Calculation Aids

TEA approval is not required logo




linespace

Description of Designated Support

This designated support provides an alternate method of computation for a student who is unable to effectively use paper-and-pencil methods.

linespace

Assessments

For a student who meets the eligibility criteria, this designated support may be used on

  • STAAR grades 3–7 mathematics
  • STAAR grade 5 science
  • STAAR Spanish grades 3–5 mathematics
  • STAAR Spanish grade 5 science

linespace

Student Eligibility Criteria

A student may use this designated support if he or she

  • receives Section 504 or special education services,
  • routinely, independently, and effectively uses it during classroom instruction and classroom testing, and
  • meets at least one of the following for the applicable grade.

linespace

On this Page

Grades 3 and 4

  • The student has a physical disability that prevents him or her from independently writing the numbers required for computations and cannot effectively use other accessibility features to address this need (e.g., whiteboard, graph paper).
  • The student has an impairment in vision that prevents him or her from seeing the numbers they have written during computations and cannot effectively use other accessibility features to address this need (e.g., magnifier).

Grades 5 through 7

  • The student has a physical disability that prevents him or her from independently writing the numbers required for computations and cannot effectively use other accessibility features to address this need (e.g., whiteboard, graph paper).
  • The student has an impairment in vision that prevents him or her from seeing the numbers they have written during computations and cannot effectively use other accessibility features to address this need (e.g., magnifier).
  • The student has a disability that affects mathematics calculations. Even after intensive instruction and remediation, the student is consistently unable to memorize basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts or perform the steps in an algorithm correctly when solving problems.

linespace

Authority for Decision and Required Documentation

  • For a student receiving Section 504 services, the decision is made by the Section 504 committee based on the eligibility criteria and is documented in the student’s IAP.
  • For a student receiving special education services, the decision is made by the ARD committee based on the eligibility criteria and is documented in the student’s IEP.
  • In the case of an EL with a disability, the decision is made by the applicable group above in conjunction with the student’s LPAC. The decision is to be documented by the LPAC in the student’s permanent record file and by the other applicable group, as described above.
  • After state testing, MC must be recorded in the ACCOMM. field on the student’s answer document. This indicates that an allowable designated support was made available to the student. This embedded support is automatically recorded in the Assessment Management System

linespace

Examples/Types

This designated support may include only

  • basic (i.e., four-function) handheld calculator or calculator application, including large-key or speech-output
  • Basic Calculator available as an online embedded support on STAAR 
  • abacus or Cranmer modified abacus
  • 0–9 addition grid without special numbers (e.g., even numbers) indicated
  • grade-appropriate multiplication grid without special numbers (e.g., perfect squares) indicated

linespace

Special Instructions/Considerations

  1. A student who uses this designated support may complete the test in a separate setting to eliminate distractions to other students and to ensure the confidentiality of the test.
  2. The use of a calculation aid as a designated support on STAAR should not replace the teaching of basic computation skills as outlined in the TEKS.
  3. Calculators used by eligible students as a designated support must adhere to the "Additional Information About Calculators" section of the STAAR Calculator Policy in these District and Campus Coordinator Resources.
  4. Calculators are a required part of standard test administration procedures for some state assessments. For more information, refer to the STAAR Calculator Policy in these Coordinator Resources. For these assessments, any calculation aid listed in the Examples/Types section may be provided, along with the required calculator, to a student who is receiving special education or Section 504 services.
  5. For questions regarding the functions of a basic calculator, see the Basic Calculator tool in the STAAR Online Testing Platform. Beginning with the spring 2019 administration, Basic Calculator will be offered as a new embedded support on STAAR in the grades and subjects listed in the “Assessments” section of this document. Information about setting up online test sessions for students who are eligible for embedded supports can be found in the STAAR Assessment Management System User’s Guide.
  6. Districts are required to have procedures in place to prevent the use of personal cell phones and electronic devices during test administrations. If TEA-allowed or -approved, technology-based accommodations are used by a student during testing, TEA guidelines on the use of this technology must be followed in order to maintain the security and validity of the assessment. Although some technology may be very useful during a daily academic setting, technology that has functionality that violates TEA guidelines cannot be used during a state assessment. These technology guidelines for state assessments can be found on TEA's Accommodation Resources webpage.