Last time we discussed how you were preparing for the STAAR as opposed to previous preparation for the TAKS. By now, some of you have administered the STAAR and others are about to.
Once you have administered even one version of the STAAR, please discuss the "administrative" differences of the STAAR. Do you feel the time limit made a major difference? Did less time majorly impact your students? How do you feel your students did with more gridable questions?
Has your experience with the STAAR altered the plans you are making for next year's preparation? If so how? If you had to pick one area in which to spend more time in preparation, what would it be?
Thanks folks, I look forward to the comments.
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I hope the topic is now acceptable. Discuss your plans, preparation, and students. DO NOT discuss the STAAR directly.
I think the four hour time limit kept the students more on track. As far as my plans for next year, I will start the year off with rigor. I will focus on problem solving on a higher level, and do more multi-step problems. My plan is to take what did not work this year and FIX it for next year!
Time limit- I like the time limit the students are eager to start and finish and not able to drag it on through out the day. With preparing my students next year I will concentrate on problem solving and vocabulary. I will certainly do more word problems and multi-step problems. The C-SCOPE spiral review helps with this.
I am in the process of working on next years plans- I will ceratinly have to step it up and go with it.
I had been worried about the time limit, but it worked out. The students did a good job of pacing themselves on the test as well as necessary breaks. All year we practiced the time limit, so it wasn't a shock for them. We also practiced gridding throughout the year. Many of my students on benchmarks would make their own grid when we gave benchmarks. For next year I will also spend a lot more time from the beginning with multiple-step problems and word problems. That's been a difficulty for my students every year, but if we get them used to reading and thinking independently from the start then it will go better. I agree with julagirl about the spiral review from CSCOPE. It is very challenging, but a great review.
Amanda
I agree with the reading and working independently - that is probably the most difficult task we have. They are so afraid of not getting 'it' right the first time they often refuse to start at all.
Christy
Re: Time limit- As far as I am concerned, the time limit did not really affect the majority of my students. In fact, my smartest one in Math finished his test in 2 1/2 hrs! That scared me a bit, so I told him to make sure to look over again, to review, and that every one question has only one shaded bubble on the answer document. Majority of the students were very peaceful and accepting the fact that there was a time limit to their taking the test. We practiced timed tests for so many times during the year. This gave them peace of mind during the "real" test days.
Re: Gridding more - Actually, this was really no problem for them. I practiced with them many times how to put their answers in the grid. I emphasized on the place values and how the digits representing these place values are placed in the grids. My students are used to solving problems and I taught them how to make their own grids, and how to transfer their final answers in the grid.
For next year: My plan is to keep on reviewing my students the way I reviewed them: analize word problems, chunk them into portions, by using drawings, diagrams, etc...to help them "see and understand" the problems, ask them questions whose answers are not directly found in the questions but instead the students need to think deeper and critically to find the answers to those questions. When I give my students critical questions on word problems, I usually group them accordingly because I know that there are some students who are not deep thinkers and they find comfort to work with those who are critical thinkers. In this way, they will not feel frustrated with themselves. Actually, I believe that students learn so much from each other sometimes because they " speak the same language" and on the same level.
Time Limit- I think the students were not bothered with the time limit. Helping monitor in a classroom, I noticed the students seemed to be doing the best they could with the time that was allowed. I
did not see any student in a panic over the time.
For next year, I would do more timed test, so the students could feel comfortable when they are
testing for the first time in 3rd grade. I would insist that the students use their strategies when
working their problems.
I will still focus on the TEKS next year just like I did this year. If we teach to the rigor of the TEKS, all will be well.
The time limit on the STAAR test did not seem to be a factor. The students came in and got to work knowing they had a job to do. They seemed focused because of the time factor.
I would give the students practice tests that are timed and show them how to put their answers in a grid according to the place value.
A concern in 3rd grade is that some students are not yet independent readers and that seems to play a part in their understanding of the mathematics problems.
Susan
Even at the high school level, the 'responsibility' factor is a big issue. I used to not worry so much about students napping (getting their rest and then awakening refreshed) - but now that is a big issue.
Christy
I was worried about the time for the writing because I teach that and the students take all day. but this time they did not have to write so much so it was okay with the time. My math I felt that the time was not going to be a problem because I have had a timer for everything and my students were use to getting to work right away and not waste time so I already had them ready. I do not know if having the time constraint played into the performance of the students because no matter how hard a teacher prepares the student that student on that test day might be very sensitve all of a sudden to the stress of the "real" test.
I was pleased with how the students handled the timed test. Much practice was given to timed testing on unit assessments. The students seemed focused and worked at a good pace. Next year, I plan to have even more griddable questions and open response problems so that the students will not rely on the multiple choice answers as much. I was pleased with the way the students stayed on task and paced themselves on the STAAR. Major emphasis again will be placed on higher level thinking problems and multiple step problems.
As with most everyone else, the time limit caused my students anad me some concern. However while taking the test, the kids noticeable relaxed when they realized it would be okay.
