Every day teachers are required to make decisions before, during and after teaching. Some of these decisions will seem small and insignificant and others will have far reaching consequences. All of the assessment undertaken and subsequent decisions made can potentially enhance teaching and influence student learning outcomes for the better (Brady & Kennedy, 2009). There are numerous things to be assessed and various methods for assessing. One example of this is the assessment of reading. A Running Record is one method of assessing a child’s reading (Hill, 2012). The running record allows the teacher to note a child’s reading behaviour as he or she reads from a chosen text. It examines both the accuracy of reading and the types of errors children make when reading. It also allows the teacher to determine the reading level of the student. A close analysis of the results of a running record assessment provides insights into which reading strategies a child may or may not be using. This assists the teacher to plan for future learning to target problem areas and to help children further develop and refine their reading strategies and skills (Tompkins, Campbell & Green, 2012).
The following analysis of a running record will attempt to examine the reading behaviours of the child who undertook the assessment and identify any problem areas or issues the child may be experiencing. A discussion of the learning needs of the student in relation to the results of the running record will be included. The analysis and discussion will also consider relevant literary and theoretical perspectives around this topic.
The Running Record being analysed for the purposes of this paper is ‘On the table’. This text has been identified as a level one (1) text which correlates approximately with kindergarten or foundation year level indicating the student (for the purposes of this assignment will be called James) who undertook this assessment would be around five years old and likely to be in the latter stages of Emergent or early stages of Beginner reader (Tompkins, Campbell & Green, 2012). The total number of errors made is 5 (out of a possible 56) which effectively equates to one error being made for every
11.2 words. The accuracy rate is 91% and the self-correction rate is 0. These scores indicate the text level is Instructional. When a student is able to read a text (with teacher support) with an accuracy score of between 90-94% and with an error ratio of 1:10-1:17 the text is classified as Instructional Reading Level (Clay, 1993). A close analysis of the running record suggests that James may be paying more attention to information from the illustrations and to some of the visual features of the text than he is paying to syntactic or structural information. This is illustrated in the instance of James reading “The little train” instead of “The little car”. In order to construct a meaningful sentence James uses his graphophonic knowledge to read the word ‘the’ (which is probably one of a small but growing bank of familiar words he can recognise). Unable to use any meaning, structure or visual cues to decode the word ‘little’ the teacher gives him the word. Finally he draws information from the illustrations (which may comprise several objects including a car and train) and chooses the word ‘train’ which although is an error, makes sense, sounds right and is reinforced by the illustrations (Hill, 2012). James is able to independently read each word in the second sentence - ‘is on the table’. Once again James is drawing on visual cues; the features of the letters and words which he can link to what he already knows about how they sound when spoken and meaning cues to decode these words. He knows that the book title is ‘On the Table’ and the illustrations reinforce that that is where the ‘train’ is (Tompkins, Campbell & Green, 2012).
The repetitive nature of this text is common to many texts...
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