Preparing at home for STAAR.Many parents wonder how they can help their student prepare for the STAAR tests. Overwhelmingly, students struggle with 1) measurement, geometry, or probability in math and science and 2) inferences, predictions, or conclusions in reading and social studies. Some of the ways you can help your student are:
- Ask students to justify their conclusions: how do they know something is true, or why did they draw that conclusion? What evidence did they see that made them draw that conclusion?
- Help students practice measuring items: can they help bake a cake, make a wood working project, or help measure scrapbooking pages? Perhaps you need to paint a room or decide how furniture can be rearranged. Ask your student to use a ruler or tape measure as they explain their ideas to you.
- Many students do well with two dimensional shapes (square, rectangle, circle) but struggle when the object is represented in three dimensions (cube, prism, or sphere). Help students identify the sides of a 3D object- can they still find the area of one side (or face) of an object? On a 3D object, ask them to identify the bottom or side. What is the difference between the side and the height of the object?
- Ask students to make predictions. Can they guess what is about to happen on the TV show? What helped them make that prediction- the music, something a character said or did, or maybe the setting (doesn't everyone know what happens when a character runs into a cemetery on a horror show?).
Recommendations for a successful testing day.
STAAR testing days can be stressful for students; here are some tips for having a successful testing experience:
- Get plenty of rest the night before the test.
- Eat a good breakfast in the morning.
- If there is time, exercise in the morning because it can help stimulate the brain.
- Take your time; most students do not use the entire four hours. If your student tends to rush through tests, try reading the answer choices from the bottom to the top (D, C, B, A instead of A, B, C, D).
- Use the resources available. Students have access to a variety of resources during the test, depending on the subject, such as: formula charts, rulers (the side of the formula chart), dictionaries, highlighters, color pencils, scratch paper, or calculators (but not all math or science tests allow calculators).