STAAR Writing 2 Week Test Prep

Howdy y’all!  I hope everyone is enjoying the final days of Spring Break!  I’ve been busy putting together my lesson plans for the next two weeks…those weeks we all dread…TEST PREP!

I’ve completed a one-page document that outlines what I’ll be doing in my classroom to get my students ready for the STAAR Writing Test on April 1 & 2.  Yikes!  Can you believe it is so close?!?!

Crunch Time PlansClick here to download a PDF version of the lesson plans.

I included our revising and editing practice, mini lesson skill for writing, and our daily writing prompts.

Click here to get your set of task cards with QR codes for the first two days of test prep. Details in my store!

If you are still at a loss for what to do, or if you are just interested in what we will be doing over the next couple of weeks, feel free to print, share, and use these plans.  If you have any questions about it (since it’s shorthand), feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to answer any questions I can in a timely manner.

Best wishes in your journey to prepare these kiddos for that test!!  :)




  1. Thank you for the Test Prep. I always feel uncomfortable around this time of year. Are you using a specific workbook for the reviews? Or are you just discussing them? On the prompts, how much of each composition are you requiring your students to complete each day? Do you ever use any of the STAAR type passages in your class?

    • Kayla Shook says:

      Those are some loaded questions! 😉 We use Motivation Writing a lot, as well as STAAR Master for mixed skills. I’m in the middle of creating my own resources for specific skill practice. We are going to do about 20 mins of individual skill practice/review, and then 20 mins of mixed skill practice. I’ll post my resources to TpT when I’m finished. They will be shorter but have QR codes for help. I’m making some task cards and PPT’s. I’ll put a sample on my blog for people to check out before they buy. As for the composition, I’m going to give them 30 solid minutes each day to hash out as much as they can, starting from the plan. They won’t get too far since I am doing a short mini lesson with them, but the best part (to me) is that they think about it and have a plan ready to go and at least start it. They all work at a different pace, so the first few I will guide them with the plan to get them rolling and then gradually release it all to them. We have 70 mins slotted for writing, so hopefully we can get it all in.

    • Kayla Shook says:

      Oh, and I forgot to post the PDF version of my plans, so I’ll post those today when I get a chance.

  2. Lori East says:

    Hi again Kayla…I know it’s a super busy week!!! AGH!! I was just curious…on your lesson plans, what do you use for your mini writing lessons & writing strategy review? Are you just using the task cards? I feel like I have not dedicated enough time to several of the skills you are covering (spelling rules, homophones, etc). Also, how do you implement your task cards? Thanks for your help!!

    • Kayla Shook says:

      Because I have already taught every skill that we are doing these last couple of weeks, I do a VERY short mini lesson on my Promethean board, and then send students out into groups to work on their task cards. I feel like at this point, students need to talk to each other and think out loud about how to attack those questions. Research says that students learn better from each other than they do from adults, so these last few days are an opportunity for my kiddos to share out their strategies and talk to one another about the questions they ask themselves and/or the steps they take to identify the skill that is being asked in each question. I decided to break it down into individual skills for these couple of weeks for that reason. We have done lots of practice with mixed skills, but this gives the students an opportunity to focus on one or two skills at a time and maybe have that “ah-ha” moment while discussing multiple problems that are on the same skill. :) As for strategy review–same thing. I have 70 minutes for writing, so the time goes super quickly! I give a short mini lesson on the board that reviews the skill for the day, and then have students write as much as they can. We use kernel essays for our planning, and to me, the planning is one of the most important parts. I like to see that my students are thinking through a piece of writing before writing it down. They may not get very far, but at least they have a plan of attack for each prompt for the week. And…to be honest…this week I’m only giving them 2 prompts, rather than 4. Many of them were frustrated that they weren’t getting even close to finishing up one piece until Friday, so I am slowing it down for them so that they can get 2 completed this week. I’m planning a gallery walk for Friday, where students walk around the room and look at sample 4 papers and do some noticing about them. I’ll blog about that tonight…hopefully!

      • Lori East says:

        Thanks so much. Feeling very overwhelmed!! I downloaded ALL of your task cards today & they worked on them when they were finished with their writing. They were so excited & as I was walking around it looked like they were showing signs of success! :)

  3. My students loved them as well. I paired them together and most of them worked really hard. I could hear a lot of discussion about why one was the answer over the other. Thank you so much.

    • Kayla Shook says:

      Thanks, ladies! You don’t know how much it means to me that I am able to create something that is useful, engaging, and promotes success!! That’s why I do what I do! I know both of you have downloaded lots of my things, so the next set I create is on me. Janet, I have your email from previous conversations. Lori, send me yours and I’ll get you your free set as soon as I get new ones made. :)

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