5 Things You Might Not Know About the STAAR Reading Test

Did you Know the STAAR Reading Test is…

1. Written above the tested grade level?

Therefore Lexile is not an indicator of success on the STAAR test. We should teach students how to justify the correct answer using accurate, relevant, explicit text evidence. The best strategy for teaching reading in the secondary grades isn’t really a strategy at all. Teach them to be a GOOD reader that depends on the information that is given in the text.

The readiness standards were written to be a predictor of college entrance and success. Think about it, each standardized test has a purpose. The SAT/ACT is *meant* to predict college success and completion. The STAAR and EOC exams are to meant to test if a student  is college ready, i.e. Have they developed the skills they need to complete public school and enter college or the workforce?


2. “Text-Dependent” reading, not “Personal Schema” reading?*

text dependent


3. Covers far too many genres to teach entire novels (and get to all of your TEKS before the test)?

Organizing your curriculum by genre is ideal so that you can ensure that you teach all of the genres! The “Reading Workshop” model works well so that you can isolate specific skills, but still work in a larger genre focused framework, and hit Reading and Writing TEKS at the same time. For example, teach students about imagery and figurative language during a poetry or fiction reading unit, while having them write a narrative with imagery and figurative language.


4. Divided into three reporting categories? (this example is for English I)

genre categories

5. Covers non-fiction texts that are NOT considered Expository?

Example: Biographies are non-fiction but they are tested under the Literary reporting category (Category 2) because they have a theme and many other elements of a story. If a practice passage from your text-book or another resource is a biography and asks main idea questions, that material is not aligned to the Texas TEKS. Do not use it.


For this information and more (plus a “Genre Card Sort” activity for students) visit my TpT store!

genre card sort reading staar test information