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Praxis Early Childhood Education Ultimate Guide2019-01-04T16:43:37+00:00

Praxis Early Childhood Education: Ultimate Guide

Preparing to take the Praxis Early Childhood Education exam?

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You’ve found the right page. We will answer every question you have and tell you exactly what you need to study to pass the Early Childhood Education exam.

Praxis Early Childhood Education Test Overview

Praxis Early Childhood Education Quick Facts

The Praxis Early Childhood Education tests the knowledge and skills necessary to educate young children in the areas of language arts, math, social studies, science, and fine arts.

Format:

Cost:

$120

Scoring:

The scoring range for this test is 100 – 200. The passing score depends on different states or agencies. The passing scores for different states and agencies are shown below:

Study time:

This test covers a large number of topics, so it is important to start studying as soon as possible. Once you know your testing date, try to create a schedule that will allow you to cover all of the test topics in a reasonable amount of time. Plan to spend at least several weeks studying so that you are not overwhelmed.

What test takers wish they would’ve known:

  • The use of a calculator is not permitted on this test.
  • Pay close attention to questions that include the word not or except, indicating that you should choose the answer choice that does not apply to that scenario.
  • Your score is based on the number of correct answers, so it is better to guess on a question you don’t know than to leave it unanswered.

Information and screenshots obtained from the ETS Praxis website: https://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/5025

Language and Literacy

Overview

The Language and Literacy content category has about 36 multiple-choice questions, which accounts for about 30% of the test.

This part has six sections:

  • Emergent Literacy: Foundational Skills
  • Reading: Foundational Skills
  • Reading: Literature and Informational Text
  • Writing
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Language

       

So, let’s start with Emergent Literacy: Foundational Skills.

Emergent Literacy: Foundational Skills

This section tests your knowledge on setting foundational skills needed for emergent literacy including print and phonological awareness. It also tests your knowledge on differentiating instruction to meet the early literacy needs of all learners.

Let’s discuss some concepts that will more than likely appear on the test.

Concepts About Print

A concept of print is a basic understanding of how text works. Examples of concepts of print include awareness that text is read from left to right and top to bottom, words are made up of letters, sentences are made up of words, an author composes sentences to create meaning, and illustrations match what is written.

A teacher supports these skills by previewing books aloud to point out the title, author, and illustrator of a book. Teachers can also model one-to-one correspondence by pointing to words while reading them aloud, along with the sweeping motion of moving left to right and top to bottom between lines of a text. Teachers need to make sure students can see the text for these type of read alouds!

Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is an understanding of and ability to manipulate the sounds within words. Phonemes are individual sounds in words. A phonologically aware student can identify phonemes in the beginning, middle, and end of words, as well as say what the word would sound like if a phoneme was deleted or substituted for a different one. For example, a student with these skills could replace the /r/ in the word “rock” with /s/ and produce the word “sock.”

Syllables are parts of words that contain a vowel sound. A phonologically aware student can identify the number of syllables a word contains. For example, a student with these skills could count 3 syllables in the word “elephant” (el-e-phant).

An onset is the beginning phonological unit of a word (consonant, consonant blend, or consonant digraph), and a rime is the rest of the word that follows, usually the vowel and remaining consonants. A phonologically aware student can blend onsets and rimes together to make a word and also segment a word into onset and rime. For example, a student with these skills could segment the word “snake” into /sn/ for the onset and /ake/ for the rime.

Reading: Foundational Skills

This section tests your knowledge on foundational skills necessary for a student to be a successful reader.

Here are some concepts that you may see on the test.

Syllabication Patterns

Syllabication patterns are recurring ways vowels and consonants are arranged within words. Recognizing common syllabication patterns helps a reader decode unfamiliar words.

CVC words go in a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern. Some examples are bag, hen, dig, hot, and sun.

VC words go in a vowel-consonant pattern. Some examples are at, egg, am, up, and in.

CV words go in a consonant-vowel pattern. Some examples are be, my, toy, day, and paw.

Fluency

Fluency is the ability to read accurately with expression at an appropriate rate. The components of fluency are accuracy, rate, and prosody. Accuracy refers to reading words correctly in accordance with how they appear on the page. Rate refers to the speed with which one reads. A fluent reader should read at a pace that is easy to understand, not too fast or too slow. Prosody refers to the expression in one’s voice as he or she reads. The expression should match the tone of the text and not sound robotic.

Homonym versus Homograph

Homonyms are words that are spelled and sound the same but have different meanings. The word “kind” is an example of a homonym set. Kind can mean to treat others well, such as:

“My classmate was kind when she smiled at me and let me borrow her pen when I couldn’t find mine.”

Kind can also mean a certain type of something, such as:

“Strawberry is my favorite kind of milkshake.”

Homographs are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. The pronunciation can be the same or different. The word “produce” is an example of a homograph set. Produce can mean to make or create something, such as:

“I will produce a written report for English class.”

Produce can also mean fruits and vegetables, such as:

“I found fresh turnips in the produce section of the grocery store.”

Reading: Literature and Informational Text

This section tests your knowledge on comprehension skills necessary to thoroughly understand various types of text.

Let’s look at some concepts that are guaranteed to come up on the test.

Story Elements

Story elements are basic components of a story including characters, setting, plot, problem, and solution. Let’s use the story The Three Little Pigs as an example.

The characters are who the story is about. In The Three Little Pigs, the pigs and the big, bad wolf are the characters.

The setting is when and where a story takes place. In The Three Little Pigs, the setting is during the day in the countryside.

The plot is the order of important events in a story.

The problem is the issue that arises for the characters in a story. In The Three Little Pigs, the problem is that the big, bad wolf is trying to eat them. He blows down the houses made from straw and sticks.

The solution is how the characters in a story solve their problem. In The Three Little Pigs, all the brothers take refuge in the house built of bricks that the wolf can’t blow down.

Text Organization

Text organization refers to how material in a text is structured to aid readers in comprehension of the text.

Cause/Effect– Authors organize their writing by identifying a cause (why something happened) and explaining the effects (what happened).

Problem/Solution– Authors organize their writing by presenting a problem and describing steps taken or attempts to solve it.

Comparisons– Authors organize their writing by detailing similarities between 2 or more subjects.

Exposition– Authors organize their writing by introducing an argument and attempting to defend their point of view through persuasion.

Rising Action/Climax/Resolution– Authors organize their writing by moving through a rising action, climax, and resolution pattern. First, the author describes the struggles and obstacles a character faces throughout the process of solving a problem. This is the rising action. Next, the author moves to writing the climax, in which the most important or exciting part of the story happens. Last, the author finishes with the resolution, in which the problem is solved and any loose ends for the characters are tied.

Text Complexity

Text complexity refers to the difficulty of a text and it is usually either measured in quantitative or qualitative terms:

Quantitative:

Quantitative complexity refers to readability measures. Different schools often promote different systems of readability measures. These measures usually assign a number or letter to a text in order to reflect its complexity. The quantitative measure is typically measured by software systems. Quantitative measures address word frequency, text cohesion, and the length of words and sentences.

Qualitative:

The qualitative evaluation of text refers to the meaning, structure, clarity, and language complexity of a text. Unlike quantitative complexity, this measure typically involves more human interaction. This measure permeates the surface knowledge involved in interpreting the meaning of words and sentences. Qualitative measurement involves making connections and “reading beyond” the text to analyze and compare outside ideas and experiences.

A drawback to qualitative measures of text complexity is that they are more subjective and difficult to assess. Quantitative measures of text comprehension are easy to gage with software systems, yet they do not reflect deeper interpretations of texts. You may choose to use both quantitative and qualitative measures to assess both straightforward understanding of materials, as well as the ability to draw creative conclusions and formulate new ideas.

Writing

This section tests your knowledge on implementing effective writing instruction to meet the needs of all students in varying stages of writing development.

Here are some specific concepts that will more than likely appear on the test.

