people reading on benches

Ongoing assessment for reading

By Jeanne Gunther

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

A running record is a tool that helps teachers to identify patterns in student reading behaviors. These patterns allow a teacher to see the strategies a student uses to make meaning of individual words and texts as a whole. Running records, when paired with comprehension inquiry, can be used to identify an instructional reading level for individual students. While running records are a diagnostic tool, they can and should be used to inform instruction and to help extend a readers use of strategies for working on text. This section explains how to take a running record and how to use what you learn from it to help your students.