Preparing to take the TExES Physical Education EC-12?
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The TExES Physical Education EC-12 exam is designed to assess the basic knowledge and skills needed to teach physical education in Texas’ public schools.
The TExES Physical Education K-12 test is a computer-administered, multiple-choice test. The test has 100 multiple-choice questions. The total testing time is 5 hours; however, 15 minutes of that time is for the computer-administered test tutorial and compliance agreement. Test takers will have 4 hours and 45 minutes to complete the questions.
The TExES Physical Education K-12 assessment costs $116.00.
A score of 240 out of a possible 300 is needed to pass the exam.
In order to pass the
TExES Physical Education EC-12 assessment, the amount
of time needed to study will vary from person to person. Be sure to give yourself at least two months time to adequately prepare.
What test takers wish they would’ve known:
- Review all test-taking policies well in advance of arriving at the testing center
- Assure you’ve brought needed materials, including required identification
- Research routes and traffic patterns and allow yourself plenty of time to travel to the testing center
- Dress in layers
- Find your confidence and take the test with a positive attitude!
Information obtained from the TExES website.
Domain I of the TExES Physical Education EC-12 test has about 38 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 38% of the entire exam.
This domain is divided into 5 competencies:
- Motor Development and Learning
- Developing, Combining, and Integrating Motor Skills
- Movement Concepts and Biomechanical Principles
- Individual, Dual, and Team Sports and Activities
- Dance, Personal Performance Activities, Cooperative and Non-Traditional Games, Recreational Activities, and Outdoor Pursuits
So, let’s talk about them.
Motor Development and Learning
Let’s talk about some concepts from this competency.
Positive Transfer of Learning
Positive transfer of learning simply means that the skill you learned in one activity positively affects your ability to master a new activity. When applied to motor learning, this means that a PE teacher could begin teaching specific motor skills in pre-k or kindergarten, and then look for students to apply those skills to more advanced activities in later grades.
It is important for teachers/coaches to help students understand the relationship between motor skills and how to transfer them across activities. For example, a PE teacher might teach the overhand serve for tennis, and then when teaching how to overhand serve in volleyball, make a connection between the similar motor skills. Another example would be if someone already knew how to rollerblade, they could transfer the motor skill required for that to ice skating. It is not an identical skill; however, the skill required for rollerblading is similar to that of ice skating.
Visual and Kinesthetic Discrimination
Perceptual-motor skills allow sensory (visual and kinesthetic) information to be obtained and understood allowing for the appropriate action.
Kinesthetic discrimination is the ability to recognize small changes that involve muscle feelings and motions. Visual discrimination helps a child notice small differences between objects. Students need to be able to do both to develop strong perceptual-motor skills and use their brain and body together to accomplish different tasks. For example, requiring a student to walk on a straight line or balance beam while saying the alphabet would help students to practice thinking and moving at the same time. A student is required to do many things that require their muscles and mind to work together. Communication skills such as reading, speaking, and writing are motor-based abilities. To write, a child must know the alphabet, know how to combine letters of the alphabet to create sounds, and be able to utilize motor skills to grip and use a pencil. The whole body needs to work together for a student to be a successful writer.
Developing, Combining, and Integrating Motor Skills
Locomotor skills involve the body traveling from one place to another. Non-locomotor skills refer to any body movement where the body remains stationary. For example:
A PE teacher might use the following activities to promote non-locomotor skills:
- Ask younger students to bend their bodies into shapes and/or roll on the floor.
- Ask students to participate in dance or gymnastics activities that shift weight side to side.
- Ask students to balance on different apparatuses.
- Ask students to create a dance that involves a lot of movement
- Ask students to create a gymnastics routine that involves stretching, twisting, and bending.
Rhythmic skills are the basis of dance and music and the purpose of this type of skill is so that a student learns to move effectively while developing a sense of rhythm. Rhythmic skills include moving the body or parts of the body in time with the tempo, beat, or pitch of music.
Activities that promote rhythmic skills:
- Square dancing
- Line dancing
- Group dances
- Asking students to create their own rhythms
- Lummi sticks (wooden rods that students can tap together or on a hard surface to create or follow a rhythm)
Movement Concepts and Biomechanical Principles
The biomechanical principles are:
- Center of gravity (the point at which weight is balanced)
- Gymnastics activities are excellent for working on this principle.
- Bowling is a great activity to explain inertia.
- Balance activities are great to work on stability.
- Gymnastics activities are great for working on this principle.
- Tug-of-war is an activity that effectively demonstrates force.
- Buoyancy (an upward force, contradictory to gravity, that keeps objects afloat)
- Buoyancy plays a role in swimming.
- Acceleration (the change in velocity over a period of time)
- Sprinting and throwing balls are great activities to demonstrate acceleration.
Individual, Dual, and Team Sports and Activities
The basic equipment that is necessary for archery in physical education:
- Netting- Most nets can be spread out to whatever size necessary. The net is important to stop arrows that miss the target.
