Special educators in the towns I serve have been asked to use the Reading A-Z Benchmark Assessments to monitor student progress in reading with comprehension.  This is because it is like guided reading books in their length and graphics support and the questions are divided into literal, inferential, and critical response, just like the COMMON CORE Standards.

The directions I have written for administration should be used (instead of those found on the website) and described within your report or goal. For example, no comprehension should be done without reference to the text allowed. This is not a memory test. We want students to approach the assessment just like they approach their own reading for school work.  They must find evidence within the book to support their responses. Teachers should be constantly asking themselves if the response fits the criteria for type of question, such as ‘In the Book’ and ‘In My Head’ (for inferential).  Teachers should also be sure that:

  • If there is a colon between suggested responses, one complete one was done.
  • If there is an ‘and’ or comma between ideas, then all of that statement must be said by the student.
  • Partial responses are allowed for literal but not inferential or critical response.

Teachers also need to track fiction and  nonfiction performances separately. From third grade performance onward, nonfiction must be tracked and fiction is optional.

Please send me an email if you need the criteria and script for assessing Levels A-D, Levels EFG, or Levels H and up.


Which running record best aligns with the COMMON CORE Standards for comprehension?