Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K 6

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1 The Praxis TM Study Companion Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K /5622

2 Welcome to The Praxis Study Companion Welcome to The Praxis Study Companion Prepare to Show What You Know You have gained the knowledge and skills you need for your teaching career. Now you are ready to demonstrate your abilities by taking a Praxis TM test. Using The Praxis Study Companion is a smart way to prepare for the test so you can do your best on test day. This guide can help keep you on track and make the most efficient use of your study time. The Study Companion contains practical information and helpful tools, including: An overview of the tests Specific information on the Praxis test you are taking A template study plan Practice questions and explanations of correct answers Test-taking tips and strategies Frequently asked questions Links to more detailed information So where should you start? Begin by reviewing this guide in its entirety and note those sections that you need to revisit. Then you can create your own personalized study plan and schedule based on your individual needs and how much time you have before test day. Keep in mind that study habits are individual. There are many different ways to successfully prepare for your test. Some people study better on their own, while others prefer a group dynamic. You may have more energy early in the day, but another test taker may concentrate better in the evening. So use this guide to develop the approach that works best for you. Your teaching career begins with preparation. Good luck! The Praxis TM Study Companion 2

3 Table of Contents Table of Contents The Praxis TM Study Companion guides you through the 10 steps to success 1. Know What to Expect...4 Familiarize yourself with the Praxis tests so you know what to expect 2. Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions...5 Become comfortable with the types of questions you ll find on the Praxis tests 3. Understand Your Scores...9 Understand how tests are scored and how to interpret your test scores 4. Learn About Your Test Learn about the specific test you will be taking 5. Determine Your Strategy for Success Set clear goals and deadlines so your test preparation is focused and efficient 6. Develop Your Study Plan Develop a personalized study plan and schedule 7. Review Smart Tips for Success Follow test-taking tips developed by experts 8. Practice with Sample Test Questions Answer practice questions and find explanations for correct answers 9. Check on Testing Accommodations See if you qualify for accommodations that may make it easier to take the Praxis test 10. Do Your Best on Test Day Get ready for test day so you will be calm and confident Appendix: Other Questions You May Have The Praxis TM Study Companion 3

4 Step 1: Know What to Expect 1. Know What to Expect Familiarize yourself with the Praxis tests so you know what to expect Which test should I take? Each state or agency that uses the Praxis tests sets its own requirements for which test or tests you must take for the teaching area you wish to pursue. Before you register for a test, confirm your state or agency s testing requirements at How are the Praxis tests given? Praxis I and Praxis II tests are given in both computer and paper formats. Note: Not all Praxis II tests are offered in both formats. Should I take the computer- or paper-delivered test? You should take the test in whichever format you are most comfortable. Some test takers prefer taking a paperand-pencil test, while others are more comfortable on a computer. Please note that not all tests are available in both formats. To help you decide, watch the What to Expect on Test Day video for computer-delivered tests. If I m taking more than one Praxis test, do I have to take them all in the same format? No. You can take each test in the format in which you are most comfortable. Is there a difference between the subject matter covered on the computer-delivered test and the paper-delivered test? No. The computer-delivered test and paper-delivered test cover the same content. Where and when are the Praxis tests offered? You can select the test center that is most convenient for you. The Praxis tests are administered through an international network of test centers, which includes some universities, high schools, Prometric Testing Centers, and other locations throughout the world. Testing schedules depend on whether you are taking computer-delivered tests or paper-delivered tests. See the Praxis Web site for more detailed test registration information at The Praxis TM Study Companion 4

5 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions 2. Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Become comfortable with the types of questions you ll find on the Praxis tests The Praxis tests include two types of questions multiple-choice (for which you select your answers from a list of choices) and constructed-response (for which you write a response of your own). You may be familiar with these question formats from taking other standardized tests. If not, familiarize yourself with them so you don t spend time during the test figuring out how to answer them. Understanding Multiple-Choice Questions Many multiple-choice questions begin with the phrase which of the following. Take a look at this example: Which of the following is a flavor made from beans? (A) Strawberry (B) Cherry (C) Vanilla (D) Mint How would you answer this question? All of the answer choices are flavors. Your job is to decide which of the flavors is the one made from beans. Try following these steps to select the correct answer. 1) Limit your answer to one of the choices given. You may know that chocolate and coffee are also flavors made from beans, but they are not listed. Rather than thinking of other possible answers, focus only on the choices given ( which of the following ). 2) Eliminate incorrect answers. You may know that strawberry and cherry flavors are made from fruit and that mint flavor is made from a plant. That leaves vanilla as the only possible answer. 3) Verify your answer. You can substitute vanilla for the phrase which of the following and turn the question into this statement: Vanilla is a flavor made from beans. This will help you be sure that your answer is correct. If you re still uncertain, try substituting the other choices to see if they make sense. You may want to use this technique as you answer multiple-choice questions on the practice tests. The Praxis TM Study Companion 5

