Simplifying Running Records - Gearing up for a Great Year!

Tips for organizing and simplifying running records.  Grab a free and editable template for administering running records that can be used with any book.
Does administering and keeping track of running records stress you out?  Year after year I've tried different forms and types of organization and have finally found a simple, no prep method that works for me!
Tips for organizing and simplifying running records.  Grab a free and editable template for administering running records that can be used with any book.
Some of you may have programs that come with forms for administering running records with specific texts chosen at each level for students to be assessed with and/or the text written out on the page for you to record miscues on.  If you have these resources and you like using them, that's great!  I haven't always had these available to me and also don't like needing a specific form for a specific book just because it requires planning and copying ahead of time.

"Casual" Running Records

Disclaimer:  This is how I administer and organize my "casual" running records...not the big assessments that you are administering 2-4 times per year and submitting to administrators (like the DRA).

So, what do I consider a "casual" running record?  These are the ones I do throughout the week during reading groups or independent conferences just to ensure my students are in the right group, reading appropriate books, applying recently taught concepts, or to gather next steps for instruction.  They just take few minutes and are more for me rather than an "official" assessment.  They are also great for conferences, students that you need to progress monitor frequently, have RTI meetings for, or are trying to collect additional data on.

I typically do a running record on one student per group that I meet with each day, sometimes more, sometimes less.  If I am not pulling groups, I will just wander around the room with my binder (see below) and do running records as I confer with students and listen to them read independently.  But I do try to asses my lower kids every week and every kid at least every couple of weeks.  I usually do this quickly while other students whisper read a familiar book to themselves in the group.  For higher students, I just ask them to read aloud to me as I listen in since they typically read to themselves.  

One Form for ANY Book

So as I stated above, I don't like having to prepare copies of text for specific books.  I also like using books that my students are already reading so as not to waste time.  I've tried doing running records completely informally by just doing tick marks on the bottom of my group planning sheet or in a notebook, which works (I did this for years), but then if I needed the data for RTI purposes or to look back at it, it was just too much of a mess to mean anything to me past the immediate moment.  Teaching currently requires a lot more documentation and data than in the past so I needed to make a change.
Tips for organizing and simplifying running records.  Grab a free and editable template for administering running records that can be used with any book.
A couple of years ago I made a sheet that I can use for ANY running record and I love it because it really requires no prep (other than before school even begins).  All you need is a student and a book. The best part is that you don't have to count any words!  There are 120 boxes in rows of 10 and there is a star in the 100th box.  So it's really easy to know how many words have been read and when you can tell the child to stop.  Just put a check in each box as they read and/or record the miscues.  

On the bottom right there is space for recording the data analysis for the word reading.  This resource from ReadingResource.net explains how to calculate the error rate, self correction rate, and accuracy rate quite simply if you need help with that.  
Tips for organizing and simplifying running records.  Grab a free and editable template for administering running records that can be used with any book.
I have places on the sheet to record whether the book is familiar or unfamiliar as  well as the genre, title, and level of the book.  On the right hand side, I have comprehension skills listed that I commonly try to emphasize (this is for 2nd grade in TX).  After students read, I will typically ask them a couple of questions.  I will check the line next to the skills I address and then make notes as needed.  The 1, 2, 3, and 4 are for me to circle how well I believe they comprehended what they read.  Trust me, you think you will remember, but when you look back later at chicken scratch, you really don't!
Tips for organizing and simplifying running records.  Grab a free and editable template for administering running records that can be used with any book.
You can download a PDF of this free running record form for yourself.  If you teach another grade or are from another state, you may need different content on your form.  Feel free to download the EDITABLE PPT and make the changes that you need.  If you open the PPT, you will need to download the free font Hello I Heart You in order for it to look like same as the image.

Organize for the YEAR

Tips for organizing and simplifying running records.  Grab a free and editable template for administering running records that can be used with any book.
What I love most about using this form is that I can make enough copies for the entire school year before it even begins.  I never have to run around looking for books or forms.  I keep a binder for each class (at my last school we were departmentalized, so  I had two classes for ELAR).  I've found keeping the forms for the entire class together to work best. I can easily access the information for all my students, carry it around the room while conferring individually or use it during groups, and no reorganization is required if I frequently move students from group to group.
I bought in the numbered tabs for my binders and they work great.  I don't "number" my students like some people do so I just keep a class list in the front pocket and it works fine for finding my students.  And as the year goes on, you learn your students names in ABC order anyway.

Copy the form back to back, put a handful behind each student's tab, and you're set for the year!

Need a Refresher?

Running Records by Marie Clay
If you need a guide for administering running records, I recommend Running Records by Classroom Teachers by Marie Clay.  It's a really short booklet (literally a stapled booklet, only 30 pages long) that solely explains how to administer and record running records with examples.  It can easily be referred to when a question arises or if you need a refresher.  Or if this is a completely new concept to you, let me know and that's always something I can go into more detail with in another post!
Pin for Later:
Tips for organizing and simplifying running records.  Grab a free and editable template for administering running records that can be used with any book.
The Reading Crew has come together to bring you literacy tips to help you get the year started off on the right foot!  Enter to win a TpT gift card in the Rafflecopter below and underneath you will find the links to all other participating bloggers.  I hope you find some tips and resources that you can use!

Check out these other posts!


16 comments

  1. I LOVE everything about this running record form. Also, thank you for the editable version...so awesome!
    Julie
    The Techie Teacher

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing! I LOVE this!!

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  3. Thank you for the great form! I have the same book from Marie Clay and love it!

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    1. I like how it's short, simply, and too the point. It's a great book for teaching others.

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  4. What an incredible resource - I love that it can be used for any book!

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  5. Thank you so much for the great information, Jessica. I shared your post this evening, and it's getting great traffic. :-)

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  6. When I click the editable PPT it takes me to the Google Drive PDF. Help!!!

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  7. This post is a total keeper - I love how you've simplified and organized it all! And thank you for the freebie!

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  8. Jessica,
    Love your post! Teachers can always use ways to simplify record keeping and Running Records and so essential to doing our best literacy work. Thank you!

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  9. Thank you, Jessica. Love the record keeping idea to keep teachers organized.

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  10. I love this running record form! Thanks so much for sharing!

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