Skip to main content

Preparation Manual

Print this page

Section 4: Sample Selected-Response Questions
Reading Specialist (151)

Expand All Answers | Collapse All Answers

This section presents some sample exam questions for you to review as part of your preparation for the exam. To demonstrate how each competency may be assessed, sample questions are accompanied by the competency that they measure. While studying, you may wish to read the competency before and after you consider each sample question. Please note that the competency statements do not appear on the actual exam.

For each sample exam question, there is a correct answer and a rationale for each answer option. The sample questions are included to illustrate the formats and types of questions you will see on the exam; however, your performance on the sample questions should not be viewed as a predictor of your performance on the actual exam.

Domain I—Instruction and Assessment: Components of Literacy

Competency 001—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of oral language development, relationships between oral language development and the development of reading skills and instructional methods that promote students’ oral language development at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

1. A first-grade teacher is planning lessons for a small group of students who are reading but whose oral-language vocabulary is somewhat limited. Which of the following teacher actions will best help the students independently learn new words?

  1. Introducing the most common prefixes and suffixes by highlighting them in texts
  2. Modeling the use of text clues and background knowledge to infer meaning while reading
  3. Using fewer words when speaking, emphasizing key words, and using visual clues
  4. Providing multisensory and systematic instruction to aid in the identification of sight words
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because it illustrates for students how to learn new vocabulary while being read to or reading independently. Option A is incorrect because prefixes and suffixes are not part of the curriculum until second grade, and this is a less effective method for struggling students. Also, highlighting will do little to actually build vocabulary knowledge. Option C is incorrect because this strategy is meant to help extend student discourse. Saying fewer words to students can actually reduce the vocabulary they learn. Option D is incorrect because sight words do not usually contain much meaning and they are not usually included in vocabulary instruction.

Competency 002—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of phonological and phonemic awareness, relationships between phonological and phonemic awareness and the development of reading competence and instructional methods that promote students’ phonological and phonemic awareness at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

2. The following is an exchange between a reading specialist and a group of struggling first-grade readers at the end of a lesson.

Reading specialist: Class is /o/–/v/–/er/.

Students’ response: Over.

Reading specialist: It is time to go back to your /r/–/oo/-/m/.

Students’ response: Room.

The reading specialist could best use the activity to informally assess which of the following concepts?

  1. Substituting sounds
  2. Blending phonemes
  3. Segmenting words into morphemes
  4. Isolating consonants
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because the students are blending phonemes together to pronounce words. Option A is incorrect because students are not being asked to change any phonemes in order to correctly pronounce the words. Option C is incorrect because morphemes are units of meaning, and the activity deals with individual sounds. Plus, the teacher is segmenting the sounds for the students to blend. Option D is incorrect because the teacher isolated the individual sounds. Some of the vowels just ended up with another letter in order to make the correct sound in the words.

3. Student data from multiple phonological awareness assessments indicate that the majority of students in a kindergarten class can segment sentences into words. Given the information suggested by the data, the most appropriate next step for the reading specialist to recommend is that the teacher provide whole-group instruction that focuses on which of the following?

  1. Blending syllables to pronounce words
  2. Repeating/listing orally a list of words that have the same rime
  3. Segmenting words into individual phonemes
  4. Deleting sounds to form new words
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because students begin working at the syllable level after they understand how to break sentences into words. Option B is incorrect because listing words with the same rime is actually rhyming, which generally develops before sentence segmentation. Option C is incorrect because students need to understand syllables before moving to phonemes. Option D is incorrect because manipulating phonemes (sounds) is the final skill developed on the continuum of phonological awareness.

Competency 003—The reading specialist understands concepts of print and the alphabetic principle and applies knowledge of instructional methods that promote students’ reading acquisition at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

4. Students in a kindergarten classroom successfully read decodable texts containing the words "ask" and "lamp." The teacher wants to follow the appropriate developmental sequence of students’ understanding of the alphabetic principle. When the teacher chooses the next texts for students to read, it would be most appropriate for the texts to

  1. contain only continuous sounds.
  2. contain a consonant digraph.
  3. begin with a consonant blend.
  4. begin with a stop sound.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because the words identified begin with a continuous sound and the next level would be words that start with stop sounds. Option A is incorrect because the words already have continuous sounds. Option B is incorrect because words with digraphs should not be introduced until all the various combination patterns are taught. Option C is incorrect because consonant blends come after words that begin with stop sounds.

Competency 004—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of word identification skills and strategies and instructional methods that promote students’ reading competence at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

5. Students are learning to use derivational endings to accurately identify words. The strategy will be most effective if the students have previously developed which of the following skills?

  1. Reading words with irregular spelling patterns
  2. Identifying common root words
  3. Recognizing regular vowel patterns
  4. Decoding using individual letter-sound correspondences
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because learning to recognize common root words is a structural analysis skill that aids in separating words into their morphemes, which would include derivational endings. Option A is incorrect because recognizing words by their derivational endings relates to common spelling patterns. Option C is incorrect because vowel patterns relate to syllabication rather than derivational endings, which frequently do not follow regular vowel patterns. Option D is incorrect because although decoding is a useful skill, the emphasis here is on morphemes rather than individual phonemes.

6. A reading specialist listens while Becky, a fourth-grade student, reads. Becky pauses at the word "unusual." She then covers the first two letters and says "usual." She removes her fingers from the beginning of the word and says "unusual." Which of the following word identification strategies did Becky utilize?

