FTCE Reading K-12 (035) Ultimate Guide2020-07-23T13:53:33+00:00

FTCE Reading K-12 (035) Ultimate Guide

Preparing to take the FTCE Reading K-12 (035) exam?

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FTCE Reading K-12 (035) Quick Facts

This test is designed to assess the knowledge of reading instruction for teachers wishing to teach reading in grades K-12 in the state of Florida.

Format:

Types of Questions:

  • Scenario: You will be asked to select a response option based on a given classroom situation or a student composition. You can expect your response to be a recommendation for a course of action or an appropriate response by the teacher in the given situation.
  • Text analysis: After studying a text, you will be asked to identify literary features by choosing the appropriate multiple-choice option.
  • Direct question: Simply choose the response that best answers the question.
  • Sentence completion: You will be asked to complete a sentence by selecting the response that fits best.

Cost: 

$150

Scoring: 

The result of the test will be pass or fail. At the end of the test, an unofficial pass or fail note will be provided. The test has a scaled score that assigns different weights to each question based on the difficulty level. About 71% of the questions must be answered correctly and a scaled score of 200 achieved to pass. That means you can miss about 36 of the 120 questions and still pass.

Pass Rate:

In 2018, the passing rate for test-takers was 64%. In previous years, it has risen to as high as 88%.

Study Time: 

Preparation time should be broken into sections based on the competencies. Because the percentage of questions is split relatively evenly between all nine competencies, it is recommended that you dedicate one to two hours to each competency. Extra time should be devoted to competencies that are challenging to you and additional time should be devoted to reviewing all of the material together. It is suggested that your study time be broken out over the course of one to two months, with each week devoted to a different competency.

What Test Takers Wish They’d Known:

  • Arriving at the test site ahead of schedule will allow you time to find a parking spot and check-in without worrying about running late for your scheduled exam time.
  • It’s important to bring your ID, or you may not be allowed to take the exam.
  • You should be prepared to store all your personal items in a locker before entering the testing room. You will not be able to access these locked items while you are testing, so limit the items that you bring in to only what is necessary.
  • You’ll need to pay attention to the timer that is displayed on your screen and pace yourself accordingly. You can use all the time allotted to answer and review questions.
  • You may want to consider dressing in layers, since the test room may be warm or cold.
  • Unscheduled breaks may be taken at any time, but the testing timer does not stop. During these breaks, only food, water, and medication can be accessed; notes and electronics are not allowed.
  • There will not be a formula sheet or calculator, as these are not needed for the test.
  • You may be provided with dry-erase grid paper in a spiral notebook and a dry-erase marker.
  • Answer choices can be changed at any point prior to submitting the test. 
  • Questions can be reviewed at any time, including after all the questions have been read.
  • A tutorial will be provided before the test begins that shows how to navigate between questions and revisit them.
  • After the test, you may receive an unofficial score, since the test is multiple-choice. Your school district may accept an unofficial passing score as proof you have passed the exam.
  • If you do not receive an unofficial passing score, this means the test most likely included reformatted questions and an unofficial score can’t be generated. It does not mean that you failed the exam.
  • Check your FTCE/FELE account regularly to see your official scores on a score report.

Information and screenshots obtained from FTCE.

Overview

This exam has nine competencies:

  1. Research and Theories of Reading Processes (10%)
  2. Text Types and Structures (10%)
  3. Reading Assessment and Evaluation (10%)
  4. Learning Environments and Procedures That Support Reading (10%)
  5. Oral and Written Language Acquisition and Beginning Reading (11%)
  6. Phonics and Word Recognition (12%)
  7. Vocabulary Acquisition and Use (12%)
  8. Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension (15%)
  9. Reading Program Development, Implementation, and Coordination (10%)

Let’s take a look at the first competency.

Research and Theories of Reading Processes

The Research and Theories of Reading Processes competency has about 12 questions, which account for 10% of the entire exam.

Let’s talk about a couple of specific concepts that you are likely to see on the test.

