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STAAR - Strategy Review

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Mark Fake

on 28 March 2014

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Transcript of STAAR - Strategy Review

STAAR - Strategy Review
Short Answer Strategy APE
(used when the prompt is about 1 piece of literature/poetry)

Read: Where have you READ something about this specific topic? Give specific example with text title, characters and how it relates to topic.

Observed: Have you ever observed/seen something (not experienced it) having to do with the topic? What was it specifically?

Society/World: Have you learned about this in history, on the news, in society as a whole? What did it have to do with the topic?

Experience: Do you have first-hand experience with this topic? What is it and how does it relate to the topic?
ROSE Method for Expository Essays
Instructions: Take a breath and indent one last time.

For the next MINUTE, reflecting on something this exploration leaves you thinking about…what does the author of opinion statement want you to think about or learn about human nature?
The 11-minute Essay, Step 5
Take another breath, stretch your hand … and indent again.

For the next THREE (3) MINUTES, tell how the opinion statement connects to society and/or the world as a whole or your own personal experiences.
The 11-minute Essay, Step 4
For the next THREE (3) MINUTES, explain in writing the prior statement and its validity.

(What does it mean to you? How true is it in your own mind?)
The 11-minute Essay, Step 2

Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if need be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure.
The 11-minute Essay, Step 1
Two sheets of notebook paper
A pen or a pencil
All other things off the desk
For the 11-Minute Essay, you need:
The 11-minute Essay, Step 3
Take a breath, stretch your hand … and indent.
For the next THREE (3) MINUTES, tell how the opinion statement connects to any literature you have read or any observations from movies, media, or pop culture you’ve made.
For the next minute, indent for a paragraph, and copy the following opinion statement as your first sentence:
How to write a short answer
1. Read the question to determine what it is asking.

2. Identify all parts of the question.

3. Use a dictionary if necessary to make sure you understand what is being asked.

4. Answer the question in a complete sentence with proper punctuation.
4. Finish your short answer by explaining how the quote you chose connects to your answer; to the original question, your life, observations of the world, or, a known historical context.
A. Choose a quote from the reading selection that
proves your answer correct.

B. Embed your direct quote in a sentence explaining how it proves your answer to the question.

C. Always use complete sentences and proper grammar when writing your short answer.
A. Be sure to proof read and edit your answer before moving to the next question.

(Used when the prompt asks to compare or reflect about 2 different pieces of literature or poetry)

Answer the Question
Proof/Text Evidence
Take the first piece of Literature
Transition (Likewise, similarly etc.)
Then go to your second piece of literature
Literary Essay - Plot Structure
(This is a narrative, or a "made-up" story. It should follow a plot line.)

Expository Essay
(Expository essays "expose the truth", or are true, factual, non-fiction, using proof from sources)

11-Minute Essay

A. Introduction
1. Grabber

Get ready to write some of your own!

Some example sentences that will grab your reader’s attention at the very beginning of your writing!

Expository Grabbers

Strong Persuasive Statement:

Every kid who cares about the future of the Art Club should vote Michelle Young for club president.
“Nooooo!” Don’t throw recycling in the trashcan.

Expository Grabber Examples

Future Statement:
In the year 2032, imagine yourself sitting on the bench of the Supreme Court as a Justice.

“Learn to laugh” is something my kindergarten teacher told me after Ralph Martin spilled paint on my daffodil picture.

Expository Grabber Examples

Responsible describes Bryce’s personality as a student: he arrives before the tardy bell and is prepared to learn.

Who is the greatest athlete of all time?

Expository Grabber Examples


What textbook has no pages, is miles wide and smells like a creek, and has been around for millions of years? That’s right – outdoor school.
Startling Statistic:
A recent study found that students who watch television during the week for long periods of time don’t do as well in school.

Expository Grabber Examples

Crash! Ka-blam! Car wrecks can happen at any speed, so it’s important to wear a seatbelt at all times.

“Touchdown! The Dallas Cowboys win the Super Bowl again!”
Expository Grabber Examples

Rhetorical Question:
Why do adults insist that kids have to go to
bed so early on school nights?

Shared Memory:
Remember when the Dallas Mavericks won the
NBA Championship?

Expository Grabber Examples

Life is a carnival. There are many rides along the way.

My family is like an open book, we have no secrets from each other.