Next year I want to be more consistant with regards to not giving the kids answer choices on multiple choice questions and have them work on them as if they were open ended...the kids rely too heavily at times on using process of elimination to find an answer instead of being able to work it out. I also want to offer them the opportunity more often to look at lower level problems and try to make them more rigorous...they enjoy doing this and it will make them more comfortable with higher level problems.
I will say that when we first learned that there would be a 4 hour time limit for STAAR there was a bit of concern on my part for my students. However, as they progressed up until test day...they became better at focusing and solving problems with much ease.
As I plan for the next school year, I definitely want to focus on helping my students to become analytical thinkers when solving problems. Many times it is not that they do not know how to solve a problem, but they simply rush through reading the words in a problem, without pay attention to the details.
I was worried about how the students were going to react to the timed part and I really believe they understood that I was limited on what I could say and what I couldn't. They did excellent though..they took the time limit seriously and used their time wisely. I hope that they will be successful in not only this years but also in the years to come. I will definitely continue to use the strategies that I thought I believe they were used properly during the test.
Was a particular strategy more successful than others? If so, what worked for them?
I was worried about the timed test. But over all the students did good. They worked hard and they were focused. Everyone finish long before the time. But next year I will start working harder on word problems and open ended questions. I will use the griddable sheet of paper for them to use during the Unit assessment test. I will work harder with my students next year on work problems for them to answer instead of multiple choice answers. Using the
C-scope spiral review questions everyday in the morning helped the students.
I felt as if my students rushed through the test. Next year I plan to focus more on the slow down, work it out discussion we had earlier. I did not feel the admin was all that different from previous years. I worked from week one with my third graders on the scantron, I think that was not a problem for them. I need to implement much more rigorous questioning to increase think time and problem solving skills.
I do not think the time limit was as scary as we made it out to be. Most of mine finished at about the 31/2 hours. Like I said before though we had been practicing and I feel we had it down. As far as next year, I think we will do the same as we did this year with more multi-step problems and using Cscope.
I felt like the administrative directions were pretty much the same. The time limit was not a factor for my students because we had been practicing that all year. I think my kiddos were ok with the griddables as well because, again, we had been practicing on all of our benchmarks several griddables on each test. All of my students did finish on time. Some went right up to 5 minutes before time was called, but never the less, they finished!
As far as what I will do next year, I think it will be pretty much the same as this year. Hopefully, if we get more data, like maybe a breakdown on how our kiddos did on each skill, that will help drive our curriculum for next year. I plan to just keep on teaching the TEKS with lots of rigor added in, and hopefully, that will get our students where they need to be!
I felt that the administrative part ran smoothly because during our benchmarks we practiced with the clock and the four hour time. Everyone finished on time and that was what mattered the most this year. The rigor part will still be part of our school year and the Readiness and supportive questions will be instilled in our students. Hopefully we will have data to help us go in the right direction. The direction TEA would like us to go.
Richard
I was given those students that came in late; therefore, I started about 90 minutes later than everyone else. Instead of those students not being able to test - they went to me. The four hour limit, in my opinion, was more than adequate. I feel the students need more practice using the actual tools on the program - highlighting, erasing, etc. My students did not like using the computer calculator - they preferred using their handheld. I also need to practice with them using the computer grid paper. I did practice with them for a couple of days with it. Next year, I will stress using the paper grid that is provided. Next year, I will take them to practice the computer skills earlier on in the year.
Christy
I did not actually administer any STAAR EOC test. I talked to people who did. There did not appear to be any problem with the time. Everyone got through with time to spare. The kids had complained about our on-line benchmark. We made sure they had access to calculators, graph paper and scratch paper for the actual test and they didn't complain after the actual EOC, so maybe that helped.
Next year I would like to give the students more practice on the computer if we are going to keep giving them on-line. I would also like to give them more timed tests. They have to learn that they need to be aware of the time.
Most of my students work the whole test (any test) and then bubble. We will work next year on more bubbling as you go. Or to stop with 30 minutes left and bubble.
Four hours was cutting it short for some students, but they worked hard throughout the test. I would implement more open ended questions, HOT questioning, more griddables, less multiple-choice questions. Time CScope Spiral Review activity and a little more rigor on supplemental activities.
M. Villarreal
The time difference didn't seem to make a difference to the students. The only difference was keeping them focused. In past tests, they were encouraged to rest between stories or take breaks as they were working, so that habit had to be broken. They needed to work at a steady pace. I also worked on problem solving skills during the year. After receiving my Origo supplies, I used them in warm-ups in my classroom.
I did not actually administer an EOC test this year, but the time factor did not seem to be a problem for my students. The students that I had taking the EOC would be considered to be advanced students since they were freshman taking Geometry. My biggest concern is that the testing is done online. I have expressed to our administrators that we need more computers and programs for our students to practice using the same online tools that they will be using on the EOC with immediate feedback if they grid incorrectly.
Re: 5th six weeks required discussion
Unfortunately, I cannot respond to this question because we do not administer the state tests.