Social Constructivism

The theory of social constructivism hinges on the necessity of social interactions in the learning process. It proposes that all knowledge is rooted in social interactions and language use, which is shared rather than done individually. There are several main components of the theory of social constructivism:

  • Educators must shift their frame of reference for what “teaching” looks like. Rather than the teacher being the individual who distributes information, the teacher is the one facilitating the learning through questioning students’ responses and interacting deeply with students to ensure a thorough mastery of the content.
  • There is an equal amount of emphasis on the process of learning and on the acquisition of knowledge itself. A large amount of time is spent in the classroom discussing how an answer is reached rather than determining the right answer.
  • Learners are required to participate in their own learning rather than being passive receivers of information. This can be achieved through open-ended investigations and problem-based tasks. These types of assignments allow students to embrace making mistakes and learning from them rather than striving for perfection.
  • A culture of reflection, dialogue, and interdependence is key to learning. The classroom should be a hub of learning as evidenced through class discussions and the exchange of ideas.

Lev Vygotsky

Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist whose theories centered around the connection between social interaction and cognitive development. The majority of his work was established in the context of language learning in children, particularly in how expressions as simple as hand motions can be connected to the meaningful representation of an interpersonal connection between individuals. An additional concept identified in Vygotsky’s theory is the zone of proximal development (ZPD). An individual’s ZPD is the gap between their ability to successfully demonstrate specific skills alone and their ability to do so with the assistance of others. These skills cannot be performed independently, and thus reinforce the idea that social interaction and interdependence are essential to developing independent skills that become automatic in the long run. Vygotsky influenced reading instruction by emphasizing collaborative learning and differentiated instruction, which requires social interaction and individualized attention from the teacher.

Text Types and Structures

The Text Types and Structures competency has about 12 questions, which account for 10% of the entire exam.

Let’s talk about a couple of specific concepts that you are likely to see on the test.

Types of Text Structure

Understanding the structure of a text has a significant impact on the reader’s ability to examine and derive meaning from the text. The way in which information is organized in a text is described as text structure. Text structure allows students to identify the following elements within a text:

  • Key details: information from the text that allows readers to answer questions like who, what, when, where, and why.
  • Main idea: the most important point the author is trying to make about a topic. This point is supported by key details throughout the text.
  • Comparison and contrast: the comparison of ideas, places, and/or scenarios within a text. This is usually described by identifying similarities and differences between two or more ideas.
  • Inference: a logical deduction based on the evidence provided in a text.
  • Sequence (chronological order): the idea that a text has a specific order of events organized by time.
  • Cause and effect: the idea that certain things happen as a result of other actions.
  • Problem and solution: the identification of a problem, followed by possible solutions to the identified problem.

Characteristics of Specific Literary Genres

The literary world includes two categories made up of various genres, each with some distinct and some overlapping characteristics. To analyze a text, an understanding of the literary elements and structural features of the genre is essential.

Nonfiction

Nonfiction is writing based on fact that may tell a story or provide information. Two nonfiction genres are biography, the account of a person’s life written by another person, and autobiography, a written account of one’s own life.

  • Examples of biographies: Who Was Helen Keller? by Gare Thompson and Who Is Michelle Obama? by Megan Stine.
  • Examples of autobiographies: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, and Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl.

Also included in nonfiction is memoir, an autobiographical story or account of someone’s life or a part of that person’s life. In the past, memoir has been considered a subcategory of autobiography, but now they are treated as a separate genre.

  • Examples of memoirs: A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, Night by Elie Wiesel, and Out of Africa by Karen Blixen.

Another type of nonfiction is the short essay, which expresses an author’s point of view on one or more subjects. An example would be “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

An informational text has the primary purpose of conveying facts about a subject. There are three main types of informational texts:

  • Expository text: a text that describes and discusses a topic. Examples include biographies, magazines, newspapers, and school textbooks.
  • Procedural text: a text that includes information on how to do something. Examples include manuals and how-to guides.
  • Persuasive text: a text that uses fact and opinion to convince the reader of a particular position. Examples include op-ed articles, some features in magazines and newspapers, and transcripts of debates.

The structural elements of informational text can include headings, sidebars, hyperlinks, captions, graphs, bold or italic print, tables of contents, and glossaries. The text itself can include the elements of cause/effect, problem/solution, main idea/details, and/or sequence.

Fiction

There are numerous types of fiction, including fantasy, humor, fables, fairy tales, historical fiction, legends, tall tales, mystery stories, science fiction, and realistic fiction.

