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TAKS READING
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ALL ITEMS ON THIS PAGE WERE CREATED BY CINDY BLEVINS FOR CLASSROOM USE ONLY.  PERMISSION IS REQUIRED TO USE ANY OF THESE ITEMS FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN CLASSROOM USE.  CINDY IS AVAILABLE TO DO WORKSHOPSSHOWING HOW TO EFFECTIVELY USE THESE TAKS ACTIVITIES IN ADDITION TO NUMEROUS OTHER ELA ACTIVITIES.
TAKS STEM QUESTIONS for middle school (high school)-these were taken directly from the released 2003/04 tests.  Use them to guide class discussions, generate tests, and allow your students to use them to generate questions for texts you read in class.  The more the students are familiar with these questions, the better they will do on the TAKS reading test. 
Distractor Poster
Stem/Distractor Cards 
TAKS OBJECTIVE LESSONS--these are created from the TEA Study Guides to be used in a class set of folders for students to use with mini-lessons and for focus activities.  It will take a while to complete these.  Check back regularly to see what has been added. 
OBJECTIVE LESSONS/POWERPOINTS--these are also based on TEA's Study Guides.  Make a class set of the lessons and place them in a pocket folder under each student desk to refer to as you introduce/review the specific objectives.
TAKS OBJECTIVE POSTERS--enlarge and gluestick to construction paper (color-code by objective), laminate, and post in your classroom.  Instead of doing worksheets, enjoy reading lots of different kinds of literature and refer to the posters to guide discussion (Who can identify a literary element the author used on p. 58?  How does this simile (metaphor, etc.) add meaning to the text?  Why do think the author used this instead of ______?  How would the passage be different if the author had not used this literary device?).
TIL JOURNAL (fiction)            TIL JOURNAL (non-fiction)
TIL (TAKS in literature) journals, as an alternative to worksheets, are a way for students to work on the TAKS skills while reading their independent library book (AR book)  Students select items from their TIL journal list to complete as they read their book.  Each item is worth so many points.  They turn in their journal for a grade when they finish their book.  It helps to have students share these regularly and discuss their different entries for certain objectives.
SSR-TAKS CONNECTION--select one of more of these before students do their independent reading (DEAR, SSR, etc.) to give them a focus as they read.  At the end of the reading time, students share.  These are similar to the TIL Journals.
TEST STRATEGIES POSTER--this is a simple strategy for helping students find success on the TAKS test.  Be sure to share other strategies and allow students to share other strategies.  Then allow students to select strategies that work for them.  There are no "one-size fits all" when it comes to testing strategies.  For instance, some of the best test-takers DON"T take notes even though this is an effective strategy for some students.

TAKS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS and SUGGESTIONS--the STEM questions have been slightly rewritten to make them less awkward to "read" for informal class discussions and other activities.  
TAKS PRACTICE WITH READING STRATEGIES--this handout helps students apply reading strategies and TAKS objectives while reading any text.  
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