Exactly one year ago, our school began exploring a new (to us) tool for assessing reading behaviours and comprehension. We had just purchased Fountas and Pinnell’s Benchmark Assessment System. We used this as an opportunity to revisit the way we administer running records and how they are used and analysed in order to drive our teaching.
A year on, I can say that we have come a long way! There has been inspiring and enriching professional development and collegial discussion that have occurred as a result of our move to F & P.
Personally, it has been great to consolidate my understandings of the Running Records process. Having taught grade 3/4 for the last 7 years, I haven’t had to administer these on a frequent basis compared to when teaching the juniors.
Here are some aspects of the assessment that have been of particular focus:
MEANING – Does the error have an impact on the meaning or message in the story?
STRUCTURE – Does the error make sense grammatically?
VISUAL – Does the printed text have visual similarity to the word the reader used?
F & P assesses comprehension on three levels:
• WITHIN the text – a LITERAL level of understanding (right there information)
• BEYOND the text – an INFERENTIAL level of understanding (using clues from the text, the implied meaning)
• ABOUT the text – an EVALUATIVE level of understanding (making judgements about the text, author’s intentions)
Do you use Fountas & Pinnell?
If so, what have been your reflections?
If not, what assessments do you use?
Please feel free to leave a comment below.