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Running Record The literacy assessment is a technique used by teachers to evaluate the skills children need to become proficient

readers. Its a great instructional tool for determining exactly how well a specific child is able to comprehend what they are reading, as well as how they actually read. Its also a great tool because it can be used with readers of any level. In Mrs. Bowes third grade classroom at Wicoff Elementary School in West Windsor Plainsboro New Jersey, I observed 8 year old Edison. Although Edison had done a running record before, he had never read Vanessas Butterflies so this was in a way still new to him. Edison was pulled aside and told to read a section from a book entitled, Vanessas Butterfly. I read him a brief introduction sentence saying, Vanessas name means butterfly. Read to find out what happens. This was taken from Fountas and Pinnell assessment, a level N nonfiction book. As Edison began to read the book I was able to follow along with what he was saying and mark off specific errors that were made on the corresponding recording form; the methodology used for this assessment. The first part of the running record was Oral Reading where I was to analyze how Edison actually read the text. Throughout the story, Edison only omitted five words, and none of these words were particularly vital to the story. He also added and and the in a few spaces but it simply rolled off his tongue. Edison was also able to self correct when adding the word it to another sentence. Overall Edison is a very fluent reader. He read primarily in three to four word phrase groups instead of completely smoothly through a full sentence. He may have chunked some phrases together, yet it was not broken and choppy. He paused at most of the commas but did keep reading through some of the periods. Also during this running record Edison was timed to establish his reading rate; the story only took him 1 minute and 48 seconds to read, yet he did not rush through.

The second part of the running record was Comprehension Conversation. For this part I asked Edison several prompts to have him explain key understandings that could be made about the story. Overall, Edison proved to be satisfactory in this section. He was able to explain the general idea of the story and include the events that occurred in sequence. At the end of the story Vanessa feels the butterfly should be free and no longer wants to keep it all for herself. The key understandings questions asked to tell the events of the story in chronological order in three to four sentences. Edison was very proficient in this question because he understood the general idea of the story line. The beyond the text questions asked more about feelings and changes within the main character Vanessa. Edison found this section a bit more difficult. Edison made a connection to keeping the butterfly in a jar and not being able to breathe but missed the key fact of explaining that she felt it needed to be free. He didnt really understand that Vanessa changed her mind because she saw how beautiful the butterfly was flying on its own. The last section, about the text focused on specific examples from the text the author used to describe the butterfly and the most important part of the story. Edison completely forgot about the special meaning of Vanessas name that was specifically mentioned in the introduction. Edison was able to identify some descriptive details from the texts in bits but still didnt touch upon the fact that Vanessa wanted the butterfly to be free. When it came to reaching beyond the text, Edison had difficulty bringing outside information to help with his understanding. These findings would prove useful for Edisons reading in the future. The running record allows the teacher to determine what specific level he is at reading wise. This way each student falls into a specific category labeled by a letter. Mrs. Bowes has boxes of books around her classroom in bins organized by reading level. By periodically using a running record, a teacher can mark a students progress, ensuring that the books the students read during independent

reading are not too difficult to comprehend, yet not so easy as to be boring. This helps the students make sure they are reading books that are just right for them. During independent reading time, Edison would be able to choose books that are level N and be able to read and comprehend them because those books are specifically for him. That way Edison wont be reading books that are below his level or books that are too difficult and frustrate him. Because Edison had difficulty remembering details I would try using post it notes during class read alouds. This way, he would hear key information and jot it down so he remembers it and is able to participate more in class discussions. Post it notes could also be helpful with his independent reading. He could include them at the end of a chapter to summarize key information that could be useful to remember throughout the rest of the story. Also, reflecting on Edisons responses to the comprehension questions, more activities could be included in daily activities to help students truly understand what they are reading and retain that knowledge. After a whole class read aloud, sometimes students are asked to return to their seats and write about the reading. In this case, Edison could be provided with a story map to make sure he remembers the key facts of the story, such as the special meaning of Vanessas name. Edison made minimal connections to outside information relating to the story. The teacher could offer more partner work following readings so that Edison must offer up his own opinions and experiences. Edison sharing personal connections will make him feel more linked with the text and get him to participate in group discussions more. These helpful strategies will help Edison to improve when is reassessed on his reading fluency and comprehension in the future.