TeacherMade Helps Prepare Students for the Texas STAAR State Assessment

Elizabeth is a 4th-grade teacher who uses TeacherMade's digital worksheets to prepare her students for the Texas STAAR state assessment.

How do you use TeacherMade to prepare your students for the Texas STAAR state assessment?

TeacherMade is extremely beneficial for preparing students for state testing because the Texas STAAR state assessment will be transitioning to a completely online platform by the end of the next school year. I know in other states, they have already implemented this mode of testing. My campus adopted online testing early so we could be ahead of the game in Texas. This proved challenging because, as a classroom teacher, I had to find ways for my 4th-grade students to become familiar with working in different online environments and gain confidence in applying the knowledge they learned in class in a new digital way. Luckily I had been using TeacherMade for classwork during hybrid learning and saw its potential for preparing students for testing, especially since, at that time, they had just rolled out new question types other than the standard multiple choice options. It was my answer!

How has TeacherMade been a good tool for practicing different strategies used in online reading assessments?

To get my students comfortable, I used TeacherMade daily for reading and writing lessons and in small groups. Students quickly gained confidence and could independently complete assignments using all the features and tools. We practiced skills such as highlighting text and taking notes as they read. Closer to the end of the year, I used released STAAR assessment PDFs to create assignments in TeacherMade to show students different strategies that can be used with online reading assessments. In my class, we use acronyms to prompt certain steps good readers do when tackling different genres of texts. They got into the habit of typing their own checklist and going through each step, using the tools such as highlighting, drawing, and adding text boxes to annotate. While not all of these features translated exactly to the STAAR testing platform, it was close enough for students to transfer that knowledge when the time came to practice using the real thing. The real testing platform does allow for practice, but it is limited in the amount of content it will allow to be viewed and is not ideal for consistent practice. TeacherMade allowed me to use a similar format, but I could customize it using any content I wanted.

Which TeacherMade features have been essential in helping your students practice for the Texas STAAR assessment?

Another big change with Texas assessments is the implementation of new question types next year, such as multi-select, short answer writing, dropdown selections, matching, etc. TeacherMade is the only resource I have found that gives teachers the capability to create an online document with such differing question types that are all able to be automatically graded. In one assignment, my students could read a practice text, use tools to mark and annotate the text, answer multiple choice questions, type a short answer response, and click dropdown menus that fill in blanks to complete comprehension questions. The ability for students to use these types of answering formats in everyday work consistently is critical for their success on end-of-year assessments.

How has using TeacherMade helped your students become comfortable and successful with the Texas STAAR assessment?

Allowing my students to become comfortable reading different genres online and using tools to annotate as they read was truly the key to their success this year. They felt confident when it came to completing online work, and as educators, we all know that confidence is half the battle for most students. With more and more schools transitioning to digital textbooks and learning management systems, teachers must prepare their students well. Because of using TeacherMade this year, my students were exceedingly prepared for their STAAR test and performed 1st in the district for 4th grade Reading. I know that implementing TeacherMade as part of their test prep led to major student growth, and I recommend it to every teacher.

TeacherMade makes it easy for Teachers to prepare students for state assessments. The Texas STAAR will be fully digital by 2023, so apps like TeacherMade are essential for helping students feel comfortable with digital testing.

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