6 Welcome to the Praxis Study Companion Try a more challenging example The vanilla bean question is pretty straightforward, but you ll find that more challenging questions have a similar structure. For example: Entries in outlines are generally arranged according to which of the following relationships of ideas? (A) Literal and inferential (B) Concrete and abstract (C) Linear and recursive (D) Main and subordinate You ll notice that this example also contains the phrase which of the following. This phrase helps you determine that your answer will be a relationship of ideas from the choices provided. You are supposed to find the choice that describes how entries, or ideas, in outlines are related. Sometimes it helps to put the question in your own words. Here, you could paraphrase the question in this way: How are outlines usually organized? Since the ideas in outlines usually appear as main ideas and subordinate ideas, the answer is (D). QUICK TIP: Don t be intimidated by words you may not understand. It might be easy to be thrown by words like recursive or inferential. Read carefully to understand the question and look for an answer that fits. An outline is something you are probably familiar with and expect to teach to your students. So slow down, and use what you know. Watch out for multiple-choice questions containing NOT, LEAST, and EXCEPT This type of question asks you to select the choice that does not fit. You must be very careful because it is easy to forget that you are selecting the negative. This question type is used in situations in which there are several good solutions or ways to approach something, but also a clearly wrong way. How to approach questions about graphs, tables, or reading passages When answering questions about graphs, tables, or reading passages, provide only the information that the questions ask for. In the case of a map or graph, you might want to read the questions first, and then look at the map or graph. In the case of a long reading passage, you might want to go ahead and read the passage first, marking places you think are important, and then answer the questions. Again, the important thing is to be sure you answer the questions as they refer to the material presented. So read the questions carefully. How to approach unfamiliar formats From time to time, new multiple-choice formats are developed to find new ways of assessing knowledge. The latest tests may include audio and video components, such as a movie clip or animation, instead of the more traditional map or reading passage. Other tests may allow you to zoom in on details of a graphic or picture. Tests may also include interactive questions that take advantage of technology to assess knowledge and skills. They can assess knowledge more than standard multiple-choice questions can. If you see a format you are not familiar with, read the directions carefully. They always give clear instructions on how you are expected to respond. For most questions, you will respond by clicking an oval to select a single answer from a list of options. Other questions may ask you to respond in the following ways: The Praxis TM Study Companion 6

7 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Typing in an entry box. When the answer is a number, you may be asked to enter a numerical answer or, if the test has an on-screen calculator, you may need to transfer the calculated result from the calculator to the entry box. Some questions may have more than one place to enter a response. Clicking check boxes. You may be asked to click check boxes instead of an oval when more than one choice within a set of answers can be selected. Clicking parts of a graphic. In some questions, you will select your answers by clicking on a location (or locations) on a graphic such as a map or chart, as opposed to choosing your answer from a list. Clicking on sentences. In questions with reading passages, you may be asked to choose your answers by clicking on a sentence (or sentences) within the reading passage. Dragging and dropping answer choices into targets on the screen. You may be asked to select answers from a list of options and drag your answers to the appropriate location in a table, paragraph of text or graphic. Selecting options from a drop-down menu. You may be asked to choose answers by selecting options from a drop-down menu (e.g., to complete a sentence). Remember that with every question you will get clear instructions on how to respond. See the Praxis Computer-delivered Testing Demonstration on the Praxis website to learn more about Praxis tests and to see examples of some of the types of questions you may encounter. QUICK TIP: Don t make the questions more difficult than they are. Don t read for hidden meanings or tricks. There are no trick questions on Praxis tests. They are intended to be serious, straightforward tests that accurately assess your knowledge. Understanding Constructed-Response Questions Constructed-response questions require you to demonstrate your knowledge in a subject area by providing in-depth explanations on particular topics. Essay and problem solving are types of constructed-response questions. For example, an essay question might present you with a topic and ask you to discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated. You must support your position with specific reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading. Take a look at a few sample essay topics: Celebrities have a tremendous influence on the young, and for that reason, they have a responsibility to act as role models. We are constantly bombarded by advertisements on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines, on highway signs, and the sides of buses. They have become too pervasive. It s time to put limits on advertising. Advances in computer technology have made the classroom unnecessary, since students and teachers are able to communicate with one another from computer terminals at home or at work. A problem-solving question might ask you to solve a mathematics problem such as the one below and show how you arrived at your solution: a) In how many different ways can 700 be expressed as the product of two positive integers? Show how you arrived at your answer. b) Among all pairs of positive integers whose product is 700, which pair has the maximum greatest common divisor? Explain how you arrived at your answer. The Praxis TM Study Companion 7

