I’ve just started a new coaching cycle with a Kindergarten teacher who is interested in building his understandings of guided reading. We’ve planned to work with a group of A/B level readers and will be using running records throughout the next six weeks to ensure that our work is supporting students progress as readers.
During my first few years in the classroom I rarely, if ever, gave running records outside of the required district reading assessments. With everything else I was trying to keep up with, these just seemed like one more thing “to do.” However, now after having done countless running records, I can confidently say that they provide reliable, relevant data.
Running records are an assessment given to guide teaching, assess text difficulty, and capture progress. The procedure is simple and straightforward. When analyzing what is recorded, you’re really challenged to think with greater clarity about the progress of your beginning or struggling readers. As a result, you adjust your instruction as needed and then guess what…your readers get moving! Running records make sense and are well worth your time.
To support my coachee with giving and analyzing these assessments, I created a running record form and progress tracker to use alongside of it. The running record form is user friendly with a space on the bottom for recording notes on student’s comprehension of a text. You can either type your notes directly into the document or record as you go on a blank form. The progress tracker form will help you visually capture a student’s progress over a period of time. The one featured below reflects the K-5 Fountas and Pinnell Levels. You can easily delete any unnecessary rows for the particular grade level you are working with. I have also included an example of what a completed progress tracker form might look like.
If you’d like to know about running records in more detail, Marie Clay’s book “Running Records for Classroom Teachers” is a great resource.
I’m also happy to answer any questions. Just send them my way!