Tuesday, October 8, 2013

*Star Points*

your curly comrade, Suzanne

I mentally file many things in the "Oh, that's good, but I don't know what to do with it" category.  Well, this summer Lori and I went to Gretchen Bernabei's training, and that's where I learned about Star (not ST**R) Points. This bit of info quickly made it to the "That's too good not to use ASAP" category.  Apparently, TEA released a document with all the grammar skills that they would ever test.  Who knew?!  Gretchen worked to format this into this grammar chart:
P.S.  You can find a copy of the 9th and 4th grade chart here.  

This chart has turned into my grammar mini-lesson for each class period.  After our Shared Reading, students turn to their Star Points tab, and we add our new word for the day.  In the picture below, our word is their (in our there, they're, their series).  Then we add our "proof" word:  I know that if I can replace their with our in my sentence, then I've used it correctly.  To prove that it's correct, we underline the Star Point word in our sentence and write the proof in parenthesis up above.  A document with Gretchen's proofs can be found here.  With some pairs, the words could be used interchangeably without changing the meaning but not always.  It is important to talk about this with students too.  

Students then practice using the word in the correct context through a creative write.  I find prompts here, but it could easily serve as a purposeful journal or free write.  I allow 5 minutes of writing time, and students are expected to use and prove their Star Point word at least twice.  

I don't know about you, but our editing scores on the STAAR multiple choice are nothing to write home about.  I hope to see students picking up more points on STAAR as a result of our Star Point words.

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