8 Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Test Questions Keep these things in mind when you respond to a constructed-response question 1) Answer the question accurately. Analyze what each part of the question is asking you to do. If the question asks you to describe or discuss, you should provide more than just a list. 2) Answer the question completely. If a question asks you to do three distinct things in your response, you should cover all three things for the best score. Otherwise, no matter how well you write, you will not be awarded full credit. 3) Answer the question that is asked. Do not change the question or challenge the basis of the question. You will receive no credit or a low score if you answer another question or if you state, for example, that there is no possible answer. 4) Give a thorough and detailed response. You must demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. However, your response should be straightforward and not filled with unnecessary information. 5) Reread your response. Check that you have written what you thought you wrote. Be sure not to leave sentences unfinished or omit clarifying information. QUICK TIP: You may find that it helps to circle each of the details of the question in your test book or take notes on scratch paper so that you don t miss any of them. Then you ll be sure to have all the information you need to answer the question. For tests that have constructed-response questions, more detailed information can be found in 4. Learn About Your Test on page 11. Understanding Computer-Delivered Questions Questions on computer-delivered tests are interactive in the sense that you answer by selecting an option or entering text on the screen. If you see a format you are not familiar with, read the directions carefully. The directions always give clear instructions on how you are expected to respond. Interactive question types may ask you to respond by: Typing in an entry box, particularly for a constructed-response question. Clicking an oval answer option for a multiple-choice question. Clicking on sentences. In questions with reading passages, you may be asked to choose your answer by clicking on a sentence or sentences within the reading passage. Perhaps the best way to understand computer-delivered questions is to view the Computer-delivered Testing Demonstration on the Praxis Web site to learn how a computer-delivered test works and see examples of some types of questions you may encounter. The Praxis TM Study Companion 8

9 Step 3: Understand Your Scores 3. Understand Your Scores Understand how tests are scored and how to interpret your test scores Of course, passing the Praxis test is important to you so you need to understand what your scores mean and what your state requirements are. What are the score requirements for my state? States, institutions, and associations that require the tests set their own passing scores. Visit for the most up-to-date information. If I move to another state, will my new state accept my scores? The Praxis Series tests are part of a national testing program, meaning that they are required in more than one state for licensure. The advantage of a national program is that if you move to another state that also requires Praxis tests, you can transfer your scores. Each state has specific test requirements and passing scores, which you can find at How do I know whether I passed the test? Your score report will include information on passing scores for the states you identified as recipients of your test results. If you test in a state with automatic score reporting, you will receive passing score information for that state. A list of states and their passing scores for each test are available online at What your Praxis scores mean You received your score report. Now what does it mean? It s important to interpret your score report correctly and to know what to do if you have questions about your scores. Visit to see a sample score report. To access Understanding Your Praxis Scores, a document that provides additional information on how to read your score report, visit Put your scores in perspective Your score report indicates: Your score and whether you passed The range of possible scores The raw points available in each content category The range of the middle 50 percent of scores on the test Your Recognition of Excellence (ROE) Award status, if applicable (found at If you have taken the same test or other tests in The Praxis Series over the last 10 years, your score report also lists the highest score you earned on each test taken. The Praxis TM Study Companion 9

10 Step 3: Understand Your Scores Content category scores and score interpretation On many of the Praxis tests, questions are grouped into content categories. To help you in future study or in preparing to retake the test, your score report shows how many raw points you earned in each content category. Compare your raw points earned with the maximum points you could have earned ( raw points available ). The greater the difference, the greater the opportunity to improve your score by further study. Score scale changes E T S updates Praxis tests on a regular basis to ensure they accurately measure the knowledge and skills that are required for licensure. Updated tests cover the same content as the previous tests. However, scores might be reported on a different scale, so requirements may vary between the new and previous versions. All scores for previous, discontinued tests are valid and reportable for 10 years. These resources may also help you interpret your scores: Understanding Your Praxis Scores (PDF), found at The Praxis Series Passing Scores (PDF), found at State requirements, found at The Praxis TM Study Companion 10

