STAARtling Teacher Hacks in Preparation for STAAR Online

Here are four cool things teachers and administrators have been doing to help students feel better prepared for STAAR Online:

  1. Print a poster-size picture from the Educator Guide to Accessibility within the STAAR Program (like the image below) to make explicit connections to what the tool will look like and where to find it on the screen even when using paper-based instruction.  It might sound like this:”Guys, as you read raise your hand to ask me about words or phrases that are you don’t understand. During STAAR online anytime you see a blue underlined word/phrase or an arrow button, be sure to click on it to see the helpful clues.”

“Students, right now we’re using our red pens to cross out options we know are not correct. During STAAR Online, you will find the eliminator tool at the top (teacher points to the X icon),”

or “Class, I want you to take your highlighters out and mark the key words. During STAAR Online, you will do the same thing by selecting the word with your mouse to make the highlight option show up.”

or “Guys, as you read raise your hand to ask me about words or phrases that you don’t understand. During STAAR online anytime you see a blue underlined word/phrase or an arrow button, be sure to click on it to see the helpful clues.”

2. Place a page protector or clear contact paper over students’ monitors, turning the screen and cover into scratch paper. Students use the same math strategies as they do on paper but can generalize this skill into an online environment. Love it!

3. Eanes ISD and Desmos collaborated to develop a “test mode” for the popular iOS and Chrome app providing a secure, allowable graphing calculator to use on STAAR paper or online.

4. Campuses and districts have decided to replace one of their district benchmark tests with the STAAR Interim Assessment. Students get to practice using the same supports they’ll see on STAAR and districts get to plan from the data they receive.

If you know of a different STAAR prep “hack,” please share! Contact Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net

Are Your Students Taking STAAR Online?

If so, it’s important that they familiarize themselves with the online testing environment and embedded tools. One great way to do this is to use the STAAR Online Features & Supports Checklist while completing the STAAR online tutorials and practice tests.

STAAR Online Features & Supports Checklist

It’s important to explicitly teach students how to use the features and supports available as part of the STAAR online assessment. This checklist breaks down the general navigation tools, accessibility features, and designated supports so you can target your students’ practice time and track their progress toward proficiency. The checklist can also be used to keep track of student preferences, such as the speed of the text-to-speech and color background. In addition to helping students, the checklist is a great tool for parents to learn about the STAAR online assessment. Parents can download the STAAR Online Testing Platform to their home computer and practice with their child.

STAAR Online Tutorials

The tutorials are the first step for students to learn about the online testing environment. The tutorials show students how to navigate through the test, respond to the different question types, and access the available tools. In addition, short videos illustrate how to use the various features and tools. Tutorials are available for various grades/subjects and courses.

STAAR Online Practice Tests

The practice tests are the second step for students to learn about the online testing environment. The practice tests are released STAAR test forms that have been previously administered. These tests provide students with an opportunity to interact with the test interface, respond to questions, and locate and use available tools. Practice tests are available for various grades/subjects and courses.

Resources

The STAAR Online Testing Platform operates through a secure browser that must be installed on a desktop or tablet in order to access the tutorials and practice tests. Links to the secure browsers are available at https://www.texasassessment.com/technology/.

The Educator Guide to Accessibility within the STAAR Program provides information about the features and supports that make the STAAR accessible to all students. The guide also includes specific examples of the online features and supports offered on STAAR online.

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.

 

Write Powerful PLAAFPs and Standards-Based Goals!

IEP title

There are many aspects to writing a complete Individualized Education Program (IEP). This one-day training will focus on writing powerful Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) statements which will lead to student-focused goals.  Participants will leave with easy-to-use tools to support their efforts for well-written IEPs.  This intensive instruction includes participant practice and reflection.  This training is for ANY special education teacher (PPCD to high school) who writes IEPs.

IEP Best Practices: PLAAFP and Goal Writing

February 12, 2018

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

$45

Register for this workshop, SP1939270, in Ecampus.

For additional information, contact Kim West at kim.west@esc13.txed.net

Register today for To Drill or Not to Drill? Math Fact Strategy Instruction!

Do your students struggle to learn math facts?

We know that by 6th grade (TEK 6.3D) students are expected to add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers fluently. In this workshop you will learn effective and efficient strategies for students to use in order to build automaticity of the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. Teaching of strategies to recall basic facts builds flexible thinking in a student. Students with flexible thinking are able to see a number in several forms and use the knowledge and skills they already possess to find a solution for an unknown fact. In addition to building flexible thinking, teaching of strategies to recall basic facts improves math calculation skills which are necessary for success on STAAR.

All attendees will receive a set of the FACTastic Math Strategy System, a comprehensive program for teaching basic math facts through strategy-based instruction. Full-day attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for addition/subtraction and multiplication/division. Half-day morning attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for addition/subtraction. Half-day afternoon attendees will receive the FACTastic Math Strategy System for multiplication/division. Check out this video to learn more about the FACTastic Math Strategy System.

Register Today!

Date: February 26, 2019

  • Full Day: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Half Day (Add/Sub): 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Half Day (Mult/Div): 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Price:

  • Full Day: $75.00
  • Half Day: $45.00

Go to Ecampus and search for the following course numbers.

  • Full Day: SP1940756
  • Half Day (Add/Sub): SP1940810
  • Half Day (Mult/Div): SP1940811

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.

 

Are you looking for Supplemental Aids?

Are you looking for examples of supplemental aids to use in your classroom? You’re in luck! The Accommodation Central website now has downloadable supplemental aids in both a Teach and Test version for all of the TEA allowable supplemental aids. Examples include mnemonics, graphic organizers, math charts, and more!

Follow these steps to access the resources.