- Arrows- The projectile used to practice archery. There are different sizes and types of arrows sold, and it is important to look for arrows for beginning archers.
- Bows- There are different types of bows, and it is important to consider the size and skill level of the archers who will be using the bows.
- Targets- A target is essential when teaching archery, and there are a few different types that students may use in physical education.
Introducing a New Skill
PE teachers will introduce many skills and sports to students. It is important that teachers introduce new sports in a thoughtful way so students are set up for success. PE teachers should introduce a new sport using the following steps:
1. Introduce the skill
- Explain the new skill/sport to students by providing background, basic vocabulary, and modeling.
2. Provide drills to lead up to the game
- Repetitive drills are a great way to focus on specific skills that need to be taught in isolation. For example, if you are teaching basketball, you could introduce separate skills like passing, dribbling, shooting, etc, and use drills to strengthen each skill.
3. Require students to practice the skill
- Students should have the opportunity to practice skills together while working on learning the sport. During this time teachers should provide constant feedback. For example, if a teacher was introducing basketball he/she would give students the opportunity to play a 3v1 game in a smaller area to practice skills, but not play on the whole court. The teacher would model the game for students, and walk through it slowly so all students had the opportunity to see the expectation.
4. Provide feedback and correct errors
- While students are practicing a skill/game, teachers should be ready to stop play and correct any errors as well as reinforce the correct use of skills. While playing the 3v1 basketball game, the teacher should stop the game to correct any errors in skill.
Dance, Personal Performance Activities, Cooperative and Non-Traditional Games, Recreational Activities, and Outdoor Pursuits
A folk dance typically reflects the life and/or religion of a certain country or region. Folk dance began as a social function, as an enhancement to religious ceremonies, and brought a recreational aspect to celebrations. Many folk dances are performed on stage today, but folk dance did not begin as a way to perform. Examples of folk dances from around the world include:
- Clogging- Performed by beating heavy shoes on the floor while dancing
- Square dancing- Traditional dance that involves four pairs of dancers moving together.
- Fandango- A traditional Spanish partner dance that is accompanied by clapping, castanets, and/or guitars
Characteristics of folk dance include:
- Reflective of culture
- Provides socialization
- Passed down generations
- Performed on special occasions and festival
Orienteering is an activity in which orienteers use a detailed map and compass to find points in an area. A standard course has a starting location, a series of sites marked by circles that are connected by lines and numbered in the order they should be visited by the orienteer, and a finish point. Orienteers use compass and map skills to navigate their way through the course. Orienteering began in Sweden during the late 1800s as part of Sweden’s military training.
Domain II of the TExES Physical Education EC-12 test has about 31 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 31% of the entire exam.
This domain can be divided into 4 competencies:
- Major Body Systems, Physical Fitness Development, and Healthy Lifestyles
- Cardiovascular Endurance
- Flexibility, Posture, and Muscular Strength and Endurance
- Health and Wellness Concepts
So, let’s talk about them.
Major Body Systems, Physical Fitness Development, and Healthy Lifestyles
Basic Components of Health-Related Fitness
The components of health-related fitness are:
- Cardiovascular endurance
- Important because the heart pumps blood and oxygen through the whole body. The stronger the heart is, the more efficiently blood flows to other organs and muscles, so the body performs at its best. Activities such as running, biking, and swimming (or any activities that require an elevated heart rate for an extended amount of time) improve cardiovascular endurance.
- Muscular strength
- Muscular strength refers to exerting maximum force for a brief amount of time. Muscular strength can be used for a variety of physical activities and can be improved by doing weight-bearing exercises at least three times per week.
- Muscular endurance
- Muscular endurance refers to the ability to exert force for an extended amount of time. Muscular endurance is utilized when skiing and cycling. High-repetition strength training and sport-specific exercises build muscular endurance.
- Important so that joints have a full range of motion. Flexibility can be improved by stretching consistently before and after exercise.
- Body composition
- Refers to the ratio of lean body tissue (muscle and bone) to fat in a person’s body. If a person’s body is made up of an unhealthy percentage of fat, that person might experience physical setbacks. Body composition can be improved by eating a well-balanced diet as well as adding exercise into a daily routine.
Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio, is exercise that requires the heart to pump quickly which moves oxygen to the muscles that are engaged.
Examples of aerobic exercise:
Perceived exertion is a scale that is used to gauge the intensity of an exercise. The scale ranges from 0-10 with zero being relaxed and sitting down and ten being extremely heavy exercise. Exertion should be assessed after exercise. Shortness of breath and muscle fatigue should be considered when assessing exertion levels. The exertion scale is:
0: No exertion
1: Very light
2-3: Light activity
4-6: Moderate activity
7-8: Vigorous activity
9: Very difficult activity
10: Maximum effort activity
Flexibility, Posture, and Muscular Strength and Endurance
Kyphosis is an extreme, forward rounding of the spine. Kyphosis can happen at any age but is most common in older women. Kyphosis can be caused due to spinal weakness, but can also be a birth defect. Kyphosis can range in severity from mild to severe. Mild kyphosis causes few issues, but severe kyphosis can cause pain. Kyphosis can be treated in various ways depending on the severity and effects of the curvature as well as the age of the patient.