11 Step 4: Learn About Your Test 4. Learn About Your Test Learn about the specific test you will be taking Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K 6 (0622/5622) Test at a Glance Test Name Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K 6 Test Code Time 2 hours 2 hours Number of Questions 70 multiple-choice questions, 70 multiple-choice questions, 4 constructed-response questions 4 constructed-response questions Format Multiple choice; constructed- Multiple choice; constructedresponse questions related to two response questions related to two case histories case histories Test Delivery Paper delivered Computer delivered Approximate Approximate Number of Number of Approximate Multiple-choice Constructed- Percentage of Content Categories Questions response Questions Examination I. Students as Learners % IV V III I II II. Instructional Process % III. Assessment 14 15% IV. Professional Development, 14 15% Leadership, and Community V. Analysis of Instructional 4 25% Scenarios A. Students as Learners 1 2 B. Instructional Process 1 2 C. Assessment 0 1 D. Professional Development, 0 1 Leadership, and Community Pacing and Special Tips In allocating time on this assessment, it is expected that about 70 minutes will be spent on the multiple-choice section and about 50 minutes will be spent on the constructed-response section; the sections are not independently timed. The Praxis TM Study Companion 11

12 Step 4: Learn About Your Test About This Test The purpose of this test is to assess a new teacher s knowledge and understanding of educational practices foundational to beginning a career as a professional educator. The test content assesses key indicators of the beginning educator s knowledge of topics such as human development, learning processes, instructional processes, diverse learners, educational psychology, and professional issues. Examinees taking Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) will typically have completed, or will have nearly completed, an undergraduate education program. Each test includes questions that apply specifically to the stated grade range of the test as well as some that are universal to all grade levels. This test may contain some questions that will not count toward your score. Topics Covered Representative descriptions of topics covered in each category are provided below. I. Students as Learners Student Development and the Learning Process Understands the theoretical foundations of how students learn Knows how knowledge is constructed Knows a variety of means by which skills are acquired Understands a variety of cognitive processes and how they are developed Knows the major contributions of foundational theorists to education Relates the work of theorists to educational contexts º º Bandura º º Bruner º º Dewey º º Piaget º º Vygotsky º º Kohlberg º º Bloom Understands the concepts and terms related to a variety of learning theories Metacognition Schema Transfer Self-efficacy Self-regulation Zone of proximal development Classical and operant conditioning Knows the distinguishing characteristics of the stages in each domain of human development (i.e., cognitive, physical, social and moral) Describes the characteristics of a typical child in each stage and each domain Recognizes typical and atypical variance within each stage and each domain Understands how learning theory and human development impact the instructional process Defines the relationship between learning theory and human development Provides examples of how learning theory is impacted by human development Uses knowledge of learning theory to solve educational problems Uses knowledge of human development to solve educational problems Students as Diverse Learners Understands that a number of variables affect how individual students learn and perform Identifies a number of variables that affect how students learn and perform º º learning style º º gender º º culture º º socioeconomic status º º prior knowledge and experience º º motivation º º self-confidence, self-esteem º º cognitive development º º maturity º º language Provides examples of how variables might affect how students learn and perform The Praxis TM Study Companion 12

13 Welcome to the Praxis Study Companion Recognizes areas of exceptionality and their potential impact on student learning Identifies areas of exceptionality º º cognitive º º auditory º º visual º º motor/physical º º speech/language º º behavioral Explains a variety of ways exceptionalities may impact student learning Understands the implications and application of legislation relating to students with exceptionalities on classroom practice Identifies the provisions of legislation relevant to students with exceptionalities º º Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) º º Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) º º Section 504, Rehabilitation Act (504) Explains how the provisions of legislation relating to students with exceptionalities affect classroom practice Recognizes the traits, behaviors, and needs of intellectually gifted students Recognizes that the process of English language acquisition affects the educational experience of English language learners (ELLs) Knows a variety of approaches for accommodating students with exceptionalities in each phase of the education process Recognizes students with exceptionalities require particular accommodations Knows how to modify instruction, assessment, and communication methods to meet a recognized need Student Motivation and Learning Environment Knows the major contributions of foundational behavioral theorists to education Relates the work of behavioral theorists to educational contexts º º Thorndike º º Watson º º Maslow º º Skinner º º Erikson II. Understands the implications of foundational motivation theories for instruction, learning, and classroom management Defines terms related to foundational motivation theory º º self-determination º º attribution º º Extrinsic/intrinsic motivation º º cognitive dissonance º º classic and operant conditioning º º positive and negative reinforcement Relates motivation theory to instruction, learning, and classroom management Knows principles and strategies for classroom management Knows how to develop classroom routines and procedures Knows how to maintain accurate records Knows how to establish standards of conduct Knows how to arrange classroom space Recognizes ways of promoting a positive learning environment Knows a variety of strategies for helping students develop self-motivation Assigning valuable tasks Providing frequent positive feedback Including students in instructional decisions De-emphasizing grades Instructional Process Planning Instruction Understands the role of district, state, and national standards and frameworks in instructional planning Understands the theoretical basis of standardsbased education Knows resources for accessing district, state, and national standards and frameworks Understands how standards and frameworks apply to instructional planning Knows how to apply the basic concepts of predominant educational theories Understands the basic concepts of cognitivism º º schema º º information processing º º mapping The Praxis TM Study Companion 13

