Reading Process Classroom Environment Instructional Decision Making Sample Lessons by Level

Facilitator Notes

The Clemson Virtual Professional Development Library (VPDL) for South Carolina Classroom Teachers was designed to support Professional Learning Communities. As we know, powerful learning can occur when we view others’ teaching and analyze it together with colleagues! For this reason, the majority of the modules feature video clips of Guided Reading lessons, as well as commentaries about the lessons by the teachers themselves. While the modules do not need to be viewed in order, we do recommend that teachers are familiar with the ideas in “The Reading Process”, “Engagement and Independence: Creating Classroom Environment”, and “Instructional Decision Making”, before working through the specific levels of Guided Reading. Of course if these concepts are well established in your school community, you may not need to view all of those introductory modules.

Below we provide some suggestions for facilitators, to help prepare to lead a session using this module.



This module focuses on the use of running records to support teachers in maximizing the impact of their guided reading lessons. Please see the Introduction to Formative Assessment (above this chart), for an explanation of the scope of this module. The module is divided into three power point presentations: Recording a Running Record, Scoring a Running Record, and Analyzing a Running Record. Handouts needed for each segment are noted below and may be downloaded from Supporting Documents.

All the presentations require pausing and inserting additional time for teachers to work on coding, scoring, or analyzing sample running records. The time shown next to each segment reflects the running time of the presentation only.

You may also want to refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) module on this website. Several questions related to using running records are discussed in the FAQ.

Taking regular running records may seem overwhelming to some teachers, especially if they are just learning to take, score, and analyze them.

Here are some suggestions for supporting teachers in effectively using running records:

  • Emphasize that it gets easier to take and learn from running records the more you do them! As time goes on, the procedures become second-nature and the teacher can focus on what he or she is learning from the observations.
  • Share some running records of your own and how they supported you in making teaching decisions.
  • Teachers will have a much greater appreciation for the power of a running record after they view some of the Guided Reading modules, where they see teachers taking running records and crafting teaching points, and where they also hear the teachers explain their thinking in post-lesson interviews.
  • You may want teachers to bring some of their own running records to the PLC and score and analyze them in Parts 2 and 3 of this module. The collaborative discussions about the reading behaviors of their own students may help teachers understand the value of running records.
  • See Pat Johnson’s chapter on running records in Suggested Readings. She makes useful suggestions for discussions among teachers about the information gleaned from running records.


Suggestions for Extending Participation in the Module:

Part 1: Recording a Running Record

This session is intended for those teachers who are not familiar with how to take a running record, or need a refresher on the notations. The standard notations used to code students’ reading behaviors on a running record are explained, and teachers practice with a text read aloud. The correct notations are then provided, along with some commentary about them. The examples used do not represent real children’s reading, but instead provide opportunities for teachers to practice using all of the various codes.

Make available at the start of the session (download from Supporting Documents):

  • Blank running record sheets (2 or 3 – There are 3 practices, but they could continue practice on one sheet for 2 parts).
  • Chart of Running Record Notations (the last column about scoring will be discussed in the next segment of the module)
  • Text of Bella’s Dinner

Make available at the appropriate slides after teachers practice taking their own running records:

  • Running Record Practice #2
  • Running Record Practice #3

The scripts (what the child read) for Running Record Practices #2 and #3 are also provided in Supporting Documents for your reference if you would like to have them available. They are read aloud in the power point presentation, and reviewed on specific slides after teachers practice on their own.

The script and correct notations for Running Record Practice #1 are detailed on the slides of the power point.

For a more detailed introduction to how to take a running record, see Suggested Readings.


Part 2: Scoring a Running Record

Teachers participate in this segment by scoring running record practice examples they coded in the previous segment.

Make available at the start of the session (download from Supporting Documents):

  • Chart of Running Record Notations (teachers could bring these if they participated in Part 1.)
  • Additional Protocols for Scoring Running Records
  • Running Record Practice #3 (from previous segment or download)
  • Calculating Running Record Scores Sheet

You will be pausing the slide show to provide time for teachers to study how the student behaviors on the Notations and Additional Protocols charts are scored, and also to allow time for teachers to practice scoring and discuss their results. The final Reflection slide also asks teachers to think about how they will use the scores they have computed to support their teaching.


Part 3: Analyzing a Running Record

Teachers participate in this segment by analyzing new running record practice samples from the same text, Bella’s Dinner. They are guided through each part of the analysis with Practice #4, and then will work on their own or with colleagues to complete the analysis for Practice #5.

Make available at the start of the session (download from Supporting Documents):

  • Calculating Running Record Scores Sheet
  • Text of Bella’s Dinner
  • Running Record Practice #4
  • Running Record Practice #5

You will be pausing the slide show to provide time for teachers to analyze their running record and discuss their results. Also available on Supporting Documents are Completed Analyses of Running Record Practice #4 and #5. These are shown on the power point, but it may be helpful to distribute hard copies to teachers after they finish making their own analyses.

As noted earlier, you may want teachers to bring their own running records to this session of the module, and collaboratively analyze them.