FTCE Middle Grades English...auuuuugh!

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by FLnewbie, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. FLnewbie

    FLnewbie Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2014

    Doing review and prep work for the FL Middle Grades English exam and the flashcards I just bought (Mometrix FTCE Secrets series) are causing a slight meltdown :eek:.

    Do I really need to be familiar with authors like Moliere and Strindberg??! There must be 150 author flashcards here in the mix, and so many of them are not ever going to be part of a middle school ELA curriculum.

    Someone talk me off this ledge...
     
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  3. FLnewbie

    FLnewbie Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2014

    Well, having been through all the author flashcards, I feel I little less freaked out. I did know most of them and I reviewed the 20 or so that made me draw a blank so that at least I know what country they were from and the work associated with each one.

    Back to psych and pedagogy!
     
  4. dpatriots

    dpatriots New Member

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    Jan 22, 2014

    I just took the exam in early January and I found out today I passed! Yay! With that said, there was not a lot of questions about authors on the test. Also, the questions were geared more towards teaching techniques for the different grade levels. Some questions regarding figurative language. Make sure you know different learning techniques. I was most worried about the essay. I wrote a standard 5 paragraph essay using basic analysis, not a bunch of fancy literature words.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. FLnewbie

    FLnewbie Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2014

    dpatriots, that is super encouraging! Thanks, and wish me luck :)
     
  6. FLnewbie

    FLnewbie Rookie

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    Jan 23, 2014

    I survived. Now the wait begins. I thought the multiple choice wasn't awful, all in all. Surprisingly, the essay is what I am worried about. I am a strong writer but I came within seconds of timing out without finishing. At 8 minutes to go, I had no conclusion written. I turned my final paragraph into a concluding paragraph and slammed some other stuff around to make it work. Actually, it did make sense in context, but I would have given my left arm for 10 more minutes.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 23, 2014

    If you answered the question posed, you probably did fine. Subject-matter teacher test constructed responses are much less about being pretty essays and much more about demonstrating a command of the content.
     
  8. FLnewbie

    FLnewbie Rookie

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    Jan 23, 2014

    Thanks, TeacherGroupie! I feel pretty good about it. Now to get through the weeks til scores come out.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 23, 2014

    Breathe, please, and find something else for your brain to do, okay?
     
  10. FLnewbie

    FLnewbie Rookie

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    Jan 23, 2014

    LOL, you bet! Actually, I am taking the General Knowledge tests next week so I'll probably do some math review over the weekend. Everything else is in good shape there, thankfully.

    However, for now, a little relaxing is in order!
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 23, 2014

    Very good!
     
  12. Pixie Dust

    Pixie Dust Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2016

    Hi TeacherGroupie.

    I am in need of some words of wisdom, guidance, and prayers! I will be taking the English 5-9 exam next week and I am literally spending the entire day, sun up, sun down, reading and studying. Please wish me luck :)
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    What are you doing to study, Pixie Dust?
     
  14. Queet

    Queet Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2016

    Hi, I just took my English Exam 5-9 yesterday and didn't pass. Honestly, I didn't study as much but the things I studied were not on the test. The test was full of teaching strategies for reading and language arts. I am actually going to try and find a teaching book because the study books are outdated. There were a few questions that dealt with the basics: grammar, terms, etc. good luck! I am going to wait for my official scores to see exactly where I went wrong. Does anyone know of a good study guide to use in order to pass this exam?
     
  15. Pixie Dust

    Pixie Dust Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2016

    Hi Queet.

    It's comforting to know I'm not the only one that did not pass the FTCE English middle grades exam today. It's unfair that there is not a condensed study resource that we could use to prepare for the exam. The FTCE website provides a list of resources; however, I think it's unreasonable to expect a teacher to afford to buy all the books and much less read every single one. I have been teaching for several years, I have had great evaluations, and I'm a highly effective teacher as evidenced by my students' success. Nevertheless, this test has dominance over my career even though I feel like I'm being set up for failure. What's worse is that we can't even review our exams to learn from our mistakes. Everything we learn to implement in the classroom as a "best practice" does not apply to us teachers when we are the students. How is it fair that we cannot receive feedback or review our mistakes yet we are expected to improve? To add insult to injury, two of the multiple choice options on a question were EXACTLY the same. Um, test reliability? But what could I do? Teach full time, tutor to earn more money so that I can afford to buy more of the suggested books, spend more time reading while I'm working full time, and pay to re-take the test not knowing what my areas for growth are. Please remind me why I decided to become a teacher.

    With love from a career that needs some,
    Pixie Dust
     
  16. Pixie Dust

    Pixie Dust Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2016

    Hi TeacherGroupie.

    I purchased a few books listed on the suggested reading list found on the FTCE website. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to buy them all and it would be nearly impossible to read them all anyway. One of the multiple choice questions had two choices that were exactly the same, word for word. At this point I just don't know what to do.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 9, 2016

    I'm fairly certain that the question with the duplicate possible answers is a non-scoring question. Both Pearson and Praxis regularly include, among multiple-choice questions, some questions that are being field-tested for inclusion in future versions. The question you're citing sounds like one that is more than usually "buggy" (in the computer-glitch sense).

    As for the list of books, that's not a list of requirements all of which you need: it's a list of possibilities. In any category, it should be the case that any of the books would be helpful. Supplement as needed with information from Wikipedia or elsewhere on the internet.

    As for teaching strategies for middle school English, have you tried Googling "teaching strategies middle school English", or searching the website of the Florida department of education for documents or pages that discuss such strategies? You might also see if the Florida Center for Reading Research is still in business; it might have a list of useful upper-grade comprehension-building strategies.
     
  18. Jinotepe17

    Jinotepe17 Rookie

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    Mar 23, 2017

    I took this test about 10 days ago and did not pass the MC questions. I don't know about the essay yet. I am struggling to find out how to study. The test was all about "scenarios," very hard to figure out the answers.
     
  19. Pixie Dust

    Pixie Dust Rookie

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    May 23, 2017

    Hi Queet,

    Did you retake the test?

     
  20. Queet

    Queet Rookie

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    May 24, 2017

    Not yet. I plan to take it in the next couple of weeks. Have you found study material?
     
  21. Pixie Dust

    Pixie Dust Rookie

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    May 24, 2017

    Hi Queet,

    No, I have not found any specific study material. I have the FTCE study guide books and I am studying teaching techniques as I've heard there are a lot of hypothetical questions. I'm scheduled to take the test the first Saturday in June. Are you in Broward county?
     
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