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Using Running Record Data

One reason I love Guided Reading is because of the ability to keep groups fluid. This can happen when using running record data to inform your decisions about groups. I wrote a blog post all about running records that you may want to read first here.

Today I wanted to go beyond what a running record is and instead share how you can take what is learned from a running record and turn it into a lesson. This then allows you to recognize if groups need to be shifted or if each student is in the right spot. 

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Review the Running Record

One thing that is important to do is to actually review the running record with the student who did the reading. 

You can discuss:

  • Things done well by the reader
  • Things the reader can improve
  • Specific word errors
  • Student self assessment
None of this should be overlooked, following a completed running record. This discussion will make the running record meaningful for you and your students. This is just one way of using the running record data to help improve your guided reading groups.


Using the Running Record Errors

Once you are aware of the specific errors that arose in the completion of the running record, you can use that as a focus for a 1:1 meeting, or for the small group, if the errors are common. 

3  Activities to do with words that were errors:

  1. Have the student write the words on a strip of paper. The student then practices reading the words, with your guidance. The goal is for the student to apply strategies to figure the words out, or to read them with no problem.
  2. Have the student cut up the words and then place all the words face up, in front of them. You will say one of the words, the student flips it over. Repeat this until all words are flipped over.
  3. Have the student cut up individual words, or parts of words, that are challenging. The student will then put the word back together, while practicing reading the word. 
These activities are another way of using the running record data to improve your guided reading groups instruction.

Completing Running Records

One more thing…running records don’t need to look perfect. They can simply be done on a piece of paper with you listing the page number and each error. However, if you prefer to have a more organized system to use for your running records, you can take a look at my Guided Reading Passages packs. Every single passage comes with a running record. 

Check them out for Levels Pre-A to Z here!

If you’d like to read more about Guided Reading Data Collection, check out this blog post. 

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Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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