FTCE English 6-12

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by TheConspiracy, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Mar 29, 2006

    I am a graduating English Major and I am taking the SAE for Eng 6-12 on April 22 and I got the little booklet thing-y going over the competencies, and I am just bumfuzzled. There is a LOT on teaching theory and I have several books on teaching theory- none of which cover these things. And a google didn't yield fantastic results. I just don't know where I am expected to get the information that is covered on this exam. It seems - well - random. A little of this odd thing and a little of that. I got a 21 out of 30 in their little prep test (barely a passing - I think - they don't tell you what you need to pass). And I really want to study what will be on the exam since I am pressed for time to pass in order to be hired for the 06 school year (I have to pass it first time to have my duckies lined up in time- so pressure is on).

    Is there ANY help out there. I am wary of plunking down $40 for a prep book since I am not seeing raving reviews on them. I just feel that the info is too random to effectively study.

    PLEASE HELP!
    ~J
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 29, 2006

    For the teaching theory stuff, try Answers.com instead of Google; if there are terms that Answers.com has entries for, it will give you answers and not just Web sites. If you alternate between specific and less specific searches, you may find more "hits". It may also be that there's a discrepancy between the labels your books use and the labels you're seeing in the booklet, so another reasonable approach is to look up big important terms from your textbooks and see whether the hits you get help you make the translations.

    One important tip for all teacher tests: If you think the material's too random to study, you're probably trying to be too specific with it. Try looking for connections rather than disconnections.

    If you check the CSET English threads on A to Z, you're likely to find some other useful resources, including some on line.

    And don't be shy about posting questions about the material you're studying. This forum works pretty well when used as a sort of online study group.
     
  4. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Mar 30, 2006

    Well, I more-or-less was able to look up the three terms I didn't know. But the use seemed so random that I feel a little confused because I just don't know what OTHER kind of material will randomly pop up. The booklet you get says that it is to be used as a guide for the kinds of things to study. Well... I know some theory and these thoeries just aren't ones that have been covered (or have different names) by my books. I mean... it seems awefully general to just study ALL of teaching theory - since there are literally thousands of different theories out there.

    Not to mention that some of the "right" answers seem illogical or conflict with things in my text books.

    Here are a few examples:
    Q. 23 - after a 7th grade class studies a novel, which method would be most effective for testing students' understanding of character?

    A. taking a test matching characters with descritpions.
    B. Memorizing portions of a character's dialogue.
    C. Predicting what characters will be doing in the future.
    D. Completing worksheets on ways authors create characters.

    The right answer is C. But NONE of my books or any reference material I can find cites this as an answer AT ALL!!! Yet, answer A (the one I would choose) shows up in TWO of my text books. Clearly they are using an authoritative source for their answers - but it is supposed to be some gigantic mystery as to which one. If they don't gve us a clue about exactly whose ideas about teaching they embrace - how am I supposed to know who to study (since ideas often conflict with one another)?

    Here is another example
    Q. 28 - As a class project, seniors are creating a "memories" book. Which technological resource would be most appropriate for creating and disseminating their book?

    My answer was a word processing program. Seemed logical.

    Their answer is CD-ROM.

    I honestly don't see the greater value of EITHER answer since there is not enough information given in the question. Are the "memories" just written accounts of things people remember? (In which it seemes most logically connected to a word processing program). Or does it contain photos and multi-media? (In which case a word processing program wouldn't be the BEST answer). But it doesn't say - and I just don't see how they are quantifying which is better than the other.

    Here is another that actually conflicts with one of my text books.
    Q 12- To best prepare students to conduct research for a project, a teacher should have students-

    A. Locate information in the media center's encyclopedias.
    B. Print as much information as they can find from the internet.
    C. Look up key words in a thesaurus so they can use a search engine.
    D. Use an online card catalogue to determine available resources.

    I would have chosen C - depending on how narrowly they define a "search engine". In the strictest computer-geek sense, an online card catalogue is a search engine. And according ot one of my texts, the best method to beginning research is to brainstorm (ie use a thesaurus) on alternative wordings to make the greatest use of their resources. They said the correct answer is D. Which sounds great - but doesn't agree with my text (and realistically the text I have seems to be correct - when looking up "Huckleberry Fin" one might also need to look up "Mark Twain" and "Mississippi River" etc - not just "Huck Fin" - in order to get the best possible yeild).

