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As we all know, Staar is just around the corner! Third grade will be taking the Math Staar test next Monday. For the last couple of weeks, we have only been working on Staar Review. Question, after question, after question. Unfortunately, this gets a little boring, not only for the kids, but also for me.
Create Staar Review Vocabulary Cards
One of my favorite things to do a couple of weeks before the Staar test is to have the kids create Staar Review Vocabulary Cards. I find which vocabulary words that are most used on the Staar test, and we create flashcards for each of those words. The word goes on the front of the index card, and the definition goes on the back. It takes a few days, but the kids love it.
While creating the cards, I give each word a hand symbol for the kids to remember what the word means. For example, perimeter. The kids draw a square with their two index fingers. This tells them that the perimeter is the outside of a figure, or the “rim” of the figure. Believe it or not, these hand symbols are a life saver for some of my kiddos. When teaching the symbols, I like to use the Whole Brain Approach. I have the students watch and listen as I tell them the definition and give them the hand motion. Then, they turn to their neighbor and repeat it.
So, for perimeter, they turn to their neighbor and say, “Perimeter is the space outside of the figure.” While repeating this, they are doing the hand gesture. When reviewing these flash cards, if the kids don’t remember the definition, all I have to do is the gesture and they get it immediately.
Once we have created these index cards, we review using different games.
Here are a few of our favorites STAAR review strategies with the cards:
The students get in partners. One student puts a word on their forehead without looking. The other student then has to give them the definition. After receiving the definition, the student then has to guess what word is on their head. Once done, they switch roles. Both students are learning at the same time!
One student comes to the front of the room facing away from the white board. I write one of the vocabulary words on the board so all of the other students can see it. The student at the front is allowed to receive three clues about the word from the rest of the class. Then they have to tell us the word.
I have the students line up in two groups. The two student at the front are given a word. The first person who hits the buzzer and gives the correct definition gets a point for their team.
Basic quizzing. Quiz one another and then switch. This is great to have the students do when they finish their work early.
The students love this, it doesn’t require any prep, and they actually learn! If you want to read about other games we do in class, check them out here.