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Standards-based assessment and Instruction

Support for TEKS and STAAR

Problem-solving processes are incorporated into at least 75% of STAAR test questions in math content reporting categories 1-5 and identified with content standards.

Exemplars material is aligned to TEKS and provides the perfect vehicle for teaching and assessing mathematics with problem solving.

Our differentiated, problem-solving tasksrubrics and anchor papers are designed to let students actively participate in the process of constructing knowledge and making sense of mathematics. As a result, students of all abilities are able to improve their problem-solving skills.

STAAR Expectations  Exemplars Support
STAAR will focus on fewer skills and address them in a deeper manner: 30-35% of the math content standards (the Readiness Standards) will make up 65-70% of each year's test. This shift will dramatically change the teaching of mathematics in Texas. More time will be spent on "big ideas" and making deliberate connections to math content in the Supporting Standards.  
Exemplars rubric focuses on making connections. Repeated practice in making connections enables students to understand mathematics as a cohesive whole instead of as a collection of isolated, disconnected factoids.
Texas students in grades K-2 will be expected to develop a powerful and precise mathematical vocabulary. At grades 3-8, students will be expected to use "formal mathematical vocabulary." Emphasis on communication and formal mathematical language in the Exemplars rubric begins in pre-kindergarten and continues throughout the program.
More rigorous items will be included as part of STAAR, raising the overall level of difficulty. The rigor of items will be increased by assessing skills at a greater depth and level of cognitive complexity.
Exemplars problem-solving tasks are written to this higher level of complexity - Level 3 Strategic Thinking - based on Norman Webb's Depth of Knowledge Levels for Mathematics.
In mathematics, the number of open-ended (griddable) items on most tests will increase to allow students more opportunity to derive an answer independently. The open-ended nature of Exemplars tasks will provide valuable preparation for this STAAR expectation.
Expectations for STAAR are that ALL students will show consistent mathematical gains from year to year. Exemplars tasks are differentiated to meet the wide range of needs in Texas classrooms - whether students have been identified as English Language Learners, Special Education, Title I and/or Gifted and Talented. Exemplars material provides more accessible and more challenging versions of problems that are interesting and relevant to students.

Here's What People Are Saying

We see the benefits of writing in mathematics; of using performance assessments in mathematics rather than simply relying on a multiple-choice assessment. Since we stress having students illustrate their thinking in words, pictures and numbers, Exemplars is a wonderful tool ...

D. Walston

Senior Coordinator-Mathematics

Norfolk Public Schools

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