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STAAR test beckons: How would you do?

By KBell
March 24, 2012 at midnight
Updated March 23, 2012 at 10:24 p.m.


STAAR TESTING DATES

MONDAY: English I (end-of-course exam)TUESDAY: Grades 4 and 7 writing day one; Grades 5 and 8 math; English I readingWEDNESDAY: Grades 4 and 7 writing day two; Grades 5 and 8 readingSOURCE: TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

sample QUESTIONS

These questions were adapted from sample tests released by the Texas Education Agency.

1. If you add the fries and the drink, you've probably exceeded half of your suggested calorie allowence for the entire day!

Q: What change, if any, should be made to this sentence?

A: Delete the comma

B: Change suggested to sugested

C: Change allowence to allowance

D: No change should be made in this sentence.

2. In the early days Girl Scouts sold only original sandwich, chocolate mint, and shortbread cookies. There are many interesting flavors available, including lemon, peanut butter, and caramel.

Q: Samantha needs to add a transition word or phrase to help her readers move from sentence to sentence. Which transition could BEST be added to the beginning of the second sentence?

A: After all

B: Today

C: At first

D: Then

3. A famous basketball player carried the Chinese flag named Yao Ming.

Q: What is the BEST way to revise this sentence?

A: A famous basketball player named Yao Ming carried the Chinese flag.

B: The famous basketball player who carried the Chinese flag, he was named Yao Ming.

C: A famous basketball player carried the Chinese flag he was named Yao Ming.

D: A famous basketball player carried the Chinese flag. Who was named Yao Ming.

4. Avonlea Station. A small figure, a child, sits on a battered suitcase. The child wears a too-large overcoat and a cap covering its head. We can see only the child's back as the lights come up. The child wraps the coat more tightly around itself and turns toward us for the first time: she is a girl, a simple, tattered dress under her coat. The stationmaster comes to pick up a mailbag and notices the girl.

Q: In this paragraph, the description of Anne in the stage directions is intended to evoke feelings of -

A: fear

B: doubt

C: anger

D: pity

5. JACK FROST: All the trees in this forest refused to help a tired little bird?

FOREST FAIRY: No. Just as I was about to chide the three trees, I heard the Spruce invite him to come to her branches for shelter. Then the Pine offered to keep the north wind from him, and the Juniper gave him berries to eat.

Q: In the second paragraph, the word "chide" means to -

A: greet

B: scold

C: observe

D: interrupt

6. In the spring every year, people in many parts of the world set their clocks forward an hour - "spring forward" - to observe what is known as daylight saving time. In the fall, clocks are once again set back - "fall back" - to their previous setting, known as standard time. While daylight saving time has done a good job of saving energy for part of the year, changing the clock back to standard time causes problems. The time has come to extend the benefits of daylight saving time to the entire year and end the trouble caused by changing time twice a year.

Q: The author uses the first paragraph mostly to -

A: identify the source of his claims

B: provide definitions of complex terms

C: present the position of his argument

D: reveal the solution to a problem

ANSWERS

1. C, 2. B, 3. A, 4. D, 5. B, 6. C

The time has come. On Monday, students across Texas will delve into the infamous State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test.

In the Victoria school district, students have been training yearlong.

"We've been using a very rigorous curriculum that matches the level of curriculum we think we'll see on the STAAR test," said Dionne Loughman, VISD's assessment and accountability coordinator.

Students also have been taking benchmark assessments that allow teachers to pinpoint areas of weaker understanding. For certain grades, Monday is prime time. Testing continues through April and May.

Each campus has a specific test plan, Loughman said, but most will likely administer the four-hour exams in the mornings. Any breaks a student has to take must be included in the four-hour time limit. Exceptions will be made for students with specific accommodations, she added.

By noon, the first foray into STAAR should be complete.

"And they continue with the rest of the day with some more rigorous instruction," Loughman said.

Take a look at what students can expect to see on the upcoming STAAR tests.

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