STAAR Writing

State of Texas Assessments of
Academic Readiness
General Information
◦ STAAR is a criterion-referenced test that
measures a student’s performance in
comparison to the curriculum standards,
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS),
for each subject and grade level.
STAAR Standards
-are essential for success in the current grade or course.
-are important for preparedness for the next grade or course.
-support college and career readiness.
-necessitate in-depth instruction.
-address broad and deep ideas.
• Supporting Standards…
-may be introduced in the current grade or course.
-maybe emphasized in a previous or subsequent year.
-may be reinforced in the current grade or course.
-play a role in preparing student for the next grade or coarse – but not
a central role.
-address more narrowly defined ideas than Readiness Standards.
• Grade 3 : Reading and Math
• Grade 4 : Reading, Math, and Writing
• Grade 5: Reading, Math, and Science
5th grade students must pass reading and math STAAR to be
promoted to 6th grade.
Only 5th grade students have the opportunity to retest.
Testing Dates
◦ April 1st :
5th Grade Math &
4th Grade Writing (Day 1)
◦ April 2nd : 5th Grade Reading &
4th Grade Writing (Day 2)
◦ April 22nd : 3rd and 4th Grade Reading
◦ April 23rd : 3rd and 4th Grade Math &
5th Grade Science
◦ Each testing session is 4 hours.
• Performance Labels
–Level III: Advanced Academic Performance
–Level II : Satisfactory Academic Performance
–Level I: Unsatisfactory Academic Performance
**Emphasis is on College and Career
Reading STAAR Examples-
See packet.
STAAR is Rigorous!
◦ The reading passages are long.
◦ Questions are complex and require deep
◦ 3rd grade students read 4-5 selections.
◦ Possible 48 questions
◦ 3rd grade students are required to read,
comprehend, and analyze up to a maximum
3,400 words in 4 hours.
STAAR is Rigorous!
• 4th and 5th grade students read 3 or 4
single selections and a paired selection.
–Possible 52 questions in 4th grade.
–Possible 54 questions in 5th grade.
• 4th and 5th grade students are required to
read, comprehend , and analyze up to
4,000 words in 4 hours.
Genres Assessed- Literary
Students in 3rd, 4th, & 5th grade are assessed
• Fiction
• Literary Nonfiction
• Poetry
• Drama is added in 4th grade
• Media literacy (technology) is
embedded throughout the test.
Genres Assessed- Informational
Students in 3rd , 4th, & 5th grade are
assessed using:
• Expository
• Procedural
• Persuasive is added in 5th grade
• Media literacy (technology) is
embedded throughout the test.
Paired Selections
Strands and genres can be mixed!
• Fiction-poetry
• Literary nonfiction-drama
• Fiction-literary nonfiction
Informational- Informational
• Expository- expository
• Expository-persuasive
Literary- Informational
• Fiction-expository
• Poetry-expository
• Literary nonfiction-persuasive
Students must be able to…
• analyze a variety of texts, their organizational
patterns, and make connections between texts in a
logical way.
• draw conclusions about the interaction of characters
and the changes they undergo throughout the text.
• make complex inferences within and between a
variety of text using text evidence.
• recognize how the structure of the text affects
• determine the meaning of unfamiliar and multiplemeaning words using context, prefixes, suffixes, and
Students must be able to…
• understand how the author uses sensory
language to create imagery and how figurative
language contributes to the meaning.
• identify the theme, determine the order and
importance of the plot’s main events.
• summarize the plot and describe the interaction
of characters.
• identify the author’s purpose.
• use text features to locate information that
supports meaning.
How can parents help?
• Make sure that students read at least 30 minutes daily!
• Read with your children, have conversations about what
they are reading and ask questions.
• A list of question stems is available to help start reading
• “Think out loud” to help your child understand how to
logically think through the information.
• Make sure that your child does their homework and that
they show all work clearly.
• Make sure your child’s work shows clear thinking, as well as
the depth of their thinking.
3rd grade math
1. What is the missing number in the number pattern?
2, 6, 10, 14, 18, ___ , 26
a. 20 b. 21 c. 22 d. 24
5th grade math
2. A watermelon weighs 7.8 kilograms, a bag of
potatoes weighs 4.1 kilograms, and a large pumpkin
weighs 9.7 kilograms. How much do the watermelon
and the pumpkin weigh together?
a. 1.9 kg b. 11.9 kg c. 17.5 kg d. 21.6 kg
Math STAAR Examples-
See packet.
More Rigorous? What does that mean?
Uses complex questioning that requires analysis and logical reasoning
to understand the task.
 Multiple-step problems with fewer key word indicators to help
determine appropriate strategies.
More fill-in griddable questions without answer choices. Computation
errors can go undetected.
Test is longer and time is limited to 4 hours
3rd Grade - 46 questions + 8 = 54 questions
4th Grade - 48 questions + 8 = 56 questions
5th Grade - 50 questions + 8 = 58 questions
* Extra field test questions are added each
year which extend the length even more.
STAAR Math Griddables
What does the test look like?
• 3rd Grade Question:
Luther waited 50 minutes in line to buy tickets to a play. While
waiting, Luther played his video game for 12 minutes and read a
book for 25 minutes. The rest of the time, Luther talked to his best
friend Chuck. How much time did Luther spend talking to Chuck?
A. 38 minutes B. 25 minutes C. 37 minutes D. 13 minutes
Multistep problem – must add 12 + 25, then subtract from 50.
Complex question – missing an addend, not a sum (12 + 25+ ___ =
Logical reasoning - must recognize choices A, B, and C are too
large based on context of the problem. If you misunderstand the
question, answer A or B could seem reasonable.