  1. Using semantic clues
  2. Analyzing syntax
  3. Breaking the word into phonemes
  4. Identifying morphemes in the word
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because the student recognizes the morpheme "un," covers it, and then is able to identify "usual" to pronounce the word correctly. Option A is incorrect because using semantic clues would require the student to refer to other text to decode "unusual." Option B is incorrect because analyzing syntax would require the student to determine the purpose and placement of "unusual" in the sentence to decode it. Option C is incorrect because the student breaks the word into "un" and "usual" rather than the individual phonemes.

7. A reading specialist is working with a third-grade student who has difficulty using context clues to decode unfamiliar words while reading text. Which of the following strategies would best help the student develop the skill?

  1. Analyzing graphophonic cues in unknown words
  2. Referring to phonetic respellings in a dictionary
  3. Applying knowledge of basic linguistic structures
  4. Using surrounding information in the passage to infer meaning
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because to be able to effectively use context clues, good readers need to understand that different types of clues can be used when examining larger units of text. Option A is incorrect because graphophonic cues aid in decoding but not in the use of context clues to decode unfamiliar vocabulary. Option B is incorrect because phonetic respellings will help the student decode the word but not understand its meaning. Option C is incorrect because an understanding of basic linguistic structures is helpful when syntactic clues can be used as an aid to word recognition, but that will not help a student use context clues.

8. Which of the following is most important for a teacher to consider when selecting texts for developing students’ decoding ability during small-group guided-reading instruction?

  1. Reading comprehension
  2. Individual learning styles
  3. Accuracy in reading leveled text
  4. Personal reading interests
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because teachers should select appropriate leveled texts, depending on the students’ reading accuracy, so that the texts will contain an appropriate number of words for the students to decode. Option A is incorrect because students’ ability to read the words rather than comprehend them is the focus of the lesson. Option B is incorrect because the learning styles of students may play a part in which activities the teacher selects, but the teacher should not consider the students’ learning styles when selecting the texts for the lesson. Option D is incorrect because although student interests are important to consider when planning independent reading they are not an important consideration for guided-reading lessons.

Competency 005—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of reading fluency and instructional methods that promote students’ reading competence at grades 1 through 12.

9. A fifth-grade teacher plans to integrate readers’ theater into reading instruction. A primary reason the practice will improve students’ reading fluency is that it provides students with

  1. a text appropriate for their instructional reading level.
  2. a model of fluent reading using proper intonation.
  3. an opportunity to practice their decoding strategies.
  4. an authentic purpose for reading a text multiple times.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because to implement readers’ theater, students are asked to practice reading a script many times for an oral presentation. This provides an authentic reason for rereading, which is an excellent fluency-building activity. Option A is incorrect because fluency is actually developed better through the reading of text at students’ independent reading level. Option B is incorrect because a model of reading with proper intonation is better accomplished through a teacher read aloud. Option C is incorrect because the use of decoding strategies should be very limited if a text or activity is designed to build fluency.

10. Which of the following activities will contribute most to improvement in students’ oral reading fluency?

  1. Students read timed passages aloud while the teacher keeps charts of their progress
  2. Students read a text aloud while a partner listens and takes notes
  3. Students read instructional-level text in a small group and discuss what they read
  4. Students read a text multiple times and receive guided oral feedback from the teacher
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because reading a text multiple times allows students to practice their prosody, while feedback from the teacher provides additional information to develop that skill. Option A is incorrect because when students are timed, it encourages them to focus on their reading rate rather than the phrasing and intonation of their reading. Option B is incorrect because reading a text once does not allow students to improve the prosody. Also, taking notes during reading develops comprehension rather than fluency skills. Option C is incorrect because reading and discussing instructional-level text builds comprehension skills rather than oral fluency.

Competency 006—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of reading comprehension and instructional methods that promote students’ reading comprehension at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

11. Ms. Salazar, the reading specialist, is working with a group of fifth-grade students to improve their reading comprehension. She has the students ask themselves the following questions after they read each chapter.

"What do I know or need to know?"
"What might I be missing?"
"What questions do I need to ask myself?"

Ms. Salazar is primarily incorporating which of the following?

  1. Interactive instruction
  2. Metacognition
  3. Socio-psycholinguistic approach
  4. Transactional model
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because metacognition is recognizing how one is thinking and how thoughts impact learning. Option A is incorrect because an interactive model relates to the curriculum being text and concept driven. Option C is incorrect because the socio-psycholinguistic approach focuses on learning words and their meaning through reading. Option D is incorrect because the transactional model is the back and forth between two people, and this activity is more independent in nature.

12. As students read their social studies textbook, a middle school teacher has them record any connections they make to the text in a learning log. After reading, students share their connections in small groups. The teacher’s implementation of the activity demonstrates an understanding that which of the following is a primary factor affecting student comprehension?

  1. Text genre
  2. Student interests
  3. Text structure
  4. Student schema
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because when students are asked to make connections, they activate a schema that improves their comprehension. Option A is incorrect because the activity could be effective for any genre. Option B is incorrect because student interest would be a comprehension factor when students are able to select the text they read. Option C is incorrect because the activity could be useful for text regardless of the organizational structure.

13. Samuel, a third-grade student, can read grade-level fiction text but struggles to answer questions or provide accurate retellings of the text. To best help Samuel, the teacher should have him

  1. read aloud texts of the appropriate level.
  2. create mental images while reading.
  3. preview headings before reading.
  4. practice reading familiar texts repeatedly.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because this strategy will allow Samuel to improve his comprehension and comprehension-monitoring abilities through making pictures of the story in his mind. Option A is incorrect because Samuel can already read grade-level text and oral reading will not directly benefit with comprehension or story retelling. Option C is incorrect because this is a strategy for reading nonfiction or expository test and will not help with fiction texts. Option D is incorrect because this strategy is for developing fluency, not comprehension.

