Ok. Maybe that statement is a little too strong. I really value the information that comes from conducting a running record, but my school requires that I conduct them every 6-12 weeks (depending on the student's reading level), and when I have to test 28 students, that takes a LONG time. Listening, recording, analyzing. Ugh. I can pretty much forget about teaching reading that week, unless I give some feedback after the students read (and then it takes 2 weeks to get through them all).
And then I went to ISTE and heard about Literably.
Literably is a service that audio records students reading Fountas and Pinnell leveled texts (A through Z) and sends you a complete running record within 24 hours. You set up your classroom, assign the level each student reads, and the student just hits "record" when he or she is ready to start. All that's needed is a microphone. Once the student has read for a minute, it automatically sends the recording off for analysis.
The analysis that comes back has all of the miscues, substitutions, and omissions labeled and analyzed for meaning, syntax, and visual errors. It also includes the rate in words per minute and the accuracy percentage. You'll also receive the audio file so you can share it with parents and listen to it yourself.
A free account includes 15 running records each month. If the audio quality is too poor for scoring, it won't count towards your 15. A premium account includes unlimited running records for one class and costs $19/month.
I will definitely be trying out this service. It will give me all of the assessment data I need while freeing me up to work with small groups and confer with students about the books they're reading. Talk about win-win.
Are there any apps or online services you use for reading assessments in your classroom? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!