  1. Go to the Accommodation Central website.
  2. Type supplemental aids in the search box.
  3. Click on the entry for the type of supplemental aid you’re interested in.
  4. Scroll down until you see downloadable resources.
  5. Click on the link to download the supplemental aid example.

For more information about supplemental aids check out this video. In the video you will learn details about supplemental aids including:

  • The purpose of supplemental aids
  • Who can use supplemental aids on state assessments
  • Who determines eligibility to use supplemental aids
  • How to implement and individualize supplemental aids
  • Where to find more resources about supplemental aids

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.

 

STAAR Stuff: Supplemental Aids for Science

What are supplemental aids?

Supplemental aids are paper-based resources that assist a student in recalling information and concepts taught in class.

Who can use supplemental aids?

To be eligible to use supplemental aids on a state assessment, the student needs to routinely, independently, and effectively use it during classroom instruction and classroom testing.

Check out this video highlighting the four types of supplemental aids eligible students can use on the science STAAR tests.

Where can I get more information about supplemental aids?

The TEA Supplemental Aids Policy Document has more information on supplemental aids, including determining eligibility and types for each subject area. Check out the Accommodation Central website to view a variety of supplemental aid downloadable examples.

AND . . .

If you’re looking for ways to meet the diverse needs of students in your science classroom then register today for the Science for All workshop!

In the workshop you will explore evidence-based instructional strategies designed to help all students, especially struggling learners, make progress toward success. You will also learn about accommodations and modifications, how to implement supplemental aids, and tips for helping students transfer their knowledge from instructional practices to the STAAR test. This day-long workshop is designed for all science teachers, but is particularly applicable to teachers of STAAR tested grades (grade 5, grade 8, and biology). You will participate in hands-on activities, small-group discussion, and will leave with ideas and strategies you can start using with your students right away!

Date: January 28, 2019

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Cost: $45.00

Register for Science for All in Ecampus by using course number SP1940797.

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.

Beat the Heat 2019 Call for Presentations: Teachers Teaching Teachers

 

Beat the Heat 2019 is coming soon!  This summer conference is dedicated to providing professional development to educators, parents, and others who work with children ages 3-21 with significant intellectual and low incidence disabilities. We are seeking teachers, para-educators, and support staff (SLP, OT, PT, AT, VI, COMS, APE, RN, etc) who are interested in teaching others about the terrific strategies, tools, and plans they use in their classroom!

Submit your proposal to become a Beat the Heat local presenter and, if selected, earn free registration to the conference! This is a terrific opportunity to share your hard-earned professional expertise with your colleagues while developing new professional skills. Presenters of accepted proposals will have the option to complete a self-paced, online course specifically designed to support local Region 13 presenters in developing and delivering professional trainings. Those who complete this course will receive a certificate of endorsement as a presenter from ESC 13. Develop yourself by developing others and build out your résumé with this great opportunity!

We are seeking engaging sessions in the following areas of special education:

  • Behavior
  • Collaboration & Leadership
  • Communication
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Early Childhood/PPCD
  • Inclusion
  • Sensorimotor
  • Transition

Your work matters! Please consider providing a breakout presentation for this year’s Beat the Heat conference. Even better, grab a co-worker and both of you submit a proposal!

Deadline for submissions: Monday, March 25, 2019

Questions or just want some help brainstorming ideas?  Contact me!

Nichole Kertis Barton – nichole.kertis@esc13.txed.net

Register today for Science for All!

Are you looking for ways to meet the diverse needs of students in your science classroom?

 

The Science for All workshop will explore evidence-based instructional strategies designed to help all students, especially struggling learners, make progress toward success. You will also learn about accommodations and modifications, how to implement supplemental aids, and tips for helping students transfer their knowledge from instructional practices to the STAAR test. This day-long workshop is designed for all science teachers, but is particularly applicable to teachers of STAAR tested grades (grade 5, grade 8, and biology). You will participate in hands-on activities, small-group discussion, and will leave with ideas and strategies you can start using with your students right away!

Date: January 28, 2019

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Cost: $45.00

Register for Science for All in Ecampus by using course number SP1940797.

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.

Are you a special education instructional leader?

Join us for the Special Education Instructional Network – SPIN – to connect and learn with other special educators in Region 13.

SPIN meets four times during each school year. Our first 2018-2019 meeting is on Wednesday, September 12, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

SPIN meetings are designed for special education instructional leaders to receive updates and resources and to share ideas, district news, and questions with each other.  This year, our meetings will include a book study, UDL Now! A Teacher’s Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning in Today’s Classrooms, by Dr. Katie Novak.  In addition, Region 13 Specialists will join us to provide behavior guidance and assistive technology information.

You can register for SPIN meetings for FREE in Ecampus by using course number FA1839043.

For more information, contact Kim West, kim.west@esc13.txed.net

Announcing the Region 13 Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Professional Learning Community (PLC)!

 

Are you looking for a way to transform your teaching and your students’ learning?

Submit your application to join the Region 13 Universal Design for Learning Professional Learning Community!  This PLC is designed to provide cohort members with an understanding of the UDL framework, knowledge and resources to support UDL implementation, and individualized learning opportunities to address campus needs.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for creating an approach to your instruction based on principles that allow all students to have access to the general education curriculum. Using a proactive approach to remove learning barriers by considering the natural variability of how students learn, UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials and assessments to help optimize learning.

In addition, knowledge and implementation of UDL supports ESSA’s endorsement of UDL, enhances our connections to the student-centered focus of our appraisal systems, and provides a way to plan for social and emotional variability.

The UDL PLC application process is simple!  Just complete pages 3 and 4 of the application and submit it electronically by 5:00 PM on June 15, 2018.  To submit the application or for more information contact Kim West at kim.west@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5314.