14. While reading a narrative, a third-grade teacher has students record the important elements on a story map. The activity primarily improves students’ comprehension of the text by

  1. promoting personal connections to the text.
  2. supporting evaluative-level understanding.
  3. requiring the activation of prior knowledge.
  4. focusing on the structure of the text.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because a story map helps students outline the structure of the text, which helps to improve comprehension. Option A is incorrect because story maps focus on the text itself without requiring personal connections. Option B is incorrect because a story map focuses on literal comprehension with some inference, but no elements that relate to evaluative comprehension. Option C is incorrect because activating prior knowledge is a before-reading strategy, but the teacher is asking students to complete the story map during reading. Also, activating prior knowledge requires students to make personal connections, which is not a feature of story maps.

Competency 007—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of vocabulary development and instructional methods that promote students’ oral and written vocabulary knowledge at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

15. Before students begin reading a chapter in their science textbook, the teacher distributes a list of ten vocabulary words and asks students to demonstrate their familiarity with each word by defining it in their own words or by labeling it as unknown. Which of the following is the primary purpose of the activity?

  1. Assessing students’ ability to group key concepts semantically
  2. Monitoring students’ use of context clues for determining word meaning
  3. Deciding how important knowing the vocabulary is for understanding the text
  4. Determining which terms should be taught explicitly before the lesson
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because presenting students with a list of vocabulary words and asking them to demonstrate their familiarity with the words shows which key vocabulary is unfamiliar to students and should be taught before the lesson. Option A is incorrect because the handout asks about students’ familiarity with each word rather than asking them to determine relationships among the words. Option B is incorrect because students’ use of context clues cannot be assessed when the words are presented out of context. Option C is incorrect because students’ knowledge of the meanings of the words is unrelated to the importance of the words to understanding the text. However, the teacher should have only selected words that were important to understanding the text.

16. Mr. Taylor, a high school chemistry teacher, tells the reading specialist that the vocabulary in an upcoming unit may be hard for his students to understand. Which of the following before-reading strategies should the reading specialist suggest to best address Mr. Taylor’s concerns?

  1. Having students use the text structure to help them scan for important vocabulary words
  2. Practicing using context clues to establish the appropriate meaning of words for the text
  3. Working with students to create a concept map with the vocabulary words
  4. Reviewing how to use morphemes to determine the meaning of unknown words
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because a concept map provides an effective means of explicitly teaching students the meaning of difficult words before reading, as students have to determine the relationships between words. Option A is incorrect because while previewing the text is a good before-reading strategy, it simply requires students to identify important words without determining their meaning. Option B is incorrect because, while context clues are useful for determining word meaning, the students need explicit teaching for difficult words. Also, the use of context clues to determine word meaning is a during-reading strategy. Option D is incorrect because while morphemes are helpful for determining word meaning, a review of their use will not be sufficient to help students understand difficult vocabulary words.

17. A middle school teacher wants to increase students’ reading vocabularies. Which of the following will be most effective in achieving the goal?

  1. Speaking in Standard English
  2. Providing instruction on common affixes
  3. Motivating students to read more extensively
  4. Modeling effective use of the dictionary
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because encouraging wide reading is the most important thing a teacher can do to help students build their reading vocabularies. Repeated exposure to words in context is the way most words are learned. Option A is incorrect because the language in books is different from oral language, so students need more exposure to written texts. Hearing correct Standard English is important in language development, but it is not directly related to increasing reading vocabulary. Option B is incorrect because while knowledge of affixes is helpful in determining the meaning of many words, it is through wide reading that students are able to utilize that strategy. Option D is incorrect because although dictionary use can be helpful, most words are thoroughly learned through repeated exposure to words in context.

18. During a model lesson, a reading specialist wants to promote third-grade students’ vocabulary development during a read-aloud. To best address the goal, the reading specialist should ask students to

  1. record any new words they hear in the story.
  2. use the dictionary to look up words that are in the story.
  3. make connections between words and their prior experiences.
  4. divide new words from the story into syllables.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because students making connections between new words and their prior experiences is one of the best practices to promote vocabulary development. Option A is incorrect because simply recording new words is not an effective way to promote students’ vocabulary. Option B is incorrect because students who look up new words in the dictionary may not understand the dictionary definitions. Option D is incorrect because breaking new words into syllables is more of a phonemic or phonics-based task; it does not focus primarily on the definition or meaning of the word, as in vocabulary.

Competency 008—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of written language and instructional to reinforce reading and writing at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

19. The reading specialist receives a request to work with a fifth-grade student who often struggles with writing tasks. To best help the student, the reading specialist should plan to

  1. contact the child study team for assistance.
  2. seek support from a mentor or colleague.
  3. administer an informal writing assessment.
  4. recommend in-school tutoring in writing.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because the reading specialist should administer an informal writing assessment and use the results to suggest strategies or resources to instruct the student and remediate the writing difficulty. Option A is incorrect because contacting the child study team would not be the most appropriate strategy to use at this time. The reading specialist should realize that the team should be contacted for more significant concerns or delays, or for students with IEPs. Option B is incorrect because the reading specialist does not need to consult with mentors or colleagues to provide remediation. Option D is incorrect because recommending outside tutoring for any subject would not be appropriate for a reading specialist. The reading specialist should utilize the resources available and work hard to help the student overcome his or her struggle.

