Free Running Record Template | How to Take a Running Record!

Running Records Template and Assessment examples and free file! Learn how to complete the running record assessment form. Learn why running records help you analyze readers and help you learn what to teach next. FREE printable file is included.

Running records template and assessment examples and free file! Learn how to complete the running record assessment form. Learn why running records help you analyze the accuracy rate and self-correction rate of readers and help you learn what to teach next. You can also grab a FREE printable running records file with a leveled text in this article.

Running records free pdf

Running Records Assessment: What are they?

Way back in the day, researcher Marie Clay designed the running record assessment as a tool to analyze and capture a student’s thinking and reading behaviors. It is also not just used to find a student’s independent level or instructional level, but also how young readers react when they are reading. Here are some questions classroom teachers learn as they conduct an informal running record to assess their students’ progress:

  • Does the student glance at the pictures for a clue? 
  • Are they using visual cues?
  • Are they a fluent reader?
  • What is their self-correction ratio?
  • Can they answer comprehension questions?
  • Are they activating self corrections when they say an incorrect word?
  • Are they able to navigate grade level texts?

 

Running Records Template and Assessment examples and free file! Learn how to complete the running record assessment form. Learn why running records help you analyze readers and help you learn what to teach next. FREE printable file is included.
Free Running Record Template | How to Take a Running Record! 1

Because a reader is always changing, it is best to use running records frequently during small group instruction ad throughout the school year. It provides valuable information about the student’s reading process.

Running Records Template and Assessment examples and free file! Learn how to complete the running record assessment form. Learn why running records help you analyze readers and help you learn what to teach next. FREE printable file is included.

Running Records Assessment: Why do we need them?

  • It guides our teaching.  Like I said above, a young reader is constantly evolving so the running record can give us insight into what their next steps in lessons should be.
  • It helps us find that “just right book” for instruction. Through a running record, we can see what a child does at the point of difficulty. If the book is too easy, then the child’s cueing system might not be obvious to the observer. If the book is too difficult, students might abandon all strategies in the hopes of surviving the text. In others words, they are reading at their frustration level.
  • It documents the students reading growth over time. A running record is like an actual recording of a student reading. You can look back at the document to see the student’s progression or at times, their lack of progression.
  • It helps you to group your students. Someone recently asked, “Is there a way to place students in reading groups without having to do running record forms? Um… nope… not in my opinion and not according to the experts. Now you may, initially, place students in a guided reading group based on your “best guess,” but by conducting routine and continuous running records, you can be assured they are placed in the right instructional text group. NOTE: There are other small groups you might pull for ELA skills like rhyming or phoneme manipulation that are not based on their guided reading level.
  • Additionally, as a school district, it was required for us to determine the text level of each of our students… Whomp! Whomp!
Running Records Template and Assessment examples and free file! Learn how to complete the running record assessment form. Learn why running records help you analyze readers and help you learn what to teach next. FREE printable file is included.

Running Records Assessment: When do you do them?

Every time I meet with a small group I grab at LEAST one running record on one of my individual students. I have the opportunity to take a familiar read running record while we are doing a quick fluency check-in. Students will read the book they had from the previous lesson that they have taken home to practice.

When I introduce a new book, I take another running record (usually on a different student). This running record will be a cold read. Within a 2 week cycle, I will have collected at least one running record for each student in the group.

I used to be guilty of moving or swapping my reading groups every 6 weeks after the official assessment time. I soon realized this was a missed opportunity. Groups should be fluid, so students should be able to change groups when it is needed… not every 6 weeks.

 

Running Records Template and Assessment examples and free file! Learn how to complete the running record assessment form. Learn why running records help you analyze readers and help you learn what to teach next. FREE printable file is included.

Running Records Template: How do you take a running record?

First of all, this is done as part of your instruction, not something you stop instruction to do. So when I take a cold read running record, the student has already received a book introduction. Then I repeat the title and ask them to read for me. You can use a running record template like the one below, or simply a blank piece of paper.

