Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Prey seals it

I was poking my guinea pig (AKA Phillip) this evening by giving him some running record passages to see how they are administered and to see how he is progressing. He did a great job on accuracy and fluency scoring 100% on both passages in accuracy and getting 133 and 154 words per minute respectively. He struggled a little with the 5th grade comprehension questions getting only 70% so his parent, teacher clearly has an instructional plan to work with him on those inference questions with 5th grade passages.

So here's what I learned about running records. First of all, they are fun to give (of course, I didn't have 19 or 29 other students to keep productive, but I did have Emily and she counts for more than a couple). Second, and most important, they give you tons of information. Based on this 10 minute assessment I learned that my son can decode just fine and his growth will come from increased vocabulary and reading comprehension strategies that relate to analyzing text for meaning. With a little coaching and discussion, I can really see him growing in this area quite rapidly. If I were his teacher, I couldn't wait to put him in similar passages to practice deciphering meaning from a variety of texts. This gives me a clear roadmap of where to go with his reading instruction.

I also was reminded once again of the value of wide reading for vocabulary and comprehension improvement. One of the questions had to do with the meaning of "prey", which he nailed. His comment was, "I got that from Warriors", which is his current favorite series he's been reading since last spring. Score one for reading quantity once again.

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