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Lessons learned from the 2023 8th Grade Math STAAR

Updated: Mar 30

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

41.5

8.4C

2

34

8.7B

2

39

8.7A

2

41

8.12D

2

53.5

 

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

  • Find activities to teach this standard here

 

8.5I - 41.5% 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 → graph

    • Two points/table → slope-intercept form

    • Graph → slope-intercept form

    • Graph → two points/table

    • Slope-intercept form → graph

    • Slope-intercept form → two points/table

  • Find activities to teach this standard here

 

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

  • Find activities to teach this standard here

 

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 - 53.5% 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



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