Developmental Stages of Writing

Scribbling– Children grasp large writing utensils, such as markers and crayons, to explore space on paper.

Letter-Like Forms and Shapes– Children begin to understand that words and symbols on paper have meaning. Recognizable forms, such as circles and rectangles, may be visible on the page, but there’s little purpose to where and how they are placed.

Letters– Children compose strings of upper-case letters, usually the ones found in their own names, with little attention to directionality or spacing. Letter-sound correspondence is not yet developed.

Letters and Spaces– As concepts of print develop, children begin to demonstrate one-to-one correspondence of words in their own writing with spaces in between them. Beginning and ending sounds are present in words, and some short high-frequency words, such as is, as, the, etc. may be spelled correctly.

Conventional Writing and Spelling– Children use phonetic skills and a greater knowledge of high-frequency words for spelling. They write different pieces for different purposes. Capital and lowercase letters are used appropriately, as well as common punctuation marks. Children have increased fluency in handwriting and spelling, so they are able to write at a higher volume with greater automaticity.

Authoring Cycle

The authoring cycle is a process with stages that writers go through to compose a piece of writing.

Brainstorming– Writers generate ideas based on the prompt or purpose of writing. Ideas may be recorded in list form or on a simple graphic organizer.

Outlining– Writers organize their ideas into a logical sequence.

Drafting– Writers use their outline to expand on each idea and write the first copy of their piece.

Revising– Writers reread their piece and look for places to elaborate, eliminate, or clarify to improve the writing.

Editing– Writers correct any errors in conventions, such as capitalization, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.

Publishing– With regards to the revising and editing stages, writers write a new, final copy of their piece.

Primary versus Secondary Sources

A primary source is an original resource. It is an artifact or document that was created at the actual time of the studied event. Examples include weapons made by Native American tribes or letters written by soldiers in a war.

A secondary source is a created resource. It is a document that explores or discusses information obtained from a primary source. Examples include history textbooks and encyclopedias.

Speaking and Listening

This section tests your knowledge on characteristics of effective, meaningful communicative interaction that involves both speaking and listening.

Take a look at these concepts.

Active Listening

Active listening is a skill that involves fully concentrating on what a speaker is saying to gain a thorough understanding of their message. Someone who is actively listening is not only hearing with their ears, but also looking at the speaker, keeping the rest of their body under control, and thinking about what is being said.

Active listening is important because the listener wants to gain as much meaningful information from the speaker as possible, and because it shows respect to the speaker. It would be disrespectful to the speaker for the listener to look around the room, make noise, or excessively fidget, plus the listener would most likely miss important information.

Modeling Metacognition

Metacognition is thinking about one’s thinking. It is the examination of one’s cognitive processes when taking in and making meaning of information. A teacher can model metacognition by thinking aloud and narrating the mental process taking place. For example, to encourage conversation about a book read aloud, the teacher can talk through his or her own understanding of why the character felt a certain way and pose a question at the end.

Code-Switching

Code-switching is alternating between two types of language. One must know when to use formal language, and when it is appropriate to be casual in communication. A speaker needs to be able to determine which type of language to use based on their intended message and audience, and switch between formal and informal language if appropriate.

Language

This section tests your knowledge on communicating in the English language accurately and effectively.

Let’s talk about some concepts that are likely to pop up on the test.

Sentence Types

A clause is a grammatical unit that contains a subject and predicate. It can stand alone as a complete thought.

A simple sentence contains only 1 clause. Example:

Tasha went to the playground.

A compound sentence contains at least 2 related clauses. Each could stand alone as its own sentence. Example:

I wanted to eat the last piece of pie, but I promised it to my sister.

A compound-complex sentence contains at least 2 related clauses. Also, at least 1 of those clauses is complex, meaning it contains both independent and dependent clauses. Dependent clauses cannot stand alone. Example:

When I get home, I will boil a kettle of water, and my husband will drink a cup of tea.

“When I get home” is the dependent clause in this compound-complex sentence, because it cannot stand alone as a complete thought.

Figurative Language

Figurative language is a way to describe things indirectly. Writers use figurative language to add voice to their writing, encourage the reader to think and make their written piece interesting to read. Some common types of figurative language are simile, metaphor, personification, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, and idiom.

A simile is a comparison using the words “like” or “as.” Example:

The tree was tall like a skyscraper.

A metaphor is a direct comparison. Example:

The tree was a statue in the silent forest.

Personification gives human-like qualities or actions to non-human objects. Example:

The tree stretched its branches wide and invited the bird to use them as her new home.

An onomatopoeia is a sound word. Example:

Crunch! Crack! I stepped on dry acorns that fell from the tree.

A hyperbole is an over-the-top exaggeration that is not meant to be taken literally. Example:

I rested under a tree after my jog on the trails in the forest. I was so tired, I could have slept there through the whole winter.

An idiom is a common colloquial phrase that has a figurative, not literal, meaning. Example:

I barked up the wrong tree when I spent hours making pecan pie for my mother-in-law. I forgot she was allergic to nuts!

“Barking up the wrong tree” is an idiom that means to make a mistake or follow the wrong course.

Tiered Vocabulary

Tiered vocabulary is a structured framework for classifying types of words.

Tier 1 vocabulary includes common words. These are basic vocabulary words that typically do not require direct instruction. They occur frequently in everyday spoken language and usually only have one meaning. Some examples are happy, run, and animal.

Tier 2 vocabulary includes high-frequency words that occur across the curriculum. They are not heard as often as Tier 1 vocabulary words and may have multiple meanings. Students who are not yet mature language users may require direct instruction on these vocabulary words when found in print. Some examples are data, process, and contrast.

Tier 3 vocabulary includes content-specific words that are typically only used within that specific content. Students require direct instruction on these vocabulary words in order to demonstrate mastery of the content. Some examples are continent, sedimentary, and democracy.

And that’s some basic info about the Language and Literacy content category.

Mathematics

Overview

The Mathematics content category has about 30 multiple-choice questions, which accounts for about 25% of the test.

This part has five sections:

  • Emergent Mathematics: Foundational Skills
  • Numbers and Operations- Whole Numbers
  • Numbers and Operations- Fractions
  • Algebraic Thinking
  • Geometry, Measurement, and Data

       

So, let’s start with Emergent Mathematics: Foundational Skills.

Emergent Mathematics: Foundational Skills

This section tests your knowledge on foundational skills necessary for future success in more advanced mathematics.

Here are some concepts likely to appear on the test.

One-to-One Correspondence

One-to-one correspondence is a foundational math skill in which a child counts the number of objects in a set accurately. Teachers can help children use and master one-to-one correspondence by modeling counting objects in a set, making sure to only touch each object one time and verbalizing the correct corresponding number. Teachers should gradually release children to perform this skill independently, starting with hand-over-hand counting if needed.

Subitizing

Subitizing is the ability to accurately identify the number of objects in a set with automaticity. Teachers can help children instantly recognize “how many” through repeated practice. Teachers can use a variety of models for repetition, such as dots in ten frames, dominos, playing cards, dice, and even their own hands with different numbers of fingers up.

Conservation of Number

Conservation of number is the understanding that the number of objects in a set does not change when they are rearranged. Teachers can help children understand this concept by arranging a number of objects, such as unifix cubes, in a single row and counting them aloud. The teacher can then arrange the cubes into multiple rows and ask students how many cubes they think there are now. To prove that the number of cubes did not change, they should be counted aloud again. The practice can continue with different arrangements!

Numbers and Operations- Whole Numbers

This section tests your knowledge on mathematical skills involving whole numbers and operations.

Let’s take a look at a few concepts you may see on the test.

Place Value

Place value is how much a digit is worth based on its position in a number.

This is the number 6,371,054,902 in a place value chart.

You may be asked to identify the value of a digit in a number, such as knowing the 1 in the millions place has a value of 1,000,000.