Expository Grabber Examples

2. Supporting connection
1. Peanut butter sentence
2. Sticks your grabber to
your thesis
3. Thesis
1. Use information from the prompt
2. Add 1 or two talking points (supporting reasons, opinions)
D. First body paragraph
1. Topic Sentence- the controling idea for your paragraph
2. 3-4 supporting example sentences from:
a.books you have read
b. Movies you have seen
c. songs you have heard
d. personal experiences
E. Body Paragraph 2
1. Transitional topic sentence from your idea in body paragraph one to body paragraph 2
2. Repeat steps from body paragraph one

F. Conclusion
1. Transition to your final statement: Accordingly, As a result,
clearly then, consequently, finally, in other words
2. sum up your thoughts and emphasize what you want your reader to learn from your essay.
Development of Ideas
A. Capitalize the first word in every sentence.
B. Capitalize proper nouns (important people, places, and things
C. Put names of books and movies in quotation marks
D. use commas before coordinating conjunctions and after dependent clauses at the beginning of sentences
E. Use commas to designate nonrestrictive clauses
F. Use reciprocal pronouns correctly (each other (2), and
one another (more than 2)
G. Recognize the subjunctive mood (If I were you...) expresses a desire, wish, or suggestion
H. Read your writing when you are finished for all mistakes
General Test taking Strategies
1. Sleep well this weekend
2. Eat well, especially the morning of testing
3. Relax, but do not get so relaxed that you fall
4. If you do feel sleepy, take a bathroom break
and try to get your heart rate up a little on your way to and from the bathroom by walking fast
or even doing a jumping jack or push up
5. Begin with an expository essay
6. Then go back and do a set of questions
7. Next, do your other essay
8. After, finish more questions
9. Make sure to bubble in an answer for all questions (wrong answers do not count, only correct ones)
10. Read over your written responses one last time for mistakes
11. If you finish your test, you may put your head down. Or, if you bring a book and give it to the testing teacher before the test, then you may read that.
Short Answer Response

Use the acronym

A (Answer)
P (Prove)
E (Explain)

Example question:

What do the college catalogues symbolize in A Raisin in the Sun?

Remember to use the key words in the question to form your answer.

Answer- In A Raisin in the Sun, the college catalogues symbolize a better future for Walter’s son.

Prove- When Walter says, “Just tell me where you want to go…just tell me what you want to be and you’ll be it,” we understand that Walter wants his son to get an education to better his life.

Explain- This quote shows that Walter believes that education can represent more opportunities and a better future.

In both “Never a Better Time for Volunteerism” and the poem “Litany”, there is an idea that community service means taking care of things that are overlooked by society. In the editorial, the author writes, “…they accomplish a huge amount of work that a small city like Duchesne could not accomplish…” to show that the work would otherwise not be done. Likewise in the poem, “Litany”, Langston Hughes writes, “Gather up/…Those who expect/ No love from above” to show that volunteers take care of those who least expect it. This makes sense to me, because after Hurricane Katrina, people sent clothing, food, bottled water, money and times to the victims who needed help.

How does the idea of community service apply to both “Never a Better Time for Volunteerism” and “Litany”? Support your answer with evidence from both selections.
Sample Expository Prompt

READ the following quotation. A famous businessman once said, “Players win games; teams win championships.”

THINK carefully about the following statement. Sometimes you can accomplish good things by yourself but better things with other people.

WRITE an essay explaining whether it is better to work by yourself or with a group.

More information
More things that could be asked on
the STAAR test.
Foreign words we use in English

a la carte

adj., adv. with a separate price for each item, printed on the menu; basically it is used to refer to the menu, as opposed to, say, a buffet

Can we eat a la carte?

Can we order from the a la carte menu?


adj., adv. open air; outdoors

We’ve been invited to an alfresco dinner at the Mughal Gardens.

Are we dining alfresco tonight?

alma mater

n. any institution one has graduated from; in other words, one’s old school or university

I haven’t returned to my alma mater since the day I graduated.


n. an artist or group associated with the use of new techniques in their field

Our friend is an avant-garde; we can’t really appreciate his work because it is too modern for us.

adj. of or pertaining to such an artist or group or (cutting edge, radically new) approach

His avant-garde work was found by the school to be unacceptable by their conventional standards.


n. rapid, intensive attack, originally used to describe sudden military offensives

MS Dhoni’s blitzkrieg at the end of yesterday’s match saved it for India.

bona fide

adj. authentic, genuine, in good faith

Is the painting by MF Hussain on your wall bona fide?

