secret to passing the RICA?

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

  1. Dianne Trout

    Dianne Trout New Member

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    Jul 5, 2017

    Hey Newbie808
    I searched for Dr Rene Mendel online but to no avail. Might you have some contact info?
     
  2. Jenniferball1

    Jenniferball1 New Member

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    Jul 17, 2017

    I
    I do would you like her number her 3 hour course online is a 100 and her in person is 130 she also does tutoring I think for 50 and hour
     
  3. Confusedasusual

    Confusedasusual Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2017

    Vsimpkins, I'd love to be able to study from your study guide. I keep failing by 7 points. I've used all the teacher jargon, studied Zarillo and Boosalis and I'm still failing. Help!
     
  4. Confusedasusual

    Confusedasusual Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2017

    Sadly, you and I are in the same boat. I'm in the Bay Area and I keep missing by 7 points. Soon, my CSET will be nullified, which means my credential program grades/TPA/etc. will be nullified (per state) too. I'm soo distraught. The state keeps complaining about a teacher shortage and yet they won't freeze this test.


    QUOTE="Curiousfox, post: 2031510, member: 109421"]Hey everyone!

    So this will be my 6th time taking this test. I am on the verge of going back to school for another career. I love working with kids and I don't want this test to crush that for me. That being said, any tips to help? I had the Cliff notes book, that didn't work. I have the Zarillo book, but it only helped so much. I have done the RICA seminars and is able to take it again for free since I didn't pass. I have watched the videos on YouTube by the one professor. Each time I have not gone lower than 200. The closest I have gotten to passing is 218. Every test I have gotten a 2 for the case study as well as word analysis and I believe comprehension. At this point, I will take anything ANYTHING to help me pass next month. I would like to find a job for the next year.[/QUOTE]
    Sa
     
  5. Confusedasusual

    Confusedasusual Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2017

    I think my issue is that when I take my test, I'm not using the specific "buzz words" aka teacher jargon. I'm using the language that I would use when I explain to parents what we need to do to get their children up to grade level. I really wish they'd split this test in half because the big essay takes at least two hours and causes anxiety. I wish they'd go back to paper tests too because a lot of people, like myself, are tactile. I need those papers to flip back and fourth and write notes on it.

     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Use the teacher language, not the parent language. The people who score RICA are teachers or teachers of teachers; they want to know whether you know enough about reading to succeed as their colleague. They expect to see the professional terminology.

    Writing for fellow professionals rather than for parents may make it easier not to spend two hours just on the case study. (The case study counts for 1/4 of available scaled points; it probably shouldn't take half the time.) If I'm describing a word sort activity that involves picture cards and diphthongs to a parent, I'm likely to have to explain what a diphthong is and how it differs from a regular vowel, and I'm going to have to explain what a word sort is, and I'm probably going to have to try to convey what it is that picture cards can possibly have to do with words. If I'm explaining that activity to another teacher, however, I can use "diphthong" and "picture card" and even "word sort" with confidence that I don't have to explain what those terms mean.
     
  7. cmuir

    cmuir Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2017

    I've taken the RICA three times now, each time adding resources to my study collection, but have not been able to pass this test. My first attempt, I used the notes provided by my RICA tutor and scored 213, with a +++ in Domains 1 and 2, a ++ for Domain 3, ++ for Domain 4 and +++ for Domain 5. For the case study I scored ++. The second time I attempted the test, I used the notes given to me by the tutor, as well as the revised Zarillo book, and online study "matching" games where definitions are matched with terms. I scored 210 overall and received a ++++ for Domain 1, ++ for Domains 2, 3, 4, and 5. The case study gave me a ++++. For my third and most recent attempt, I used my tutoring notes, the Zarillo book, Boosalis videos and online study games and received a score of 214. Domain 1 I received a ++, Domain 2 I was scored +++, Domain 3 a +, Domain 4 ++, Domain 5 +++ and for the case study I was scored with +.

    I have yet to complete student teaching and was in the credential program 7 years ago, so I'm thinking that may have something to do with my inability to pass thus far.I will be student teaching starting in August, but I've been told that my course work will be expiring in December, so I need to pass this test the next time I take it (Sept 11). I'm at a loss, however as to how to adequately do so. I've ordered Cliffnotes, which I will read and study in conjunction with my other materials and books, but any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
  8. allaphoristic

    allaphoristic Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2017

    What worked for me was doing a deep dive of Zarillo. Near the beginning of the book he lists 12? topics that you need to know for sure and what you need to know about them - what it is, how to teach it, how to assess it. I made a graphic organizer with that information. I also focused on the structure of the test. Zarillo breaks down which domains have short essays and which have long essays. I kept track so that I knew which topic I needed to focus on for which essay. Good luck!
     