Expanded Form

Expanded form is a way to write a number that represents the full value of each individual digit.

Rectangular Arrays

A rectangular array is an arrangement of objects into rows and columns that form a rectangle. It is a visual representation of multiplication. Take a look at this rectangular array:

http://www.familymathnight.com/pdf/RectangularArrays.pdf

Numbers and Operations-Fractions

This section tests your knowledge on working with fractions in multiple ways.

Take a look at these concepts.

Converting Fractions to Decimals and Percents

To convert a fraction to a decimal, divide the denominator into the numerator. Example:

⅛ = 1 ÷ 8 = 0.125

To convert a fraction to a percent, first convert the fraction to a decimal by dividing the denominator into the numerator. Then, move the decimal point 2 places to the right and add a percent symbol. Example:

⅗ = 3 ÷ 5 = 0.6 = 60%

Comparing Fractions

When comparing fractions, make sure the denominator is the same then use the numerator to make the comparison. For example:

 ⅘ is greater than  ( ⅘ > ⅖ ) because 4 is more than 2.

If the denominator is not the same, you can convert the fraction into an equivalent fraction to make the comparison. For example, ¾ and  do not have the same denominator. To compare them, convert ¾ to the equivalent fraction of 6/8. Now you can see that 6/8, which is the same as ¾, is greater than ⅝ because 6 is more than 5.

Algebraic Thinking

This section tests your ability to recognize and use patterns and relationships in numbers to solve mathematical problems.

Here are some concepts you may see on the test.

Order of Operations

The order of operations is the order in which computations must be completed in a math problem. The order of operations is as follows:

  1. Parenthesis
  2. Exponents
  3. Multiplication & Division
  4. Addition & Subtraction

This means that in a given math expression, anything that is contained within parenthesis must be completed first. After solving the expressions in the parenthesis, you would solve any part of the expression with an exponent. After the exponents, you would solve any multiplication or division portion of the problem, in the order they appear in the problem moving left to right. The last step is to solve any addition or subtraction parts of the problem, again moving left to right.  

A common misconception about the order of operations is that multiplication comes before division and addition comes before subtraction. This is not the case. When you are at the multiplication and division step, you will solve whichever one comes first when you read the problem from left to right. The same thing applies to the addition and subtraction step. The order of operations can be remembered by the acronym PEMDAS.

Let’s work an example together:

30 –  (7 – 3)  x 5 + 4

  1. (7 – 3) would be solved first, because it is contained within parenthesis. The expression would now be: 30 – 4 x 5 + 4
  2. There are no exponents in this expression, so you would move on to multiplication and division and solve 4 x 5. The expression would now be:  30 – 20 + 4.
  3. The next step is addition and subtraction. Since the subtraction occurs first in this problem when read from left to right, you would do that first. The expression would now be 10 + 4.
  4. To complete the problem, you would solve 10 + 4 to get an answer of 14.

Solving for x

Solving for x means finding the value of an unknown variable. An equal sign means “the same as,” so the expressions on both sides of the equal sign should have the same value. Let’s look at a very simple problem:

2x + 2 = 12

You can work backward using opposite operations to find the value of x. Subtract 2 from 12 and it becomes 10:

2x = 10

Now, divide 10 by 2 and it becomes 5:

x = 5

Plug that in for x and double check your equation to make sure it works out:

2(5) + 2 = 12 … check!

Geometric Sequences

A geometric sequence is a series of numbers in which the next number is determined by multiplying the previous number by a constant, or number that does not change. Example:

1, 3, 9, 27, 81, 243, 729…

The constant in this geometric sequence is 3. Other than the starting point of 1, each number was multiplied by 3 to get the next number.

Geometry, Measurement, and Data

This section tests your knowledge on the process, skills, and concepts needed to effectively work with shapes, solve problems using measurement, and interpret data represented in visual form.

Let’s look at some concepts that are likely to pop up on the test.

Area

Area is a measurement of the space that covers a 2D shape.

To find the area of a square or rectangle, multiply the length by the width:

A = length x width

To find the area of a triangle, multiply the base by the height then divide it in half:

A = ½(base x height)

To find the area of a circle, multiply 𝞹 (3.14) by the radius (the length halfway across the circle) squared (times itself):

A = 𝞹r²

Volume

Volume is a measurement of the space inside a 3D shape.

To find the volume of a rectangular prism, multiply the width by the height, then multiply that product by the length:

V = width x height x length

To find the volume of a pyramid, multiply the length by the width by the height, then divide that product by 3:

V = (length x width x height)/3

To find the volume of a cone, multiply 𝞹 (3.14) by the radius squared, then multiply that product by the height divided by 3:

V = 𝞹r²*h/3

To find the volume of a sphere, multiply 4/by the product of 𝞹 (3.14) and the radius to the power of 3:

V = 4/3*𝞹r³

Line Plots

Line plots are visual representations of data. They present data by showing frequency across a number line. Look at this example of a line plot:

Social Studies

Overview

The Social Studies content category has about 17 multiple-choice questions, which accounts for about 14% of the test.

This part has five sections:

  • Identity, Social, and Emotional Development
  • Culture and Cultural Identity
  • People, Places, and Environments
  • Time, Continuity, and Change
  • Civics and Government

       

So, let’s start with Identity, Social, and Emotional Development.

Identity, Social, and Emotional Development

This section tests your knowledge on fostering skills related to personal and interpersonal growth and development.

Let’s look at some concepts that are likely to pop up on the test.

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is an understanding of oneself in regards to personality and behavior. It helps students recognize their personal strengths and weaknesses and how their choices and actions affect other people. Teachers can help children develop self-awareness through read alouds and discussions using books in which characters find themselves in social situations relevant to their students. Teachers can also conference with students about their performance in the classroom, set goals with students, and follow up with feedback and reflection.

Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal relationships are bonds or associations between 2 or more people. They are important because people live, work, and socialize with others throughout their lives. Social norms are ways we expect others to act because it is the appropriate or courteous thing to do. We expect others to listen when we speak without interrupting or walking away. This is an example of a social norm. Another example is the expectation of the use of polite conversational exchanges at appropriate times, such as “please”, “thank you”, “good morning”, “goodbye”, etc.

Culture and Cultural Identity

This section tests your knowledge on culture and its impact on our lives and the lives of others.

Take a look at some concepts that you may see on the test.

Culture

Culture encompasses the norms, values, and beliefs of a certain societal group. It is important to study culture to develop both self-awareness and an awareness of others. The study of culture helps people understand how and why others may think and act differently than they do.

Wants versus Needs

A want is something a person would like to have. A want is not essential to survival. Examples include toys, vacations, video games, candy, and make-up.

A need is something a person must have in order to survive. Examples include food, air, shelter, clothing, and water.

Diversity

Diversity is the inclusion of people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures in a group. It is important so we can experience interacting with people who are not exactly like us. It is important to learn tolerance and acceptance of others.

People, Places, and Environments

This section tests your knowledge on geographic skills and the impact the environment has on living things.

Take a look at these concepts.

Maps

A map is a visual, scaled representation of a place and its features.

Types of Maps

A political map shows boundaries and the location of cities.

A physical map shows physical features, such as bodies of water and landforms, and uses color (such as blue for water and brown for mountains) to represent them.

A topographic map is similar to a physical map, but it uses contour lines instead of color to show differences in elevation and landscape.

A climatic map shows information about the common climate of certain areas.

A road map shows transportation routes, such as highways and railways, and is used to navigate an area.

Map Features

A compass rose shows the cardinal directions used to determine if a part of a map is north, south, east, or west of another part.

A map key or legend shows any symbols that may be found on a map and labels what they represent.

A map scale provides the ratio of the distance on the map to the actual distance on the ground.

Biomes

A biome is a community of living things that have specific characteristics that help them survive in their environment.

Types of Biomes

The aquatic biome is a part of Earth covered in water, including freshwater and saltwater.