A narrative text is any kind of fictional story. Narrative texts are written in a number of formats, including novels, short stories, vignettes, songs, and oral storytelling. Common genres of narrative text include:

  • Fairy tales: children’s stories about magical creatures and imaginary lands.
  • Fantasy: stories about supernatural events or characters.
  • Folk tales: stories that are passed from generation to generation that typically teach a moral lesson or explain a superstition. They often include talking animals, who may be wise or deceitful.
  • Fables: stories or poems with morals.
  • Myths: stories about events of the distant past that try to explain the beginning of the world, natural phenomena, or the origin of civilizations.
  • Realistic fiction: stories created by an author that take place in this reality and resemble real people, places, and events.

Poetry is a creative type of writing, often reflective and making strong use of imagery and figurative language. There are many types of poems and they may contain some or all of the following: rhyme, rhythm, figurative language, imagery, repetition, and parallel structure.

Drama is a story told through dialogue and stage directions. A written drama, or play, will begin with a list of characters and will contain stage directions to describe settings and the movements of the characters. A drama is meant to be performed.

Reading Assessment and Evaluation

The Reading Assessment and Evaluation competency has about 12 questions, which account for 10% of the entire exam.

Let’s talk about a couple of specific concepts that you are likely to see on the test.

Types of Assessments

Formal assessments usually involve the use of a standardized rubric or scoring guide based on several criteria rather than a single numerical score.

Informal assessments are more flexible than formal assessments and can be adjusted to fit the situation and the particular needs of the student being tested. This might involve such methods as simply observing student interest and facial expression during a lesson or group activity.

Formative assessments are screenings, tests, and questions that are considered part of the instructional process since they are administered throughout the learning of new instructional objectives. Formative assessments can be informal or formal.

Summative assessments are given at specific points in time in order to determine what students know and don’t know. Summative tests are typically formal or performance-based.

Assessment TypeQuick DefinitionFormal or Informal?Summative or Formative?
Criterion-referencedTests against a standard

Examples: state standardized tests, SATs

FormalSummative
Norm-referencedCompares an individual’s performance to a group

Example: IQ tests

FormalSummative
Curriculum-basedCovers curriculum that is being taught at the time

Covers information from the previous week or two

Allows teachers to check for understanding and adjust teaching

Formal or informationFormative
Performance-basedProject or performance

Requires students to show mastery of specific skills

Examples: designing and performing experiments, building models, writing poems or short stories, and developing portfolios

FormalSummative
DiagnosticAssesses current level and skills

Example: pretest before starting a new unit

Formal or informalSummative

Characteristics of Students at Varying Reading Levels

It is important to maintain a consistent understanding of each student’s reading level and deliver instruction based on those levels. When students are assigned text that is below their reading levels, they are not challenged and may become bored and disinterested in reading. On the other hand, if you provide text to readers that is far too difficult, they may become frustrated and not be able to grasp the concept of the text. Therefore, constantly assessing students’ reading levels and providing instruction and text accordingly is essential in ensuring that students are able to progress successfully in reading.

One way to assess the reading level of students is to identify the rate at which they can read in terms of words per minute (wpm). Use the table below to identify an approximate measurement of how many words per minute students should be reading in grades 1-6. Note that words per minute is only one way of measuring student reading levels: comprehension is just as important as fluency. Therefore, a variety of measures should be used in determining a student’s reading level.

 

Learning Environments and Procedures That Support Reading

 

The Learning Environments and Procedures That Support Reading competency has about 12 questions, which account for 10% of the entire exam.

Let’s talk about a couple of specific concepts that you are likely to see on the test.

Grouping Practices

There are a variety of group activities that work well for reading instruction.

  • Literature circles: small groups of students discussing texts previously read; they can be teacher- or student-directed.
  • Small groups: groups of 2-4 students collaborating on an assignment or discussion.
  • Workshops: concentrated stations where students focus on one skill or element of a lesson.
  • Reading centers: similar to workshops, but focused solely on reading skills, such as comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, discussion, and written response.
  • Multi-age groups: groups in which students work on a skill with students from other grade levels.
  • Think-pair-share: collaboration with a partner to discuss and evaluate the topic.

Groups can be arranged in three ways:

  • Randomly: No consideration is used in grouping students. Numbers, a deck of cards, or a website like random.org can be used to randomize the students.
  • Homogeneously: Students with similar abilities are grouped together. This is best used when a teacher is targeting a specific skill and is using a small group for remediation or enrichment.
  • Heterogeneously: Students with varying abilities are grouped together. This type of grouping should be used for all other classroom activities to allow for more diversity among group members.

