4th grade STAAR Teach expository writing with mentor texts
You will sort student papers according to TEA's grading category to identify biggest area of need, this is how you will begin to improve their writing. You will also use student's text as mentor text that do well for example a student may do well with an introduction but need help with better word choice. You can use this student's essay as a mentor for the introduction and now realize you will teach mini lessons on better word choice.
Why sort by grading category instead of trying to score it a 1,2,3 or 4:
Often times we read a students writing piece and have no idea how to help them. We either feel like they are already so good there is nothing we can do (or need to do) with their essays or we feel the exact opposite. Sometimes we feel a students writing may be like that old saying about throwing the baby out with the bath water.
I was reading an essay from my suitemates class and she was feeling very helpless. I began looking
at TEA’s scoring guide which you can find here http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/staar/writing/
click on the newest expository released scoring guide. I strongly recommend you download
and print the scoring guide. I cannot include it due to copyright per TEA. I noticed some
positive things about the students writing, they at least kept it expository. Then I started
to notice all hope wasn’t lost. I realized, if we focused on the category of language use
and conventions for this student for the next couple of weeks, we could take her from
earning a combined 2, to a combined 3 or 4.
Sorting your students papers by category strengths and weaknesses gives you the
opportunity to zoom in on a few things that can really raise their score, from
the lower scores to even the higher ones. While TEA does score the test
holistically, helping your students improve in each category can have a big
Easy to Understand 3 Category Breakdown of TEA’s Scoring Guide to sort student writing (See Driving the Writing Instruction From Now Until STAAR once you purchase)
8 Expository Prompts (I use 2 per week, 1 in class and 1 for homework)
2 Teacher Graphic Organizers to organize your students writing each week
1 of my graphic organizers filled out as an example (shows how my essays will drive my instruction for the following week)
What you need:
Download and print TEA’s Scoring Guide here http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/staar/writing/
Student Mentor Text (If you do not feel you have enough, or just not the right ones, use the ones from TEA’s Scoring guide)
Did you know you have access to your last year's student writing as well? Not sure where the essays are? Ask someone on your leadership team.
Need more STAAR Revise and Edit review?