Running Records

UDL 6.4

A Running Record is an ongoing formative assessment that helps teachers identify a student’s independent reading abilities and comprehension of a leveled text. While administering a Running Record, a teacher reminds students to use word-solving strategies and to cross-reference while reading since the student must read without teacher support. As a student reads a short passage or book at their anticipated independent reading level, the teacher uses specific annotations on a separate copy of the text to keep a “record” of the student’s performance (e.g., miscues, omissions, self-corrections, re-reads, substitutions). After reading, the teacher does not teach into errors the student made. Instead, the teacher assesses student comprehension by asking the student to summarize or answer literal and inferential questions related to the text.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Running Record

Running Record Template

Teachers can copy and paste the text of the passage they're using for Running Records into this template to record data.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 · English Language Arts, Reading · 1 pages

Implementation Tips

Text Selection
Select texts to be used when assessing at each reading level, making sure to keep these texts isolated from the classroom library. When conducting a Running Record, students should be reading the texts as a “cold read” so that the assessment truly reflects their independent reading skills.
Prepare a system for monitor student progress across the school year by creating a tracking sheet with columns to maintain student records (e.g., names, reading level accuracy percentages, self-corrections, fluency, etc.) or print Scholastic's [[ | Class-wide Assessment Tracking Sheet ]] to organize information.
Supporting Student Confidence
Support students by choosing levels that are not excessively challenging while assessing (e.g., if a student is reading below grade level, they should not be assessed at grade level expectation since that would cause frustration). Use observations and check-ins to help determine student assessment levels.
Facilitating A Running Record
Create a quiet, relaxed environment when conducting 1:1 assessments by selecting times when the student can read uninterrupted (e.g., while other students are read independently). Use this [[ | annotation guide ]] during an assessment to highlight student reading behaviors and help determine next steps.
Determining Comprehension
Determine student comprehension by asking the student to summarize only the most important parts of what they just read. Ask additional engaging questions to deepen a student’s reflection (e.g., literal, inferential, and evaluative questions).
Building Independence
Build independence after determining the student’s independent reading level (i.e., student accuracy percentage is >96%), by giving students take-away target skills to practice (e.g., written on a sticky note, strategy card, reading goal strip). Show the student where access independent books in the class library.
Building A Routine
Conduct formal Running Record assessments 3 times a year, and more frequent assessments when a student demonstrates progress. Emergent readers should be assessed every 2-4 weeks. Daily student progress can be monitored through observations during Reading Workshop and Guided Reading.
Using Grade Level Benchmarks
Use grade level benchmarks to help set instructional level expectations for readers and to determine where students stand on the learning continuum. Check this [[ | Fountas & Pinnell chart ]] for grade level goals.


Assessing MSV (Meaning, Syntax, Visual)
While determining a student’s independent reading abilities with Level D texts, a teacher uses a Running Record to track how many words the student correctly reads, and the errors and corrections made. As the student reads aloud, the teacher discretely makes annotations, specifically analyzing if the errors made presented a meaning, syntax, or visual challenge to the student. When the student has finished reading the teacher asks the student to retell what they just read. Based on the student’s summary and [[ | Running Record analysis ]], the teacher decides to have the student continue work with Level C texts a little longer.
Assessing Decoding, Fluency, and Comprehension
After a student demonstrates fluent reading during Guided Reading at Level K, a teacher uses a Running Record to determine if the student can be progressed to read independently at Level L. During the Running Record, the teacher recognizes that the student’s decoding abilities have improved significantly (e.g., accuracy percentage rate >96%), but the student demonstrated some difficulty demonstrating comprehension. The teacher decides to promote the student and scaffolds their comprehension of Level L texts by providing [[ | targeted strategies ]] for the student to refer to for support instead of feeling confused when reading on their own.