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Assessment Details

Running records
Assessment Area English-Reading
Year level 1-8
NZ origin? Yes and used in educational systems worldwide.
Standardised? No Running Records are scored and a conversion rate is used to calculate a percentage accuracy score. According to the number of errors and self-corrections, a mathematical formula is used to determine the level of text difficulty.
Administration to individual or group? Individual
What does it assess? A Running Record provides a score of word reading accuracy, an analysis of a reader's errors and self-corrections, and an analysis of the reading strategies used.
Purpose With a running record a teacher can quickly and accurately record what the reader says as they read a text or section of a text aloud. After the reading, the teacher completes an analysis to ascertain specific teaching required to meet the student's learning needs.
Validity Some apparent validity but little data available.
Reliability No reliability data is available.
What measures does it give? Based on material used for testing a score of word reading accuracy an analysis of a reader's errors and self-corrections, the reading strategies used helps to calculate the student's reading age and learning needs.
How long does it take to administer? Untimed, approximately 20 minutes per student
How much training is needed? Thorough reading of supporting material, practice with tests, and training by experienced users is helpful.
Scoring and data analysis Requires the ability to take running records. Record of reading is taken using pre-printed sheets.
Does it provide 'what next' strategies? Yes No , although an analysis of strengths and weaknesses gives indications of next teaching steps.
Is it available in te reo Maori? No Possibly available as Pānui Haere: http://kiaatamai.org/en/#contact
Cost? $20–$30 for supporting publication. $40 for sheet pad (200 sheets)
Author, date of publication and publisher Marie Clay, ISBN:9781927293096; Series: Running Records; Publisher: Marie Clay Literacy Trust

Online from School Essentials: 

– Running Records for Classroom Teachers, 1st edition: https://www.schoolessentials.co.nz/Product/8281863/Running-Records-for-Classroom-Teachers#.XmG5tpMvPOQ

– Running Records for Classroom Teachers, 2nd edition: https://www.schoolessentials.co.nz/Product/8529961/Running-Records-for-Classroom-Teachers-2nd-Edition#.XmG5M5MvPOQ

– Running Record Sheet pad (200 sheets): https://www.schoolessentials.co.nz/Product/8573612/Running-Record-Sheet-Pad-(200-sheets)/?BackToSearch=c27632c2-e37f-496b-a55d-37178b3c13cc&PageNo=0&ItemsPerPage=48&SortBy=1&SearchString=running%20records&FilterBy=#.XmG53JMvPOQ

– Extra useful information about running records in this pdf from Scholastic.

Further Information

Running Records can be used to assess students reading aloud from any text and in any setting. They provide a framework for systematically observing a student’s reading processing system.

Taking regular Running Records is essential as part of monitoring students’ learning needs. Running Records are particularly useful for students who may be at risk of not making the expected progress in reading.

Running Records are also commonly used to confirm a student’s ability to move to another colour wheel level.

  • What is this student able to do on text?
  • What is this student starting to do?
  • What is this student neglecting or not doing on text?
  • What sources of information are being used?

The way schools operate their running record procedures often varies from teacher to teacher and across schools. A standardised approach to running records is important so dependable teacher decisions can be used to support student learning and contribute to overall teacher judgments. The Ministry of Education’s resource, Using running records, remains the standard of how to administer a running record. The resource is no longer being produced, but it is available from libraries around New Zealand including the National Library. Information is also available in Using running records for classroom teachersMarie M. Clay, ISBN 978-0-868633-48-0