Running Records Template and Assessment examples and free file! Learn how to complete the running record assessment form. Learn why running records help you analyze readers and help you learn what to teach next. FREE printable file is included.

Running Records Assessment: Recording Errors on the running record form

First off… running record errors only count in the text. You do not count the errors in titles, subtitles, or captions.

Error Patterns

  • an omission (child just skips the word)
  • a substitution (child says a different word instead)
  • an incorrect attempt (they tried, but did not get the word right)
  • an appeal (they ask for help… even if you don’t tell them the word, but give them a strategy to try)
  • told (you tell them the word)
  • an insertion (the child adds a word that is not there)
  • if they skip a whole line of text, each word that was skipped counts as an error
  • If they skip a whole page, that counts as one error
  • Incorrect proper nouns (like a name) is counted only once as an error… even if they missed it every time)

Does not count as an error:

  • self-corrections
  • repetitions
  • a correct attempt
  • words that are pronounced differently in a child’s accent

Documenting errors

As a student reads the word correctly, you add a check mark or tick marks above each word. Documenting errors will provide the opportunity for you to do a miscue analysis and direct your next instructional decision.

Running Record Cheat Sheet

I really recommend an app called The Running Record Toolbox.  I’ve been doing running records for a while and I still use it. I have never met or talked to the designer of this app (nor am I compensated for my endorsement) but I heard it was developed by a teacher in Arkansas. It could be an urban legend…ha! But the app is .99!  No brainer!

Through this app, you will enter the total number of words, the total number of errors and will provide the error rate and accuracy rate. If you don’t use the app, you can use the following formula:

Total words / Total errors = Error rate

Running Record Cheat Sheet Tool

Running Records Assessment: What do the errors tell you?

The goal of a running record is to document student progress plus additional information about individual readers. A running record captures student performance and is a formative assessment that directs your instructional focus. The three-cueing system asks the teacher to examine the child’s oral reading to see which sources of information the child is using. Initially, an emergent reader may use the pictures to help them make a smart guess at a word. Through the professional development I have received and conducted, I have seen elementary schools move away from the reading recovery approach to small group reading in favor of the Science of Reading approach. You can read more about the differences between guided reading and decodable texts by reading the following blog post:

 

Even though I strongly support this move, I still feel a running record is one of the most valuable assessment tools we have to assess a child’s fluency and a student’s progress as they learn to apply the basic skills of reading.  Running records can be done on decodable texts instead.

Running Records Template and Assessment examples and free file! Learn how to complete the running record assessment form. Learn why running records help you analyze readers and help you learn what to teach next. FREE printable file is included.

So you can ask yourself… are they ignoring the meaning of the story? Are they ignoring what sounds right? Are they ignoring the way the word looks (like substituting the word “rabbit” for “bunny”.)

Running Records Template and Assessment examples and free file! Learn how to complete the running record assessment form. Learn why running records help you analyze readers and help you learn what to teach next. FREE printable file is included.

So you can ask yourself… are they ignoring the meaning of the story? Are they ignoring what sounds right? Are they ignoring the way the word looks (like substituting the word “rabbit” for “bunny”.)

Oh boy… this a lot to take in!  

You can find all of our leveled texts and running records assessments by clicking:  Leveled Texts and Guided Reading

If you want to know more about guided reading, you may be interested in the following blog post:

 

FREE Running Records Template and Assessment file

Try out our guided reading lesson plans with this free set. Simply put your name and email in the box below and it will be sent to you!

 
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Running Records Template and Assessment examples and free file! Learn how to complete the running record assessment form. Learn why running records help you analyze readers and help you learn what to teach next. FREE printable file is included.

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Deedee Wills

Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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6 Responses

  1. He is a teacher in Arkansas! Teacher tipster…he is HILARIOUS! I have used so many of his clever tips :)! Definitely worth checking out online!!

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