About Running Records

The Running Records that accompany the Benchmark Passages and Benchmark Books (Levels aa-J) are one of three parts in the process designed to accurately assess students' reading behavior and comprehension. Working together, the three parts help identify the students' developmentally appropriate levels and teachers monitor progress through levels.

Three-Part Process

1 You can assign a digital version of a Benchmark Passage, Benchmark Book (Levels aa-J) using the Assign button on the book's thumbnail or landing page. Students record themselves reading aloud and send their recording to your Kids A-Z In Basket. Use the online running records to score their reading behavior.
If you prefer, you can provide a printed version of the books. Sit one-on-one with students and listen as they read aloud. Use the printed Running Records to score their reading behavior.

2 Students record a retelling of the text and send it to your Kids A-Z In Basket, where you use online rubrics for fiction and nonfiction texts to score their comprehension.
You can have students provide an oral retelling and use the printed Retelling Rubics to score them.

3 Students take a Comprehension Quick Check Quiz, and our software scores it. Skill Reports help you identify comprehension skills for additional practice.
You can provide students with a printed version of the Comprehension Quick Check Quiz and use the answer key to find their score.
The student data form performing printed assessments can be entered into the Kids A-Z Student Management area.

How to Use Running Records

The beginning of the school year is an opportune time to use this three-part assessment process. It will provide you with invaluable information on your students' reading abilities and help you place them in appropriate levels. Continue to use the process at regular intervals (such as those provided in the chart below) to monitor students' progress throughout the year.

Digital Running Records

Printed Running Records

Note Students can be assigned only one assessment at a time.

Assessment Schedule

Developmental Level Reading Level Schedule
Beginning Readers Levels aa-C every 2 to 4 weeks
Developing Readers Levels D-J every 4 to 6 weeks
Effective Readers Levels K-P every 6 to 8 weeks
Automatic Readers Levels Q-Z every 8 to 10 weeks

Note Students who are not progressing at the expected rate should be assessed more frequently than the Assessment Schedule suggests.

How to Score Running Records

Administering a running record takes practice. To learn more about how to administer, mark, and score printed running records, click on the links below.

Tip: Assessments like running records that require your interaction get delivered to your Kids A-Z In Basket
            Taking a Running Record            

            Marking a Running Record            

            Scoring and Analyzing a Running Record

When scoring an online running record, the information is used to determine error, accuracy, and self-correction rates.

While you are indicating the type of error, the recording will pause. After a selection is made, the recording will resume at a point slightly before the error.

The Running Record Scorecard

The online tool uses the length of the recording and the selected errors to automatically calculate the scorecard.

Place and Move Up Students

Using the information gathered from the online Running Record and the Assessment Report, you can measure students' progress and decide their appropriate level. The chart below provides guidelines on when to move a student up or down a level. You can easily change a student's level in the Kids A-Z student profile page, which will automatically move them into the Level Up! self-paced assignment for that level.


Running Record Accuracy Rate Quick Check Comprehension Quiz Action
95% + 100% Advance Student a Level
95% + 80% Instruct at this Level
95% + <80% Lower a Level, Assess Again
90-94% 80-100% Instruct at this Level
90-94% <80% Lower a Level, Assess Again
<90%* N/A Lower a Level, Assess Again

* Some teachers may choose to instruct students at a level in which they have scored lower than 90 percent, but generally will not instruct using texts in which students score below 85 percent.

How to Choose an Assessment Text

While we suggest that students should be assessed using cold reads (texts they have never seen before) to provide a more accurate measure of ability, some may prefer to use familiar texts. If you do prefer familiar texts, you can use another book or passage on a similar topic.

How Do I Reward Students' Reading Progress?

Kids A-Z has robust incentives to encourage students to read. By finishing assessments, completing books and quizzes, and doing other tasks, students earn stars that they can spend to personalize their avatar in the Avatar Builder and their Raz Rocket. You can also award bonus stars after scoring assessments or any time you feel it is merited.