Miscue Analysis and Reading Behaviors

26 Aug

Patterns of Reading Behaviors and Where to go Next

A few weekends ago, I spent time organizing my old graduate school files and came across some great notes pertaining to miscue analysis; a piece of the reading assessment process that is often overlooked or omitted. Analyzing miscues after a running record can be intimidating but with practice, the process becomes second nature and can be very telling of a child’s reading deficiency.  Here are my notes:


Habits that may indicate a need for strategy lessons that focus on sampling, inferring, predicting and confirming syntactic cues:


1. Readers who are so insecure with the language of a written text that they will not predict.

2. Readers who predict a syntactic structure that is not acceptable within the rest of the sentence and fail to disconfirm and self-correct their prediction based on text that follows the miscue. These readers’ scores are seldom higher than 60% for syntactically acceptable structures.

3. Readers who are not confident reading a new genre.

4. Readers who overcorrect; they make syntactically and semantically acceptable miscues, but decide that it is necessary to correct anyway.


Habits indicating a need for strategy lessons integrating the use of sampling, inferring, predicting, and confirming by focusing on semantic/pragmatic cues:


  1. Readers who believe that the major reading strategy involves making use of graphophonic cues or who believe they always need to seek help from resources other than themselves and the text to construct meaning.
  2. Readers whoa re unable to retell the story or who select insignificant bits of information about the story to relate.
  3. Readers who omit entire phrases or lines of text without rereading even though the omission results in syntactically and semantically unacceptable sentences.
  4. Readers whose miscue analysis profile shows a major focus on graphophonic cues.
  5. Readers who make no attempt to self-correct miscues that disrupt meaning.
  6. Readers who do not use their background knowledge and other available information to help them predict text.


Keep in mind that “strategy group” might mean ‘guided reading focus’ or ‘conference focus’ depending on the structure of your literacy block. If you need a refresher on one or two of the technical terms, see this glossary from sedl. Lastly, for a brief collection of sample questions, instructional strategies and examples of MSV cues, click here.


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