20. Which of the following actions is an essential component of the writing workshop method of instruction?

  1. Moving through the stages of the writing process at each student’s own pace
  2. Working with a partner to create the first draft of a composition
  3. Composing a five-paragraph essay in response to an assigned writing prompt
  4. Responding to independent reading in a literary response journal
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because the use of a writing workshop model gives students a high degree of choice as young writers. Students self-select their writing topics and within a structured environment are encouraged to progress through the five steps in the writing process at their own pace. Option B is incorrect because in a writing workshop model, students do not typically work with a peer in writing a first draft. Working with a partner may occur, however, during the revision or editing stage. Option C is incorrect because students choose their own writing topics and therefore do not respond to an assigned prompt in the structure of a five-paragraph essay. Option D is incorrect because responding in a journal to a piece of literature read independently may be an extension of a reading activity, but this is not characteristic of the writing workshop model.

Domain II—Instruction and Assessment: Resources and Procedures

Competency 009—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of assessment instruments and procedures used to monitor and evaluate student progress in reading and to guide instructional decision making at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

21. A reading specialist administers an informal reading inventory (IRI) to a second-grade student. The student reads the second-grade text with 96 percent accuracy in word recognition and 70 percent accuracy in comprehension. According to the results, it would be most appropriate for the student to receive guided reading instruction with texts

  1. at the current grade level.
  2. at a level above grade level.
  3. related to other content areas.
  4. of personal interest.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because the student can decode independently but has low comprehension on grade-level texts, so it is most appropriate for the student to receive small-group instruction at this level. Option B is incorrect because it is inappropriate to use a text at a higher level while the student’s comprehension is at 70%. Option C is incorrect because while integrating instruction can be beneficial, it is not the focus of guided reading lessons. Option D is incorrect because small-group reading instruction should utilize reading material at the appropriate reading level without undue concern on student interest. Student interest is of more concern for independent reading assignments.

22. A beginning fourth-grade teacher consults the campus reading specialist about using leveled texts for small-group instruction. To determine the most appropriate level of text for each student, the reading specialist suggests that the teacher first administer

  1. an informal reading inventory.
  2. an observational checklist of reading behaviors.
  3. a teacher-created phonics inventory.
  4. a statewide student reading assessment.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because one of the primary purposes of an informal reading inventory (IRI) is to determine the independent, instructional and frustrational reading levels of individual students. Option B is incorrect because while an observational checklist of reading behaviors provides information about students’ instructional needs, such information is difficult to correlate with reading levels. Option C is incorrect because students’ phonics skills alone should not be used to place them in leveled text. Option D is incorrect because statewide student assessments mainly provide comprehension information without relating to specific levels of texts.

23. When administering an informal reading inventory, a reading specialist attempts to minimize factors that may negatively affect the students’ performance. To best accomplish this, the reading specialist should

  1. assess the students in a quiet environment.
  2. give feedback during the students’ oral reading.
  3. give the students a dictionary to look up new words.
  4. provide background information on the topic to the students.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because a quiet environment should be provided to students in order to decrease any external factors that may affect student achievement on assessments. Option B is incorrect because providing feedback on the student’s oral reading during an informal reading inventory would be against testing protocol. Option C is incorrect because providing a dictionary during an informal reading inventory would not be appropriate or helpful. Option D is incorrect because offering background information on any topic during an informal reading inventory would be inappropriate and against testing protocol.

Competency 010—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of methods and resources for providing effective literacy instruction that addresses the varied learning needs of all students at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

24. A preschool teacher wants to incorporate listening, speaking, reading, and writing into lessons and asks the reading specialist to recommend ways to accomplish this goal. Which of the following activities best incorporates these skills?

  1. Reading aloud daily to students from nonfiction text
  2. Providing opportunities for students to use invented spelling
  3. Using the guided reading approach with students
  4. Using the language experience approach with students
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because the language experience approach (LEA) promotes reading and writing through the use of personal experiences and oral language. It is perfect for diverse classrooms because it combines all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Option A is incorrect because reading aloud to students only addresses listening. Option B is incorrect because invented writing does not address listening or speaking. Option C is incorrect because guided reading involves a teacher working with a small group of students who demonstrate similar reading behaviors and can read similar levels of text with teacher support. The guided reading approach does not incorporate all four language skills.

25. Which of the following is the most efficient way for a teacher to verify that a particular novel is at the appropriate level for whole-class instruction?

  1. Having students complete a cloze passage excerpted from the novel
  2. Administering a running-record passage excerpted from the novel to each student
  3. Asking comprehension questions orally after students read the first chapter of the novel
  4. Analyzing results from students’ reading assessments on novels of similar difficulty
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because a cloze-procedure is a fast, efficient way to determine if a text is at the correct level for a group of students when a single-set of texts is going to be used. The teacher must just copy an excerpt from the text with blanks for students to fill in. Option B is incorrect because giving each student a running record would be very time-consuming and would primarily address fluency where the focus of reading instruction is generally on comprehension. Option C is incorrect because having students read a whole chapter before determining if the text is appropriate would waste time if the novel is at an inappropriate level for students. Also, a class discussion would not give a clear picture of each student’s understanding of the text. Option D is incorrect because there is no clear way to correlate past reading results with the current novel.

