Reading A-Z resources organized into weekly content-based units and differentiated instruction options.
Self-correction occurs when a child realizes his or her error and corrects it. When a child makes a self-correction, the previous substitution is not scored as an error.
Meaning is part of the cueing system in which the child takes his or her cue to make sense of text by thinking about the story background, information from pictures, or the meaning of a sentence. These cues assist in the reading of a word or phrase.
Structure refers to the structure of language and is often referred to as syntax. Implicit knowledge of structure helps the reader know if what he or she reads sounds correct.
Visual information is related to the look of the letter in a word and the word itself. A reader uses visual information when he or she studies the beginning sound, word length, familiar word chunks, etc.
Marking M, S, and V on a Running Record
When a child makes an error in a line of text, record the source(s) of information used by the child in the second column from the right on the running record form. Write M, S, and V in to the right of the sentence in that column. Then circle M, S, and/or V, depending on the source(s) of information the child used.
If the child self-corrects an error in a line of text, use the far right-hand column to record this information. Write M, S, and V to the right of the sentence in that column. Circle the source(s) of information the child used for the self-correction.
You may choose to administer a running record assessment without recording your observations regarding the childs use of meaning (M), structure (S), and visual (V) cues. Even without recording this information on the form, and you can still use the information on error, selfcorrection, and accuracy rates to place the child at a given reading level.
How Often to Take a Running Record
Running records are taken with greatest frequency at the earlier stages of reading. Children not progressing at the expected rate should be assessed even more frequently than the schedule suggested below.
How to Take a Running Record
Analyzing and Scoring a Running Record
The qualitative analysis is based on observations that you make during the running record. It involves observing how the child uses the meaning (M), structural (S), and visual (V) cues to help him or her read. It also involves paying attention to fluency, intonation, and phrasing. Think back to the prompts you offered and how the child responded to the prompts. All of these things help you to form a picture of the childs reading development.
The information gathered while doing a running record is used to determine error, accuracy, and self-correction rates. Directions for calculating these rates are given below. The calculated rates, along with qualitative information and the childs comprehension of the text, are used to determine a childs reading level.
Error rate is expressed as a ratio and is calculated by dividing the total number of words read by the total number of errors made.
Total words / total errors = Error rate
TW / E = ER
120 / 6 = 20
The ratio is expressed as 1:20. This means that for each error made, the child read 20 words correctly.
Accuracy rate is expressed as a percentage. You can calculate the accuracy rate by using the following formula:
(Total words read total errors) / total words read x 100 = Accuracy rate.
(TW - E) / TW x 100 = AR
(120 6) / 120 x 100 = Accuracy rate
114/120 x 100 = Accuracy rate
.95 x 100 = 95%
You can use accuracy rate to determine whether the text read is easy enough for independent reading, difficult enough to warrant instruction yet avoid frustration, or too difficult for the reader. The breakdown of these three categories is as follows:
Self-correction is expressed as a ratio and is calculated by using the following formula:
(Errors + self-correction) / self-correction = Self-correction rate
(E + SC) / SC = SC rate
(10 + 5) / 5 = SC
15 / 5 = SC
3 = SC
The SC is expressed as 1:3. This means that the child corrects 1 out of every 3 errors.
If a child is self-correcting at a rate of 1:3 or less, this indicates that she or he is self-monitoring her or his reading.
After the Reading
After the child reads the benchmark book and you record a running record, have the child do an oral retelling of the story. Ask the child to close the book and then tell you about the story in as much detail as she or he can remember. If the child has difficulty retelling parts of the story or remembering certain details, you can use prompts such as "Tell me more about (character x)" or "What happened after
." Analyze the retelling for information the child gives about the following:
After the reading, talk to the child about some of the things he or she did during the reading. Reinforce and praise certain behavior with comments and questions that focus on specific behaviors. For example, after the child reads the text, you might focus on a self-correction and ask, "How did you know it was people and not persons?"
In addition to the things revealed by the running record and retelling, there are other behaviors you should also be looking for. The things you should look for will vary with the reading level. They include the following:
Assessing childrens reading progress is key to moving them along at the proper developmental rate. The combination of information gained from the analysis of a running record, qualitative analysis, and analysis of a childs retelling will help you select the appropriate books for your childrens reading levels. Remember, it does the reader little good to be placed at a reading level that is too difficult for him or her. Running records will help you match children with the appropriate level of reading materials.
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