So much value can be placed on the time that you spend with students doing a running record. You really get to know each student's strengths and weaknesses. Teachers truly understand the individual needs when they take the time to listen to the student read and ask them questions about the text. What's the biggest problem with doing running records? Time!
Looking back on my teaching experience, I spent a lot of class time pulling individuals back to check their reading performance. Often times, it would take me a week or more of my reading block in order to get through my whole class. As long as you had already established a solid reading culture within the walls of your classroom, the process is pretty smooth. If you have resistant readers, it takes even longer as the teacher may need to do some crowd control from time to time.
So how do we get passed the issue of time constraint? There are some options, but I highly recommend that the teacher of record be the one doing the running records for all the students for a couple reasons. The first I've already mentioned as the time spent with individuals is extremely informative in the growth of individual readers. The second is that people are not perfect. There are inconsistencies between which person is performing the running record as there will be some gray areas from time to time. So a great solution is SAS Curriculum Pathways Reading Recs.
Reading Recs!With Reading Recs, the teacher can create a digital classroom, assign passages accordingly, and capture a recording of the student's performance. The teacher can essentially perform a running record at any time and not have to deal with the schedule restraints or the occasional behavior problems that may arise every now and then. While the teacher listens to the recording, the running record symbols are built in for easy access and will automatically pause the audio when marking an error. This makes for a very convenient format for gathering student data!
I created a series of videos on using Reading Recs. I broke it into five viewing sections because the length of the video as a whole was too long and I wanted teachers to be able to find the piece of information they needed quickly. I broke it down into how to create classes, student accounts, and assessments as three separate videos. These are very short, but I also did it on purpose for convenience. I also have a video for what the students will experience. Teachers, feel free to use the fourth video in the playlist the demonstrates the student side so that they know what to expect while completing a Reading Rec. The last video is what the teacher will see and how to respond when students have completed their assignments.
A Couple Issues...
As an educator, I understand the value of a face-to-face conference with students. Students need that personal connection and need to hear straight from you. However, this provides a great, free alternative if you are experiencing time constraints or want to do some additional checks with students between official running records.
I also understand that there are a lot of digital resources that teachers are already using. Some of these resources might be superior to Reading Recs. However, this one is free. I have heard from many of my teachers that Raz-Kids has the same opportunity for teachers and students. Not all of the schools in my district have Raz-Kids subscriptions. So if you are looking for a free option that anyone can use, give Reading Recs a try.