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Running head: RUNNING RECORD


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Organisms survive only in environments where their needs are met.

kids + + +

survive R survive ++


In any environment, some kinds of plants and animals will survive better than



Some will not survive at all.



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climb-ate +

kind SC +

Soil, water air, light, temperature, and climate determine what kinds of organisms
can live in an
blah blah




For example, a desert is very dry with little water.

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It may be very hot too.


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Plants and animals that do well there have body structures that help them conserve
water and stay cool.

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s-blah blah +

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The stem of a giant saguaro cactus can expand to fill up with water.




It can store plenty of water until the next rainfall.



desserts SC+ +

You will read more about deserts in Lesson 2.

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The pictures on these pages show several types of ecosystems.



the how SC +
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okeystem +

Think about how the nonliving parts of each ecosystem affect which animals and
plants can live there.

I used a plus sign (+) instead of a check mark.


Running Record
Gordon Pate
National University
Professor Wong
July 26, 2015


The above running record was performed on Kalissa. Kalissa is eight years-old and is inbetween the second and third grade. Kalissa's mom is a high school teacher in Huntington Beach,
California and their family attends the same church as me. Kalissa's mom offered for me to use
either of her children if needed for a school project. Because of her age, I figured she would be a
perfect candidate for this assignment. I see Kalissa every week and I know she is smart, but I did
not know at what level she reads. So, I went with my father to his school to pick possible reading
material for her. We gathered books from second, third, and fourth grade and it's a good thing we
did. When I arrived at Kalissa's house, I asked her mom at what level she thought Kalissa was
reading, to which she responded, "Kalissa what was your last AR score?" Right then I knew I
would need the more advanced books since I did not even know what an AR score was. Kalissa
responded that she scored a 3.8 at the end of the year, which I assumed meant she was reading at
a late third grade level. So, because of her advanced reading level, I decided to throw the kitchen
sink at her and give her the most difficult book I had, 4th grade science. The book I used was
California Science by Scott Foresman. I had her read about "nonliving parts affect living parts"
on page 126. This section would be considered instructional. Most of the words she knew, or at
least knew how to read them, but she was unclear about the overall meaning of the passage. I
chose this section because it has difficult words that she would not know but might be able to
figure out and words that she probably would not be able to figure out which would give me the
opportunity to hear how she decoded the unknown words. Also, since this is 4th grade science,
she was unlikely to know the content which would allow me to determine the comprehension
level from her reading.
Kalissa read through the very difficult passage quite well. The passage was three
paragraphs long containing 141 words. Of the 141 words, she had 7 errors and 3 self corrections


for a score of 95%. I was thoroughly impressed by her fluency. There were two or three words
she did not know, they were ecosystem, saguaro, and seemingly there. When she first got to
ecosystem, she said blah blah and just skipped it. The second time it appears is at the end of the
passage and she intentionally skipped it again so I asked her to try to sound it out. When she
tried, she said okeystem. I think she could have correctly sounded out ecosystem, but I believe
she got lazy in her attempt. Saguaro, the second word she missed, well, I did not know that word
before asking someone else so I did not expect her to know it either. When she sounded that out
she said s-a-g-u-r-o then said s-a-g-u-A-r-o. The third word she seemingly did not know was
there. I believe she was mistaking there for their because she became thoroughly confused while
reading the sentence containing the word there and both times the confusion started after she
read "there". After reading "there" the next word she read, the pitch of her voice started to rise as
did her confusion level. I could tell she was trying to figure out how a possessive could possibly
fit at that point in the sentence. When she stumbled the first time (she actually stopped and was
saying that doesn't make any sense), I had her stop and go back to reread the sentence as I
thought she would realize her mistake, but she did not. She correctly finished the sentence, but
remained confused about its meaning.
After we finished the reading, I asked her to tell me what the paragraphs meant. She had
almost no idea what the message of the text was. So, although her fluency was great and she was
able to easily read most the passage, she gained almost nothing from reading it.
Kalissa has many strengths, but also a few weaknesses. First, she is a very strong reader.
Her fluency is well above average and it is clear that she enjoys reading. After we finished the
science book, she asked if she could read me something that she enjoys and so she brought out a
stack (about 12 books) of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. She wanted to read me one of her books.


Right then her brother came out so I read a different book to him instead, but it was obvious that
she has a love of reading. Kalissa has two clear weaknesses that I saw. First, she was reading for
fluency and not comprehension. Second, she is smart and she knows it. I felt like she was not
giving her all because she did not think she needed to. Even though she read through most of the
141 words like they were easy, she could not repeat any of the information about what she had
read. According to Cunningham (2009) this means that she was devoting more of her brain
power to decoding and doing it quickly than to comprehension. For Kalissa to decode as quickly
as she was, she was doing so at the cost of comprehension. If Kalissa wants to understand what it
is that she is reading, she needs to change a few things. First, if the information is new, she needs
to be instructed on the content before reading about it. Gunning (2010) says we (students) learn
new vocabulary by incorporating it into our lives, not by being given a list of words with
definitions next to them. Certainly, if we are given a list of words with corresponding definitions,
we will remember them for a time, but that is all. For the new vocabulary to leave a lasting
impression, it needs to be taught through relationship with other knowledge or experience.
Gunning says the best way to learn vocabulary is to experience it either by physical or digital
field trip. For Kalissa, and reading the passage she performed, this would have meant taking a
digital field trip to different ecosystems and seeing the different climates in each ecosystem.
Then she would understand why a desert animal could not live in the tundra. Instead, she just had
no idea what a tundra is, she could read it, but did not understand what the words mean. Her
second weakness, over-confidence, will probably be a difficult obstacle for her to overcome. She
will need someone to coach her and tell her when she is making mistakes even though she is
smart and may be way ahead of her class. In our situation, if I was teaching her, I would have her
go back and reread the passage much slower. As we read, I would have her either explain or ask


about each sentence to show her comprehension. Since this was a test, I waited to explain
anything until after the test was completed, and then we talked about what an ecosystem is. If
Kalissa is or becomes coachable, she will be a brilliant student.


Cunningham, P. M. (2009). Phonics the Use: Words for Reading and Writing (5th ed.). Allyn
and Bacon. Boston, MA.
Foresman, S. (2008). California Science. Pearson. Glenview, IL.
Gunning, T. G. (2010). Creating Literacy Instruction for All Children. (7th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.
Boston, MA.