14 Welcome to the Praxis Study Companion Understands the basic concepts of social learning theory º º modeling º º reciprocal determinism Vicarious learning Understands the basic concepts of constructivism º º learning as experience º º problem-based learning º º zone of proximal development º º scaffolding º º inquiry/discovery learning Understands the basic concepts of behaviorism Conditioning º º intrinsic and extrinsic rewards º º reinforcement º º punishment Knows how to apply the basic concepts of behaviorism, constructivism, social learning theory, and cognitivism to instructional contexts Understands how scope and sequence affect instructional planning Defines and provides examples of scope Defines and provides examples of sequence Understands the relationship between scope and sequence and standards of learning Understands the role of scope and sequence in curriculum planning Knows how to select content to achieve lesson and unit objectives Knows how to develop observable and measurable instructional objectives in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains Distinguishes among the different learning domains Knows how to apply Bloom s Taxonomy to the development of instructional objectives Knows how to describe observable behavior Knows how to describe measurable outcomes Is aware of the need for and is able to identify various resources for planning enrichment and remediation Identifies when remediation is appropriate Identifies when enrichment is appropriate Identifies a variety of resources for locating, adapting, or creating enrichment and remediation activities Understands the role of resources and materials in supporting student learning Identifies and explains the uses of a variety of resources and materials that support student learning º º computers, the Internet, and other electronic resources º º library collection (books, magazines, pamphlets, reference works) º º videos, DVDs º º artifacts, models, manipulatives º º guest speakers and community members Knows how to develop lessons as part of thematic and/or interdisciplinary units Understands the basic concepts of thematic instruction Understands the components of thematic units º º selecting a theme º º designing integrated learning activities º º selecting resources º º designing assessments Understands the basic concepts of interdisciplinary instruction Understands the components of interdisciplinary units º º collaborating º º generating applicable topics º º developing an integrative framework º º planning instruction for each discipline º º designing integrative assessment º º recognizes their role in collaborating with instructional partners in instructional planning Identifies a variety of instructional planning partners º º special education teachers º º library media specialists º º teachers of the gifted and talented º º IEP team members º º para educators Describes the roles each partner plays in collaborative activities The Praxis TM Study Companion 14

15 Welcome to the Praxis Study Companion Instructional Strategies Understands the cognitive processes associated with learning Critical thinking Creative thinking Questioning Inductive and deductive reasoning Problem solving Planning Memory Recall Understands the distinguishing features of different instructional models Describes a variety of instructional models º º direct º º indirect º º independent º º experiential º º interactive Knows a variety of instructional strategies associated with each instructional model Identifies instructional strategies associated with direct instruction º º explicit teaching º º drill and practice º º lecture º º demonstrations º º guides for reading, listening, viewing Identifies instructional strategies associated with indirect instruction º º problem solving º º inquiry º º case studies º º concept mapping º º reading for meaning º º cloze procedures Identifies instructional strategies associated with independent instruction º º learning contracts º º research projects º º learning centers º º computer mediated instruction º º distance learning Identifies instructional strategies associated with experiential and virtual instruction º º field trips º º experiments º º simulations º º role play º º games º º observations Identifies instructional strategies associated with interactive instruction º º brainstorming º º cooperative learning groups º º interviews º º discussions º º peer practice º º debates Knows a variety of strategies for encouraging complex cognitive processes Identifies complex cognitive processes º º concept learning º º problem solving º º metacognition º º critical thinking º º transfer Knows instructional activities specific to the development of complex cognitive processes º º distinguishing fact from opinion º º comparing and contrasting º º detecting bias º º predicting º º categorizing º º analyzing º º sequencing º º summarizing º º inferring º º decision making º º evaluating º º synthesizing º º generalizing Knows a variety of strategies for supporting student learning Identifies and explains uses of strategies for supporting student learning Modeling Developing self-regulation skills Scaffolding Differentiating instruction Guided practice Coaching The Praxis TM Study Companion 15

