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Why Are Decodable Running Records Better Than Leveled Running Records?

Image of a dart board with a dart at dead center.

The number one reason for switching to decodable running records is that they allow you to assess and target your students’ reading skills in a way that aligns with the Science of Reading.

Decodable running records are IN! Leveled running records are OUT!

Are you frustrated with leveled running records?

As long-time proponents of the Science of Reading, we were too! Those who follow the Science of Reading know that leveled readers do not serve our students. Like us, you genuinely want to help your students but you lack Science of Reading-aligned options.

Look no further!

As literacy specialists and certified dyslexia practitioners, we designed an assessment tool that adheres to the Science of Reading. This assessment tool helps us analyze our readers’ understanding of phonics, fluency, and comprehension and has helped our students become confident, proficient readers. This tool will help you and your students too!

Student passage and completed teacher recording form of the cvc running record, A Hot Hog.
Our decodable running records follow a phonics scope and sequence.

This assessment tool follows a structured literacy phonics scope and sequence.

We have written over 70 controlled text passages that follow a scope and sequence that aligns nicely to Fundations and Wilson. Each phonics element has a pre and post-assessment. These assessments are sequential and cumulative.

Where can I get the Phonics Scope and Sequence?

Right here! Our Phonics Scope and Sequence is FREE!

picture of our K-2 Scope and Sequence

No more MSV!

Our decodable running records have nothing at all to do with the old-school leveled running records in which student reading was analyzed for MSV. Followers of the Science of Reading ditched that practice ages ago! In fact, for those unsure whether or why to stop, we wrote in-depth about the problems of the three-cueing system!

Decodable running records are analyzed for specific reading skills.

Instead of MSV, we designed decodable running records to help teachers determine whether their students are responding to structured literacy instruction.

Included in this resource is a Guidelines for Analyzing document that guides teachers in what to look for including phonics, fluency, and comprehension! The Guidelines take the guesswork out of targeting the next instructional steps.

Image of Guidelines for Analyzing both fluency and comprehension.
It is important to note, that the purpose of this type of assessment is to determine the next instructional steps rather than simply assigning a pass/fail.

Is planning for differentiated instruction too time-consuming?

Do you want your evenings and weekends back? This teacher-friendly resource has everything you need to collect the right data, monitor your beginning and struggling readers’ progress, plan for future instruction, AND confidently report to families and/or child study team meetings.

This running record tool takes the guesswork out of analyzing students’ reading strengths and challenges. It makes planning targeted instruction a breeze.

Wondering how to communicate student strengths and challenges?

Rather than assigning arbitrary levels, teachers can confidently share student progress based on concrete data. The Teacher Reporting Document provides an easy format to relay important information to families and team members. There is even a Sample Teacher Reporting Document that teachers can refer to.

The Sample Reporting Document provides an easy-to-follow format that makes reporting to family and team members a cinch.
The Sample Reporting Document provides an easy-to-follow format that makes reporting to family and team members a cinch.

Want to know more about the power of decodable running records?

In a previous blog post, What You Need to Know About Decodable Running Records, we answered frequently asked questions.

What does this resource include?

  • Sets of running records that follow our Phonics Scope and Sequence
  • Administration protocols
  • The calculation formula for determining fluency rates
  • Reporting documents (sample and editable copy)
  • Comprehension rubrics

What are people saying about our decodable running records?

“This is a fantastic resource! It provides me with the tools I need to assess my students using decodable texts to determine their areas of need so that I can further plan and tailor my instruction accordingly. Thank you so much!”

“This resource has been a life saver as I transition to SOR structured literacy groups! I am able to get specific information about decoding, fluency and accuracy in minutes!”

“This has been a valuable addition to our resources as the grades jump on the SOR path. The students are able to access the material, and not guess their way through. Thank you for you [your] work and items!”

There’s no reason to wait!

These resources are available in our online store and our TPT store. Why not make the switch to decodable running records now? You’ll be glad you did and so will your students.

Cover of Informed Literacy's Starter Pack of decodable running records.  These include 3-sound closed syllable words, and 3-sound closed syllable words with digraphs.
This starter pack is perfect for Kindergarten and First Grade students.
Cover of Informed Literacy's Decodable Running Records Set 1. Passages include closed syllables words with blends, digraphs, and closed syllable exceptions and more!
These decodable running records include passages with closed syllable patterns such as glued sounds, blends, and closed syllable exceptions.
Cover of Informed Literacy/s Decodable Running Records Set 2.  The passages include patterns beyond the closed syllables like r-controlled, vowel teams, final stable syllable and more!
The passages in this set include patterns beyond the closed syllables like r-controlled, vowel teams, final stable syllable, and more!
Image of Informed Literacy's decodable running records mega bundle. Includes sets 1 and 2.
This money-saving resource includes both sets 1 & 2 of our decodable running records.


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