track and

records of individual progress

observing particular difficulties in particular children

  • In order to accomplish the goals listed , the teacher must analyze running records to determine the child’s reading behavior. By analyzing substitutions and self-corrections made while reading, the teacher can determine the sources of information used and the reading strategies the child has under control.
sources of information in text
Sources of Information in text
  • Printed text contains three sources of information which the reader used to determine the author’s message. In addition, the reader brings background information and a level of understanding of language to interact with these cues, The sources of information in text are often called the three reading cue systems. The teacher’s analysis of the child’s use of meaning, structure, and visual cues is an important part of the running record analysis. They analyze the running record by asking themselves, ”up to the point of this error or substitution, what cue was the child using?” When a child self-corrects, they also ask themselves, ”what source of information did the child consider to assist him in correcting the substitution?”
step 4
Step 4
  • Identify Appropriate Teaching Focus- strategies, not skills

Plan instruction based on student strengths and needs

Select new reading material at instructional/independent level

tallying errors and self corrections
Tallying Errors and Self-Corrections

1. Total each line separately going across the line of text.

2. An uncorrected substitution, omission, or insertion counts as one error.

3. Unsuccessful multiple attempts on one word count as only one error

house here her


4. An error on a proper noun is counted only on the first error. Subsequent errors on that proper noun are coded but not tallied.

5. If a word is mispronounced due to a speech problem or dialect, it is coded but is not an error.

6. Repetitions are coded but are not errors.

7. Waits are coded but are not errors.

8. Sounding the first letter is coded but does not count as an error if the word is subsequently read correctly.

9. TTA- Try That Again= 1 error

10. Told= 1 error

11. Contractions count as one error

12. Each insertion counts as one error

13. Skipped line- each word counts as an error

14. If a child invents text, just write inventing at the bottom of the

page unless he invented on one line, then count each error

15. The only time the teacher can say anything is when the child

says something like, “I don’t know this word.” If that happens,

code an A on the top line and say ,”Try it.”

what are meaning cues
What Are Meaning Cues?

Does it make sense?

Prior Knowledge

Story Sense


Did the child’s attempt make sense up to the point of error? The teacher might think about the story background, information from the picture, and meaning in the sentence in deciding whether the child was using meaning as a source.


Child: “Stop”, said the mail man, but the truck went on.

Text: “Stop,” said the mail carrier, but the truck went on.

what are structure cues
What Are Structure Cues
  • Does it sound right?

Natural Language

Knowledge of English

Grammatical patterns and language


Structure refers to the way language works. It is often referred to as a syntax. It is the unconscious knowledge of the rules of grammar of the language the reader speaks. This helps as he eliminates alternatives. Using this knowledge, the reader checks whether the sentence “sounds right.”


Child: “Stop,” said the girl, and the truck went on.

Text: “Stop,” said the girl, but the truck went on.

what are visual cues
What Are Visual Cues?
  • Does it look right?

Sounds and symbols


Print conventions






Visual information refers to the way the letters and words look. IF the letters in the child’s attempt are visually similar to the letters in the word in the text, it is likely that the reader has used visual information. Analyzing the reader’s visual attention to words can be difficult. The child may only be looking at the beginning sound. He may be only looking at the end. Just knowing that the child is using some visual information in reading isn’t enough. The teacher must attend to the types of visual information the child is picking up.


Child: The boat was in the pool.

Text: The boat was in the pond.

what are self corrections
What Are Self-Corrections?

When strategic readers monitor their reading, they often notice that a substitution does not conform to all cues in text. They notice the discrepancy, go back and sample other sources of information (cues), and correct their error. Self-corrections require the readers to search for and use other cue sources, making sure they are interpreting the author’s message.

It’s important for a teacher to understand which cues a child used to make an error as well as the cues used to correct the error.

strategic behaviors to look for
Strategic Behaviors to look for…
  • Rereads to search for information
  • Takes the word apart to figure it out
  • Tries multiple strategies
  • Rereads to make sense
  • Keeps reading after attempting unknown word
  • “Hears” mistakes that don’t sound right or make sense
  • Takes actions to fix errors
  • Cross-checks for beginning visual
  • Puts words together in meaningful phrases
  • Predicts an unknown word using meaning
  • Searches pictures or letters in words to make meaningful guesses
recording noticings
Recording Noticings

Turn and Talk

  • How will you record what you notice regarding a child’s use of strategic behaviors?
  • Let’s Practice taking and analyzing a running record