26. A third-grade teacher plans to use a nonfiction book about volcanoes during instruction for a science unit. The teacher hands out the book in class and starts reading it with the children, but they are struggling to comprehend the text. The teacher collects the books and decides to consult the reading specialist to plan the lessons. Which of the following is the best activity for the teacher to perform before handing out the books again?

  1. Generating a list of well-known volcanoes from around the world
  2. Asking the students to share an important fact about well-known volcanoes
  3. Generating a list of questions students may have about a well-known volcano
  4. Asking students to summarize what they have previously read about well-known volcanoes
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because generating a list of questions students may have about volcanoes prior to reading does two things for the reader: it sets a purpose for the reading and it allows students to access their prior knowledge. Option A is incorrect because simply generating a list of well-known volcanoes will not help students understand what they are about to read. Additionally, an 8 year old in Texas may not have prior knowledge about well-known volcanoes. Option B is incorrect because students with no prior knowledge will be unable to share an important fact. Option D is incorrect because before students begin reading about a subject, they may struggle to determine information that is interesting from information that is important, and they may not be able to recall enough of the text to create a summary, since the text appeared to be at their frustration level.

27. A middle school teacher requires students to identify the author and purpose of every online source before deciding to use the source to support their research. The primary reason for the practice is to determine the

  1. main idea of the source information.
  2. key words to search for more information.
  3. credibility of the source information.
  4. best way to organize the information.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because the author of a source and his or her purpose help to establish the credibility of the source. Option A is incorrect because determining the main idea of the source is best done by carefully reading the text or examining the headings. Option B is incorrect because identifying key words to extend students’ online search could best be done by scanning the document for highlighted words or headings. Option D is incorrect because deciding the best organizational structure for their research will depend on the topic rather than the sources.

28. A reading specialist is facilitating a professional development session for a cohort of teachers on the benefits of flexible grouping. The primary benefit of flexible grouping is that it will enable the teacher to

  1. work with each student during class daily.
  2. foster friendships among students.
  3. increase student confidence.
  4. provide students with targeted instruction.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because the teacher can provide targeted, differentiated instruction by flexibly grouping students according to their academic, social, emotional, or behavioral needs. Option A is incorrect because although working with each student daily is an ideal practice, it is not an outcome or direct benefit of using flexible grouping. Option B is incorrect because while various groupings may allow students to foster friendships among their peers, this is not the primary benefit for this practice. Option C is incorrect because while student achievement increases through the use of flexible grouping, an increase in students’ confidence is a secondary outcome.

Domain III—Meeting the Needs of Individual Students

Competency 011—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of effective literacy instruction for English-language learners at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

29. It is most important for a teacher to modify which of the following strategies when he or she is designing before-reading activities for English learners (ELs)?

  1. Activating background knowledge
  2. Highlighting the text structure
  3. Making textual predictions
  4. Establishing a purpose
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because teachers need to consider how the cultural backgrounds of their students affect their prior knowledge and may need to provide additional background information for students from different cultures. Option B is incorrect because the teacher points out the same features of the text regardless of the students he or she is teaching. Option C is incorrect because making predictions requires the ability to infer, which is not related to language or culture. Option D is incorrect because establishing a purpose for reading must be adjusted according to students’ reading skills rather than their language use and background experiences.

30. A fourth-grade teacher is administering an informal reading inventory to an English learner (EL) whose first language is Spanish. The student pronounces "ship" as "cheep," "taking" as "tacking," and "shoes" as "choose." The teacher should conclude that the student’s miscues are primarily due to

  1. phonetic differences between the student’s primary and secondary language.
  2. the student’s difficulty recognizing cognates and syntax of the language.
  3. the student’s limited exposure to both spoken and written English.
  4. an underlying issue with decoding consonant clusters and digraphs that is affecting the student’s reading comprehension.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because the miscues contain common phoneme pairs that are difficult for a second-language learner whose first language is Spanish to distinguish. Option B is incorrect because the word pairs are not cognates. Option C is incorrect because even with ample exposure to a second language, the second-language learner may have difficulty "hearing" or speaking subtle differences in phoneme pairs in the second language. Option D is incorrect because the student is including digraphs but is mispronouncing those associated with a conventional English pronunciation.

31. A third-grade teacher approaches the reading specialist with concerns about a student who arrived from Korea in September. It is now January, and the student is still not speaking in the classroom and is not reading at grade level. Which of the following is the best course of action for the reading specialist?

  1. Contacting the child study team to recommend special education testing
  2. Providing in-class interventions in listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  3. Sending the student to the first-grade classroom to receive reading instruction
  4. Recommending that the student attend private tutoring after school
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because English learners face many challenges when acclimating to a new culture and may not feel comfortable speaking for up to six months. It is important to provide continued support with interventions in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Option A is incorrect because it is too early to determine whether the student has learning difficulties. Option C is incorrect because if the reading specialist does not have full knowledge of the student’s reading ability in the native language, sending the student to a lower-level classroom will most likely embarrass the student, which may stall the student’s progress. Option D is incorrect because it is not appropriate for the reading specialist to recommend outside tutoring without first providing in-class interventions in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Competency 012—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of effective literacy instruction for students with reading difficulties, dyslexia and reading disabilities at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

32. Which of the following best describes the purpose of providing a student with dyslexia a colored overlay for all reading texts?

