secret to passing the RICA?

Discussion in 'Other Tests' started by littlemama, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. Got2Teach

    Got2Teach Rookie

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    Dec 1, 2016

    Hello, donberto 17!

    Congratulations on passing the RICA exam! I'm new to this forum so I am scrolling through posts from last year.

    Thank you for sharing the two sources that you used to help you achieve success!

    I'm curious. Do you feel that one needs to take a test prep course, buy Rossi's Case Study book, buy Bobrow's book, and buy Zarrillo's book in order to pass? or Do you feel that a strict study schedule with Zarrillo and Boosalis videos and an Elementary Reading Methods course is enough to pass the RICA? As I said, I've been looking at the posts and some test takers do A LOT to prepare for this exam and have spent a lot of money (my heart goes out to them), then I compare it to you and other person in this forum who've only used two sources and you PASSED!

    I'm taking my test either this Sunday or in two weeks--I'm praying about it and studying! I would appreciate feedback, tips, advice, and suggestions. I have Zarrillo's book and I have read it, marked it up, made notes, huge posters are all over the walls in my room. I have also watched Boosalis' videos (still have 6 or 7 more to go--mostly the Case Studies).

    Sincerely,
    Got2Teach
     
  2. SPH_Teacher

    SPH_Teacher Rookie

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    Dec 11, 2016

    I retake the exam on Tuesday. Been studying and watching the vids on youtube. If I don't pass I lose my job, as the day gets closer I'm freaking out. I'm worried that I don't know all the vocabulary/jargon, and that I butcher the written responses.

    I have memorized the Learning To Read "wheel"

    CAP-book concepts, Sentence concepts, word concepts, upper/lower case letter names
    Phonemic Awareness- ID sounds, blend sounds, segment sounds
    Decoding & Fluency- Letter sounds correspondence, onset & rime, phonics rules (generalizations), simple polysyllabic words, Fluency (rate, accuracy, prosody)
    Vocabulary Development- Regular sight words, irregular sight words, advance polysyllabic words, structural analysis, & context clues.

    I hope this helps me, I'm working on comprehension at the moment.

    Stress level 100!!!
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 12, 2016

    Hm. RICA's domains divide up the content a little differently, SPH_Teacher: you might want to think about which RICA domain is the best fit for each of the concepts you've outlined above. (Onset and rime aren't generally considered part of decoding, because a kid can learn to recognize onsets and rimes before she learns the alphabet.)
     
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  4. Jsasss

    Jsasss Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2016

    I know this thread is old, but did the people posting end up eventually passing?!
     
  5. Abilene

    Abilene New Member

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    Dec 20, 2016

    Hello vsimpkins, I was wondering if you still had the study guide you developed for the RICA? I will be taking it in the summer.
    I do not know how to send private messages.
     
  6. SPH_Teacher

    SPH_Teacher Rookie

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    Dec 28, 2016

    So I got my results back

    First 3 domains I got +++
    the last 2 domains i got ++
    and case study was ++

    I had a complete panic attack right before the exam and could not focus. missed it by 7 points. I will be laid off as of January 20th. I'm trying to remain calm, but with a school loan payment due, this is becoming a nightmare. I'm starting to regret wanting to become a teacher. :(
     
  7. SPH_Teacher

    SPH_Teacher Rookie

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    Dec 28, 2016

    I've completed the masters/credential program, does anyone know what happens if I don't pass the RICA?
     
  8. SPH_Teacher

    SPH_Teacher Rookie

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    Dec 28, 2016

    Some people have.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 29, 2016

    If you're within seven points, you can probably get the rest of the way. Self-hypnosis might help with the panic attack next time. Consider also thinking of the test as something you're teaching another person to take.

    In addition to ++, what diagnostics do you see for your case study?
     
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  10. SPH_Teacher

    SPH_Teacher Rookie

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    Jan 10, 2017

    It said describing the instructional strategy. I knew I did terrible in the Case Study because it was when my panic attack began. All I can think of was me losing my job and not being able to make my mortgage payment. I kept deleting what I would write and second guessing myself. IIRC I didn't stay with the orientation, presentation, guided practice, independent/application outline for the Case Study because I started going over 600 words.

    Also, did the same for the comprehension response. I kept thinking that I was using the wrong graphic organizer, so I kept deleting and rewriting.

    Another mistake I made was drinking a 5 hr. energy before the exam, which I have never done!!! It gave me the jitters. I stared at the screen for like 20 minutes.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 10, 2017

    "Describing an instructional strategy" for RICA doesn't mean spelling it out the way you'd explain it to someone who doesn't know reading instruction. It means showing what the instructional strategy looks like for THIS specific need with THIS student or set of students. Give some example words or sentences, or whatever's appropriate to the strategy, that are also tailored to the need and the students. A first-grader's word wall is not going to include the word "appropriate", usually. A high school junior's word wall, or the equivalent, shouldn't need to include "to", "too", and "two".)

    It can be good exercise to choose a standard instructional strategy and then brainstorm about how it could meet various needs for a kindergartner, then a first grader, and so on.
     
