Lets face it. When it comes to preparing for the STAAR it takes some planning and a lot of organized reteaching.
Getting a handle on STAAR prep can be difficult. We seem to ask, what do our students need and how can I reteach it to them? Then slam this into one to three weeks before a STAAR test can be a challenge.
There are several things I have used over the years but it always seems to follow a specific pattern.
Look at Your DATA
I am sure that we as teachers have used this keyword “data” to death. I am also sure that we are tired of seeing it. But when used effectively, we can get some great insight into our students.
After many trials and errors over the years I learned two things.
- It is easier if the students collect it
- keep it simple
I came up with a simple method that allows the students to see how they progress and gives me a quick glance to see where they are at.
I would have students circle which ones they got correct and then color code it off to the right. Very simple, the students know what they need to work on, and you now know where the student needs support.
What to do with the DATA?
This is where I would design small groups and group activities. If I see I have a lot of yellow and red in a certain TEK. I would set up math stations. Group them by color. You don’t need to tell them to go where their color is. But align your students by color. Have some red, green, and yellow students in your grouping.
Organize Materials for Math Stations
I had to force myself to do this. But over time it has paid off.
I have manila folders with the TEK written at the top. When I come across good materiel I just throw it in a folder that aligns close to that TEK. I can figure out later how to use it in a station but I am collecting things I like.
Once you have some material and know which TEK students are struggling with you just go to that folder and start designing reinforcment stations or extra practice for those students.
The more they see it the better prepared they will be for STAAR.
For students who may fall in the yellow range, I will usually pair them with students who have mastered a specific TEK and have them help other students.
Some of the best STAAR testing years I have had is when I implemented this effectively. There is something about a student who is struggling watches the process of another student who mastered it. You will see a lot of light-bulbs go off.
Use Good Review Material
I have see some great resources, some I use year after year. Then I have seen some not so good resources.
I am now creating my own. Because I want the same language they see on the STAAR test to match the review material. So I just create my own!
I like it to align as close as possible to the last two years of testing.
When it comes to STAAR prep we need to know where our students are, use effective reteaching methods, and have everyone invested in the process.
It can be challenging and a struggle at times. But when we invest in the process we can see great results.