  1. Assisting with word tracking to prevent losing place while reading
  2. Limiting visual input to prevent over-predictive reading
  3. Lessening visual sensitivity to avoid perception of moving letters while reading
  4. Highlighting the text to facilitate fluent reading
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because using a colored overlay has been shown to reduce the effects of scotopic sensitivity, including moving letters and blurring letters. Option A is incorrect because a tracking strip or ruler is a more useful accommodation for assisting with tracking problems. Option B is incorrect because the entire text is still visible with a colored overlay. A 3 × 5 notched card is an acceptable accommodation for limiting visual input of over-predictive readers. Option D is incorrect because colored overlays serve to lessen visual distortions and visual discomfort of reading rather than to highlight text.

33. A reading specialist reviews results from midyear reading assessments and discovers that reading comprehension scores for students with learning disabilities have not improved and that many of the scores have declined. Using the data, the best instructional plan should include which of the following?

  1. Setting the level of difficulty of comprehension tasks to one grade level below
  2. Encouraging students to ask questions and engage in dialogue while reading
  3. Providing reading activities in order of difficulty with the hardest tasks first
  4. Providing direct instruction and modeling of strategy cues that students can use while reading
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because the most effective approach to improving reading comprehension in students with learning disabilities is a combination of direct instruction and strategy instruction. Strategy instruction means teaching students a plan (or strategy) for searching for patterns in words and for identifying key passages, such as a paragraph or a page, and the main idea in each. Once students learn certain strategies, they can generalize the strategies to other reading comprehension tasks. Option A is incorrect because the level of difficulty should be based upon the needs of the students. Option B is incorrect because without the teacher directing the questioning and dialogue, the students will not benefit from these instructional techniques. Option C is incorrect because students need to start with the easiest comprehension tasks before moving on to harder tasks.

Domain IV—Professional Knowledge and Leadership

Competency 013—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of the theoretical foundations of literacy and of research-based reading/literacy curriculum.

34. Knowledge of the transactional theory of learning would best help a reading specialist understand the importance of which of the following instructional practices?

  1. Integrating oral language opportunities into reading instruction through social interaction
  2. Making personal connections with text to create meaning while reading
  3. Providing instruction in the reading of both narrative and informational texts in the same manner
  4. Teaching reading fluency and decoding skills to improve comprehension
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because Rosenblatt’s transactional theory describes the importance of the relationship between the reader and the text, which can be addressed by having students make connections while reading. Option A is incorrect because integrating oral language opportunities through social interaction primarily relates to sociolinguistic theories. Option C is incorrect because the transactional theory presumes that people approach narrative texts with a greater focus on feelings, while they approach informational texts with a greater focus on gaining knowledge. Option D is incorrect because fluency and decoding skills do not help students develop a relationship with the text they are reading.

35. Behaviorist learning theories best support teaching young children to read through the use of

  1. a whole language approach.
  2. explicit phonics instruction.
  3. active student engagement.
  4. intrinsic motivation.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because direct, explicit instruction is an important component of behaviorism. Option A is incorrect because behaviorism supports direct rather than indirect instruction, which is prevalent in a whole language approach. Option C is incorrect because active student engagement during learning is supported by constructivist theories. Option D is incorrect because behaviorism traditionally relies more heavily on extrinsic instruction.

36. As part of a unit on seasons, a kindergarten teacher uses The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats for a shared-reading activity. Before reading the book, the teacher asks the students to look at the cover and describe what they see. As the students give their responses, the teacher asks them to talk about their experiences with snow and to give examples of what people do when it snows. Through the activity, the teacher primarily demonstrates understanding of which of the following?

  1. Students need to comprehend important science concepts about snow to understand the book.
  2. Comprehension of the book will be improved if students make connections with the text prior to reading.
  3. Students have never seen snow before and do not know about this type of precipitation.
  4. Concepts of print are important for kindergarten students to use to comprehend the text.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because students need to make connections to the text to increase comprehension. Option A is incorrect because while the book may be part of a science unit, the teacher is not instructing the students about why snow falls or what it is made of. The teacher is asking students about their experiences with snow so they can make a connection to the text prior to reading. Option C is incorrect because while the students may not have seen snow before, it does not matter if they understand the reason for the type of the precipitation. The students need to know what people do when it snows. Option D is incorrect because even though the teacher begins with concepts of print, the teacher guides the discussions using the illustrations to help the students make connections to the text prior to reading.

Competency 014—The reading specialist understands and applies procedures for collaborating and communicating with educational stakeholders and for designing, implementing, evaluating and participating in professional development.

37. During classroom observations, a reading specialist sees prekindergarten teachers using poems to teach rhyming skills. To most effectively help the teachers extend the use of poetry for instruction into other areas of phonological awareness, the reading specialist should

  1. prepare daily lessons on phonological awareness for the teachers to implement.
  2. purchase additional materials that focus on other phonological-awareness skills.
  3. share research that supports the use of poems to develop phonological awareness.
  4. demonstrate how to use the poems to teach other phonological-awareness skills.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because modeling how to use what the teachers already have in a different way is the best way for the reading specialist to effectively improve teaching practice. Option A is incorrect because preparing lessons is not the best way to help the teachers learn to use the poems in different ways. The teachers need to be more actively involved in learning. Option B is incorrect because poems are excellent materials for teaching phonemic awareness, so new materials are not necessary. Option C is incorrect because while hearing about the research might motivate teachers to include additional phonological awareness instruction, it is not going to help them effectively use poems to teach other skills.

38. Mr. Harris, an elementary reading specialist, has reviewed the campus student data from a recent statewide reading assessment. To begin planning a campus-wide reading-improvement plan, he prepares a computerized presentation to report the findings to the staff. Which of the following would be the most useful type of graph to include in the computer presentation?