  12. SPH_Teacher

    SPH_Teacher Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2017

    Okay, so in the case study the student had several needs. One was fluency; specifically rate. I don't remember exactly what I wrote, but should I explain what fluency and reading rate is?
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 11, 2017

    Other than by pointing out evidence consistent with rate as a need, choosing an intervention that can be made to work for rate, and explaining how it will work for rate, no.
     
  14. SPH_Teacher

    SPH_Teacher Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2017

    Would you say that "describing instructional strategy/activity" has to do with explaining the benefit?
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 11, 2017

    No: explaining the benefit is what the third of the three diagnostic phrases is about - that is, WHY it will work. Describing an instructional strategy or activity has to do with giving enough detail so it's clear HOW it will work. Try this: Pick one instructional strategy that could be adapted to either grade-level second graders or advanced fifth graders. Tell me briefly how it would look for the second graders. Then tell me briefly how it will be different for the fifth graders.
     
  16. SPH_Teacher

    SPH_Teacher Rookie

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    Jan 13, 2017

    Making Words:
    Prep: I will develop 4x5 cards with 8th grade lv words, divided by root words and affixes.
    Orientation: I will front load the definition of root words and affixes (prefix & suffix) to the students.
    Presentation: I will explain to students that words can me made by adding an affix to a root word. I will then demonstrate making words by using the cards; Con/duct = conduct. Then I will read the word aloud.
    Guided Practice: I will have student put roots and affixes together as I monitor and provide feedback.
    Independent: Allow student to independently attempt activity.

    For second grade I will use visuals to make compound words. Then have the students bring both visuals together to make one word.

    I hope this is what you asked for. I'm still trying to get over this anxiety.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 13, 2017

    This is on the right track: you've chosen appropriate categories of words for the two grades.

    Here are some issues with the content of your responses:

    1. I asked for second grade and FIFTH grade, not second grade and EIGHTH grade. (TeacherGroupie's Law #1: Always answer the question as it is asked, insofar as possible.)

    2. The nature of the exercise isn't specified in enough detail. Will each affix match with exactly one root/each base word with exactly one other base word, or will there be multiple possible combinations? (Which choice is best will depend on whether students are already familiar with affixation/compounding: obviously the simpler case is better for the beginners.)

    3. Neither activity addresses the issue of student output. As you've described this, it sounds like students would just be shoving cards together, pair by pair. If you're monitoring students one by one, how will you then know that a student you haven't been monitoring has been matching the cards correctly? For that matter, how will the students know? For the eighth graders, I'd recommend having them write down the words they create and perhaps guess at the definitions, and then perhaps refine those definitions as a class or in small groups. For the second graders, checking off words on a list might be more practical.

    4. What sorts of words would the second graders be making, and with what sorts of words? Presumably they're new to the concept of compounding: if so, the compounds should probably be words in grade-level oral vocabulary, and the base words should almost certainly be in oral vocabulary and probably either decodable or grade-level sight words. For instance, baseball from base + ball, nightlight from night + light. These base words won't be altogether easy to draw visuals for, or at least to represent SOLELY with visuals; picture-card activities might be better for younger kids.

    5. Your description of the activity for eighth graders implies that they're new to the concept of affixation. In that case, it might make sense to stick with roots plus prefixes only or plus suffixes only, rather than throwing both prefixes and suffixes in at the same time. On the other hand, I think affixation does show up earlier in the state standards.

    Now some issues that bear more on test taking:

    1. Where practical, answer the parts of a question in the order in which they're asked: in this case, second grade first, then the older kids.

    2. When describing what students are doing, do not write "I would have students...", write "Students will..."

    3. Supply more examples of the words with which you'll have students working, and supply them as you describe the activity. Make sure these examples are suited to the specific goal of the exercise.

    4. HOW do you plan to model use of 4x5 cards? They're pretty small.
     
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  18. SPH_Teacher

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    Jan 17, 2017 at 11:54 AM

    Wow I completely misread the grade levels. Thanks for the information its very helpful. I believe that's my biggest obstacle, how much detail information should I type. However, I noticed that you used simple straight forward sentences to explain the concept.

    My concern is that now that I've failed so many times, my confidence is low and I second guess myself. I need to get over it.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 17, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    The responses for domains 3 (fluency) and 4 (vocab., academic language, and background knowledge) are focused or short responses: 75 to 150 words each. Choose a paragraph from this thread and count the words to see how many words 75 words is, or rather isn't. Your response could perfectly well consist of sentence fragments.

    The responses for domains 2 (word analysis) and 5 (comprehension) are a bit longer, 150 to 300 words each. It remains the case, however, that scorers care much less about whether you've written pretty than whether you've covered the necessary concepts using the appropriate technical terms the way you'd use them to a fellow professional.

    Getting the grade level wrong shouldn't cost you more than one raw point per response, provided the response otherwise contains elements it should contain.
     
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  20. SPH_Teacher

    SPH_Teacher Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2017 at 2:14 PM


    I scored +++ in the first 3 domains. I really blew it on the comprehension question. I kept 2nd guessing myself and deleting. I'm going to study the Bosalis videos again (along w/ the worksheets) and practice writing the Case Study.

    Do you think I would be okay if I leave out orientation and just go straight to presentation? A friend told me to always mention preteaching the information, is that something you would recommend doing?
     

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