Motivation in Academic and Personal Reading

Teachers who are highly effective at teaching are able to motivate all students, regardless of ability level, to engage in learning by designing and delivering engaging and relevant instruction. Motivation can be categorized into two specific types: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. A mixture of the two allows the teacher to use motivation strategies appropriately based on the diverse needs of their students.

Intrinsic motivation is motivation that is driven by an internal willingness to perform. This behavior is driven by internal rewards that are fueled by the following elements:

    • Autonomy: a student’s ability to self-govern and have a sense of independence. By incorporating choice into your lessons and activities, you allow students to feel ownership over their learning and increase intrinsic motivation.
  • Relatedness: the feeling of being cared for by and for others, creating a feeling of authentic connectedness 
  • Competence: the need to feel challenged and be a valued part of a common goal; the idea of being effective and having meaning

Students who do not have intrinsic motivation need to be externally motivated. Extrinsic motivation means that the motive for the activity comes from outside the individual. Finding the best external motivation for different students can be difficult. External rewards can decrease intrinsic motivation.

Oral and Written Language Acquisition and Beginning Reading

 

The Oral and Written Language Acquisition and Beginning Reading competency has about 13 questions, which account for 11% of the entire exam.

Let’s talk about a couple of specific concepts that you are likely to see on the test.

Stages of Early Reading

The emergent stage of development is when children understand that written language has meaning and conveys messages. The students begin to recognize words in the environment or in text such as signs at stores and restaurants. These students may be able to write a few letters, especially those in their names, even though some of the letters may be reversed or in uppercase. These skills are developed through meaningful interactions with adults in activities that involve speaking and reading.

  • Pre-alphabetic phase: Children read through the memorization of key visual features and guessing words in context.
  • Partial-alphabetic phase: Children begin to identify some letters and use this knowledge to memorize words.
  • Full-alphabetic phase: In this phase, sound-symbol relationships are used to systematically decode words. Children in the early stage of this phase may decode words letter by letter and by the end are recognizing words by sight.
  • Consolidated-alphabetic stage: Children begin to blend patterns of letters and sounds into larger units. This allows the student to decode a wide variety of words by sight.

Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is an umbrella term that includes the ability to hear and comprehend individual words, syllables, and sounds in spoken language. It involves the understanding and usage of breaking words into parts or sounds that can be maneuvered. Before learning to read, children must understand that words are made up of phonemes, or sounds of speech.

Skills Under Phonological Awareness

  • Word awareness: knowing that individual words make up a sentence.
  • Sound awareness (phonemic awareness): the ability to hear and use individual units of sounds, or phonemes. 
    • Example: “b” makes the first sound in the word “blue.”
    • Phonemes are the smallest individual sounds in a word. For example, the word “bit” has three phonemes, b–i–t. Each phoneme makes a difference in the meaning of words. The word “fork” has three phonemes, fork, because the or letters make one sound.
    • The initial sound in a word is the onset, and the remaining phoneme/sound is the rime.
  • Syllable awareness: the ability to hear the individual sounds that make up a word. 
    • Example: “education” has four syllables: “ed-u-ca-tion”.
  • Rhyme awareness: matching the ending sounds (rimes) of words.
    • Example: “blue” and “flew” rhyme.

Importance of Phonological Awareness in Literacy

Phonological awareness is the ability to recognize and manipulate the sounds of a spoken language. When a learner has phonemic awareness (a phonological awareness skill), they are able to identify the individual sounds (the smallest units) in a word. For example, in the word “my” there are two phonemes, the “m” sound and the vowel sound. Having this knowledge is believed to help readers decode words in order to read them.

Reading studies and research show that explicit phonological awareness instruction can help all students learn to read, including pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first-grade students, as well as older, less able students. The development of these skills is also extremely helpful for all students in learning to spell. Students need to be able to hear individual sounds as they make efforts to “sound out” words in the process of spelling them. Additional information from research indicates that teaching children to manipulate phonemes in words improves their reading.

Phonics and Word Recognition

 

The Phonics and Word Recognition competency has about 14 questions, which account for 12% of the entire exam.

Let’s talk about a couple of specific concepts that you are likely to see on the test.

Word Recognition Development

When students have a strong understanding of the terms listed below, they are able to recognize words more fluently and progress to higher levels of reading and literacy development.

