How to Take a Running Record
  • Select a book that approximates the child’s reading level. Explain to the child that she or he will read out loud as you observe and record her or his reading behavior.
  • With the running record form in hand, sit next to the child so that you can see the text and the child’s finger and eye movements as she or he reads the text.
  • As the child reads, mark each word on the running record form by using the appropriate Running Record Symbols and Marking Conventions shown below. Place a check mark above each word that is read correctly.
  • If the child reads incorrectly, record above the word what the child reads.
  • If the child is reading too fast for you to record the running record, ask her or him to pause until you catch up.
  • Be sure to pay attention to the reader’s behavior. Is the child using meaning (M), structural (S), and visual (V) cues to read words and gather meaning?
  • Intervene as little as possible while the child is reading.
  • If the child is stuck and unable to continue, wait 5 to10 seconds and tell her or him the word. If the child seems confused, indicate the point of confusion and say, “Try again.”