Supplemental aids are paper-based resources that assist a student in recalling information. Here are 6 supplemental aids your student can use on the STAAR math tests.
1. Blank Graphic Organizer
You might be pretty familiar with Gallon Man already. He’s the cool dude without an attitude that helps your student remember how many pints are in a quart, or how many quarts are in a gallon. While Gallon Man is an awesome instructional tool, he has to be slightly modified to become a supplemental aid that is allowable on state assessments.
By removing any titles, words, labels, colors used as labels, pictures, acronyms, mnemonics, numbers, symbols and variables, we can create a Gallon Man that is an allowable supplemental aid.
2. Mnemonic Device
Most of us have been taught this popular phrase at one point in our lifetime. It’s an example of a mnemonic device, or a memory aid in the form of an acronym or phrase.
During instruction, this phrase helps us remember the order of operations and stands for: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction. On test day, we can only use the phrase and must get rid of any math specific language. The original phrase “Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally” is still allowable supplemental aid, as is its shortened acronym, PEMDAS.
3. Number Chart
During the test you can provide number charts, like a 100 chart, to your students. What you can’t provide is any chart with highlighting, circling prime numbers, or multiplication and addition charts.
4. Place Value Chart
You might teach students about place values by creating a place value chart like the one above. These are great to use during instruction, but have to be modified for use during state assessments. Remove the numbers and text labels, while keeping the commas and decimals, and it becomes an allowable supplemental aid!
5. Pictorial Models of Fraction Bars or Fraction Circles
You can use pictorial models that contain labels for fractions and equivalencies during class instruction. These models contain labels for fractions and equivalencies. However, on test day these labels aren’t allowed. Remove the labels and equivalencies and you’ve got yourself an allowable supplemental aid!
6. Pictorial Models of 1D 2D or 3D Figures.
This one is a little more complicated as it adds in the aspect of dimension. During instruction you might provide pictorial models showing various figures in 1D, 2D, and 3D formats, all side by side. This is a great tool to help your student understand dimension and area.
To make it a supplemental aid that is allowable on state assessments, we have to remove any labels, numbers, symbols, or variables. We also have to keep an eye out for which types of charts we’re providing. You can provide a pictorial model of a geometric figure in either 3D or 2D format, but you can’t provide a pictorial model of a geometric figure in both 3D and 2D.
Remember, we always want to use the models which are the most beneficial to the specific student, know thy student is the first and last commandment of developing supplemental aids!