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  9. cmuir

    cmuir Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2017

    Thank you for your reply. I'm feeling extremely discouraged with myself; my abilities; and this test overall, especially since I felt so confident that I had passed both the first and third times taking the test (the second time, I walked out knowing for certain that I didn't fare too well).

    You gave great advice with regard to Zarillo. My plan is to re-read the Zarillo book, making additional note cards for content that I may have missed the first time that I read the text. I've heard that Cliffnotes is a hit or miss, so I plan to read that book as well, but focus primarily on Zarillo. It's been 7 years since I was in the credential program, so a lot of what was covered I have since forgotten. I'll be starting student teaching in a few weeks, and I'm assuming that once I'm back in the swing of things that the content may start coming back to me. The downside however, is that I won't have much extra time for studying. I'm hoping to get as much studying in between now and the 28th (which is when I begin student teaching), but of course having failed the test 3 other times, I'm plagued with negative thoughts about my next test taking date.

    Thank you again for the advice and pointers; it's very much appreciated!
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 5, 2017

    cmuir, hugs. The best advice I can give you is to get in the habit of "speaking RICA": find excuses to use the terminology, at least to yourself. Sitting at a stoplight? Name the phonemes and graphemes in the street name. Waiting in a doctor's office? Pick up a children's book and muse to yourself about a skill you could use it to teach, the age level for which it would be appropriate, and how.
     
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  11. cmuir

    cmuir Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2017

    Thank you TeacherGroupie. I've heard that "speaking RICA" is very helpful, but my issue is second guessing myself. For instance, I may try to break a street name down into phonemes, graphemes, blends, digraphs, dipthongs, syllables, etc..., but then I wonder if I'm doing it correctly, or whether I've missed something. I definitely need to get over my fears; lack of self confidence; and negative thoughts because let's be honest, it's doing nothing more than holding me back. Thank you again for your suggestions and advice.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 5, 2017

    Tell you what, cmuir: define "diphthong" and "digraph" for me and give me an example word for each.
     
  13. cmuir

    cmuir Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2017

    Dipthong: Two vowel sounds sounded together (ex: ou in loud)

    Digraph: Two graphemes that make a single sound (Ex: Sh as in shock and Ph in Phil)
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Your definition of "diphthong" is pretty good. Can you find another word with the same diphthong in which the diphthong is spelled differently? Is the "ou" in "you" also a diphthong? If not, why not?(Oh, and for the record: "diphthong" is spelled with two h's. It turns out that "phthong" is Greek for 'sound'.)

    There are, for purposes of teaching reading, four diphthongs in American English. What are the other three?

    You're in a little more difficulty with "grapheme". A grapheme is a way to spell a sound. Thus "p" in "productive" is a grapheme, and "ph" in "grapheme" is a grapheme; the difference is that "ph" is a grapheme that consists of two symbols.

    What do graphemes have to do with phonemic awareness?
     
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2017

    cmuir, I know this seems cliched but go with your GUT feeling. A lot of the times, your first guess is the right one (assuming you made an educated guess).

    Here is how I look at it: If you are not 100% sure that the answer you selected is wrong -- after eliminating the other answer choices by making educated guesses -- then DON'T change the answer. Why would you change an answer choice you guessed anyway? What would be the point of changing the answer to another guess? This is what I advise to my students when they take multiple choice tests.

    And just to be clear: This will NOT work ALL the time, but it can help eliminate your second guessing problem. :)

    Good luck!

    Edit: If you have to guess consecutively (this is a last resort), then select the same answer choice for each question. The odds are such that you are *more likely* to get more problems correctly then, say, selecting randomly (e.g. a, c, c, b, etc).
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  16. cmuir

    cmuir Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2017

    Thank you for the reply. To answer the questions that you posed, I would say with complete uncertainty that the "ou" in "you" is a vowel digraph because of the long "U" in the word. I would also say that the "ou" is a diphthong because the two vowels produce a single sound.

    As far as the four diphthongs in American English, I thought there were closer to seven or eight. Some of them are "ou" as in "sound", "oi" in "oil", "oy" in "boy" and "ei" in "eight", "ai" as in "aim".

    Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words. Because the English language is an alphabetic language, children must be taught that words are made up of phonemes that are represented by letters or groups of letters. This is vital information in teaching students to learn to read.