Morphology is the study of the meaning of words. A morpheme is the smallest unit of a word that still has meaning. For example, the word “undeniable” has three morphemes: “un” (not), “deny,” and “able”. When teaching morphology, teachers should focus on prefixes, suffixes, roots, and compound words.

Phonemes are the smallest units of sound in a word. The word “top” has three phonemes: /t/ /o/ /p/.

Syllables are segments or units of pronunciation that each have one vowel sound, forming one part or the whole of a word. The word “rocket” has two syllables: rock-et.

Onsets are the beginning consonant clusters in a word, while rimes are the vowels and consonants that follow the onset. In the word “shrink,” /shr/ is the onset and /ink/ is the rime.

Phonics Skills

Phonemes are the smallest individual sounds in a word. Each phoneme makes a difference in the meaning of words. For example, The first phoneme in “smile” is /s/. The sounds within “smile” are /s/ /m/ /i/ /l/.

There are many skills related to phonemic awareness:

  • Phoneme isolation is the ability to hear and recognize the individual sounds in words.
    • What is the first sound you hear in dog? /d/.
  • Phoneme recognition/phoneme identification is the ability to recognize the same sounds in different words. This begins with recognizing the first and last sounds in words.
    • What is the same sound in dog, din, and duck? The /d/ at the start.
  • Phoneme categorization is the ability to recognize which word is different in a group of three or four words.
    • Which word has a different sound and doesn’t belong? Bus, dog, or bun? “Dog,” because the other two have a /b/ sound.
  • Phoneme segmentation is the ability to break down a word into separate sounds, saying and counting each sound.
    • How many sounds are there in the word bug? /B/ /u/ /g/. There are three sounds.
  • Phoneme blending is the ability to blend two or more sounds to make a word.
    • Blend together these sounds to make a word: /b/ /a/ /t/. Bat.

There are also three key phonemic manipulation skills. Most students should be able to do these skills by third grade.

  • Phoneme deletion is the ability to recognize and understand the words or sounds that remain when a phoneme is removed.
    • What is bat without the /b/? At.
  • Phoneme addition is the ability to make new words by adding a phoneme to an existing word.
    • What new word can you make by adding a sound to the beginning of at? Bat, cat, rat, and sat.
  • Phoneme substitution is the ability to substitute one phoneme for a different one.
    • Replace the first sound in ‘bug’ with “r”. Rug.

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

 

The Vocabulary Acquisition and Use competency has about 14 questions, which account for 12% of the entire exam.

Let’s talk about a couple of specific concepts that you are likely to see on the test.

Stages of Vocabulary Acquisition for ELL Students

Students who are considered English language learners progress through different stages as they acquire fluency in the English language. The stages listed below describe ELL students’ abilities in relation to English language proficiency within each stage.

    • Stage 1: Pre-production: Also known as the “silent period,” this stage describes students who are generally listening and trying to understand new vocabulary rather than speaking. They have actively growing listening vocabulary but may not be comfortable with speaking yet. Students at this stage benefit greatly from repetition when learning new vocabulary and concepts.

 

  • Stage 2: Early production: Students at this stage know approximately 1,000 words in the English language and have begun to put phrases together that may be grammatically incorrect. This stage can last up to six months and can be optimized by allowing students to use pictures to represent their ideas in their new language.
  • Stage 3: Speech emergence: Students begin communicating with simple phrases and sentences. They have progressed to understanding up to 3,000 words and begin to develop comprehension skills in English.
  • Stage 4: Intermediate fluency: Students at this stage begin transitioning their acquired knowledge to writing as well as speech. They have a well-developed vocabulary of more than 6,000 words.
  • Stage 5: Advanced fluency: At this stage, students are considered to be proficient English language speakers. Their critical thinking skills and comprehension skills in their second language are comparable to those of their English-proficient peers. Reaching this stage may take between 4 and10 years.

 

Building Vocabulary through Instruction

Good readers know how to read for new information and vocabulary. Teachers should identify key vocabulary in an informational text to define before students begin to read. Teachers should ask students to use prior knowledge and context clues to predict definitions. Alternatively, teachers can provide a vocabulary graphic organizer for students to complete while reading.

    • Vocabulary notebook: Students record new and/or difficult words along with a simple definition, a relative sentence, and/or a drawing of something that helps them remember the word.

 

  • World walls: Challenging or content-related vocabulary is displayed in specific areas of the classroom. Students can create and post illustrations of the words.
  • Reference-book-based activities
  • Creative writing using the vocabulary
  • Skits using the vocabulary

 

  • Concept or vocabulary map (example below): The new concept or vocabulary word is written in the center of the map and pictures or descriptive words are placed around it.