Tundra biomes have plant and animal habitats, despite their positions as the coldest places on Earth. They receive even less rainfall than the deserts.

The forest biome is the largest, and its most notable feature is its trees. A large variety of plants, animals, and microscopic organisms make this biome their home.

The desert biome has hardly any plant life due to its extreme climate. There are hot deserts in Africa and cold deserts in Antarctica that are similar to the tundra.

The grassland biome receives enough rainfall to sustain rolling hills of grass, but not enough to sustain many trees.

Types of Communities

Rural communities consist largely of farmlands and open spaces. Homes and buildings are spread far apart. You are unlikely to see major roads or highways in a rural community.

Urban communities are cities. Buildings are close together and are often tall, like high-rises and skyscrapers. Urban communities are crowded with people. It is common for people to walk or use public transportation to make it to their destinations.

Suburban communities are outside the city. There are many neighborhoods and shopping centers. A lot of people live in a suburb and commute to the city to work. There are major roads in a suburb, and there is usually close access to a major highway that connects the suburb to the city.

Time, Continuity, and Change

This section tests your knowledge on the concepts of past, present, and future and visual tools that represent an event’s place in time.

Here’s a concept you may see on the test.

Timelines

A timeline is a tool that puts events in chronological order in a visual way. You can use a timeline to order events by moving left to right (earliest event to the latest event). Mark the timeline with the dates and a brief description of the events.

Here is an example of a timeline:

Civics and Government

This section tests your knowledge on civic participation and how it relates to and influences government.

Let’s talk about some specific concepts.

Rights and Responsibilities

Citizens’ rights are freedoms that are protected by the governmental doctrines, including the Constitution and Bill of Rights. For example, citizens have the right to petition and protest, as long as they are following the laws.

Citizens’ responsibilities are the right things to do to work for the common good of their community. Citizens should follow laws to keep their community safe and well-functioning. For example, citizens have the responsibility to properly dispose of trash and not fill their community with litter.

Considering Other Perspectives

Teachers can help children consider other perspectives through age-appropriate, relevant discussion that ties back into civic responsibility. For example, a teacher could read aloud a book about elections and voting, such as Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, and pose questions about why different characters in the book chose to vote for the different candidates for class president.

And that’s some basic info about the Social Studies content category.

Science

Overview

The Science content category has about 17 multiple-choice questions, which accounts for about 14% of the test.

This part has five sections:

  • Fundamental Concepts and Processes of Scientific Inquiry
  • Physical Science
  • Earth and Space Science
  • Life Science
  • Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science

       

So, let’s start with Fundamental Concepts and Processes of Scientific Inquiry.

Fundamental Concepts and Processes of Scientific Inquiry

This section tests your knowledge on fundamental concepts and scientific processes and skills applied across scientific disciplines.

Let’s talk about some specific concepts.

The Scientific Process

The scientific process in a series of steps used to organize a procedure to acquire scientific knowledge:

  1. Make an observation. What do you notice about the world that you want to know more about?
  2. Pose a question. What specifically are you seeking to discover?
  3. Do research. What background information can you learn about your concept from reputable science resources?
  4. Form a hypothesis. What do you predict that you will discover through your experiment?
  5. Conduct an experiment. How can you test your hypothesis?
  6. Draw conclusions. What does the data from the experiment lead you to believe about your hypothesis?
  7. Communicate results. How can you share your findings with others?

The scientific process can be applied to early childhood education through guided investigations about scientific topics in the curriculum. The teacher can lead students through the process, modeling the steps but allowing opportunity for students to make their own predictions. A great tool for students to record their scientific observations is a science journal!

Making Inferences

Schema (Background Knowledge) + Observations/Evidence = Inference

Scientists use what they already know about the scientific concept and evidence gathered through observation or experimentation to make an inference or draw a conclusion. For example, let’s imagine a class is studying the states of matter. Students already know that a balloon needs gas inside it to inflate. Students observe that when a deflated balloon is placed on top of a bottle with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar inside, it inflates. They can make the inference that the baking soda and vinegar mixture produced a gas that filled the balloon.

Simple Tools

Some simple tools that may be used in early childhood science education include hand lenses, safety goggles, plastic beakers, pan balances, stopwatches, rulers, measuring tapes, thermometers, and magnets.

Physical Science

This section tests your knowledge on scientific concepts that relate to the physical world such as states of matter, forms of energy, and force and motion.

Here are some specific concepts that may pop up on the test.

States of Matter

Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. The 3 states of matter are solids, liquids, and gases.

A solid is a form of matter that is visible and has its own shape. It must be physically moved or altered to change, like bending a pipe cleaner or cutting paper. Examples of solids include rocks, cotton balls, cups, ice cubes, and computers.

A liquid is a form of matter that is visible and takes the shape of its container. Liquids are pourable and some flow fast while others flow slowly. Examples of liquids include water, paint, honey, oil, and vinegar.

A gas is a form of matter that is not always visible and fills the space it is in entirely. Examples of gases include oxygen, helium, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and neon.

Forms of Energy

Energy is the ability to make things change or move. Energy comes in a variety of forms.

Potential energy is the energy contained in an object based on its position or state. Examples include non-moving air (potential wind) or a pulled rubber band.

Kinetic energy is the energy an object has based on its motion. Examples include heat energy, sound energy, electrical energy, and light energy.

Heat energy is the movement of heat from one object to another caused by a difference in temperature. Heat is energy that we feel such as fire, the sun, or appliances like hair dryers and ovens.

Sound energy is the movement of vibrations through the air. Sound is energy that we hear, such as music, voices, and noises.

Electrical energy is the movement of electrical charges. Electrical charges that move through a wire bring electricity into homes and buildings for uses such as lighting and powering heating and air conditioning units.

Light energy is electromagnetic radiation through space. Light is energy that we see, such as fire, the sun, lightbulbs, and electronic screens.

Motion

Motion is movement from one place to another or a change in position. Motion occurs constantly and in many ways (roll, turn, bend, etc.) and directions (up, down, sideways, etc.). Objects move by force, which is a push or a pull.

Earth and Space Science

This section tests your knowledge on information about Earth and outer space.

Take a look at these concepts.

The Lunar Cycle

The lunar cycle is comprised of the stages of the appearance of the moon. The moon does not create its own light. It reflects light from the sun. As the moon orbits Earth, the portion of the moon that we can see lit up by the sun changes. The phases the moon cycles through every 28 days are new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, third quarter, and waning crescent.

Climate

Climate is the typical weather pattern of a particular area over a period of time. For example, the Houston, Texas area is known for having a hot, humid climate in the summer. Weather describes what the air outside is like at the moment, while climate describes what the weather is usually like at a certain time of year for a certain place.

The Rock Cycle

A rock is a solid, natural resource that is composed of different minerals. Rocks are continuously changing through a process known as the rock cycle. A rock can cycle through being in the form of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic over time.

Igneous rocks are hardened lava or magma from a volcano. Examples include granite and basalt.

Sedimentary rocks are formed by sediment (pieces of pre-existing rock) compacting together and solidifying. Examples include shale and limestone.

Metamorphic rocks are found within Earth’s crust and are formed through heat and pressure. Examples include slate and marble.

Life Science

This section tests your knowledge on living things and the environments in which they make their homes.

Here are some concepts that are likely to appear on the test.

Basic Needs of Living Things

The basic needs of living things are things they must have to survive. Examples include food, water, shelter, and air.

Habitats

Habitats are the natural homes of living things. They are places where plants and animals live and contain what the plants and animals need for survival. For example, sharks’ habitat is the saltwater ocean while frogs live in freshwater ponds. These different habitats provide what the different animals need to thrive.

Life Cycles

Life cycles are the stages living things go through in their lifetimes. For example, a tadpole hatches from a soft egg in water laid by an adult frog. The tadpole grows into a froglet, then continues to grow into an adult frog. Adult frogs are capable of reproducing to lay eggs and continue the cycle again.

Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science

This section tests your knowledge on using problem-solving to change or improve a situation using science.

You may see the following concept on the test.

Problem-Solving

Problem-solving in science looks like identifying a situation that has potential for change or improvement and developing a plan to find a solution. For example, students may be presented with a situation involving transporting animals from one place to another through challenging terrain. Teachers can facilitate a problem-solving process, taking students through stages of brainstorming, sketching, then modeling potential solutions. Once students have created age-appropriate models, they can test them out and improve them based on their findings.

Health and Physical Education; Creative and Performing Arts

Overview

The Health and Physical Education; Creative and Performing Arts content category has about 20 multiple-choice questions, which accounts for about 17% of the test.

This part has four sections:

  • Health
  • Physical Education
  • Purposes and Functions of the Arts
  • Structures and Processes Within the Arts

       

So, let’s start with Health.

Health

This section tests your knowledge on the basic workings of the human body and how to promote the physical and emotional well-being of children.

Here are some concepts that are likely to appear on the test.

The Digestive System

The digestive system is comprised of the parts of the human body that work together to process food. Food must be broken down to be converted to energy for use of the body.

Digestion starts in the mouth where food is chewed, then moves through the esophagus to the stomach. The stomach’s walls have very strong muscles that churn the food and break it down into even smaller pieces with the help of gastric juices. The food then enters the small intestines, which is approximately 22 feet long. The pancreas, liver, and gallbladder all work with the small intestines to help the body absorb the nutritional components of the food. After about 4 hours in the small intestines, the food has become a watery substance that is ready to move into the large intestines. The large intestine is approximately 5 feet long and includes the colon, where any remaining water and nutrients have another chance to be absorbed into the blood. Any waste materials remaining move into the rectum and are eliminated from the body through a bowel movement.

Nutrition

A nutritious diet is composed of a variety of food that maintains a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins should be the main components. Proper hydration, especially through the consumption of water, is also imperative for a healthy diet. Teachers can help students make healthy choices by offering healthy snacks and drinks when and if that is part of the classroom routine. Students can also be directly taught about proper nutrition, and teachers can model healthy choices whenever eating with their students.

Physical Education

This section tests your knowledge on the importance of physical fitness throughout the lifetime and how to instill and promote these healthy habits in young children.

Let’s look at some concepts you may see on the test.

Gross Motor Development

Gross motor development is the process through which children develop the strength and skills necessary for whole-body movements involving large muscles of the body, such as standing and walking. It also includes hand-eye coordination, which is necessary for activities such as catching and throwing.

It starts in infancy and typically progresses through milestones of rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, walking, running, jumping, and standing on one foot. All of these milestones also go through stages of different levels of scaffolding and support until they are mastered independently. Ability to pick up and then carry objects is also part of gross motor development.

Teachers can help young children develop gross motor skills by providing opportunity for time on a playground, as well as other activities like hopscotch, games involving catching and throwing or rolling balls, and games that promote body awareness, such as “Simon Says.”

Fine Motor Development

Fine motor development is the process through which children develop the strength and skills necessary for finger and hand movements, such as grasping and holding objects. It starts in infancy and typically progresses through milestones involving stages of grasping and manipulating objects, self-feeding, coloring, cutting, writing, and playing with different types of small toys. Teachers can help young children develop fine motor skills by encouraging proper pencil and scissor grip, which will follow them throughout their years of schooling. Teachers can also provide opportunity for a variety of activities that promote fine motor skills, such as puzzles, finger paint, peg-board play, stringing beads, and building with blocks.

Physical Fitness Across Content Areas

Physical fitness can impact learning across content areas because there is a strong, research-based connection between exercise and the brain. Exercise prepares students for learning by increasing attention and motivation. It also promotes the development of new nerve cells, which aids in the retention of new information. Physical fitness can also improve students’ mental health, helping lessen stress and anxiety, which also promotes learning across the content areas.

Purposes and Functions of the Arts

This section tests your knowledge on the creation of and response to visual and performing arts.

Take a look at these concepts.

Purposes of Art

Visual and performing arts provide opportunity for people to express themselves in abstract ways. For example, a child who is experiencing sadness but having trouble articulating the feeling with words may create a painting with blue storm clouds to represent how he or she feels. Another example is a child expressing joy through dance.

Responding to Art

Children can respond to visual and performing arts by expressing what the piece of art meant to them. They can explain what feeling or emotion they thought the artist tried to capture with his or her art. Children can also use observed art as inspiration to create their own.

Structures and Processes Within the Arts

This section tests your knowledge on the basic components used to create visual and performing arts and how the arts positively impact young students.

Here are some concepts that are likely to appear on the test.

Tempo

Tempo is the rate at which a piece of music is played. Some pieces of music are meant to be played faster than others. Musical composers have ideas in mind of feelings they wish to evoke in their listeners through their music. Musical pieces at a fast tempo sound happy or excited, while pieces at a slow tempo can sound sad or sleepy.

Color Wheel

A color wheel is a circular, visual tool that shows different color hues and the relationship they have with each other.

Primary colors cannot be mixed from other colors. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.

Secondary colors are made by combining two primary colors together. The secondary colors are orange, green, and violet.

Tertiary colors are made by combining primary and secondary colors together. The tertiary colors are red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, red-violet, and blue-violet.

Rhythm

Rhythm is the pattern of sounds and breaks and the length of time between each in a piece of music. Teachers can help young children develop and feel rhythm through a variety of musical activities. Students can clap, stomp, or pat their legs to match the rhythm of familiar songs. Teachers can use the popular attention-getter of clapping a certain rhythm and having students clap it back in the same way as a signal to listen throughout the content areas to encourage rhythmic development.

Language and Literacy Practice Test

Question 1

Which of the following statements about reading instruction is most accurate?

  1. Students who do not ask for individualized reading instruction should not be provided individualized reading instruction
  2. It is best to assess students’ reading comprehension through formal assessments
  3. Reading comprehension is increased when reading fluency is increased
  4. Reading should be taught to students by separating individual concepts and addressing each concept separately

Correct answer: 3. This is a correct correlation.

Question 2

Which of the following is the best definition of qualitative evaluation of text complexity?

  1. Qualitative evaluation analyzes the level of meaning, structure, language conventionality, clarity, and knowledge demands of a text
  2. Qualitative evaluation analyzes the readability measures and other scores of text complexity
  3. Qualitative evaluation analyzes the reader variables, such as motivation, knowledge, and experience of a reader
  4. Qualitative evaluation should not be used in analyzing text complexity

Correct answer: 1. Text complexity is simply how challenging text material is for the students at their specific grade level. Determining text complexity is important in proper assessment of students because the level will help the teacher understand how best to interpret students’ assessment scores. Qualitative evaluation of text complexity measures the qualitative dimensions of a text, such as the level of meaning, structure, language conventionality, and knowledge demands. Qualitative evaluation of text complexity seeks to understand how difficult a text is for the reader.

Question 3

A kindergarten teacher is going to read a story about two children visiting the aquarium. Which of the following activities is the best way to introduce the text to promote comprehension?

  1. Complete a KWL chart
  2. Listen to the story on audio
  3. Have students write about their own experiences with aquatic animals
  4. Find the aquarium on a map

Correct answer: 1. This is correct because completing a KWL chart before and after reading the text helps build and activate background knowledge, which promotes reading comprehension.

Question 4

An early childhood teacher would offer which scenario to assess a student’s phonological awareness understanding?   

I. “Count the Words” where a teacher says a short sentence aloud and, after repeating it a few times, the student places a number one, two, three, etc. on his/her desk depending on the number of words in the sentence   

II. “Stepping Sentences” where a teacher calls on a group of students to stand when their assigned word is called aloud

III. “Syllable Segmentation” where a teacher has a student clap on every syllable of a word that is called aloud

IV. Assigning phonetic principles and symbols to portions of words

  1. I and II
  2. I and III
  3. I, II, and III
  4. II, III, and IV

Correct answer: 3. These are activities that are good to use in assessing students’ phonological awareness abilities.

