STAAR Writing

Getting Ready for
STAAR Writing
English I EOC Writing
Not just any writing…
But STAAR Writing!
TEA Online Resources
Assessed curriculum*
Released Test Questions*
Writing and English I, II, III*
Dictionary/Thesaurus policies*
TEA Online Resources, continued
Test design schematics*
Question and answer document (FAQs)
Much more
Assessed Curriculum
Readiness Standards
• Essential for success in the current grade/course
• Important for preparedness for the next grade/course
• Support college and career readiness
• Necessitate in-depth instruction
• Address broad and deep ideas
Assessed Curriculum
Supporting Standards
• Introduced in the current grade or course,
emphasized in a subsequent year
• Reinforced in the current grade or course,
emphasized in a previous year
• Play a role in preparing students for the next grade
or course, but not a central role
• Address more narrowly defined ideas
STAAR Writing
Online “Look Fors”
• Blueprint – reporting categories, number of
standards, number of questions
• Test Design Schematics – information about
genres assessed, field test items
• Released Test Questions– some questions
and answers (full STAAR test not released
until 2014)
STAAR Writing (also Reading)
Resources for English I, II, III
• Dictionary Policy – available for all
students - one for every
better: one for every
best: one for each
• Thesaurus – allowed either as part of
dictionary or separate, available for all
students - one for every
Most Significant Differences
 Rigor of items has been increased
(assessing skills at a greater depth and
level of cognitive complexity)
 Total number of test items increased for
most grades, subjects, and courses
 Four-hour time limit on STAAR as
opposed to TAKS which was untimed
Part of Four Hours
• bathroom breaks
• water breaks
• snack breaks
• short physical/mental breaks
Not Part of Four Hours
• Lunch
• Emergency situations
• Consolidation/movement to another area
• Medical breaks to nurse
Revising and Editing
 English I
15 revision multiple choice questions
15 editing multiple choice questions
 Field test revision and editing items
STAAR Written Composition
 Students will write two one-page
 Additional field test composition in
Grade 7 and English EOCs
 26 lines maximum
 Different types of writing
STAAR Written Composition
English I−literary story and
expository essay
STAAR Written Composition
English II−expository and
persuasive (2013)
English III−persuasive and
analytical (2014)
STAAR Written Composition
 Essays will be weighted equally
 No “gatekeeper”
(automatic fail of writing test for a 1)
STAAR Writing Prompts
 Literary, expository, persuasive, and
analytical prompts contain a stimulus
and are scaffolded:
Be Sure to
STAAR Writing Prompts
 Sometimes a statement (There are people in our
lives who are special to us. Sometimes this
person is a teacher or coach, a parent, a brother
or sister, or even a friend.)
 Sometimes a quote ( A famous businessman once
said, “Players win games; teams win
 Sometimes an image
STAAR Writing Prompts
 THINK (Sometimes it’s hard to make a
decision because there are so many
 The synopsis or quotation
generalized and reworded
 Clarification of READ
 Idea starters
STAAR Writing Prompts
 Write
An even more focused rewording
Often called the “charge”
 Be Sure to –
Reminder bullets, appear in rubrics
(different rubric for each type of writing)
STAAR Writing - What the field tests revealed…
 Score Point 3 or 4 Papers
* Good form/purpose match
* Introduction and conclusion short/effective
* No wasted words
* Well crafted
* Narrow and deep focus
* Specific use of language and appropriate
tone for purpose
* Clear beginning, middle and end
* Strong conventions
STAAR Writing - What the field tests
Score Point 1 or 2 Papers
* Wrong form/purpose
* Meaningless introduction and/or conclusion
* Wasted space (repetition, wordiness,
meandering, extraneous details of examples)
* Poorly crafted
* General/vague use of language or
inappropriate tone for purpose
* Weak conventions
What do Maurice Sendak, Ernest
Hemingway and William Faulkner
have in common?
They never made their point in 26
o However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be
o Texas students will be expected to
complete each composition in 26 lines or
We don’t want the 26 line limit to
create “Blah” sentences.
• He walked through the door.
“Explode the moment” sentences,
although wonderful, likely won’t fit.
• He grasped the cold doorknob and turned it slowly to the
right. He pushed the door inward. The hinges squeaked
and cold air rushed past the opening door. The room
was dark. His eyes darted to the right. Nothing. He
pushed the door open a little farther, and slowly moved
his right foot into the room. His shoe creaked a bit as it
hit the polished hardwood floor.
Precise and concise is what we
need on the STAAR.
• He crept through the door, hoping to be as
quiet as a mouse.
Keys to Success for Students
• Being able to contrast “Explode the
Moment” writing with precise and concise
• Being able to identify examples and nonexamples of concise and precise writing in
reading passages and their own writing
Next Step:
Practice STAAR Writing Skills
 By providing purposeful, thoughtful
assignments – based on the assessed TEKS
and Student Expectations
 Guiding students through the process from
modeling to independent practice
 Allowing our students to showcase their
writing talents (revising, editing, and writing
Composition/Writing/Literary Texts
• English I 14A: write an engaging story
with a well-developed conflict and
resolution, interesting and believable
characters, and a range of literary
strategies (e.g., dialogue, suspense) and
devices to enhance the plot.
Mini-lessons on areas of need, with
independent use of the strategies the goal
Teacher-Made Rubric
Literary Text
Engaging story
Well –developed conflict and
Interesting believable
Range of literary strategies
Devices to enhance plot
• English I 15A: write an essay of sufficient length that
(i) effective introductory and concluding paragraphs
and a variety of sentence structures;
(ii) rhetorical devices, and transitions between
(iii) a controlling idea or thesis;
(iv) an organizing structure appropriate to purpose,
audience, and context;
(v) relevant information and valid inferences.
 Mini lessons on areas of need, with independent use
of the strategies the goal
Teacher-Made Rubric
Expository Texts
Essay of sufficient length
Effective introductory and
concluding paragraphs
Variety of sentence structures
Rhetorical devices
Transitions between
Controlling idea or thesis
Organizing structure
appropriate to purpose,
audience, and context
Relevant information
Valid inferences
TEA Scoring of Written Compositions
• 4 page rubric to score students STAAR
writing compositions – one page per score
• Each genre has a separate rubric
• Familiarize yourself with these
Contact Information:
Beverly Richard
Curriculum and Instructional Specialist
[email protected]

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