16 Welcome to the Praxis Study Companion Knows basic strategies for promoting students development of self-regulatory skills Knows how to support students in º º setting goals º º managing time º º organizing information º º monitoring progress º º reflecting on outcomes º º establishing a productive work environment Understands the design of different group configurations for learning Describes different group configurations º º whole-class º º small-group º º independent learning º º one-on-one º º pair/share Understands the use and implications of different grouping techniques and strategies Explains the uses, strengths, and limitations of a variety of grouping techniques º º cooperative learning º º collaborative learning º º heterogeneous grouping º º homogeneous grouping º º multi-age grouping º º grouping by gender Knows how to select an appropriate strategy for achieving an instructional objective Understands the concept of monitoring and adjusting instruction in response to student feedback Explains the instructional purposes of monitoring and adjusting instruction Knows strategies for monitoring and adjusting instruction Recognizes the purpose of reflecting upon, analyzing, and evaluating the effectiveness of instructional strategies Knows the characteristics of different types of memory and their implications for instructional planning and student learning Distinguishes among the different types of memory º º short term º º long term Considers the characteristics and effects of memory on student learning when planning instruction Recognizes the role of teachable moments in instruction Defines and provides examples of a teachable moment Understands the uses of the teachable moment Questioning Techniques Knows the components of effective questioning Allowing think/wait time Helping students articulate their ideas Respecting students answers Handling incorrect answers Encouraging participation Establishing a non-critical classroom environment Promoting active listening Varying the types of questions Understands the uses of questioning Explains and provides examples of different purposes of questioning º º developing interest and motivating students º º evaluating students preparation º º reviewing previous lessons º º helping students set realistic expectations º º engaging students in discussion º º determining prior knowledge º º preparing students for what is to be learned º º guiding thinking º º developing critical and creative thinking skills º º checking for comprehension or level of understanding º º summarizing information º º stimulating students to pursue knowledge on their own The Praxis TM Study Companion 16

17 Welcome to the Praxis Study Companion Knows strategies for supporting students in articulating their ideas Explains and provides examples of strategies for supporting students in articulating their ideas º º verbal and non-verbal prompting º º restatement º º reflective listening statements º º wait time º º knows methods for encouraging higher levels of thinking Explains and provides examples of methods for encouraging stu dents higher levels of thinking, thereby guiding students to º º reflect º º challenge assumptions º º find relationships º º determine relevancy and validity of information º º design alternate solutions º º draw conclusions º º transfer knowledge Knows strategies for promoting a safe and open forum for discussion Knows basic techniques for establishing and maintaining standards of conduct for discussions º º engaging all learners º º creating a collaborative environment º º respecting diverse opinions º º supporting risk taking Communication Techniques Understands various verbal and nonverbal communication modes Explains and provides examples of º º body language º º gesture º º tone, stress, and inflection º º eye contact º º facial expression º º personal space Is aware of how culture and gender can affect communication III. Knows how to use various communication tools to enrich the learning environment Audio and visual aids Text and digital resources Internet and other computer-based tools Understands effective listening strategies Explains and provides examples of active listening strategies attending to the speaker restating key points asking questions interpreting information providing supportive feedback being respectful Assessment Assessment and Evaluation Strategies Understands the role of formal and informal assessment in informing the instructional process Defines and provides uses and examples of formal and informal assessment modes Explains a variety of ways the results of formal and informal assessment are used to make educational decisions Understands the distinctions among the different types of assessment Defines and provides uses and examples of formative, summative, and diagnostic assessment Knows how to create and select an appropriate assessment format to meet instructional objectives Knows how to create assessments in a variety of formats Is able to select an assessment format to meet a specific instructional objective Knows how to select from a variety of assessment tools to evaluate student performance Knows a variety of assessment tools, their uses, strengths, and limitations º º rubrics º º analytical checklists º º scoring guides º º anecdotal notes º º continuums The Praxis TM Study Companion 17

18 Welcome to the Praxis Study Companion Is able to select an assessment tool appropriate for quantifying the results of a specific assessment Understands the rationale behind and the uses of students self and peer assessment Defines and provides uses and examples of student self-assessment modes Defines and provides uses and examples of peer assessment modes Explains the strengths and limitations of self and peer assessment modes Knows how to use a variety of assessment formats Describes and provides uses, strengths, and limitations of a variety of assessment formats º º essay º º selected response º º portfolio º º conference º º observation º º performance Is able to select an assessment format appropriate to a specific educational context Assessment Tools Understands the types and purposes of standardized tests Explains the uses of the different types of standardized tests º º achievement º º aptitude º º ability Recognizes the data provided by the different types of standardized tests Understands the distinction between normreferenced and criterion-referenced scoring Explains the uses of norm-referenced and criterion-referenced tests Explains data provided by a norm-referenced and a criterion-referenced test IV. Understands terminology related to testing and scoring Defines and explains terms related to testing and scoring º º validity º º reliability º º raw score º º scaled score º º percentile º º standard deviation º º Mean, Mode, and Median º º grade-equivalent scores º º age-equivalent scores Understands the distinction between holistic and analytical scoring Describes holistic scoring and analytical scoring Identifies an educational context for each Knows how to interpret assessment results and communicate the meaning of those results to students, parents/caregiver, and school personnel Understands what scores and testing data indicate about a student s ability, aptitude, or performance Is able to explain results of assessments using language appropriate for the audience Professional Development, Leadership, and Community Is aware of a variety of professional development practices and resources Professional literature Professional associations Workshops Conferences Learning communities Graduate courses Independent research Internships Mentors Study groups Understands the implications of research, views, ideas, and debates on teaching practices Knows resources for accessing research, views, ideas, and debates on teaching practices Interprets data, results, and conclusions from research on teaching practices Is able to relate data, results, and conclusions from research and/or views, ideas, and debates to a variety of educational situations The Praxis TM Study Companion 18

