Early Literacy Intervention:
Expanding Expertise and Impact

a Reading Recovery initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education

The goal of this initiative is to focus on developing highly effective teachers and resources for schools for improving the reading and writing abilities of students.
Funding has been provided through an award from the U.S. Department of Education, under award number U215K090094, for the Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIE) Program. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

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Home Assessing Through Observation

Effective Literacy Practices
Video Library
Assessing Through
Close Observation

Module Focus
Close, systematic observation as a way to assess rapid change in literacy learning of young children


Key Points for Teachers
To ensure progress in reading and writing, teachers must take time to observe what children are able to do.

Running records of text reading and other Observation Survey tasks are standard and neutral observation tasks that require skilled teachers who have been trained to administer, score, and interpret results in reliable ways. Resources cited below include information about a learning package for teachers who want to learn to administer, analyze, and use running record data to make teaching decisions.

Effective teachers also find opportunities to observe throughout the school day to get rich information about each child’s literacy development — and to use that information to plan teaching moves. And children will be the beneficiaries of differentiated instruction based on observation — as they enjoy success in learning to read and write.


A 2-page reference guide accompanies this video and includes the module focus, definitions and other important information, key points for teachers, and resources. Reading the reference guide prior to viewing the video will enhance your learning experience.

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Other Modules in the Effective Literacy Practices Video Library