Improve STAAR Scores for 2024

11 Strategies To Use Right Now In Your Classroom

You’ve reviewed the STAAR released tests and scoured the TEA assessment results for STAAR scores. Your students didn’t do as well as you had expected. But this moment is an opportunity to create a plan for next year. You can use your results and experience to create a plan that works. 

We’ve compiled eleven strategies and tools for your classroom to get better results on the Texas STAAR test.

improve staar scores

Review the previous test and dive into what students missed

As teachers, we need more time to digest test results. Usually, the state delivers test results too late. You’re already in the thick of the daily grind: lesson planning, grading, and classroom management. It’s hard to zoom out.

But before you can have a fully formed plan, you must look at what students missed and why. Here are a few questions to consider as your review assessment data:

  1. Is there a particular content area students missed most?
  2. Were there certain question types that students missed?

Break tasks into smaller steps

If you’re noticing particular areas in the data with knowledge gaps, you must carefully look at how you teach those units and concepts. Consider breaking these concepts into smaller steps. Examine your pacing in these areas. Teachers are experts at dividing complex concepts into smaller pieces so students can learn. The real struggle comes from how to budget time so that you can do this. 

Create formative assessment that benchmarks students

Formative assessment measures your student’s learning progress. You can gauge how well your students are learning and adjust instruction.

TeacherMade helps teachers simplify formative assessment by converting your PDFs and Google Slides/ PowerPoint presentations into online assignments. Because they are auto-graded, you get instant feedback to inform your lesson.

Use accessible data to inform classroom instruction

If you’re using formative assessment regularly in the classroom, you must also have time to analyze data. Ideally, you need to say, “I know my students can do XYZ because of these formative assessment activities.” 

To be able to do this, you need to get fast data. Tech tools like TeacherMade can help you collect accessible data to inform instruction.

Prepare for the test by understanding the format

Instead of struggling with content, your student may have struggled with the testing format. Students need help to go from paper to online assessments. There are also question formats that you can’t replicate on paper. 

Read more in our complete guide on the Texas STAAR redesign so you can understand the new question types.

Explicitly teach test vocabulary and time management

Beyond incorporating different question formats in your everyday instruction, try looking at how questions are phrased. Take the time to explicitly teach things like test vocabulary and time management for the test. The fewer surprises, the better for students.

Create incentives for student growth

Creating buy-in for improving STAAR scores in your classroom takes creating incentives for your students. If improving test results is at the top of your school year goals, take the time to help students make individualized goals. These goals should be measurable and based on growth. Give your students a path to achieve these goals and a worthwhile incentive to reach towards. 

Explain the process to parents

Use Open House, parent-teacher conferences, or your classroom website to spread the word about your goals. Give parents concrete examples of ways to support your students’ goal of improving scores in your classroom. Students who hear encouragement from both directions are likelier to stick with it. 

Facilitate a positive classroom culture

A year is a long time to stick to a goal. But it’s the perfect amount of time to build habits. You can create a better culture in your classroom by modeling positive talk and teaching a growth mindset. With a growth mindset modeling, emphasize the progress rather than the result. This will keep students grounded in the process and practice of improving rather than the end score.

Give constructive and detailed feedback

It goes without saying that one of the best ways to improve on anything is by receiving constructive and detailed feedback. But how do you regularly provide this to every student? And how do you do it promptly so they still feel connected to the assignment?

TeacherMade allows you to digitize your assignments. You can use auto-grade features to grade some or all of the assignments. This gives students an idea of what they get right or wrong instantly. Then you can take that regained time and add personalized comments to any part of the assignment.

Use tools to save time so that you can focus on what’s most important – teaching!

TeacherMade is a versatile online tool that can enhance classroom learning and lead to improved test scores. TeacherMade’s user-friendly interface and interactive features make it an excellent choice for educators looking to engage students and optimize their learning experiences. Here’s how TeacherMade can be effectively utilized in a classroom to help improve test scores:

  • Interactive Activities: The platform offers a range of interactive activities such as drag-and-drop, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and more. These engaging activities help reinforce key concepts and encourage active participation. This leads to improved comprehension and better test scores.
  • Immediate Feedback: TeacherMade provides instant feedback to students as they complete assignments. This immediate feedback helps students identify their strengths and areas needing improvement, enabling them to address misconceptions and study more effectively. Teachers can also use feedback to adapt their instruction based on students’ performance.  Teachers can analyze this data to identify trends, track progress, and adjust instructional strategies accordingly. Educators can help students better prepare for upcoming tests by focusing on areas of weakness.
  • Formative Assessment: Using TeacherMade for formative assessments allows teachers to gauge student understanding throughout the learning process. Regular check-ins and quizzes help identify learning gaps early, allowing teachers to intervene and provide additional support before students face high-stakes tests.
  • Practice and Review: Teachers can create practice tests or review materials using TeacherMade. Regular practice and review sessions can boost students’ confidence and help them solidify their understanding of the subject matter, resulting in improved test performance. 

By leveraging its features to provide personalized, interactive, and data-driven instruction, you can help your students build a solid foundation of knowledge, develop effective study habits, and confidently approach tests.