STAAR Wars

I’m back to tell you about some ways I try to keep my students motivated while preparing for STAAR (Texas state assessment).

One of the tools I use in my classroom is punch cards. We do A LOT of practice leading up to the STAAR test and it is important that the practice be meaningful. Unless students are working to their full potential and using the strategies I have taught them, time is being wasted. To help keep them focused and motivated I use punch cards. This year I’ve changed the punch cards to fit our STAAR Wars theme.

In order to receive punches, students MUST show their work. They have the opportunity to earn the following punches:

  • 3 punches – 100
  • 2 punches – A
  • 1 punch – B

Once they fill up the entire card, I offer them money from our classroom economy.

If you think your students would benefit from using these free punch cards, you can download them from here.

 

Using too many worksheets during review time is boring for ME, so I know the kids are bored too! I like to change things up a bit by playing a variety of different games. PowerPoint games are my favorite because we can play as a whole class and there are plenty of opportunities for meaningful discussions. Here’s a game I created to review fractions that fits our STAAR Wars theme. *For some reason the image for the video looks crummy! When I click on it to start the video, the resolution improves.*

STAAR Wars–3rd Grade Fraction Review

This PowerPoint game can be found on TpT.

 

I hope I have given you some ideas that you can use in your classroom. I’ll be back with more STAAR Wars ideas soon.

1

It’s That Time of Year…Again

It’s that time of year again when I start thinking about the upcoming state test. Ugh! I’ve taught everything I need to teach and now I’m going to spend the next few weeks reviewing like crazy. The problem is I need to push the kids to do the best they can without crushing their spirit.

In Texas, our state test is the STAAR, so my team decided to have a STAAR Wars theme to help us stay motivated. We’re not the first ones to do this, so Pinterest has a wealth of ideas. We started off by creating our own Pinterest board and we got busy pinning away.

Next, we bought shirts. We have 2 days of testing so I figured I needed 2 shirts. This one came from a wonderful seller on Etsy who worked with us to place a HUGE order.

This one came from Spirit Bling. Both shirts are sparkly to keep our spirits bright!

Some how I ended up with another 3 Star Wars shirts thanks to Wal-mart and Kohl’s. I think I may have gone overboard. Winking smile

We’ve begun the decorating process. We started out by hanging clear Christmas tree lights from the ceiling in the hallway. We added silver stars and some tie fighters. If we wouldn’t have had help from some wonderful parents, I think we would still be hanging those silly lights now. Even with their help, this is a work in progress and we’re not finished.

Here’s a poster I plan to hang in our hallway. If any of you other Texas teachers are thinking of having a STAAR Wars theme, click on the picture to download your own copy.

I like the idea of “The Students Strike Back.” I’m hoping it will empower the kids and let them know they can take charge of this overwhelming situation. As we get more accomplished, I’ll add more posts so you can follow along with the process. I’m hoping this theme will go a long way to keeping students (and teachers) motivated.

0