    So, this is why it seems random. Because it is clearly NOT random (lol). They are clearly using some kind of "canonized" source - and they aren't sharing what that source is. It is like a needle in a haystack.

    ~J
     
  5. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Mar 30, 2006

    Hi Conspiracy. Is the FLDOE preparation guide as bad as the one for Middle Grades English 5-9? It has a list of forty books/articles which one is supposed to use as reference in studying. All of the referenced works are about 15 years old! Don't they think things might have changed in 15 years? Most of the articles are unavailable and in looking for one book, the only place I can find it is a book seller who wants $900 for the thing. I think it's time they update!
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

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    Mar 30, 2006

    The thing about general knowledge tests is that if one believes they test randomly, then the tests will indeed look extremely random.

    Given a source of sample questions and answers, a good exercise is to try to figure out why the given answer could make sense, using all the information at hand.

    Question 23 depends partly on the fact that these are 7th graders and not younger students: they're old enough to be beginning to get the hang of higher-order thinking. Answer A specifies a MATCHING task - fine for quick quizzes to make sure that everyone's on more or less the same page, but not such a hot tool to measure comprehension of a concept. Question 23 also hangs partly on the idea of the cognitive hierarchy, of which Bloom's taxonomy is probably the best known: the short version is that knowing-that is relatively basic (that would be matching characters and descriptions), knowing-how is more advanced (that would be generating and defending a description), and knowing-why would be still more advanced (and in order to predict behavior, one has to know why the character behaved that way in the past).

    Question 28 refers to creation, yes, but also to dissemination. Given two terms like this that are not synonymous, one needs to select the answer choice that best fits BOTH terms. A word processing program is a fine way to create documents, but it's not a very good way to share them because not everyone has the same word processor or fonts: to share, a CD-ROM is a better choice.

    As to question 12, bear in mind that you're not taking a computer-geek test, you're taking a teacher test - make assumptions that are plausible for the classroom and the educational process. I will concede that this question is not written particularly well and is susceptible of varying interpretations.

    By the way, I disagree vigorously that there is A Single Canonical Source that was used for this test: tests like these are nearly always group efforts by people whose backgrounds are far from identical. No one demands that you ace this thing, simply that you do well enough - which, if FCTE runs to type for teacher tests, should be in the neighborhood of 2/3 correct. I think the leeway is built in intentionally.
     
  7. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Mar 31, 2006

    Thanks so much for responding.

    I can see (with your explinations) WHY the set of answers they gave are more correct than the one I chose [although I feel that it is ironic that yesterday I had a 5000 level university course that tested me by matching characters to their descriptions (although actually being able to describe a character in some modern novels is a real challenge) ].

    My concern is that I am only seeing the validity in retrospect and I won't do so well at identifying the answers without having the answers as a reference tool (lol).

    I do know that the test is determined by a symposium of people - so I agree that there is no one single cannonized text. But - I do believe that these people are pulling from a grouping of accepted theories (perhaps the ones that have undergone the most intensive scrutiny - double blind studies, etc). Otherwise it would seem mind boggling to just be able to determine the correct answer out of what some people may or may not hold true in their own personal teaching philopophies. Like all theories- there are a million and they contradict one another. So - there has to be some set of standards they are pulling from (then again - maybe not - which is frightening).

    I e-mailed the teaching certification coordinator at my school to see if she had a list of suggested reading materials that would be available at the university library. If I get a response to my e-mail, I will post the list so that it is around for other people to get ahold of without much difficulty.

    Whqt frustrates me is that for any other test I have taken - I am told the source material I should pull my answers from - not just a list of broad concepts that have 100 different dissenting theories that support or negate each other - and then told to guess what is in the head of some guy somewhere who determined which of these secret theories he wants you to see as true.

    ~J
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 31, 2006

    As to the matching, I'm willing to bet that exercise isn't the only thing you're being graded on in the class you mentioned. Bear in mind also that teacher tests are rarely about the real world, in which sometimes the exercise gets assigned not because it's the best choice overall but because it can be graded fast.