19 Welcome to the Praxis Study Companion Recognizes the role of reflective practice for professional growth Defines the purposes of reflective practice Knows a variety of activities that support reflective practice º º reflective Journal º º self and peer assessment º º incident analysis º º portfolio º º peer observation º º critical friend Is aware of school support personnel who assist students, teachers, and families Guidance counselors IEP team members Special education teachers Speech, physical, and occupational therapists Library media specialists Teachers of the gifted and talented Para educators Understands the role of teachers and schools as educational leaders in the greater community Role of teachers in shaping and advocating for the profession Perceptions of teachers Partnerships with parents and family members Partnerships with the community Knows basic strategies for developing collaborative relationships with colleagues, administrators, other school personnel, parents/caregivers, and the community to support the educational process Knows the elements of successful collaboration º º Developing an action plan º º Identifying the stakeholders º º Identifying the purpose of the collaboration º º Supporting effective communication º º Seeking support Understands the implications of major legislation and court decisions relating to students and teachers Equal access Privacy and confidentiality First Amendment issues Intellectual freedom Mandated reporting of child neglect/abuse Due process Liability Licensing and tenure Copyright The Praxis TM Study Companion 19

20 Step 5: Determine Your Strategy for Success 5. Determine Your Strategy for Success Set clear goals and deadlines so your test preparation is focused and efficient Effective Praxis test preparation doesn t just happen. You ll want to set clear goals and deadlines for yourself along the way. Otherwise, you may not feel ready and confident on test day. A helpful resource is the Strategies for Success video, which includes tips for preparing and studying, along with tips for reducing test anxiety. 1) Learn what the test covers. You may have heard that there are several different versions of the same test. It s true. You may take one version of the test and your friend may take a different version a few months later. Each test has different questions covering the same subject area, but both versions of the test measure the same skills and content knowledge. You ll find specific information on the test you re taking in 4. Learn About Your Test on page 11, which outlines the content categories that the test measures and what percentage of the test covers each topic. Visit for information on other Praxis tests. 2) Assess how well you know the content. Research shows that test takers tend to overestimate their preparedness this is why some test takers assume they did well and then find out they did not pass. The Praxis tests are demanding enough to require serious review of likely content, and the longer you ve been away from the content, the more preparation you will most likely need. If it has been longer than a few months since you ve studied your content area, make a concerted effort to prepare. 3) Collect study materials. Gathering and organizing your materials for review are critical steps in preparing for the Praxis tests. Consider the following reference sources as you plan your study: Did you take a course in which the content area was covered? If yes, do you still have your books or your notes? Does your college library have a good introductory college-level textbook in this area? Does your local library have a high school-level textbook? Study guides are available for purchase for many Praxis tests at Each guide provides a combination of test preparation and practice, including sample questions and answers with explanations. 4) Plan and organize your time. You can begin to plan and organize your time while you are still collecting materials. Allow yourself plenty of review time to avoid cramming new material at the end. Here are a few tips: Choose a test date far enough in the future to leave you plenty of preparation time at Work backward from that date to figure out how much time you will need for review. Set a realistic schedule and stick to it. The Praxis TM Study Companion 20