Question 5

Which of the following will best support early elementary students in the prewriting stage of the writing process?

  1. Allowing students to use verbal communication to organize their thoughts
  2. Reviewing the first draft of each student’s writing
  3. Modeling the proper way to organize writing resources
  4. Working with upper elementary students to provide student-reviews and student guidance on brainstorming

Correct answer: 1. The prewriting stage is when the students collect their thoughts, resources, and possibly an outline for a writing assignment. Allowing students to verbally communicate to organize their thoughts is a great support for early elementary education students.

Question 6

Which of the following sentences best demonstrates active listening?

  1. “I liked the movie because of all the famous actors and action sequences.”
  2. “How could you not like the movie?”
  3. “John thinks the movie overlooked the plot in favor of extended action sequences.”
  4. “I will write on my blog that the movie was entertaining.”

Correct answer: 3. Active listening is a process of being engaged and responding to another person in a way to build and improve communication. Active listeners spend more time listening than speaking. Paraphrasing someone else’s thoughts best demonstrates active listening because it demonstrates an understanding of another person’s communication.

Question 7

A prekindergarten teacher assesses a student by asking questions based on the following scenario:    

The teacher says, “Listen to me as I say some words very slowly.  If I say /c/ /at/, you know the word is ‘cat’. What would the word be if I said  /d/ /og/?”

This teacher is assessing what skill?

  1. Deleting final sounds
  2. Blending Phonemes
  3. Print Awareness
  4. Listening Comprehension

Correct answer: 2. This is the correct answer. The teacher is assessing students’ ability to blend sounds together to make them into words.

Question 8

Since very young children (age birth-4) learn oral language through family and friends, the early childhood teacher should first establish a common language among all the students. This can be achieved through:  

I. labeling items throughout the room.

II.pointing to words while reading picture books.

III. creating a Word Wall comprised of words the students supply from prior experience.

IV. prioritizing state curriculum words.

  1. I and II
  2. II and III
  3. III and IV
  4. I and IV

Correct answer: 1. I. This is one of the correct answers. It is an excellent strategy to use with Early Childhood students in order to help establish a common language among all students.  Labeling items allows all students to refer to all items with the same language. II. This is also a correct answer. This gives all students the same context clues for language.

Question 9

Read the sentence below and answer the question:

Even though the man laughed, he said he did not like the play.

The sentence is an example of which of the following?

  1. Simple sentence
  2. Compound sentence
  3. Complex sentence
  4. Compound-complex sentence

Correct answer: 3. A complex sentence contains an independent clause and at least one dependent clause. An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence and has a complete thought while a dependent clause, even though it has a subject and a verb, cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. The dependent clause of the sentence is “Even though the man laughed” because this is not a complete thought; the independent clause of the sentence is “he said he did not like to play.”

Question 10

Which of the following syllable types is the last syllable in the word “rename”?

  1. The r-controlled syllable
  2. A vowel-consonant-e syllable
  3. A closed syllable
  4. A vowel team syllable

Correct answer: 2. A vowel-consonant-e syllable has a vowel controlled by a silent “e”. An example of a vowel-consonant-e syllable would be the last syllable in the work “wake”. The syllable “ake” has a long-vowel /a/ followed by a consonant and ending in a silent “e”. Another example is found in the word “rename” in the question; the “ame” syllable has a long /a/ because of the silent “e” at the end of the word.

Mathematics Practice Test

Question 1

In a kindergarten class, the students are lining up for lunch. The teacher begins calling the first four or five students to line up in boy-girl order. She stops after the fifth student and asks the question, “Class, who do you think I might pick to go next in line? Why?” What math concept is the teacher most likely teaching?

  1. Ordinal number of a set member
  2. Patterns to make prediction
  3. Cardinal number of a set
  4. Fairness in making choices

Correct answer: 2. The teacher is teaching or rehearsing an ABABA pattern sequence. In this case, it is boy, girl, boy, girl, boy. Based on the teacher’s choices thus far, the next person should be a girl.

Question 2

Which of the following activities is most effective in helping kindergarten students understand measurement of the lengths of small items, such as juice boxes or lunch boxes?

  1. Watching the teacher estimate the length of the item using a student’s arm or leg
  2. Placing same-size objects, such as Legos or cubes, next to the object and counting the number of objects
  3. Tracing the items on construction paper and cutting the construction paper to have a two-dimensional replica of the item
  4. Listening to a teacher explain how to use a ruler to measure the objects

Correct answer: 2. This is correct because having the student count the number of cubes and placing the cubes next to each item provide a visual for the student to use in determining the length.

Question 3

Jose bought lunch for himself and his brother and sister. His lunch cost $4.75, his brother’s was $3.70, and his little sister’s was $2.25.  How much change should Jose receive from his $20 bill?

  1. One 5 dollar bill, four 1 dollar bills, two quarters, and two dimes
  2. Two 5 dollar bills, two quarters, one dime, and one nickel
  3. One 5 dollar bill, four 1 dollar bills, one quarter, and one nickel
  4. One 5 dollar bill, four 1 dollar bills, one quarter, three dimes, and three nickels

Correct answer: 3. Jose spent a total of: $4.75 + 3.70 + 2.25 = $10.70. So, he should have $20 – 10.70 = $9.30 in change. Choice A adds up to $9.70, Choice B adds up to $10.70, Choice C adds up to $9.30, and Choice D adds up to $9.70.

Question 4

The state sales tax is 7.5%. Which number could also represent 7.5%?

  1. 0.0075
  2. 3/40
  3. 3/4
  4. 0.75

Correct answer: 2. There is always the option of arriving at the answer by eliminating incorrect answer choices, but it is always a good idea to double-check the final choice. In the case of this question, 3/40 = 0.075 = 75/1000 = 7.5/100 = 7.5%.

Question 5

If the pattern above is continued, how many blocks will be in the 7th term?

  1. 28
  2. 45
  3. 36
  4. 21

Correct answer: 3. 21 would be the blocks required for the 5th model. 28 would be the 6th model. 45 is the number of blocks required for the 8th model.

Question 6

Simplify: 14 – 2 × 5

  1. 4
  2. 60
  3. 24
  4. -60

Correct answer: 1. To get the correct final value of 4, the Order of Operations must be followed. In this problem, there are two operations occurring: subtraction and multiplication. Because the order of operations, commonly abbreviated by the acronym PEMDAS, requires that multiplication be completed before subtraction (PEMDAS), the problem must be simplified as 14 – 2 × 5 = 14 – 10 = 4 in order to come to the correct final answer.

Question 7

In a prekindergarten class, two students have discovered that four butter tubs full of sand will fill a plastic pitcher. This learning is best described as:

  1. informal standard measurement.
  2. formal standard measurement.
  3. formal non-standard measurement.
  4. informal non-standard measurement.

Correct answer: 4. Feet, inches, cups, gallons, meters, centimeters, grams, etc. are standard measurement. However, butter tubs and plastic pitchers are non-standard measuring devices. Formal activities are generally teacher-developed and completed by all students. Informal activities are developed or discovered by the student, and with younger students this discovery often occurs during play. This “play” activity is informal and results in a discovery about the relationship between butter tubs and a pitcher; both are non-standard measuring tools. Therefore, this is the correct answer.

Question 8

What is the area, in square units, of the figure above?