    Thank you again for the reply; I really appreciate all of your input and advice with this test.
     
  17. cmuir

    cmuir Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2017

    Thank you so much. I've heard that typically the first choice is the best choice (assuming that one made an educated guess). I typically stick with this thinking as well, however I'm finding that for the questions that I am guessing on, there are typically two answers that seem plausible for the scenario posed, so it's a matter of choosing the "best" answer out of those two. With that being said, I don't know if my "best" answer meets up with the tests "best" answer, which in turn causes me to second guess myself.

    Thank you again for your reply and for the advice.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Vowel diGRAPH, yes, because the two letters <ou> in "you" SPELL a single vowel sound, and it's the same sound that they spell in "group" or "Lou" (short for "Louise") or "cougar". DiPHTHONG, no, because what one HEARS or says (quite irrespective of spelling) is a ONE-sound vowel - that is, if you sound out the first syllable of "cougar", you get the consonant /k/ and a vowel that educators tend to render as "/oo/". As you correctly pointed out a few posts ago, however, a diphthong is a TWO-sound vowel, as in "loud": sound "loud" out, and between the consonants /l/ and /d/ you get something that starts out like the /a/ in "father" or the /æ/ in "fad" before it changes.

    Note, please, that <y> at the beginning of "you" spells its own sound just as surely as it does in "yack", "yoke", and "yuck".

    With all of this said, you're right that the "long U" sound is a diphthong - though by "long U" we mean the vowel sound in "cute" or "few", and notice how that differs from the vowel in "cougar" or "food". Long U is the diphthong no one admits to, partly because it's lost its onglide (the bit that sounds like /y/) after alveolar consonants (/t d s z r l) in many dialects of American English - we Californians don't pronounce "tune" so it sounds like "tyoon", though speakers of RP British English (the poshest British English) do. But that onglide is responsible for the letter <t> sounding like "ch" in "nature", the letter <d> sounding like "j" in education, the letter <s> sounding like "sh" in "sure" and "sugar", s c> coming to sound like "sh" in "nation", session, special and for the letters <s z> sounding as they do

    On the level purely of phonetics, yes, there are more diphthongs, depending on the dialect of English: a person who pronounces the "long A" sound without the /y/-like offglide is likely to be identified as not a native speaker of English. It's exactly the same sound, by the way, in "nature", "bait", "pay", "they", "veil", and "eight": spelling doesn't matter. But there are dialects of English that don't make long A a diphthong - and, more to the point, there's no dialect of English in which pronouncing long A without the y-offglide results in a different word than pronouncing it with the offglide. The same goes for "long O" with its audible w-offglide as in "Grow oats with aloe? Oh, no, Beau!"

    But "cute" (long U, with y-onglide) and "coot" (oo-sound, no offglide) sound different only in their vowels, yes? So the long U is a phonemic diphthong. There are three other phonemic diphthongs in English, and you've already identified two of them:

    - The diphthong that's spelled <ou> in "sound". We can tell that this sound is a phoneme because "sounder" (with diphthong) is a different word than either "sander" or "sunder". We also know it's a diphthong because English has two words spelled <row>: the more common one with long O means 'to propel a boat with oars' or 'a line of objects', but the one with the diphthong means 'a fight'. (The Row River in Oregon is pronounced with the diphthong: it commemorates a feud between brothers.)

    - The diphthong that's generally spelled either <oi> or <oy>, as in "A noise annoys an oyster." We know it's a phoneme distinct from long O because "noise" is a different word than "nose".

    The remaining phonemic diphthong is "long I", which has a vexingly large number of spellings, including "by", "buy", "bye", "hi", "heist", "high", and "height".

    Good try on the definition of phonemic awareness. I wish schools of education would teach it differently: "Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the phonemes of English, which are the sounds that distinguish one spoken word from another." Phonemic awareness can perfectly well be fostered without any reference to the alphabet; the average three-year-old is capable of noticing that "mama" and "me" begin with the same sound /m/, long before she connects the stuff in the alphabet song to those funny squiggles that adults pay so much attention to. If she is aware of /m/ as a phoneme, then she's got something to attach to the letter <m> when she learns it.

    Any test answer that makes the alphabet part of phonemic awareness is an answer that is leading you astray.
     
  19. cmuir

    cmuir Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2017

    Wow! Thank you for the thorough reply, and for clarifying the definition of Phonemic Awareness. I truly appreciate the time you have taken out of your day to help me better understand the topics at hand.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 9, 2017

    You're welcome. Got questions? Ask.
     

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