Running Record - Children and Reading Equal Success

Running are a method of recording a student’s
reading behavior. Running Records provide
teachers with information that can be analyzed
to determine the strengths and needs of an
individual student.
 Since a prepared script is unnecessary,
Running Records can be taken at any time on
any reading material.
Place Students in Instructional “Reading
Materials – scores: If a student reads with 90 – 94% accuracy, they are
correctly placed. If a student with 95 – 100%, the reading material is too easy and
additional testing on higher level material is needed to assure proper placement in
instructional material. If a student isn’t placed instructionally, they have little opportunity
to learn to use reading strategies.
Monitoring Progress - Teachers can identify print concepts, reading
cues and strategies used successfully by the student. Running Records are used to
ensure that students continue to read at their instructional level. The teacher can then
analyze reading behaviors to discover strengths and pinpoint needs.
Designing Reading Lessons - Data from running records
should be used to assist teachers when determining the focus for instruction in
reading lessons.
Running Records are a way of observing and recording reading behaviors. Teachers can
use information form Running Records to:
1. Identify what students can do with text.
2. Evaluate the difficulty of texts that students are reading.
3. Identify when students need to be accelerated to the next reading level.
4. Monitor progress of students.
5. Show particular difficulties of students.
6. Help plan day-today instruction.
7. Provide reliable documentation of long-term progress.
8. Determine whether students are reading at an independent, instructional, or
frustration level.
9. Running Records provide valuable insight into:
Strengths (on easier materials
Weaknesses (on the more difficult material)
Independent – 95 – 100% accuracy
(Reading to Self)
Instructional – 90 - 94% accuracy
(Reading for instruction)
Hard/Frustration – Below 90% accuracy
Conventions for Running Record
The boy ran home.
 Accurate Reading: The boy ran home.
 Substitution: The boy went home
 Omission: The boy ran.
 Insertion: The little boy ran home.
 Repeat: The boy ran home. The boy ran home. The
boy The boy ran home.
 Told: make with a T
 Appeals: make with an A
Error Rate:
Accuracy Rate:
Self-Correction Rate: Add the number of errors and the number of
Divide the number of running record words by the number of
errors. RW/E = 100/10 to calculate error rate. The ratio would be 1:10 or one error
for every ten words the student read.
Use the error ration of 1:10 and the conversion table to
find the accuracy rate of 90% or subtract errors from the running record words to
find the number of correctly read words. Then divide the running record words into
the correct read words. 100 – 10 = 90
90/100 = 90%
self-corrections. Then divide by the number of self-corrections. E+SC/SC =
10 + 5/5 The ration would be 1:3 or one self correction for each three errors the
student made.
Young children need to have certain basic concepts/abilities in order to learn to read:
 Concept that print carries the message
 Ability to attend visually to the print and the distinctive features of printed text
 Basic concepts about the conventions of the English language.
In order to read, the reader used information in the printed text to help determine the
author’s intended message. It is understood that reading is an interactive process in
which the reader also comprehends the text. Marie Clay developed Running Record
to record the reader’s behavior and analyze the substitutions and self-corrections
made while reading. Meaning, Structure, and Visual (M S V) cues are the basis for
this important analysis. Cues are defined as sources of information in the text When
analyzing errors and self-corrections, take into account the text up to and including
the error.
Prior Knowledge
Story Sense
Sound and Symbols
Print Conventions
Natural Language
Grammar &
Language Structure
of English
Meaning Cues
•What’s happening in the story?
•Intended message almost the same
•Picture used
•Take into account only text up to and
including error
•Does it make sense?
Structure Cues
•Not visually similar
•A possible English sentence
•Take into account only text up to and
including error
•Does it sound right?
Visual Cues
•Letter and words that look alike
•High Visual similarity
•Take into account only text up to
and including error
•Does it look right?
•Determine cues used to make error
•Determine possible cues used to self-correct
Look at each error. Ask yourself: “What made the child say that
particular word instead of the one in the text?”
Did the child use MEANING cues (M) Ask yourself: “Does that
substitution make sense?”
Did the child use STRUCTURAL cues? (S) Ask yourself: “Can we say it
that way in English?”
Did the child use VISUAL cues? (V) Ask yourself: “Did the child see
something in the print that led her to say that word?”
Analysis of Self Corrections – For errors tha were self corrected there
is a further step.
After asking the 3 error questions, ask yourself: “What led the child
to correct the original error?” or What else did the child use to notice
there was an error and to fix it up?”
Children need to learn to:
 SEARCH the text and pictures for clues to meaning
and to PREDICT what the text is about.
 SELF MONITOR to make sure what is being read
makes sense, and SELF CORRECT if meaning is
 CROSS CHECK that what is read matches exactly
what is on the page.
 CONFIRM that everything is coming together in a
meaningful way
The teacher examines the running record for evidence of
what the child did at the point of difficulty.
 Did the child stop at an unknown word and make no
 Did the child appeal for help?
 Did the child reread to gather information?
 Did the child articulate the first letter of the problem
 Was the child using meaning, structure, visual
information or some combination?
Strategies are cognitive actions initiated by the reader to construct meaning
from the text. We cannot observe strategies, but we can collect evidence of
reading behavior that indicates a child is engaging in mental problemsolving. We know that effective readers:
 predict upcoming events
 use pictures to support meaning
 anticipate language structure
 make links to their personal knowledge
 monitor by rereading
 cross-check one source of information against another (meaning, structure,
and visual information)
 search to extract further information
 self correct
 read fluently
 problem solve flexibly
To examine strategies use, the teacher can
analyze running records and look closely at
cues that were used or ignored by the reader.
The teacher must determine if the child
employed a strategy to help her actively make
predictions and confirm or reject the
predictions based on other information.
Clay, M.M. (1993). An Observation Survey. Portsmouth, NH: Heineman
Clay, M.M. (2000) Running Records for Classroom Teachers. Portsmouth,
NH: Heineman

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