BruceBlaus [CC BY-SA 4.0 (creativecommons.org)]
Activities to Increase Muscular Endurance
Muscular endurance (or stamina) is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to exert force over and over throughout an extended period of time. Effective activities to increase muscular endurance include:
- Walking lunges
Health and Wellness Concepts
Everyone encounters a certain level of stress and it is important that stress is dealt with in a healthy way. Some techniques for managing stress include:
- Relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga
- Regular exercise
- Well-balanced meals
- Sufficient amounts of sleep
- Talking to a professional counselor
Stress management has physiological and psychological benefits.
Psychological benefits include:
- Losing temper less often and less frustration
- Improved focus
- Less worry
- More positive outlook in situations
- Fewer feelings of missing out
Physiological benefits include:
- Stronger immunity
- Less risk of heart disease
- Slower effects of aging
- Healthier digestive system
- More restful sleep
Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends optimal levels of physical activity for various life stages.
Young children 3-5:
Should be physically active throughout the day and adults should encourage active play that includes a variety of activities.
Older children and adolescents 6-17:
Should have opportunities and be encouraged to participate in physical activities that are age-appropriate and enjoyable. Children 6-17 should participate in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical play daily. Muscle and bone-strengthening physical activities should be included at least three days a week.
Adults 18+ should aim to sit less and move more throughout the day. For the greatest health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate activity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous activity weekly. Adults should also incorporate muscle-strengthening exercises multiple times a week.
Domain III of the TExES Physical Education EC-12 test has about 31 multiple-choice questions. These questions account for 31% of the entire exam.
This domain can be divided into 4 competencies:
- Instruction and Assessment
- Learning Environments and Opportunities
- Structure, Organization, Goals, and Purposes of Physical Education Programs
- Legal Issues and Responsibilities
So, let’s talk about them.
Instruction and Assessment
Lesson Plan Objectives
A PE teacher in Texas should refer to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for physical education. Physical education TEKS can be found at ritter.tea.state.tx.us. Each grade level has TEKS that promote safety, mastery of goals, and student progress.
Using Technology to Assess Students
Educators are encouraged to use technology as a way to instruct and assess students when possible because students are many times more engaged when using technology. A PE teacher could assess students using technology by:
- Require students to track their exercise on apps like MyFitnessPal.
- Give students the opportunity to film themselves while playing a specific game, completing a specific exercise, etc, and then share it electronically.
- Assign a report or presentation based on a unit of study and allow students to use multiple forms of media to complete the report or presentation.
Learning Environments and Opportunities
Attribution Motivational Theory
The attribution theory is a concept in sports psychology that helps PE teachers understand what students and athletes credit their success and failure. This is important because a student’s mindset has a direct impact on their growth and motivation in class. For example, a trained athlete might credit his success to his work ethic, perseverance, and determination. However, a student who has not had much success athletically might consider any success they have as luck. PE teachers need to understand where their students attribute their success or failure so that they can guide students towards success. Students will believe that their success or failure is due to either external factors (outside of their control) or internal factors (within their control).
PE teachers should work to motivate and encourage students by praising their hard work and positive attitudes. Praising students for hard work or working through frustrations reinforces the idea that students reached their goals because of hard work, not luck.
Structure, Organization, Goals, and Purposes of Physical Education Programs
PE teachers should strive to integrate PE content and other curricula so that students make stronger connections to all content. Examples of how a PE teacher might do this:
- Math- Take measurements, track data/scores using graphs, problem solve
- ELA- Require students to journal or write about their activities and write and present reports
- Science- Connect physics concepts (force and motion) to sports and discuss the connection between human body systems and success in PE
Legal Issues and Responsibilities
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is an emergency procedure that involves performing chest compressions as well as breaths in an effort to preserve brain function when the heart stops pumping blood when a person goes into cardiac arrest.
Click here for more information about performing CPR.
Standard of Care
Standard of care refers to the legal responsibility a PE (or any) teacher has when supervising students in a classroom. PE teachers should ensure that:
- Students are progressively taught the skills necessary to safely participate in PE activities.
- Equipment is arranged safely and not damaged to the point it is dangerous or ineffective.
- The play environment is safe (especially outdoors). PE teachers should consider extreme temperatures, air quality, and other environmental factors when determining if an area is safe for activities.
- Students are constantly supervised. Especially if the students are participating in an activity that could cause bodily harm.
PE teachers have been held legally responsible when students have been injured while under their supervision when they are not following the appropriate standard of care policies.
And that’s some basic info about the exam.Take the TExES Physical Education EC-12 Practice Test