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STAAR’s Redesign and New Math Item Types

And How ST Math will Prepare Your Students for Success

As we’ve made it halfway through the 2022-23 school year, the STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) test has been redesigned to align more closely with the classroom experience. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has been committed to seeking an approach that will support educators as the changes have been implemented. 

ST Math prepares students for success in Algebra and beyond by building a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics through rigorous and engaging visual puzzles in a game-based format. Our patented approach ensures the learner has the ability to apply the knowledge they gain in ST Math to any real world situation, regardless of how the question is framed or how the student is asked to demonstrate mastery. While ST Math is an instructional (not test-prep) program, the mechanics within the games align very closely with the new item types on the updated STAAR 2.0. 

When thinking about how to prepare your students for the math section of the newly redesigned STAAR exam, we can give you many reasons why it’s a great idea to keep them on their ST Math journey. 

TEA Introduces New Question Types for the STAAR Redesign

The math portion of the STAAR redesign offers new question types, which include: graphing, drag and drop, fraction models, and more. The STAAR test redesign will include some additional key features, all of which are detailed here

The following are five item types that your students might encounter on the math portion of the STAAR redesign and which ST Math games will prepare them for success. 

1. Equation Editor and Text Entry

TEA Description: Student can write responses in the form of fractions, expressions, equations, or inequalities, or by typing a brief string of text such as a number, word, or phrase. 

TEA Sample Question: 

How ST Math Prepares Students for Equation Editor Item Types: In Percent Expression, students are prompted to use the Equation Editor testing item when estimating the location of fractions, decimals, or percents on a number line. Additional ST Math games under the same objective encourages students to convert between fractions, decimals, and percents, while also writing out expressions to solve percent problems. 

Percent Expression (6)

How ST Math Prepares Students for Text Entry Item Types: In Exponential Notation, students are prompted to use the Text Entry testing item by building the given shape using exponential notation. Additional ST Math games under the same objective encourages students to choose or build exponential expressions, or rewrite exponential expressions as repeated multiplication problems.

Exponential_Notation (6)

2. Graphing 

TEA Description: Student selects, points, draws lines, drags bar graphs, and performs other functions to independently create different types of graphs.  

TEA Sample Question: 

How ST Math Prepares Students for Graphing Item Types: In Coordinate Trap, students are prompted to use the Graphing testing item by selecting the location of a coordinate pair on a coordinate grid. Additional ST Math games under the same objective encourages students to plot ordered pairs on a coordinate plane, create and extend lines in a coordinate plane, or input coordinates of a line into a table. 

Coordinate_Plane (5)-1

3. Hot Spot 

TEA Description: Student responds by selecting one or more specific areas of a graphic. 

TEA Sample Question:

How ST Math Prepares Students for Hot Spot Item Types: In Soccer Dots Plots Eighths, students are prompted to use the Hot Spot testing item by recording fraction measurements on a number line to create a dot plot. Additional ST Math games under the same objective encourages students to use a line plot to display a data set of measurements, interpret a given line plot, or identify the range given a numeric data set.

Soccor Dot Plots Eighths (4)

4. Fraction Model 

TEA Description: Student represents a fraction by dividing an object into the correct number of sections to indicate the denominator and clicking to shade the appropriate number of sections to indicate the numerator.

TEA Sample Question: 

How ST Math Prepares Students for Fraction Model Item Types: In Fraction Grid, students are prompted to use the Fraction Model testing item by selecting a number of partitions on a given grid to represent the sum or difference of two fractions. Additional ST Math games under the same objective encourages students to add and subtract fractions that have unlike denominators or estimate the location of a fraction represented with a model on a number line.

Fraction_Grid (5)

5. Drag and Drop

TEA Description: Student evaluates a given number of options (words, numbers, symbols, etc.) and chooses which response(s) to drag to a given area (a diagram, map, chart, etc.).

TEA Sample Question: 

How ST Math Prepares Students for Drag and Drop Item Types: In Equivalent Fractions, students are prompted to use the Drag and Drop testing item by generating equivalent fractions using visual fraction models. Additional ST Math games under the same objective also encourage students to compare fractions with either the same numerator or same denominator, use visual models to find equivalent fractions, or place fractions on a number line.

Equivalent_Fractions (3)

ST Math Makes a Splash at TCEA and TASA Midwinter 2023 

MIND had the honor and privilege of meeting with Texas educators and thought leaders last week at one of our nation’s leading edtech conferences: TCEA Convention & Exposition and TASA Midwinter Conference 2023. Together, we shared some new ST Math features and everything we had in store for the future in student math achievement. Everyone also had a blast taking pictures with JiJi and was thrilled to spin our wheel to win some fun JiJi swag!

ST Math Impact in Texas

More than 2,700 Texas schools across 500 districts have rostered their students and benefited from ST Math!

Texas students have since been deeply engaged in their ST Math journey with JiJi. And because ST Math eliminates language barriers by engrossing students in fun animated depictions of math concepts, it’s also a great entry point for English learners at all proficiency levels. 

English learners aren't the only ones experiencing math growth and developing a deep conceptual understanding of math concepts. ST Math has proven to support ALL dimensions of diversity among Texas students. There’s no denying the outcome—the unprecedented results set ST Math apart as a visual-instructional tool that serves and benefits students of all backgrounds.TX-Data_subgroup graph_Condensed-STM copy (26)

Equitable impact means that the same program works for every single student. This is what’s so unique about ST Math. It is neuroscience-driven learning that benefits every student subgroup. 

By shifting student perspectives from “I’m not a math person” to “We are all math people,” we ensure that one day they will be mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems.

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Victor Nguyen

About the Author

Victor Nguyen is MIND’s Content and Community Specialist. Victor is a passionate storyteller with a penchant for creative writing. In his free time, you can find him engrossed in books, watching reruns of Frasier, or trying to meditate.


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