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Lessons learned from the 2023 5th Grade Math STAAR

Updated: Feb 23

The 2023 5th Grade Math STAAR introduced statewide online testing and several new item types. Using a modified version of the statewide item analysis report, I examined the readiness standards that had less than 50% mastery. Each standard has both an analysis of the items themselves to infer what made them so difficult and instructional implications for educators to ensure a more successful 2024 STAAR test.



# of items

% mastery











Access the slide deck here.

5.5A - 38% overall mastery

classify two-dimensional figures in a hierarchy of sets and subsets using graphic organizers based on their attributes and properties

#8 - 30% correct

#20 - 46% correct

  • Students needed a lot of vocabulary (i.e., scalene, isosceles, equilateral)

  • Triangle classification shifted between by side length and by angle

  • Venn diagram was non-traditional

  • Classification for Venn diagram (#20) given in pictorial and word form

Instructional Implications
  • Have students classify triangles by both side length and angle

  • Have students practice converting from Venn diagram to other graphic organizers

  • Practice changing pictorial classifications into verbal descriptions (#20)


5.4H - 39% overall mastery

represent and solve problems related to perimeter and/or area and related to volume

#10 - 30% correct

#32 - 48% correct

  • Students had to apply a formula (P = 2L + 2W) that is best used when the concepts of substitution and isolating the variable are known strategies

  • Most chosen answer for #10 (D - 1.6 m) shows a lack of conceptual understanding

  • Students had to know to use inverse operations to find missing factor

Instructional Implications
  • Practice drawing representations for area/perimeter/volume problems

  • Have students check their answers for reasonableness with a representation

  • Emphasize use of inverse operations to find missing factors


Watch the full walkthrough of all 34 items on the 2023 5th Grade STAAR below.


5.4C - 59% overall mastery

generate a numerical pattern when given a rule in the form y = ax or y = x + a and graph

#16 - 50% full credit, 17% partial credit, 33% no credit

  • Drag and drop reduced the certainty of multiple choice

  • Students had to apply a multiplicative pattern in a format used more in middle school (y = 0.25x)

  • Solving involved multiplying by a decimal

Instructional Implications
  • Have students look for a pattern on the table when given a multiplicative pattern (i.e., each lap is 0.25 or a quarter)

  • Have students use given quantities to estimate answers (e.g., if you double 8 laps you’ll get 16 laps, so if you double 2 miles you’ll get 4 miles; 17 laps will be a bit more than 4 miles)

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