  1. A pie chart that indicates median comprehension scores for students in the various grades
  2. A multiple bar graph that compares grade-level scores by grade and test objective
  3. A line graph that compares the comprehensive scaled scores of students in each grade
  4. A scatter plot that indicates students’ strengths and weaknesses found across the grade levels
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because a bar graph can contain color-coded bars for each grade and can show achievement under each of the major objectives of the test, which can be used to help create the campus improvement plan. Option A is incorrect because comprehension scores in and of themselves do not detail all of the strategies or objectives that need to be addressed. A pie chart is not effective for this type of comparison. Option C is incorrect because a line graph is used to chart progress over time, usually of a single objective. Also, the use of scaled scores will not provide a great deal of information to use in developing the campus improvement plan. Option D is incorrect because a scatterplot is primarily used to identify a correlation between two sets of data collected over time, not from the administration of one assessment.

39. When designing professional development programs for classroom teachers, a beginning reading specialist should first consult

  1. the statewide student literacy objectives.
  2. the campus improvement plan.
  3. student enrollment information.
  4. past literacy achievement from report cards.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because the campus improvement plan outlines goals specific to the needs of the campus and so is the best place to start. Option A is incorrect because the information is not specific to the needs of the campus. Option C is incorrect because this does not provide information specific to reading. Option D is incorrect because there is not enough information on the report cards to design professional development programs.

40. When designing effective professional development for teachers, the administration should primarily focus on

  1. student performance data.
  2. topics that are of interest to teachers.
  3. the objectives of future assessments.
  4. the latest research on best practices.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because one of the key elements in modern approaches to providing professional development and support for teachers involves using objective data about student performance to help guide these efforts. Options B, C, and D are incorrect because the interests of teachers, the objectives of future assessments, and the latest research on best practices may not correlate with the needs of students.

Multiple-Competencies Passages

Use the information below to answer the questions that follow.

A second-grade student read the following text as part of an informal reading inventory.

"Do you have all your teeth? I am missing my two front teeth. I hope they grow back soon, so I can eat my favorite foods."

Below is the teacher’s transcription of the student’s reading.

"Do you (pause) hafe all you teef? I am missin me (pause) front teef. I hope fey (pause) grou back soon, so I can eat me faforite foods."

Competency 001—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of oral language development, relationships between oral language development and the development of reading skills and instructional methods that promote students’ oral language development at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

41. During the assessment, the student primarily demonstrates difficulty pronouncing words containing

  1. stop sounds.
  2. voiced sounds.
  3. consonant blends.
  4. nasal consonants.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because the /th/ in "teeth" and "they" is voiced as is the /v/ sound in "have" and "favorite." Option A is incorrect because /v/ is a continuous sound. Option C is incorrect because /th/ is a digraph, not a blend. Option D is incorrect because air escapes through the nose to make nasal sounds, which is not the case with /v/ and /th/.

Competency 004—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of word identification skills and strategies and instructional methods that promote students’ reading competence at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

42. Which of the following activities would best develop the student’s word-identification skills?

  1. Changing sounds in words to create different words
  2. Making a list of words with similar syllable patterns
  3. Highlighting high-frequency words in authentic text
  4. Underlining clues in text to determine unknown words
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because the student struggles with high-frequency words such as "your" and "my," and highlighting these words in text would help develop the student’s word-identification skills. Option A is incorrect because manipulating sounds to make new words develops letter-sound correspondences, which is not the student’s word-identification issue. Option B is incorrect because listing words that have similar syllable patterns develops syllabication, which is not an issue for the student. Option D is incorrect because although the student had difficulty using correct pronunciation, the student did not struggle with determining unknown words.

Competency 009—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of assessment instruments and procedures used to monitor and evaluate student progress in reading and to guide instructional decision making at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

43. Which of the following would be considered a miscue that significantly changes the meaning of the text?

  1. "Teef" for "teeth"
  2. "Missin" for "missing"
  3. Deletion of "two"
  4. "Grou" for "grow"
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because "grou" is not a word, so the miscue changes the meaning of the text. Option A is incorrect because substituting "teef" for "teeth" is a pronunciation issue and does not affect the student’s understanding of the text. Option B is incorrect because substituting "missin" for "missing" is a pronunciation issue and does not affect the student’s understanding of the text. Option C is incorrect because the text still makes sense without the word "two."

Use the information below to answer the questions that follow.

During an intervention, Ms. Tanya, a reading specialist, has students move counters into boxes as she says a single-syllable word. For example, when Ms. Tanya says "jump," a student fills in the boxes as shown below.

diagram of boxes.

Shaded-in circles, which are the counters, are drawn above each of the first four boxes, with an arrow under each circle pointing into the box below.

Competency 002—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of phonological and phonemic awareness, relationships between phonological and phonemic awareness and the development of reading competence and instructional methods that promote students’ phonological and phonemic awareness at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

44. The primary purpose of the technique is to develop students’ understanding of

  1. sound substitution.
  2. syllable accents.
  3. phoneme segmentation.
  4. morpheme analysis.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because the student has to segment the phonemes (sounds) to correctly place the counters. Option A is incorrect because the student does not have to substitute sounds to correctly place the counters. Option B is incorrect because the teacher is using single-syllable words. Understanding syllable accents is too advanced for students that would benefit from the counter activity. Option D is incorrect because morphemes are the smallest unit of meaning, and sounds rather than meaning are the focus of the activity.

