Finally got my answers together for the next chapter. I think this is
such an important chapter because it deals so much with running
records which are my favorite way to get information on my students.
Things to Consider:
• What will I use for my assessments?
At the beginning of the year I do the following assessments to help me place my students in guided reading groups.
1. Phono-Graphix assessments, this includes 4 separate tests which give me a really good idea of how my students are at blending, segmenting and manipulating sounds. It also gives me a clear picture of what letter sounds they know.
2. Running Records (last year I used Treasures Benchmark books but I plan to use Fountas and Pinnell’s Benchmark Assessment)
3. IRI from Treasure
4. Sight Word Fluency Assessments (From Treasures)
5. Treasures Placement Test
6. Words Their Way Primary Spelling Inventory
• Do you need to practice taking running records?
Though I have a lot of practice taking running records I still need to practice coding the correctly.
• When you finish your assessments, how will you use that information to group your students?
After I finish my assessments I have to input all my data into an excel spreadsheet and send it to my principal and resource team. I then group my students based on their instructional reading level and use the other information to make instructional decisions for our first lessons. I also have a very good idea of my student’s strengths and areas of weakness. Early in the school year I meet with my principal and resource team to discuss how I have grouped them and what students should receive extra support. Though getting all the data put together and input is time consuming it is very beneficial to have other people look at it in case I missed something.
• Will you use comprehension interviews? If not, then how will your check for understanding?
Since comprehension interviews are intended for fluent readers I will not be using them to make my groups. I plan to use the questions that come with the benchmark books.
• How often will you do running records on your students?
I do running records on my students once every two weeks. I do these during my guided reading lessons while a student is reading to me from their leveled reader. I do running records on benchmark passages at the end of each quarter.
Teacher Questions from Jan Richardson
• What assessments should I use?
• Running Records with Comprehension Questions
• Words Their Way Primary Spelling Inventory
• Sight Word Fluency
• Phono-Graphix Assessment
• Dictated sentences
• Why should I take a running record?
Running Records are extremely important to me because they help me get a good idea of what my strategies and skills my students are using. In the beginning of the year it helps me form my groups and during the year the information I gather is what I use to pick our next book and create my lesson plans.
• Should I introduce the text used for an assessment?
Yes the introduction should be brief and only state the title and main idea of the story. Treasures benchmark books come with the introduction. I find this very helpful.
• Should the student read the text silently first?
Not for a running record, since we get our information from the children’s errors a silent reading won’t help us understand their thinking. Cold reads are best for running records.
• What if the student asks for help?
When my students ask for help I tell them to try their best, I encourage them to use the strategies they’ve learn to attempt the word. I really don’t like it when they skip words because I get no idea of what’s going on in their heads when they read. (Does that make sense? I’m not sure I explained it correctly)
• How do I assess comprehension?
I assess my student’s comprehension by asking them any questions that come with the story. Sometime around November or December I begin using a graphic organizer to ask them questions, i.e beginning, middle and end or main idea and supporting detail. I write down their answers as they tell them to me.
• How do I know when to move a student to a higher level guided reading group?
I can normally tell during our lessons because they are moving through the text easily and with few mistakes. When I notice this I either ask them to come to the next levels lesson, privately do a lesson with them on the next group level’s book or do some running records on higher level books. It all depends on how much time I have. Following Jan’s lesson formats though my kids normally move up in book levels together and don’t shift groups more than four to five times year.