  1. 150
  2. 175
  3. 200
  4. 260

Correct answer: 2. The area of the shape can be found using the information from the picture. One way to solve the problem is to think of the shape as a square and a triangle; finding the area of each shape and combining those areas will give the total area. The area of the square is length (L) multiplied by the width (W). The length of the side, before the shape of the triangle begins, which is 15, multiplied by the width of the square, which is 10: 15 * 10 = 150. The area of a triangle is the height of the triangle (H), times the width of the triangle (W), divided by ½. The height of the triangle can be found by subtracting the total length of the shape by the length before the triangle shape begins: 20 – 15 = 5. The height of the triangle is 5. The area of the triangle is (5) * (10) / ½ = 25. The area of the triangle (25) plus the area of the square (150) is 25 + 150 = 175 square units.

Question 9

Christopher had a basketball tournament on Saturday from 10:45 am to 6:15 pm. How long was the tournament?

  1. 8 hours, 30 minutes
  2. 4 hours, 30 minutes
  3. 7 hours, 30 minutes
  4. 6 hours, 30 minutes

Correct answer: 3. There are several reasonable approaches to calculating lengths of time. Many people find it easiest to simply add hours from 10:45 am to 5:45 pm and then add minutes from 5:45 pm to 6:15 pm. Using this method, counting can begin from 10:45 am to 11:45 am (1 hour) to 12:45 pm (2 hours) to 1:45 pm (3 hours) to 2:45 pm (4 hours) to 3:45 pm (5 hours) to 4:45 pm (6 hours) to 5:45 pm (7 hours) and continue with 5:45 pm to 6:00 pm (15 minutes) to 6:15 pm (30 minutes), to come up with the correct final answer of 7 hours, 30 minutes. Another option that is useful for a change from AM to PM is to work within a 24-hour clock system, commonly known as military time. The military clock considers midnight the “0” hour and continues through each hour of the morning using the same hours (and minutes) as conventional times. However, 1 pm on a military clock would be called “13:00,” 2 pm would be “14:00”, etc. so that any time from 1 pm and onward is found by adding 12 to the hour portion of the time (and not altering the minutes in any way). This simple conversion to military time makes subtraction between a “PM” time and an “AM” time straight-forward. In the case of this problem, 6:15 pm can be thought of as 18:15, and so the subtraction of the end time – the start time will be 18:15 – 10:45. In this case, 1 hour must be converted into 60 minutes so that the subtraction of minutes can be performed. Accordingly, 18:15 becomes 17:75 (1 hour less and 60 minutes more), and so the subtraction is 17:75 – 10:45. The difference is 7 hours and 30 minutes, the correct answer to this question.

Question 10

What is the place value of the “3” in the number 15,436,129?

  1. Ten Thousands
  2. Thousands
  3. Hundred Thousands
  4. Millions

Correct answer: 1. This is the correct answer.

Social Studies Practice Test

Question 1

Which of the following is a responsibility of citizenship?

  1. Running for office
  2. Serving in the military
  3. Paying taxes
  4. Voting in elections

Correct answer: 3. This is a responsibility – all citizens are responsible to pay taxes.

Question 2

Which of the following includes all five biomes?

  1. Rainforests, savannas, deserts, forests, and ice packs
  2. Insects, snakes, reptiles, mammals, and marsupials
  3. Forests, aquatic, grasslands, deserts, and tundras
  4. Humans, birds, plants, monkeys, and primates

Correct answer: 3. A biome is an ecological system which is in perfect balance with all its components. For example, the forest biome consists of tropical rainforests, mid-latitude rainforests, mixed hardwood forests, piney wood forests, alpine forests, boreal forests, and evergreen forests. Each forest biome is different consisting of trees, animals, insects, soil, and water, each adjusted to its natural environment.

Question 3

A first grade teacher asks students to pick an object in the classroom and then describe how far away three other objects are from the first object. The teacher then invites students to present their descriptions to the class. Which of the following learning objectives is this most likely to promote?

  1. Students’ understanding of absolute location
  2. Students’ understanding of relative location
  3. Students’ understanding of data interpretation
  4. Students’ understanding of geographic terminology

Correct answer: 2. Relative location is an object’s location in reference to another object.

Question 4

As a quick assessment of lesson vocabulary, a teacher writes the following definition on the board:

An object or feature of a landscape or town that is easily seen and recognized from a distance

The teacher then asks students to write on their whiteboard the vocabulary word related to the definition. Which of the following students wrote the correct word?

  1. Caroline, who wrote “landmark”
  2. Mia, who wrote “map”
  3. James, who wrote “compass rose”
  4. Robert, who wrote “rural”

Correct answer: 1. A landmark is an object or feature of a landscape or town that is easily seen and recognized from a distance.

Question 5

Which of the following is least important to the development and shaping of cultures?

  1. Interactions of people and ideals
  2. The geography of the region
  3. Types of food consumed
  4. Traditions written and passed down through history

Correct answer: 3. Although food does help shape culture, the type of food people eat does not form bonds and similarities as much as the other answer options.

Question 6

Maria is a kindergarten student who likes to sit next to other students and perform similar activities. The teacher wants to help Maria transition into the next stage of play development. Which of the following would be the best strategy to facilitate the transition?

  1. Incorporate individual games and activities for Maria to do separate from other students
  2. Introduce an activity that incorporates all students but does not require them to work or collaborate
  3. Introduce additional activities for Maria to do while sitting next to other students
  4. Introduce an activity where Maria must work with other students to achieve a common goal

Correct answer: 2. This would reflect an activity of associative play, which is where students perform the same activity but not in collaboration. This is the fourth stage of play development and the next stage of Maria’s play development.

Question 7

Which of the following activities will be most effective in introducing kindergartners to the concept of culture?

  1. Reading aloud quality, positive, multicultural picture books
  2. Visiting an art museum
  3. Describing the holidays important to your culture
  4. Asking parents to send in foods representing various cultures

Correct answer: 1. Reading quality, positive, multicultural picture books depicting various cultures is the most effective activity to introduce kindergartners to the concept of culture. This allows students to better understand their own culture, as well as the culture of others. Students can begin to think critically about diversity and unity. The other activities, while still valuable, only address one aspect of culture.

Question 8

Sarah, a new preschool student, does not talk or play with other students during recess. Which of the following strategies will best help her develop interpersonal relationships?

  1. Modeling how to effectively enter play with others
  2. Encouraging Sarah to make new friends
  3. Giving her a soccer ball to play with
  4. Identifying a student to be Sarah’s recess buddy

Correct answer: 4. This is the best strategy because it encourages a new friendship and helps Sarah feel like an important member of the class.

Question 9

Which of the following activities will be most effective in introducing first graders to the concept of timelines?

  1. Reading a grade appropriate biography with a strong sequence of events then creating a human timeline depicting the events in chronological order
  2. Reading a grade appropriate biography with a strong sequence of events then writing the events in chronological order
  3. Watching a video about timelines
  4. Drawing a timeline on the board and explaining the purpose of timelines

Correct answer: 1. This is the best activity to introduce first graders to timelines. When introducing a new concept to young children, it is usually best to conduct a hands-on, kinesthetic activity where students are engaged and excited about learning a new topic.

Question 10

What is the main difference between equality and equity?

  1. Equality is giving everyone the tools they need to be successful; equity is treating everyone the same
  2. There is no difference between equality and equity.
  3. Equality is only referenced to on social issues; equity is only referenced to on monetary issues
  4. Equality is treating everyone the same; equity is giving everyone the tools they need to be successful

Correct answer: 4. These are the correct definitions of equality and equity.

Science Practice Test

Question 1

Mr. Shields, a second grade teacher, wants to create an engaging inquiry-based activity for her students in the upcoming physical properties of matter unit. Which of the following activities best accomplishes Mr. Shields’ goal?

  1. Provide students with a mixture that they separate into groups using different physical properties of the component for the different groups
  2. Use a journal to list the different physical properties of an object
  3. Create a matching-terms workshop where students match a physical property to an object
  4. Create a graphic organizer that highlights the physical properties of various objects

Correct answer: 1. This is the best answer because it allows students to manipulate objects and create and test the hypothesis for component mixtures. It also engages students by allowing them to work with various mixtures, conduct investigations, gather data, and analyze evidence. This is a great inquiry-based activity.