Competency 003—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of written language and instructional to reinforce reading and writing at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

45. Which of the following changes to the activity will most effectively incorporate the alphabetic principle?

  1. Replacing the counters with letter tiles
  2. Supplying a manipulative with 26 boxes
  3. Providing students with multisyllabic words
  4. Having students say the word quickly
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because the alphabetic principle involves connecting letters to sounds, which could be accomplished through the use of letter tiles. Option B is incorrect because having a box for each letter does not help students understand that letters represent sounds in words. Option C is incorrect because simply giving students longer words to segment does not help them connect letters to sounds. Option D is incorrect because saying the word quickly involves the phonemic-awareness skill of blending, rather than the alphabetic principle.

Use the information below to answer the questions that follow.

A reading specialist has students with dyslexia use the following systematic list of strategies to help them learn to spell words.

  1. Look at the written word.
  2. Pronounce the word slowly.
  3. Say the word by syllable and by phoneme.
  4. Name the letters while writing each letter.
  5. After spelling the word, check the spelling against the word list.
  6. Visualize the letters of the word with your eyes closed.
  7. Trace the word.

Competency 012—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of effective literacy instruction for students with reading difficulties, dyslexia and reading disabilities at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

46. The primary reason the strategy is appropriate for students with dyslexia is that it

  1. highlights relationships between words.
  2. integrates the use of multiple senses.
  3. focuses on learning high-frequency words.
  4. develops students’ oral language skills.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because students are asked to use visual, tactile and auditory modalities with the strategy presented. Multisensory activities are essential in effective instruction for students with dyslexia. Option A is incorrect because the focus of the spelling strategy is on one word at a time with no connections being made to other words. Option C is incorrect because while instruction for students with dyslexia should focus on purposeful reading and writing, the strategy does not utilize the context of the words. Option D is incorrect because oral language plays a minimal part of the described strategy. Also, oral language skills are often a relative strength for students with dyslexia.

47. Which of the following common areas of difficulty for students with dyslexia is best addressed by step 4?

  1. Phonological awareness
  2. Decoding skills
  3. Alphabetic principle
  4. Rapid naming
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option D is correct because students have to name the letters as they write them, which will help to develop rapid naming skills that are often difficult for students with dyslexia. Option A is incorrect because sounds are used in steps 2 and 3, but only letters are used in step 4. Option B is incorrect because decoding skills are only used in steps 2 and 3 when students have to blend and segment the sounds. Option C is incorrect because students are saying letters without connecting them to their corresponding sound. Connecting letters to their sounds is the alphabetic principle.

Use the information below to answer the questions that follow.

A teacher takes a running record in May on Jeremiah, a second-grade student, using a self-selected book. Jeremiah read 66 words correct per minute (W C P M) with 95 percent accuracy and correctly answered 2 out of 4 comprehension questions about the text.

The following is a list of words miscalled by Jeremiah during the running record.

tattle
decision
adventure
giggle
motion
nature
simple

Competency 004—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of word identification skills and strategies and instructional methods that promote students’ reading competence at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

48. According to the list of mispronounced words, Jeremiah will benefit most from instruction in which of the following word-identification strategies?

  1. Detecting the syntactic placement of nouns
  2. Recognizing final stable-syllable patterns
  3. Tapping the sound made by each grapheme
  4. Identifying commonly used inflectional endings
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option B is correct because all of the words mispronounced contain the final-stable syllable –le, –tion, or –ture. Option A is incorrect because many of the words on the list are not nouns. Option C is incorrect because final-stable syllable patterns, which do not follow regular phonics rules, are present in each mispronounced word. Option D is incorrect because –ture is not an inflectional ending and –tion is a suffix.

Competency 005—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of reading fluency and instructional methods that promote students’ reading competence at grades 1 through 12.

49. The fluency data show that it is most beneficial for Jeremiah to select books that

  1. are at the same level.
  2. interest him more.
  3. are at a higher level.
  4. he has read many times.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option A is correct because Jeremiah read at the bottom of the independent range, and his WCPM is below expectations for the end of second grade. This means he needs to build fluency at this level before moving on. Option B is incorrect because there is no way from the data shown to determine Jeremiah’s interest in the text. Option C is incorrect because Jeremiah needs to read more words correct per minute at the level of the book that the data were drawn from before moving to more difficult texts. Option D is incorrect because while reading familiar texts can build the number of words correct per minute, Jeremiah also needs to be appropriately challenged in order to show reading growth.

Competency 006—The reading specialist understands and applies knowledge of reading comprehension and instructional methods that promote students’ reading comprehension at the levels of early childhood through grade 12.

50. According to the assessment data, Jeremiah’s teacher can infer that his comprehension of the text is primarily affected by his

  1. word-recognition skills.
  2. background knowledge.
  3. oral-reading rate.
  4. vocabulary development.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Option C is correct because Jeremiah’s oral-reading rate of 66 WCPM is below the expectation of 90 WCPM for the end of second grade. A low oral-reading rate will affect Jeremiah’s comprehension of the text. Option A is incorrect because Jeremiah correctly recognizing 95 percent of the words does not suggest a problem with word-identification skills. Option B is incorrect because none of the data shown give a clue to Jeremiah’s background knowledge of the text. Data from a prereading strategy would have to be given to show whether this affected Jeremiah’s comprehension of the text. Option D is incorrect because none of the data shown give a clue to Jeremiah’s vocabulary development. Data from a vocabulary-development strategy would have to be given to show whether this affected Jeremiah’s comprehension of the text.

Return to Navigation