Welcome to our TExES PPR (160) practice test and prep page. On this page, we outline the domains and key concepts for the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam. It is a free resource we provide so you can see how prepared you are to take the official exam.
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In this article, we will cover:
- PPR Test Information
- Domain I: Designing Instruction and Assessment to Promote Student Learning
- Domain II: Creating a Positive, Productive Classroom Environment
- Domain III: Implementing Effective, Responsive Instruction, and Assessment
- Domain IV: Fulfilling Professional Roles and Responsibilities
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TExES PPR Test Information
TExES PPR is a computer-based assessment with the purpose of testing the knowledge and skills of educational theory and pedagogy of prospective EC-12 teachers in Texas. There are 100 selected-response questions on the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam that test your knowledge of 4 domains:
|Domain||Approximate Percentage of Exam|
|I: Designing Instruction and Assessment to Promote Student Learning||34%|
|II: Creating a Positive, Productive Classroom Environment||13%|
|III: Implementing Effective, Responsive Instruction and Assessment||33%|
|IV: Fulfilling Professional Roles and Responsibilities||20%|
Time Limit: 5 hours
Scoring: The score range for the Texas PPR is 100-300, with a minimum passing score of 240.
PPR Domain I: Designing Instruction and Assessment to Promote Student Learning
Domain 1 accounts for about a third of your test score. There are several competencies within this domain, which cover child development, teaching diverse students, planning instruction and assessment, and learning processes and factors. We will go over some of the big ideas that are most likely to come up.
A big concept in this domain is student development theory. You’ll need to know the typical development of children from preschool to high school and understand how the speed of that development can vary. You’ll also need to be familiar with how development in one domain impacts the other domains and student learning.
The four domains of student development are physical, social, cognitive, and emotional.
Questions on the PPR TExES may ask directly about student development theory, or they may ask you to apply your knowledge of development to a specific situation or classroom lesson. For example, you may be given a scenario about a student of a specific age and asked to determine the best decision to make. Choosing an action that is appropriate for the student’s age is key.
For social development, here are some basic milestones to be familiar with:
Piaget’s stages of cognitive development and Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development are likely to come up. If you need to review the specifics of those stages, it’s all covered in the 240 PPR Study Guide.
For PPR questions asking you to choose the best action, look for those considered best practices. Think about the given scenario as though it’s happening in “the perfect world,” meaning what the teacher should do when not limited by time, money, or resources. When in doubt, look for the following terms.
Best Practices for Promoting Student Learning
- Backward design
- Proper pacing
- Interdisciplinary connections
- Meaningful, relevant lessons
- Activate prior knowledge
- Higher order thinking skills
- Data-driven instruction
For questions about planning instruction, be prepared to differentiate between a Learning Goal and a Learning Objective.
Learning goals are long-term and should be broad and achievable.
Example: Students will learn the skills necessary to be able to pass their state exam.
Learning objectives are specific, measurable, and short-term. Lessons are built around the learning objectives and then assessed at the end of the lesson to guide planning.
Example: Students will be able to identify a verb in a sentence by circling the verb.
The last big concept we’ll include under domain 1 is learning theories. You’ll need to understand the various approaches to learning and how they apply to specific situations. Be sure to review Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism.
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PPR Domain II: Creating a Positive, Productive Classroom Environment
Domain 2 is the smallest, accounting for 13% of the entire exam, but it’s important to review because it will still impact your score. In this domain, you’ll be asked about creating a positive classroom environment and classroom management.
A positive classroom is a classroom where students feel safe and comfortable enough to ask questions and make mistakes. Teachers can foster a positive classroom by:
- building relationships with students
- setting clear expectations
- developing mutual trust and respect
- positively responding to students
It is important for teachers to have high expectations for all students so all students have a chance to succeed. Students should never think that they are not capable of learning. Teachers should practice goal setting with students so they can be in charge of their learning. When students are invested in their growth, they are more likely to push themselves. Students are also more likely to do their best and achieve more when they know their teacher is also invested in their learning and success.
Students need consistency and routine. They perform better when they understand the expectations that are expected of them each day and the consequences if they do not follow them. Having a well-developed plan for classroom management and teaching it to your students lowers student misbehavior. Students need to be able to feel an ownership of their classroom to be able to learn. When students do not know what to expect each day and there is not any consistency in consequences, students tend to misbehave or act out.