 

Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension

The Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension competency has about 18 questions, which account for 15% of the entire exam.

Let’s talk about a couple of specific concepts that you are likely to see on the test.

Reading Fluency

Reading fluency is measured by three primary criteria:

  • Accuracy: the reader’s ability to correctly pronounce words.
  • Prosody: the reader’s ability to convey expression.
  • Speed: the pace at which the reader reads the text.

Sometimes automaticity, the ability to read words effortlessly, is also used as a criterion. For example, a struggling reader might think slowly and carefully in order to be more accurate, but this would lower their automaticity.

Strategies for Teaching Reading Fluency

Because reading fluency is a combination of several different reading skills, effective strategies for increasing fluency address multiple skills at once and help students connect the skills together.

The table below summarizes what skills each type of activity reinforces.

Teacher-modeled reading: Read aloud to students, emphasizing your own fluency and prosody. Select stories of particular interest to your students that also include challenging vocabulary. Pause to discuss and define new words. Reread stories until students become familiar enough to read the stories on their own. Then have students reread the text to a teacher, tutor, reading partner/peer, or parent. This kind of modeling will enhance students’ vocabulary and spark interest in reading.

Supervised oral reading: Ask students to read texts aloud to you or to a tutor. Encourage students to reread the same text to increase familiarity. Working with students one-on-one allows you to identify specific vocabulary or phonic needs.

Choral reading: Direct students to read orally with you and in unison. Select short texts for this strategy. First, read the text aloud to students and identify any new vocabulary. Then reread the text, inviting students to read along out loud when they recognize the text.

Partner/small group reading: Organize students into pairs or small groups to read semi-independently. Place students at similar reading levels in groups. Encourage students to take turns reading aloud to each other from a common book. Alternatively, ask strong readers to read aloud to struggling readers.

Independent reading: Reading fluency increases the more students read. Encourage students to read texts that they are able to read without support. Encourage repeated reading to develop familiarity and to teach students how to self-correct. Gradually extend silent reading times as students’ reading fluency increases.

Readers’ theater: Direct students in a dramatic enactment of a play or book. Select a book that is familiar to students. Assign students to individual parts to read and encourage them to add movement, costumes, and/or set materials. Invite others (peers, parents, and visitors) to watch.

Literature circles: Organize students into small groups to discuss a common text. Literature circles promote engagement in reading by giving students an opportunity to talk about a book: their overall impressions or responses, their analysis of characters and plot, and personal connections they can make to the story. Encourage students to read aloud from the text when providing evidence or speaking about a particular part of the book. In a literature circle, group students by the text they have read rather than by reading levels.

Instructional Strategies for Teaching Comprehension of Literary Texts

There are many strategies for scaffolding and building student comprehension. Some comprehension strategies can apply to all texts, while others differ depending on the type of text. Some strategies focus on preparing students to read, others on supporting students while reading, and still others on helping students process material after reading.

Motivation: Good readers read a wide variety of literature, depending on grade and reading level. Teachers should encourage students to seek out different types of texts to develop different types of comprehension. 

  • Daily independent reading of student-selected and peer- or teacher-recommended books
  • Independent reading in a specific topic of interest
  • One-on-one guided reading
  • Small group book discussions
  • Book talks to share an interesting text/book
  • Text-to-real world connections
  • Discussing a wide range of reading materials in different forms, from different genres, and related to different cultures and backgrounds
  • Communicating with parents to increase at-home reading and parent involvement.

Scaffolding: Good readers build on simpler skills to develop other skills that are more difficult. To increase comprehension, teachers should also work to improve other reading skills in students.

  • Phonemic awareness
  • Phonics and word recognition
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary development

Before Reading All Texts

Schema development: Good readers connect their schema (background of knowledge) to the information that is being read. Teachers should activate, review, and/or develop background information before starting to read a text.

  • Viewing and discussing relevant slides, videos, pictures, etc.
  • Asking students questions before reading
    • “Have any of you ever…?
    • Can you tell us something about…?
    • What do you know about …”

NOTE: The experiences that students have in their schema are vastly different depending on their cultural, linguistic, and family backgrounds. It is important that the teacher does not assume background knowledge but rather teaches students how to independently develop their schema when approaching a new text.

