Marking a Running Record
Administering Running Records uses specialized terminology that is important to learn. Review the terms and explanations below for more information.
- Errors (E) — Errors are counted whenever a reader does any of the following:
Substitutes another word for a word in the text
Omits a word
Inserts a word
Has to be told a word
Mispronounces a word (not a result of dialect; creates a nonword)
- Self-correction (SC) — Self-correction means the reader recognizes the error and corrects it. When this occurs, do not score the previous substitution as an error.
- Meaning (M) — Meaning is when the reader uses context clues or images with the text to identify the meaning of a word or phrase.
- Structure (S) — Structure may also be called syntax. It is the knowledge of the way language is structured, which helps the reader identify if something sounds correct.
- Visual (V) — Visual information is referred to when a reader uses visual information or strategies such as studying the beginning sound, word length, familiar word chunks, and so forth, to read a word.
While the student reads, mark the running record form with the appropriate symbols. Table 1 on the Taking a Running Record page will help you familiarize yourself with them. We've also provided a sample of a completed running record form below. Before working with students, practice taking running records with another teacher, who pretends to be an emergent reader.
Use the boxes to the right of the lines of text to gather information. Start with the first line, marking the number of errors in the "E" column. Then, tally the number of self-corrections in the "SC" column.
If you find the information useful, you may evaluate the errors and self-corrections to determine if they resulted from meaning, structure, or visual cueing. For each error or self-correction, write "MSV" in the box and circle the appropriate letter. This optional information is a way to further examine reading behaviors.
When you've completed your review, total the number of errors and self-corrections at the bottom of the columns. Use the Scoring and Analyzing a Running Record page for information on how to calculate the error, accuracy, and self-correction rates.