    As to the rest, sounds like you do pretty good at analyzing and contrasting; let me ask you to balance that with some synthesis. Here's an exercise that may help:

    Work through the index of the education texts you have on hand (and you may also find this Web site helpful: http://dir.yahoo.com/Education/Theory_and_Methods/) and look for names - names of theories and names of theorists. Make up an index card for each theory, list the name that goes with it, and add a brief description, perhaps with some key buzzwords from the theory. If a theory or theorist gets lots of ink in the books or lots of space on the Web, it's important: make some kind of distinguishing mark on the card. (A theory or theorist that gets mentioned in all your sources is especially important: make a very special mark on that card.) As you go through, you'll find that some theories look practically identical. Group them together with a paperclip or even a staple, and write on each the names of the other theories/theorists. You'll also find theories that aren't quite identical but that tend to cover aspects of the same ground. Pile them in the same stack and write the similar theories/theorists on each, but don't attach them to each other. The object is for you to explore what the theories have in common.

    This exercise will be particularly helpful for FCTE exams if my recollection is correct that they tend to be multiple choice. Why? Because you won't have to justify your answer.
     
  9. AMAHOGANY

    AMAHOGANY Rookie

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    May 3, 2006

    I am planning on taking that same test in July how do you think you did? What did you do to prepare? Thanks
     
  10. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    May 8, 2006

    well, we will find out how I did in a few weeks. No one left the exam thinking they passed- so I figure I have the same chances as anyone else. I tried, tried, tried to study for the exam and frankly - nothing helped. I wished I could be more helpful. But the exam is the most poorly constructed exam I have ever taken and the methods they use to determine your teaching knowledge are arbitrary. It seemed a consensus among participants that your success or failure was based on a fluke.

    The only advice I got that seemed to be of any help at all was that there is almost always 2 answers that could be "right" - and what should make the difference in your answer is the GRADE LEVEL they specify. The other advice is if group activities is ever an option it it most likely correct. Avoid any answer that would seem old-school. Anything that stresses rote memorization or the use of what seems to be "old-fashioned" techniques is almost always wrong. Think warm and fuzzy (even if we all know that sometimes the old school answer really is the right one).

    But take this advice for what it is worth - I don't even know if I passed the exam yet.

    Also - really buff up on teen lit. I would find a text going over how to teach juvenile lit and memorize the plotlines. Last time I read a juvie book it was Judy Blume - who is begining to fall out of fashion.

    If I can think of anything else I will let you know.

    ~J
     
  11. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    May 8, 2006

    "Also - really buff up on teen lit."

    Conspiracy. Don't give away any test items in answering but, did they ask about specific pieces of literature? How did you feel about the essay? Did the essay topics use familiar pieces? I'm taking the Middle Grades English SAE 5-9 June 3rd and the study guide is next to useless. Again, please don't give any specific test questions away, I'm just asking in general. Thanks!

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. Good luck!
     
  12. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    May 12, 2006

    The pieces used for the essay exam were totally unfamiliar to me (both were familiar authors, but unknown pieces) but easy. Nothing crazy.

    The thing about the essay was that in my administration the essay was BEFORE the multiple choice which sux because your brain is so scattered because of nerves that you aren't thinking straight for at least 5 mins. The essay needs to be a complete 5 paragraph essay and that is just NOT easy in 60 mins when you need to have superior spelling and grammar. It was a real challenge and since they only let you use pen there was quite a bit of scratching out on mine.

    If I had known the essay would be first I would have been more ready for it.

    As for teen lit - YES - they ask you about specific ones. I would look for a book on childrens LIT (not just any old book) and I would buff up on the authors and the characters.

    Most of the rest of the test was so rediculously random that there is no way I could possibly tell you what to study. Err.... REALLY obscure and irrelevant greek mythology maybe. Get really good at teaching theory and good at reading the questions really really fast. (some of the questions are a paragraph unto themselves and have 4 different one paragraph options to answer)

    ~J
     
  13. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    May 12, 2006

    Wow. That's good to know that the essay was first. Do they provide writing implements or do you have to bring your own. For example, could I use an erasable pen? Thanks for the information...it was very helpful!
     
  14. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    May 17, 2006

    Sorry so long to respond-

    The lady giving the exam that I took was really confusing. She didn't really know if we could use pencil and told us all to use pen. But to answer your question - yes- you should being several pencils with good erasers (here in FL the erasers that come on the pencils go bad fast from humidity - so bring the pencil top eraser) and a few pens. I dunno about erasable pens because they smear badly and don't erase well. But I suspect that if you have a GOOD erasable pen you'd be in good shape. Blue or black ink only.

    I still haven't gotten my score (but they don't HAVE to have it to you until it gets mailed 30 days out - but many people said the scaores are generally online a week or so earlier. I guess not true in my case).

    As soon as I know how I did, I willd efinitely post to let everyone know.

