For years, teachers have engaged in taking running records to assess reading progress. Teachers analyze mistakes, determine strategies to help students correct mistakes and create an instructional plan of next steps to help students become proficient readers. When used correctly, this tool can provide great insight into teaching and learning in a profound way.
The first week of school, my former colleague, Ellen Bloom, came to my class to teach students how to monitor their own reading progress by administering running records. Why should the teacher be the sole proprietor of the assessment tool and the process through which students learn to be better readers?
As students learn to monitor their own progress and the progress of their peers, they better understand themselves as readers and for the first time, can unlock the meaning to the printed words on the page. The words come to life. It all begins to make sense.
Since Ms. Bloom’s visit in September, my students have persevered in their efforts to become proficient readers. They coach one another and provide unsolicited assistance and support for fellow readers. When we turn over the responsibility of learning to our students, they do not disappoint.