21 Step 5: Determine Your Strategy for Success 5) Practice explaining the key concepts. Praxis tests with constructed-response questions assess your ability to explain material effectively. As a teacher, you ll need to be able to explain concepts and processes to students in a clear, understandable way. What are the major concepts you will be required to teach? Can you explain them in your own words accurately, completely, and clearly? Practice explaining these concepts to test your ability to effectively explain what you know. 6) Understand how questions will be scored. Scoring information can be found in 3. Understand Your Scores on page 9. 7) Develop a study plan. A study plan provides a road map to prepare for the Praxis tests. It can help you understand what skills and knowledge are covered on the test and where to focus your attention. Use the study plan template on page 25 to organize your efforts. And most important get started! Would a Study Group Work for You? Using this guide as part of a study group People who have a lot of studying to do sometimes find it helpful to form a study group with others who are working toward the same goal. Study groups give members opportunities to ask questions and get detailed answers. In a group, some members usually have a better understanding of certain topics, while others in the group may be better at other topics. As members take turns explaining concepts to one another, everyone builds self-confidence. If the group encounters a question that none of the members can answer well, the group can go to a teacher or other expert and get answers efficiently. Because study groups schedule regular meetings, members study in a more disciplined fashion. They also gain emotional support. The group should be large enough so that multiple people can contribute different kinds of knowledge, but small enough so that it stays focused. Often, three to six members is a good size. Here are some ways to use this guide as part of a study group: Plan the group s study program. Parts of the study plan template, beginning on page 23 can help to structure your group s study program. By filling out the first five columns and sharing the worksheets, everyone will learn more about your group s mix of abilities and about the resources, such as textbooks, that members can share with the group. In the sixth column ( Dates I will study the content ), you can create an overall schedule for your group s study program. Plan individual group sessions. At the end of each session, the group should decide what specific topics will be covered at the next meeting and who will present each topic. Use the topic headings and subheadings in the Test at a Glance table on page 11 to select topics, and then select practice questions, beginning on page 29. Prepare your presentation for the group. When it s your to turn present, prepare something that is more than a lecture. Write two or three original questions to pose to the group. Practicing writing actual questions can help you better understand the topics covered on the test as well as the types of questions you will encounter on the test. It will also give other members of the group extra practice at answering questions. The Praxis TM Study Companion 21

22 Step 5: Determine Your Strategy for Success Take the practice test together. The idea of the practice test is to simulate an actual administration of the test, so scheduling a test session with the group will add to the realism and may also help boost everyone s confidence. Remember, complete the practice test using only the time that will be allotted for that test on your administration day. Learn from the results of the practice test. Score one another s answer sheets. For tests that contain constructed-response questions, look at the Sample Test Questions section, which also contain sample responses to those questions and shows how they were scored. Then try to follow the same guidelines that the test scorers use. Be as critical as you can. You re not doing your study partner(s) any favors by letting them get away with an answer that does not cover all parts of the question adequately. Be specific. Write comments that are as detailed as the comments about the sample responses. Indicate where and how your study partner(s) are doing an inadequate job of answering the question. Writing notes in the margins of the answer sheet may also help. Be supportive. Include comments that point out what your study partner(s) got right. Then plan one or more study sessions based on aspects of the questions on which group members performed poorly. For example, each group member might be responsible for rewriting one paragraph of a response in which someone else did an inadequate job. Whether you decide to study alone or with a group, remember that the best way to prepare is to have an organized plan. The plan should set goals based on specific topics and skills that you need to learn, and it should commit you to a realistic set of deadlines for meeting those goals. Then you need to discipline yourself to stick with your plan and accomplish your goals on schedule. The Praxis TM Study Companion 22

23 Step 6: Develop Your Study Plan 6. Develop Your Study Plan Develop a personalized study plan and schedule Planning your study time is important because it will help ensure that you review all content areas covered on the test. Use the sample study plan below as a guide. It shows a plan for the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test: Reading test. Following that is a study plan template that you can fill out to create your own plan. Use the Learn about Your Test and Topics Covered information beginning on page 11 to help complete it. Use this worksheet to: 1. Define Content Areas: List the most important content areas for your test as defined in the Topics Covered section. 2. Determine Strengths and Weaknesses: Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each content area. 3. Identify Resources: Identify the books, courses, and other resources you plan to use for each content area. 4. Study: Create and commit to a schedule that provides for regular study periods. Praxis Test Name: Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test: Reading Praxis Test Code(s): 0710 Test Date: 11/15/12 Content covered Description of content How well do I know the content? (scale 1 5) What resources do I have/need for the content? Where can I find the resources I need? Dates I will study the content Date completed Literal Comprehension Main Ideas Identify summaries or paraphrases of main idea or primary purpose of reading selection 2 Middle school English text book College library, middle school teacher 9/15/12 9/15/12 Supporting Ideas Identify summaries or paraphrases of supporting ideas and specific details in reading selection 2 Middle school English text book College library, middle school teacher 9/17/12 9/17/12 Organization Identify how reading selection is organized in terms of cause/ effect and compare/ contrast 3 Middle and high school English text book College library, middle and high school teachers 9/20/12 9/21/12 Organization Identify key transition words/phrases in reading selection and how used 4 Middle and high school English text book College library, middle and high school teachers 9/25/12 9/26/12 Vocabulary in Context Identify meanings of words as used in context of reading selection 3 Middle and high school English text book, dictionary College library, middle and high school teachers 9/25/12 9/27/12 (continued on next page) The Praxis TM Study Companion 23

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