Previewing: Good readers can gain a basic understanding of what they are going to read before they begin. Teachers should provide students the opportunity to make predictions about their reading based on structural elements of the text.

  • Reading the titles and subtitles of a chapter or section
  • Examining illustrations, pictures, graphs, charts, etc.
  • Identifying familiar key vocabulary
  • Defining new and challenging vocabulary

While Reading All Texts

Self-monitoring: Good readers know when they understand what they are reading and when they do not. Teachers should provide students ample opportunity to pause and reflect on reading. When students realize they are not understanding, they can then use “fix-up” strategies to identify and resolve any problems with comprehension.

  • Paraphrasing the difficult passage in their own words
  • Skimming back through the text to see if some parts need to be reread
  • Skimming forward into the text to search for information that might be helpful
  • Asking for help from a teacher or peer
  • Visualizing: making mental pictures about what is happening
  • Creating graphic organizers

Questioning: Good readers actively question while they are reading. Teachers should provide students the opportunity to ask questions of themselves or others about what is being read. These questions provide focus and purpose to the reading. Student-generated questions can also be used after reading for review.

  • Talk and Turn or Elbow Partner Discussions
  • Keeping a reading journal
  • Answering questions while reading
  • Asking students to generate questions while reading
    • Determining the main idea
      • What is the story mostly about?
      • What does the author want us to know?
      • What is the purpose of this text?
      • What details support the main idea?
    • Determining cause and effect
      • What caused that to happen toward the end of the story?
      • What was the effect of …?
      • How did ____ cause ____?
    • Determining sequence of events or information
      • What happened first, second, third, etc.?
      • What do I think will happen next?
      • Does my prediction seem correct, or do I need to change it?

Using Graphic Organizers: Good readers can translate what they are reading into a visual representation. Teachers should provide students different organizational tools for mapping the structure of a text or making connections between ideas.

  • Story/plot maps (example below)
  • Web maps
  • Charts
  • Tables
  • Line graphs
  • Venn diagrams

After Reading All Texts

Summarizing: Good readers can synthesize, or pull together, important information from the text and put it into their own words. Teachers should scaffold summarizing skills to focus students on including only the main points, rather than in-depth details. Being able to summarize helps students remember what they have read.

  • Written summaries
  • Written retelling (main points or certain sections)
  • Dramatic play recreation
  • Small group or whole class discussion
  • Technology-based projects
  • Reading journal covering key points of what they have read

Paraphrasing: Good readers can retell information from a text using their own words. Teachers can ask students to paraphrase after reading a section, or at the end of reading the text.

  • Written retelling of a particular section
  • Dramatic play
  • Turn and Talk
  • Jigsaw with student “experts”

Making Generalizations: Good readers can develop generalized statements about a subject or text by making connections between different parts of a reading. Teachers should ask students to make generalizations to develop their inferential comprehension skills. Teachers can model and help students develop this skill by teaching sentence stems. A helpful sentence stem might be similar to “We read that X and Y happened several times in the reading. Therefore, that must mean that…”

  • Turn and Talk
  • Jigsaw with student “experts”
  • Small group or whole class discussion

Reading Program Development, Implementation, and Coordination

 

The Reading Program Development, Implementation, and Coordination competency has about 12 questions, which account for 10% of the entire exam.

Let’s talk about a couple of specific concepts that you are likely to see on the test.

Increasing Caregiver Involvement in Reading Education

The amount of time spent reading with family and the priority it is given at home has a direct correlation to the student’s academic success. Families and caregivers should be both encouraged by teachers to read with their children and also given a set of tools to make the reading at home meaningful. Teachers can increase the capacity of caregivers who can support reading instruction from home. The table below provides a list of dos and don’ts for advising caregivers to get involved and support reading education.

Interpreting Assessment Data

It is important to have a strong understanding of assessment data, descriptors, and criteria when communicating assessment data to stakeholders. This test will assess your understanding of both qualitative and quantitative data as well as your ability to communicate that data to all stakeholders.

A common assessment that is used for data analysis and communication is state assessment data from the Florida Department of Education. You can expect the Florida Department of Education to use a five-level scoring system to determine the achievement and proficiency levels of students who have taken the test. The table below describes performance levels as determined by the Florida Department of Education (2019).

http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5663/urlt/UnderFSARpt19.pdf

And that’s just a little information about the test.

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