SOL #9: Running Records on My Mind

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“What about running records is on your mind?”, you may ask. After school, my co-teacher and I typically stay a while, catching up on our busy day. We were talking about the running records given that day, and I was sharing the students’ WCPM (words correct per minute).

We were talking about where the students fell on a fluency chart: a typical 3rd grader should be reading about 114 WCPM  (average range).

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With this number in mind, I began to reflect back on when I was in 3rd grade…

Fun fact: I LOVED to do running records (before I knew what they were even called) with my teachers in elementary school. When I was in college, I was overly excited to learn how to administer a running record. Weird, I know. Nerdy teacher moment for sure.

So naturally, I suggested to my co-teacher that we test each other’s WCPM, with the most boring passage we could possibly pick titled Microfinance: It All Adds Up. Talk about a painful read…I will avoid ever having to give my students this passage!

Since my co-teacher is just as crazy as I am, she agreed to spend her free time assessing an adult on their WCPM (Isn’t she the best?!).  She began to test me. I was trying to read at a fast rate, simultaneously trying to balance the expressive piece to create perfect fluency.  At one point, I tripped up, laughing as I was reading, but quickly redeemed myself with a self-correct. 🙂  It’s hard to take yourself seriously while being assessed on a Reading A-Z running record by you co-teacher…

I honestly wanted to gain perspective on my own WCPM as a reader…I was curious to see where I would score. I scored in the average range for an adult, which is about 200 WCPM. After checking my score, I want to keep improving, just like my students!

Having fun, all while: practicing what I preach to my students, better understanding how to improve their WCPM, and thinking about what is MOST important for them to focus on while reading.

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4 thoughts on “SOL #9: Running Records on My Mind”

  1. I think it is wonderful to have a colleague you can bounce ideas off of and grow together in your profession. Fair warning … I’d be careful not to just focus on the WCPM because then the goal becomes speed reading and that’s not real reading. A natural rate of reading along with understanding the text is more important. Keep a focus on what you are assessing and why. Running record along with a comprehension conversation will tell you so much more about your readers. Some food for thought … from one nerdy teacher to another. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for the comment and your advice. 🙂 I definitely agree with you! My co-teacher and I both focus most on the comprehension piece during our running records. When focusing on reading quickly, it is hard to focus on remembering what you have read. While testing, I noticed that some of my strong readers did not quite meet the WCPM norm. This is what sparked my interest in testing myself. 🙂 Luckily, our school does not over-stress fluency!

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  2. We always ask teachers to write in order to understand their writers. It makes such sense to read (and record your reading) to understand your readers. I wonder…now that you’ve experienced this yourself, do you have a different perspective of runnng records that you didn’t have before?

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