STAAR Math Carnival: The Ultimate Way to Review for the Test

Hey there, Texas Teachers! 
It's 3 school days till the STAAR test! You are probably feeling reviewed-out! And now looking for other ways to practice with your students. If you teach in a Common Core state, not to worry. You can adapt all of this to fit your needs. Be creative. 

Here's a review idea: STAAR Math Carnival. I used to do it more when I had a whole class but now that I'm an interventionist, I had to make some minor adjustments. It still works well! 

I like this way of reviewing for 4 reasons: 
1. low prep   
2. kids work at their own pace   
3. kids can get feedback from me  
4. kids can get up and play a carnival game


To prep, follow these simple steps:
1. Use and print any benchmark or released test. (I use tests they have taken before because I don't feel they can memorize the answers. It's up to you to decide.) Don't forget to print the answer key for easy grading. 

2. Cut up the questions and glue to construction paper or card stock. (Tip: Use colors to match your carnival.)

3. Provide scratch or grid paper and a Math Chart for each student. (Tip: Use the same versions from the actual STAAR test so that they can practice using them. You can find it on the TEA website.)

4. Provide the STAAR Carnival sheet for students to record the answers. You will later grade every 3 questions. (My version had the student complete only 3 questions at time before I check it. However, you can do 5 questions at a time or 10 questions at a time. Any more than that would be too long in my opinion. Pacing is important for them to practice.)

STAAR Carnival sheet

5. Write these directions on your board. 


 
Directions for students:
1. Do any 3 cards. Write the question number on the STAAR Carnival sheet. Use the scratch paper/grid paper to show work. 









2. See the teacher to check the 3 questions. If you get all 3 right, pick any carnival game to play. If you missed any questions, redo them. (Optional: Redo with the teacher, a peer, or independently. Then, come back to the teacher to check your new answer.)








3. Play a game! If you get 3 questions right, you get 3 tries at the game. If you get 2 questions right, you get 2 tries. If you get 1 question right, you get 1 try. (Since I work with small groups, I used small travel games in my office. I used mini darts, miniature golf, and bowling. Easy to store.)
Carnival Games in my office
4. If you win the game within your tries, then the teacher marks your STAAR Carnival sheet with a large STAR or sticker for that round of questions.


Give them a STAR or sticker, if they win.
(NOTE: Prizes/rewards for the STAAR Math Carnival are up to the teacher's discretion. You can do all sorts of prizes, points, or incentives for the review. However, it should not be tied to the actual STAAR test. Make sure you are aware of all test regulations from your test administrator training.)










If you are thinking about doing a STAAR Math Carnival with a large class, you would do the same prep but you have to make a bit more decisions. 

1. Decide how many questions you want each student to solve independently. Again, I did 3 because I have a small group of students. 

2. Then, choose and prep your games. In years past, I did balloon pop, ring toss, cans knock down, etc. How intricate the games are is up to you. You are the decider! 

3. The last thing that you might want to consider for a large class is the reward system. Some of you already do Class Dojo so you could transfer points, have class economies so you could reward play tokens or money, etc. Again you are the decider. A few years ago, I did healthy snacks like popcorn, pickles, bottled waters, and fruit snacks all donated by parents. 

Hope this inspires you to review with a STAAR Math Carnival. You and your students will have lots of fun!

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