    I spoke with the recuiter in my area about the job fair coming up soon and he gave me a code to let me sign up without having a score report and he said if I fail the exam it won't bar me from employment - so that takes some pressure off.

    Hopefully by June 6th (the job fair) I will be sitting pretty with a job. Then on to the GK exam...lol....good g-d....geometry - not looking forward to it. :)

    ~J
     
  15. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    May 17, 2006

    Thanks so much for the information. I'm taking the English 5-9 so maybe it won't be as hard as your exam...wishful thinking :) I betting that you did well, just from talking with you here. Good luck with your search for employment. I don't have to take the SAE yet b/c I meet the specialization requirements, but I figure I'd get it over with. Thank goodness I don't have to take the GK test or I'd be freaking out, LOL! I am so grateful they made me take the CLAST in 2001. Keep us updated, I really do care. Donna.
     
  16. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    May 20, 2006

    I PASSED - I PASSED!

    *doing a little dance*

    I PASSED!

    Unfortunately my friend who took Soc Studies 6-12 FAILED!!

    By 3 points! :(

    ~J
     
  17. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    May 20, 2006

    Congratulations Conspiracy! Way to go!! I'm sorry about your friend though :-(
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Well done, Conspiracy! I am perhaps less surprised at your passing than you are.
     
  19. shenzi22

    shenzi22 New Member

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    May 25, 2006

    Dear Frodolass and The Conspiracy,

    I too am suffering the wrath of this exam!! Congratulations on passing it, Conspiracy, and Frodolass, best of luck! I'm taking my retake on June 3, and I do believe that this is the first English exam I have ever failed in my life. What really killed me was the questions dealing with language influence. For example, on the practice exam a question asks whether the word "networking" is religious, historical, regional, or technological. Obviously the answer is technological, but on the actual exam, the questions were not nearly this easy. Does anyone know of a source that would help me study (rather cram) for these questions? I've been trying to prepare since January, and I am desperate. On a happier note, if you can pass this test, the GK is a breeze. I took it on the computer and passed it in half of the amount of time they give you. Really guys, if you get through this test, you're home free.
     
  20. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    See- I too suffered from the "what the h*ll do I study?" .... and I honestly don't have a better answer now than I did before. I seriously believe that the fact that I passed was a crap-shoot.

    If there was actually an effective way to study - someone would make a million dollars. And forget buying the Xam study guide. The only thing it did for me was make me feel like I was actually doing something. I don't think there was a single question that I was helped by using the study guide. What a waste of $40! It was like a rocking chair- it gave me something to do with my time - but it didn't get me anywhere.

    You are right on the nail about how rediculous this exam is. It is a joke - and not a funny one. If they really want people to pass this exam becase of their knowledge and not the roll of the dice - they need to let a publisher have enough access to create a REAL study guide (and the one they give you thru the department is a farce - it is 1/2 as difficult as the real thing) ...or better yet ....switch to a larger exam like those that other states use. The FTCE is arbitrary nonsense!

    I'm worried about the math portion of the GK more than anything else. But I am going to take a september administration so hopefully I will be buffed up a bit before then. I'm taking that one computerized.

    Speaking of computerized - if you are just looking to pass "an exam" because you are starting to teach and you need to get your foot in the door - eveyone says to do the computerized home-ec exam and then try to teach out of subject area. Everyone says that a "brain-damaged monkey" can pass that one (no offense if anyone reading this failed - I'm just repeating a verbatem statement a friend said). If you just need to pass any ol exam so you can get your foot in the door I hear that is the way to go.

    Good luck on passing the 6-12 ENG - I wish I had some nuggets of wisdom for ya - but I really don't. The only thing I can really think to say is that I hear the questions often repeat from one administration to the next - so hopefully that will help. Consider the first time a dry run.

    ~J
     
  21. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    May 25, 2006

    Hi Shenzi! I'm taking the Middle Grades English, 5-9 on June 3rd in Jacksonville. I got my admit ticket today. I figure if I fail, I can take it in July. I'm just gathering information based upon the competencies and watching the professional development videos on demand from learner.org. I've also gathered several of the suggested books from the prep. guide and trying to get through them before next week. Good luck to you!
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 26, 2006

    The English 6-12 competencies (http://www.firn.edu/doe/sas/ftce/pdf/ftcomp13.pdf) are certainly a lean, stripped-down set of descriptors for what a person should know on a teacher test. So let's put some flesh on the skeleton. Here are the first of the competencies. How can we make sense of them? How might they show up on the test or in the classroom?