What is being tested and what are the
The 3-5 Math Reporting Categories and Student
Numbers and Operations: The student will demonstrate an
understanding of numbers, operations, and quantitative reasoning.
 Patterns and Relationships: The student will demonstrate an
understanding of patterns, relationships, and algebraic reasoning.
Geometry: The student will demonstrate an understanding of
geometry and spatial reasoning.
Measurement: The student will demonstrate an understanding of
the concepts and uses of measurement.
Probability and Statistics (graphs): The student will
demonstrate an understanding of probability and statistics.
* Underlying Processes and Mathematical Tools concepts are
embedded within multi-step problem solving. The students will need to
read carefully to identify the appropriate steps.
How Parents Can Help?
Help your child memorize multiplication facts- practice with flashcards
Encourage your child to show all their work and explain it to you
Model your thinking aloud to solve problems and then have your child
solve a similar problem
Use math vocabulary with your child
Make connections to every day math
Find online resources (Google specific skills to locate practice)
Make your child read EVERYDAY. Good reading skills are essential to
understanding STAAR math problems.
How Parents Can Help?
Ask Your Child Higher Level Questions
• How would you explain ….?
• Why does this work/not work …?
• How could you verify…?
• How would you prove… or disprove…?
• What can you conclude about…?
• What information lead you to draw this conclusion?
• Where else could you apply this thinking?
STAAR Writing
4th Grade
See packets!
STAAR Writing – 4th Grade
•Two Day Writing Test
Day 1 -½ multiple choice and 1 composition
Day 2 -½ multiple choice and 1 composition
• Four-hour time limit per day
STAAR Writing – 4th Grade
• Test Components
1. Composition (Narrative & Expository)
2. Revising and Editing (multiple choice:
12-14 questions/day totaling 28 questions)
STAAR Writing -Revising
◦ Revision Focus (32% of test/9 items multiple
◦ Effectiveness
◦ Introduction and conclusion
◦ Organization
◦ Progression
◦ Development
◦ Language/Word Choice
◦ Sentences
STAAR Writing – Editing
• Editing Focus (68% of test/19 items multiple
–Conventions (Spelling, Capitalization,
STAAR Writing - Composition
Students will write 2, one-page compositions addressing
different types of writing.
• Personal Narrative:
Write about an important personal experience.
• Expository:
Create a brief composition that establishes a central
idea in a topic sentence, contains a concluding statement,
and includes supporting sentences with simple facts, details,
and explanations.
STAAR Writing
◦ After completing the multiple choice
questions for that day’s test, and within
the four-hour time limit, a student will be
expected to brainstorm his topic, make a
graphic organizer for the piece of writing,
write the actual composition, then revise
and edit his work.
STAAR Writing
Composition Scoring
Organization and Progression
– Is the paper written to the prompt?
– Does the paper maintain focus?
– Does the writer establish relationships among ideas
Development of Ideas
examples detailed and well-chosen?
-Is the piece engaging and does the writer demonstrate
understanding of the task?
Use of Language/Conventions
-Is the word choice thoughtful, appropriate, and purposeful?
-Are the sentences varied and purposeful?
-Does the writer demonstrate the use of conventions and is
the piece fluent and clear?
8th grade science
9. Riders on cattle drives had to watch over the
cattle at night. They kept track of their duty time
by watching the position of the Little Dipper. The
position of these stars changes because of the —
Earth’s rotation
atmosphere’s composition
moon’s revolution
Earth’s shape
See packet.
STAAR Science
◦44 Multiple Choice Questions + 8 =
52 questions
◦Extensive use of content vocabulary
◦Application of scientific knowledge
STAAR Science
• Science
–Scientific Investigation and Reasoning
–Matter and Energy
–Force, Motion and Energy
–Earth and Space
–Organisms and Environments
How Can Parents Help?
◦ Practice science vocabulary at home.
Have kids draw diagrams or demonstrate.
◦ Encourage discovery. “How do you think
that happened?” “What if we changed
◦ Get on the computer! TONS of science
It’s all about
• For 2 weeks before each STAAR
• Theme
• Intensive Review Lessons
• Kids grouped differently
• Quizzes every day
• Homework every night
• Lessons focus on strengths and
weaknesses of year’s data
Testing Materials:
 We will provide breakfast
as usual.
 Testing begins ASAP
 4 hours to test (unless
student is testing in nonnative language)
 Clock stops for lunch,
medical breaks,
 Bathroom Monitor
 Lunch Monitor
 No Specials (PE/Music/Art)
Test Booklets
Answer Document
Mathematics chart
Graph paper
Extra paper: including post
it notes
 Pencils
 Highlighters
 Snack & Water Bottle while
The Night Before
Visualization: Have a
conversation with your child
about what the day will look
Get a good night's sleep. Kids
need a full 8 hours of sleep.
Self-Talk: give your child a few
phrases that can motivate
him/her "I just need to do my
best!" "I can do it." "Stay cool."
Answer any fears or questions
your child might have.
Prepare your child’s snacks,
pencils, clothes, etc. the night
On STAAR Testing Day
Eat a good, healthy breakfast.
Do a relaxing activities like
taking deep breaths, tensing
muscles and then relaxing
them, talking about something
unrelated to STAAR.
Arrive early or on-time to
Feel free to leave cell phones,
backpacks, hand-held games
at home.
Wear layers so your child is
comfortable in any
Remain calm and positive.
[email protected]
Vonessa Biehl: Instructional Coach for
Eisenhower Elementary
We will be available for any
remaining questions.
Thanks for attending!

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