Sunday, September 14, 2008
There are three main cue sources that good readers use to help them read – meaning, structure, and visual cues. Meaning deals with the information gained by looking at the picture and thinking about the story. Structure is a reader’s knowledge of the English language. Visual cues are the information gained from the letters and their corresponding sounds (typically thought of as phonics). A good reader integrates these three cue sources to read successfully. Oftentimes children are only prompted to use the visual information. When examining the errors that a child has made on their running record, it is very useful to see which cue sources the child might be neglecting. This can help the teacher prompt the student to consider the cues they are neglecting. When a student makes a prediction on an unknown word, there are three questions they should be asking themselves. Meaning – Does it make sense? Structure – Does it sound right? (Can I say it that way in the English language?) Visual – Does it look right? To analyze the errors on a running record, you need to have the book and the running record. On the running record form, are columns for MSV (Meaning, Structure, and Visual) which you will use for the analysis. Write MSV in the MSV column on the corresponding line of the error/s. For each error, you will determine which cues the child used to make the error and circle the letter. For example, if the child used meaning, circle M. To do the analysis, read the text up until the error and ask yourself, is there evidence for this error that the child used meaning for his prediction, then structure, and last visual. For each cue used, circle it. For self-corrections, analyze the error before the child corrected himself. Then put MSV in the column next to the error column (the self-correction column) and determine which cue MSV was used for the self-correction. This will generally be one cue source. When the analysis is finished, there will be a good picture of what cues the child is using and which cues are being neglected. For example, the child might use the picture clues and make it sound right grammatically, but completely ignore the visual information. If this pattern, then the teacher knows to prompt the child to attend to the visual information. This will make a lot more sense if you can see examples. This website does an excellent job of providing examples -http://www.eworkshop.on.ca/edu/core.cfm?p=main&modColour=1&modID=2&m=121&L=1. Click on "Show Me", choose a grade level and then go through the different steps. It even has practice that you can check for accuracy. If you take a running record on your child and analysis it, I would be glad to check it for you. My next blog will give you teaching prompts you can use to facilitate your child’s use of all three cue sources. Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children is an excellent resource that teaches about reading instruction and using running records.