Lessons learned from the 2023 8th Grade Math STAAR
The 2023 8th 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.
Standard | # of items | % mastery |
8.8C | 2 | 32 |
8.5I | 2 | 33 |
8.4C | 2 | 34 |
8.7B | 2 | 39 |
8.7A | 2 | 41 |
8.12D | 2 | 46 |
Access the slide deck here.
8.8C - 32% overall mastery
model and solve one-variable equations with variables on both sides of the equal sign that represent mathematical and real-world problems using rational number coefficients and constants
#10 - 39% correct
#36 - 25% correct
Analysis
Students had to set up an equation with variables on both sides from a pictorial representation (algebra tiles)
Setting up an equation from a verbal description provides extra challenges
A correct equation for #36 included a fraction as one of the coefficients
Instructional Implications
Have students continue to practice setting up equations using algebra tile representation and verbal descriptions
Provide practice opportunities for solving for x when one of the coefficients is a fraction
8.5I - 33% overall mastery
write an equation in the form y = mx + b to model a linear relationship between two quantities using verbal, numerical, tabular, and graphical representations
#20 - 36% correct
#29 - 30% full credit, 33% partial credit, 36% no credit
Analysis
Students had to find slope-intercept form given only two points
Students had to find slope-intercept form given only a graph
Drag and drop removed certainty from partial guesses
Instructional Implications
Have students continue to practice converting between forms
Two points/table â†’ graph
Two points/table â†’ slope-intercept form
Graph â†’ slope-intercept form
Graph â†’ two points/table
Slope-intercept form â†’ graph
Slope-intercept form â†’ two points/table
Watch the full walkthrough of all 40 items on the 2023 8th Grade STAAR below.
8.4C - 34% overall mastery
use data from a table or graph to determine the rate of change or slope and y- intercept in mathematical and real-world problems
#24 - 28% correct
#32 - 40% correct
Analysis
Equation editor removed comfort of multiple-choice options
Students had to enter a fraction (2/8 or 1/4) or a decimal for slope)
Students had to enter -2 for y-intercept
Students had to derive slope from points on table and work backwards to find starting position (y-intercept)
Instructional Implications
Provide opportunities to enter information into equation editor, especially fractions and mixed numbers
Have students find y-intercept of a linear equation from data in a table
8.7B - 39% overall mastery
use previous knowledge of surface area to make connections to the formulas for lateral and total surface area and determine solutions for problems involving rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, and cylinders
#25 - 35% correct
#6 - 43% correct
Analysis
Students had to perform multiple calculations (and track them) to find the correct answer
An oversimplified option (V=Bh) was more used than the correct formula (A=Ph+2B)
All needed measurements were not explicitly provided
Instructional Implications
Have students practice problems in the format of #6 to build stamina
Have students calculate total surface area when a needed dimension must be derived
8.7A - 41% overall mastery
solve problems involving the volume of cylinders, cones, and spheres
#14 - 28% correct
#27 - 54% correct
Analysis
Distribution of answer selections (22%, 39%, 28%, 11%) indicative of guessing
Students had to derive the formula for the volume of a hemisphere
Slant height for the cone was provided (extraneous)
Instructional Implications
Discuss with students how to find the volume of a partial shape (e.g., half of a cylinder)
Find volume of composite shapes and partial shapes (e.g. quarter-sphere)
Have students practice finding volume and identifying extraneous information
8.12D - 46% overall mastery
calculate and compare simple interest and compound interest earnings
#17 - 64% correct
#37 - 28% full credit, 29% partial credit, 42% no credit
Analysis
The formula on the mathematics chart for simple interest (I=Prt) gives the interest, which was asked for in #17, while the formula for compound interest (A=P(1+r)^t) gives the total amount (instead of the interest asked for in #37)
Drag and drop removed certainty from partial guesses
Instructional Implications
Given both a set of data, have students practice finding both simple and compound interest over multiple time periods (e.g., 1 year, 3 years, 5 years)
Using the same set of data, have students practice finding the new balances in those accounts over multiple time periods (e.g., 1 year, 3 years, 5 years)
Students can explain to each other the difference between interest and balance and between simple and compound interest