Tuesday, May 19, 2015

STAAR Reading Question Types | TEKS Reading Test Question Samples

STAAR TEKS Test Reading Question Types | STAAR Reading Question Types Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, known as the STAAR Reading, Writing or Math Test (star), are a series of state-mandated standardized tests used in Texas public schools to assess a student's progress and knowledge of standards learned. It assesses curriculum taught from the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.The test is reworked yearly by Pearson Education, all past year test are released for public view and analysis. The released tests are a great tool for test question analyst and annotation for almost any Pearson assessment. 

Lexical reading comprehension is the ability to understand the key vocabulary words that are in a story or other forms of text. Knowing tier 2 and tier 3 academic words are critical to finding success on reading comprehension assessments. Books that are leveled for students may use academic words or figurative language that is difficult for readers to understand (simile, metaphor, personification, etcetera). They may be words that are new or words that are not used very often. Students can either look up the word in a classroom dictionary or use context clues to decipher the meaning of the words. If a word has more than one meaning a dictionary may prove to be difficult. The students may not always write the correct definition to the word. However, the words are often explained along the margin of the book or even in the next sentence.
  • Provide students an opportunity to define the word on their own before giving them a dictionary to look up the definition.
  • Definitions can be samples that are tied together where the child identifies a commonality. It is best to introduce vocabulary before reading the story to increase comprehension.

Literal (Explicit) Reading Comprehension Questions:
These are simple questions that students are able to answer quickly by referring back to the text. They are often in the form of "who, what, when, and where?" Some sample questions when using this form of comprehension could be:
  • Who was the boy who lived under the stairs?
  • Where did the boy live?

Inferential (Interpretive Reading Comprehension questions that are not directly stated in the story. The students have to dig beyond the surface in order to answer these questions. This is the beginning of higher-order thinking. When using this strategy some questions that are asked could be:
  • What happened to Dudley on Harry's birthday?
  • How did Harry find out he was a wizard?

Opinion (Applied) Reading Comprehension often answers questions that allow students to form an opinion about the text. They students should be able to give reasons to why the hold this opinion. A sample question in this type of comprehension could be:
  • Do you think Harry was wrong for wanting to be sorted into the Gryffindor house over Slytherin based on the little bit of knowledge he had on the houses at the time of the sorting?
Affective Reading Comprehension (Affect is the experience of feelings or emotions of character.) is comprehending the different aspects of feelings or emotions of the characters in a text or passage. This includes aspects that are both emotional and social. Students need to understand why characters act in a certain manner in order to fully understand the story. Failure to be able to do this can cause them to get lost in the plot without understanding the characters at all. Some questions that can be used in this level of comprehension are:
  • How did Harry feel when he first found out he was a wizard?
  • A lot of students will answer that he was excited but some children may also say that he was mad. If they say the latter, it shows that they have a deeper understanding of family dynamics that you may have anticipated.

Holistic (Universal) reading questions allow readers to see the bigger picture. These questions ask about the story as a whole. Some sample questions are:
  • Which statement is the best possible summary for the passage?
  • What is the author trying to describe in this passage?
  • What are the major themes that are prevalent in this text?
  • What is the general main idea in this text, passage, or story?

Now that we discussed different reading comprehension strategies, let's discuss comprehension questions and the different types that can be used. There are seven types of comprehension questions that we are going to discuss.

Specific reading questions ask about certain events or plot points in the passage. These questions are often paraphrased of something that was said directly in the text.
  • According to the author, what is ____?
  • By a _____ the author meant ______?
  • According to the passage, _____?

Vocabulary in Context is used to describe questions that are specific words or phrases within the text. Some questions that can be:
  • What does the phrase _____ refer to according to the text?
  • In sentence 5, what does _____ mean?

Function reading questions ask the reader about the structure of the text.
  • The author says ____ in order to _____
  • The ____ in the passage was used by the author for what reason?
  • What is the best reason the author used the word _____ in the text?

Inference reading questions make the reader understand that is implied and is not stated in black and white in the text. For these types of questions the students need to turn on their thinking cap. The answers may be less obvious and therefor harder to find.
  • The passage uses _____ to imply that _____
  • What can be inferred from this text?
  • What did the author mean when he/she said _____?
  • What does the sentence _____ imply?

Application reading questions also fall under the inference category. However, these questions are a little more specific.
  • What can be used to replace _____?
  • A ____, as described in the passage, can be described as ______

Tone reading questions are also a type of inference question. These questions require the reader to infer the author's point of view and position on certain ideas in the text.
  • Which statement is the author most likely to agree with?
  • Which view point does the author most likely adhere to?

Reading Comprehension Test Prep Strategies  

  1. Look for Keywords in the introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph for the main ideas and themes.
  2. Study tier 2 and tier 3 academic vocabulary to prepare for your reading assessments.
  3. Practice close reading before you takes scored reading assessments.
  4. Read the questions and look for clues to help determine what type of question you are answering.
  5. Read every passage, question at least three times.
  6. Use released test to study test question types and frequency.
  7. Have students create reading comprehension questions using reading comprehension questions stems.

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