Running Record Observation
Now let's look at the Running Record observation. The observer
creates a sequential record of anything that happens during a specific
period of time. During this time, the observer writes down, minute
by minute, everything that happens. When completed, this running
record gives teachers insight into the child’s interests,
developmental skills, and attention span.
- The observer’s description often focuses on one child
at a time.
- The observer might want to examine how a particular child spends
him or her time during free play.
- The observer chooses a time period to observe and record whatever
the child is doing.
To see an example of how a running record can be done open the
two-page handout listed below. Please print out the handout for
reference and review.
Activity 2: Practice Running Record Observation
Let's practice creating a running record observation.
First, open a blank Running Record (Word
document | Rich
Text Format) and save it to your computer so you can add text
to it. Next, read the story below and as you read it, record your
observations on the running record. It might be helpful for you
to print out the story and read it over more than once (click
here for a print version). When you are done, go over your observations
with your mentor.
Behavioral Setting: Outside
Child Observed: Brittney
Brittney is outside in the sand box. She is sitting next to Rami.
Brittney is smoothing out the sand that is on the ground with her
She turns around, by moving her whole body to face the other direction.
She then shovels up the sand with a shovel and pours the sand into
the star shape. She is griping the shovel with a palmer grip. She
levels the sand that is in the star using the backside of the shovel
moving it back and forth. She shovels up some more sand and pours
it into the star. Brittney then levels it again, this time she uses
her hands to scoop of the extra sand. She does these same steps
again, shoveling up sand, pouring it into the star, and leveling
it off with the shovel.
Brittney repeats this process two more times. She then gets up
on her knees and turns around. She sits down on her legs and scrapes
the ground with her hands. She leans forward and pulls her hands
toward her leveling the sand. She gets back on her knees, turns
around picks up the star. Brittney then turns around toward the
leveled sand and turns the star upside down. She pushes the star
down and then she picks up the star. A star out of sand is left
behind, except some of it fell apart. She picks up the shovel and
cuts the star apart, by pushing the shovel down on to the star.
She then puts down the shovel and with her hands destroys the star.
She destroys the star by moving her hands, quickly through the star.
Brittney levels the ground again moving her hands in all directions.
She picks up the star shape and places it on the ground. She then
pushes with her hands and her body the star into the sand. She then
picks up the star shape bucket, which has made a star shape in the
sand. With her fingers she is making some shapes inside the star.
Brittney then scrapes the sand with her hands again, erasing the
star. She gets up onto her knees and turns around. Once she is on
her bottom she picks up the shovel and grabs a castle bucket. She
shovels up sand and then pours it into the castle.
Rami reaches across Brittney and says something to her. Brittney
tells Rami that, “I (she) don't need that." Rami then
replies "I do." Brittney goes back to shoveling sand.
Brittney pours the sand into the castle bucket. She shoves up a
couple more scoops of sand and pours them all into the castle. She
levels off the castle using the backside of the shovel. Michael
to destroy what Rami is making and Rami starts to yell at Michael.
Brittney stops shoveling and watches Rami and Michael talk to each
Once they were done, she gets up and turns around again, where
she levels the ground with her hand. She turns her upper body around
and picks up the castle bucket. She turns her body back around to
the leveled sand, and she turns the bucket upside down. She then
leans on the bucket to press it into the ground.
Completing the Observation
Once you have read the story carefully, record your observations
on the running record. When you are done, go over your observations
with your mentor.