Question 2

Which of the following is an example of a physical change?

  1. Mixing vinegar with baking soda
  2. Crushing a can
  3. Burning wood
  4. Baking a cake

Correct answer: 2. This is the only physical change.

Question 3

Which of the following is the best definition of a hypothesis?

  1. A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation
  2. A guess of what might happen based upon observations
  3. A summary of the results of an experiment
  4. A possible explanation for an observation or problem that can be further tested by experimentation

Correct answer: 4. This is the definition of a hypothesis.

Question 4

A first-grade teacher is working with her students to study and categorize animals. The teacher wants to categorize animals as sea animals, pets, or wild animals. Which of the following will best display the information?

  1. A flow chart
  2. A bar graph
  3. A line graph
  4. A concept map

Correct answer: 4. A concept map will allow students to easily categorize and see the categorization of the animals.

Question 5

Climate is different than weather, because weather:

  1. depends on the angle of the sun’s rays.
  2. changes on a daily basis.
  3. is the average weather conditions for an extended period of time.
  4. is the measurement of air movement.

Correct answer: 2. Climate is the average weather conditions measured for an extended period of time. The Earth is divided into three climate zones – tropical, temperate, and polar – based on the average temperature and precipitation. Weather changes on a daily basis because heat energy, air pressure, wind, and moisture interact differently each and every day, affecting temperature and atmospheric conditions.

Question 6

Which of the following is a major difference between the Earth and the sun?

  1. Shape
  2. Rotation on an axis
  3. Hotter in the center than the surface
  4. Size

Correct answer: 4. The Earth and the sun have similar shapes. Both the Earth and the sun rotate on an axis. Both the sun and the Earth’s cores are hotter than their surfaces.

Question 7

A kindergarten teacher places the following items into a container: sand, a sponge, pebbles, rocks, coral, tree bark, and water. The teacher randomly selects a container and has students place their hands in, without looking at the items, to feel the items and guess the names of the items.

The description would best teach which of the following concepts?

  1. Physical changes of matter
  2. Properties of matter
  3. Transfer of energy
  4. Mixing and separating items

Correct answer: 2. By touching the items, the students are able to feel the texture, size, and consistency of the items which are all physical properties.

Question 8

Which of the following types of energy is stored in a battery?

  1. Heat
  2. Chemical
  3. Mechanical
  4. Potential

Correct answer: 2. Chemical energy is energy stored in the bonds of a chemical compound. The breaking of the chemical bonds releases energy, usually in the form of heat.

Question 9

All living things have certain commonalities. For example, the survival of all living things is dependent upon air, water, shelter, and which of the following?

  1. Carbon dioxide
  2. Warm temperature
  3. Nutrition
  4. Sexual reproduction

Correct answer: 3. All living things require nutrition or food for survival.

Question 10

When a substance undergoes a _____ change either one or more new substances are formed.

  1. chemical
  2. physical
  3. natural
  4. ecological

Correct answer: 1. A chemical change results in the production of one or more new substances that have different properties from the original substance. The new substance is chemically different from the original (ex. burning wood is a chemical change because it changes the wood into ashes).

Health and Physical Education; Creative and Performing Arts

Question 1

Which of the following is the easiest movement for kindergarten students when playing a game?

  1. Walking
  2. Galloping
  3. Hopping
  4. Running

Correct answer: 1. Walking requires the least coordination of the four movements and is the easiest movement for kindergartens when playing a game.

Question 2

According to current research, which of the following best promotes student participation in lifelong physical activity?

  1. Learning how to play a popular sport
  2. Playing on a team that regularly wins
  3. Acquiring the skills needed to participate in a variety of physical activities
  4. Introducing the students to proper exercise form, such as a proper push-up technique and a proper squatting technique

Correct answer: 3. This is the best answer because research indicates that when students acquire basic skills to participate in a variety of activities, then students are more likely to participate and feel confident in their abilities.

Question 3

Which of the following best describes the human digestive system?

  1. A system of organs that provides for food storage in the body
  2. A group of similar organs connected by a network of blood vessels
  3. A continuous tube of organs that performs different functions
  4. A group of similar organs that functions independently

Correct answer: 3. This is correct because the digestive organs go from the mouth down to the anus and contain organs, each performing a function to help break down the food.

Question 4

A second-grade teacher wants to help students apply safety procedures and protocols to protect themselves from potential dangers faced both inside and outside the school. Which of the following activities would best promote this goal?

  1. Practicing appropriate safety skills and decision-making for situations that students said were confusing or uncomfortable
  2. Having students write down a ten-step plan that can be used by the school in case of fire
  3. Creating a list of safety rules and protocols to follow when interacting with strangers in public places
  4. Reviewing recent newspaper articles that tell dangerous situations faced by young children

Correct answer: 1. Identifying uncomfortable or confusing situations and then practicing appropriate responses in those situations is the best way to promote an understanding and application of safety procedures.

Question 5

A kindergarten class is learning about seasons. What would be the best way to incorporate art with this lesson?

  1. Have the students draw exact representations of what they see
  2. Use a high-power camera to trace professional images of the weather
  3. Use the inspiration of nature to create 3D sculpture of life-sized objects
  4. Gather leaves, twigs, and other organic material with various textures to create rubbings using warm or cool colors to indicate the weather

Correct answer: 4. The answer here relies on age-appropriate lessons linked to cognitive development. The core of the lesson is learning about the students’ environment and the world around them. While doing this they can think about various textures and surfaces that nature can create. Color choice can become a complex issue. Explaining the basic idea of warm or cool color choices allows them to make an informed decision about what type of color to use. Lastly, making texture rubbings allows a student at this level to be creative without getting frustrated with rendering or rendering skills.  

Question 6

Mrs. Bill, a prekindergarten teacher, has her students observe the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies. In addition to this being a good science lesson, Mrs. Bill could best use the lesson to promote the students’ artistic expression by:

  1. requiring students to create a butterfly collage that mirrors the intricate design of the butterfly’s wings.
  2. asking students to draw pictures that accurately reflect the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.
  3. showing students how to make origami butterflies by folding tissue paper.
  4. encouraging students to monitor the butterflies closely and draw their observations.

Correct answer: 4. This is the best answer as students can complete the assignment regardless of artistic ability or cognitive development level. Students just draw what they see.

Question 7

Which type of song has a second voice imitate the leading voice in different places during the melody?

  1. Round
  2. Partner song
  3. Lullaby
  4. Game song

Correct answer: 1. A round song is a song in which the leader is imitated exactly at one or more points in the song.

Question 8

Mrs. Hansel is considering a song for her elementary music students. Which of the following is most important for her to consider?

  1. Range
  2. Tempo
  3. Melody
  4. Lyrics

Correct answer: 1. This is the most important consideration as young singers often have limited vocal ranges.

Question 9

Which of the following activities would be most appropriate to demonstrate proper school behavior for a kindergarten theatre class?

  1. A puppet show that demonstrates a conflict between two students who are reluctant to share toys
  2. A one-act play that demonstrates the long-term consequences of a student’s inability to complete homework assignments
  3. A one-act play that discusses the consequences of drug use
  4. A multiple scene play that discusses the importance of sexual abstinence

Correct answer: 1. This is the best option as this is the only answer option that addresses the issue faced by kindergarten students and is short/entertaining for kindergarten students.

Question 10

Which of the following dramatic forms is generally effective for encouraging self-expression by shy children?

  1. Puppetry
  2. Pantomime
  3. Improvisation
  4. Musical dramas

Correct answer: 1. This is the best option. Shy children can use the puppets as buffers between themselves and others, allowing them to express themselves in ways they normally would not. The other answer options require them to be on-stage in front of the audience without the use of a medium to filter their ideas and expressions.

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