Read the Running Record Out Loud!
This is the time of the year when we begin to predict where students will be at the end of the school year. Teams meet to look at data walls. Administrators ask us questions about what we’re doing to help those students who seem to be treading water. We discuss possible interventions. The days are flying by, and we wonder if we’re doing enough. We’ve all been there, asking ourselves, “What else can we do?”
One idea is to analyze running records -- out loud. Take a running record on students who are not progressing? Instead of scoring them, analyze the child’s processing by verbalizing what the child is doing at difficulty. This can help clarify your thinking.
Say out loud exactly what you think the child is doing. Is the student constructing meaning when he or she makes an error? How do you know? Is there evidence the student is self-monitoring? What strategic actions does the student take to solve unknown words? Reread pages 108–109 in Next Step Forward in Guided Reading for Jan’s thoughts about using running records to inform your guided reading instruction.
A core principle of Reading Recovery is to focus on what the reader can do. At the top of the running record write three things the child can do. Now write three things he or she needs to learn next. Share these with your teammates. Ask your team for suggestions.
I have used this process successfully with teams and individual teachers. Give it a try. Thinking out loud can help us discover how to move students forward.
Written by: Ellen Lewis, Reading Teacher and Next Steps Guided Reading Consultant, email@example.com