PPR Domain III: Implementing Effective, Responsive Instruction and Assessment
Like Domain 1, Domain 3 makes up about a third of the entire exam. It covers effective communication, teaching skills to students, using technology, and assessment. Here are some of the biggest things to know.
Effective communication during instruction comes up often. For the classroom to run smoothly, students must clearly understand expectations and directions. Teachers need to clearly communicate what they want students to do, and how the students are supposed to make it happen. There are various strategies teachers can use to help students understand expectations and directions:
- Teachers can model the steps taken to complete a task successfully. Actually showing students what to do by doing it yourself is a very powerful tool for clear communication.
- Show students both what to do and what not to do when completing a task. It is effective to anticipate misunderstandings and bring them to students’ attention proactively.
- Show a complete example of the final product. Creating one yourself or saving an example from a previous year are great ways to do this.
- Post directions on the board or provide students a handout with them. This way students can take ownership of their own understanding and refer back as needed.
You’ll likely see a few questions about higher-order thinking skills. Look for answers that relate to “active learning.” Here are some of our tips for keeping students active and thinking:
- Use flexible grouping
- Pace lessons (wait time)
- Include diverse perspectives
- Vary your instructional techniques (discussion, inquiry, problem-solving)
Teachers need to use specific strategies to engage English Language Learners (ELLs) in their classes. ELLs come from various backgrounds and need different levels of support. It is important to provide accommodations for these students, such as:
- Use visuals when teaching, especially vocabulary
- Allow more wait time
- Provide unknown background knowledge ahead of time
- Provide familiar sources for students so students have the opportunity to provide feedback and response
- Allow ample opportunities for peer teaching
- Provide opportunities for group and partner work
- Pre-teach when able
- Provide sentence stems
One competency under Domain 3 tests your knowledge of creating effective assessments to monitor student performance and help guide student learning.
Feedback is a critical part of assessment, and it needs to be clear, focused, and given in a timely manner to be effective. Ensure that graded assignments are given back promptly. Make sure not to overwhelm a student with the amount of feedback. Choose what mode to give feedback to students (oral, written or visual). Choose the type of audience to address (one-on-one, a group or an entire class).
It’s important to know the characteristics of assessments. You’ll need to determine if an assessment is formal or informal and formative or summative. Here’s a tip: think of formative as assessment for learning and summative as assessment of learning. The 240 PPR Study Guide has specific information and a video lesson devoted to types of assessment.
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PPR Domain IV: Fulfilling Professional Roles and Responsibilities
Domain 4 of the TExES PPR accounts for 20% of the entire exam. It covers family involvement, effective collaboration, improving as a Teacher, and legal basics.
A big topic in this domain is effective collaboration, specifically in parent-teacher conferences. The ultimate goal of the parent/teacher partnership is to help the student have the most successful school year possible. Effective conferences can help meet this goal.
Here are some guidelines for conducting effective conferences:
When communicating with families through email, make sure to respect the privacy of others and not share student names, emails, or personal information to others. Make sure to BCC (blind copy) members of group emails so email addresses are not shared. Be respectful of the time and frequency of emails. Emails should be sent during reasonable waking hours. Make sure subject lines pertain to the information in the email. Remember to be professional and use correct grammar when writing an email. Always reread your emails aloud before sending them to make sure you are clear and your tone is appropriate and professional.
Questions relating to improving as a teacher will likely involve reflection and self-assessment or professional development.
It is important for teachers to reflect on their performance and learn from their own practices. Self-assessing your teaching practices provides opportunities to learn and grow in your professional setting. Some reflective questions a teacher could use to improve themselves:
- Did that activity help students?
- Did I reach out to other professionals in my school community to help a student?
- Do I know the resources available in my school community to effectively help students?
- Did I prepare higher-level questions for discussions?
- Was I prepared for that activity?
- How could I improve that lesson?
When selecting professional development opportunities, make sure they are research-based and will have an impact on student learning. Choices that involve mentoring or observing other teachers are often the right picks.
Finally, you’ll need to know some legal and ethical requirements regarding the rights, resources, and procedures of the educational system. Make sure you’re familiar with these key rights:
- special education (IDEA)
- student (1st Amendment)
- family (FERPA)
A big responsibility is the duty to report. Texas law states that anyone holding a state license has a duty to report suspected child abuse within 48 hours. Failure to report is also a crime.
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