He is not a dishonest salesman; his offer is bona fide.

de facto [Latin]

adv. in reality, actually

The result of the elections was, de facto, simply a public verdict on the government’s complacency during the riots; despite the absence of real alternatives, the incumbent government was displaced.

adj. existing whether legally recognised or not

While the President may be referred to as the Head of the State, the de facto head in India, as everyone knows, is the Prime Minister.

déjà vu [French]

n. the sensation of having previously experienced something that one is experiencing

I experienced déjà vu when I entered the kitchen, even though I was fully aware that I had never been in that house before.

en route [French]

adv. on the way

I’ve just left, I’m en route for the auditorium.

ergo [Latin]

conj. therefore; consequently

Neither side was willing to play in such terrible conditions; ergo, there would no match.

faux pas [French]

n. social blunder

I committed a faux pas the other day when I went to a formal dinner dressed up for a costume party.

fiasco [Italian]

n. total failure

The party was a fiasco; the lights went out 10 minutes into the affair, and three people got injured trying to feel their way around in the dark.

st la vie [French]

that’s life; such is life

I don’t allow myself to get depressed; I just say ‘C’est la vie!’ and move on.

curriculum vitae (CV) [Latin]

n. resume, i.e., outline of one’s educational and professional qualifications, made for job applications

Have you got your CV ready for the interview tomorrow?

guerrilla [Spanish]

n. a member of an irregular army operating in a territory under the control of a hostile force, i.e the enemy; their warfare is generally hit-and-run, employing sudden attacks and sabotages because they are fewer in number

The guerrillas threatened to overthrow the government of the state.

adj. pertaining to guerrillas or their methods of warfare

The troops, bested in the open, fled to the forests, resorting to guerrilla tactics.

joie de vivre [French]

joy in living

It is rare that one is able to experience true joie de vivre once one is past one’s youth.

klutz [Yiddish]

n. a clumsy person

I behaved like a klutz at the party, tripping and spilling my drinks all over the place.

lingua franca [Italian]

n. common language

English is the lingua franca of the world by virtue of the fact that is spoken in the largest number of countries.

nee [French]

adj. born; used for the maiden name of a married woman

Aishwarya Bacchan nee Rai

par excellence [French]

adj. the best at something

It was clear from the beginning that Sachin Tendulkar was a batsman par excellence.

per capita [Latin]

adj., adv. per person

The per capita income of the country was very high.

Indian earning per capita is much higher abroad than it is at home.

per se [Latin]

adv. in itself

The statement was interesting per se; it did not make much sense in context, however.

prima donna [Italian]

n. temperamental entertainer

Be on your best behaviour around her; she’s known to be quite the prima donna.

Realpolitik [German]

n. opportunistic politics that concerns itself with ground realities, with self-advancement as the sole driving principle

Considerations of realpolitik drove me to campaign relentlessly, pandering to the masses to garner votes.

status quo [Latin]

n. the existing state of things

The point of having her elected was for the reigning party to perpetuate the status quo.

tabula rasa [Latin]

n. blank slate

A child’s mind is like tabula rasa; it is very important to ensure that it is not exposed to harmful influences.

terra firma [Latin]

n. hard, firm ground

I was very scared the first time I travelled in an airplane; I drew my first breath of relief when we landed back on terra firma.

tete-a-tete [French]

n. a private, intimate conversation

I managed to sneak a tete-a-tete with him during the trip about his daughter’s nightly wanderings.

adv. face-to-face, intimate

We talked tete-a-tete in the morning; he had some great insights, I was glad that we had the talk.

vis-à-vis [French]

adv., adj. face-to-face

They sat vis-à-vis across the table.

They had a vis-à-vis talk about Kevin, who was showing signs of psychopathy early in his childhood.

prep. in relation to

His role vis-à-vis the recent match was that of a game-changer.

Zeitgeist [German]

n. the intellectual outlook or spirit characteristic of a particular time period or generation

The zeitgeist today seems to hint towards a Leftist overthrow of government.

Foreign Words in English
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