Sunday, May 3, 2015

DigiLit Sunday: Running Record Calculator

My entire day is spent working with small groups of readers needing support.  In this work, I find there are key essential components to maintaining progress.  Our lessons feature time for familiar reading, word work, new book (comprehension/strategy instruction), and writing.  In this work I also work to maintain daily assessment to guide instruction and work toward new shifts.

As part of my assessment practices, I try to take a short "check in" running record of one student in the group each day.  I really have to push myself to maintain this habit and there are times I have to get myself back to this important practice.  There are also times I will focus on particular student in collecting this information for several days in a row.

One tool that I find helpful in continually monitoring progress with running records is The Running Record Calculator.  It's not the be all, end all, of running records, but it does allow me to collect information quickly and on the go.  Usually I pick the passage I want to use for the running record (typically 150 words), and then grab the app when the reader gets to that point in the text.  

To use the app:
1.  Press "start timer" and the app will record the reading and keep time for fluency measurement.
2.  As the child reads, press buttons for substitutions, omissions, and rereading.  You can also mark self-corrections.

3.  When the reader reaches the end of the text, stop the recording.  The app will give you reading rate, accuracy, and self-correction rate.
4.  I then email the recording and information to my Evernote account.

What I like about running record calculator:
1.  Easy to use.
2.  Seamless part of my work alongside students.
3.  Helps me collect data on reading rate, accuracy, and self-correction rates.  This information is very useful with particular reading goals focused on these outcomes.

Running Record Calculator Limitations:
1.  It's tricky when students make an error, read on, and then return to self-correct.
2.  It doesn't have in-app saving ability (which might matter if you don't have a digital record keeping system).
3.  It doesn't let you look at types of errors and cueing systems being used.
4.  You cannot continue to record comprehension conversations as it makes reading rate invalid.  Readers with comprehension goals are best recorded in Evernote.
*note:  I use the FREE app and am unsure of benefits of paid version

I like using the app for quick check-ins, especially those related to reading rate and self-correction.  It is a quick way for classroom teachers to take quick checks as well.  As digital as I am, there are still many times that nothing beats a hand written running record.  When looking closely at cues used and reading behaviors to sustain reading, paper is often still the best tool for me.  This tool, however, remains an important tool in my daily assessment toolbox.

As part of a continuous collaboration among educators interested in digital learningMargaret Simon hosts a weekly Digital Learning round-up on her blog:  DigiLit Sunday.  Stop by Reflections on the Teche (today's link-up) to read, discover, and link.  


  1. I will pass this on to other teachers who need to keep reading fluency records. Thanks.

  2. Wow!! I love this idea and am passing it on. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Love this Cathy! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow! I wish I had known about this app when I was doing running records! What a great tool. Thanks for sharing!