     
  23. swsmith63

    swsmith63 Rookie

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    May 27, 2006

    Let's relocate the ICTS questions to their own thread: ICTS English Language Arts.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2006
  24. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Jun 3, 2006

    I took the FTCE English 5-9 today and feel discouraged. The biggest problem I had is how DATED the test material is. They used terms that aren't used anymore and more than one of the test questions concerned techniques that new research has shown to be ineffective. This left me in the position of trying to guess which of the ineffective techniques was considered the best back when the test questions were developed. I hope that since new competencies are being adopted that the test will reflect these changes if I have to take it again. *Sigh*
     
  25. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 3, 2006

    Sorry to hear this, frodolass. It's hard to say how long it will take this test to reflect the new competencies - there ARE some advantages to tests that are developed by the big two testing companies (ETS for Praxis and NES for tests in most states that don't do Praxis) - things do tend to be updated a little more quickly with those.

    If it's any consolation, for most teacher tests the passing level runs 75% or under.

    People, let's see if we can get a virtual study group going here, okay?
     
  26. adria

    adria Comrade

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    Jun 3, 2006

    I am sorry about how you feel about the test. A friend of mine was complaining about the test that is it is very vague and the competencies doesn't correlate with the test. Be encourage and take the test next month....don't give up.
     
  27. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Jun 3, 2006

    Aw, thanks guys. I might have passed it, who knows. Many of the questions I felt good about and the essay was pretty easy. We'll see. Thanks again!
     
  28. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Jun 4, 2006

    Frodolass-

    Sorry to hear that you don't feel you passed.

    We already know about how I feel about the exam - so no use in continuing to rant.

    I do have to say that my favorite question began something like this "according to recent research....."

    HUH!?!?

    WHAT recent research? There are a lot of people out there researching and not too many of them agree! :)

    If it helps any- I completely thought I failed and I passed, and so I think you have a much better chance at passing than you think. :)

    ~J
     
  29. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2006

    Scores are up for the June 3rd administration of the FTCE! I PASSED the English 5-9 SAE. YAY! Thanks to you all for your help and patience!
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 16, 2006

    Well done, frodolass! Don't forget to pat yourself on the back - pure luck is never enough to pass a test like this, so don't duck the credit!
     
  31. adria

    adria Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2006

    Congrats....was that the test you were worried about. I am sooo happy for you....

    take care

    Please celebrate
     
  32. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2006

    Thanks TG and Adria! Yes, this was the test I was worried about. Thank goodness it is behind me :)
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Have you patted yourself on the back, dear? (Mother TG is getting insistent: best to humor the old crock...)
     
  34. swsmith63

    swsmith63 Rookie

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    Jun 17, 2006

    Great job, Frodolass. Now you can stop worrying so much!!;) My test is coming up next Saturday. Wish me luck!
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Good luck, swsmith. Ask some questions on the ICTS thread, would you?
     
  36. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Jun 17, 2006

    swmith - Good luck!
     
  37. shenzi22

    shenzi22 New Member

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    Jun 18, 2006

    Congratualations!

    Congratulations, Frodolass! I passed mine too. What a relief! To anyone else out there, I personally felt like this test was figuring out how to crack the code. Advice from TeacherGroupie and The Conspiracy was helpful. Thanks guys! It helps to really study the language of the questions. I sat down with my boyfriend who has his master's in elementary ed and made him explain the theory behind every single question in the practice test-whether I got the answer wrong or right. Usually when two answers sound logical (as is usually the case), one deals with direct instructions and one does not. Stay away from direct instruction. Also, there are key phrases and words. Small groups, pre-established criteria, mini-lessons, ect...seem to be popular words in education. Logic as i know it didn't work for me the first time. I had to switch around my way of thinking and figure out the answer the test was looking for. Thanks for the support guys! Good luck in your future teaching endeavors!
     
  38. adria

    adria Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2006

    congrats shenzi22..this is becoming such a happy thread. I am glad to read that you guys are passing the state exams...
     
  39. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2006

    Congrats shenzi22! You didn't happen to take it in Jax did you?
     
  40. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 18, 2006

    Way to go, shenzi! Don't forget to pat yourself on the back and go celebrate, okay?
     
  41. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Jun 18, 2006

    Sorry this is coming so late...

    CONGRATS EVERYONE!!!

    The exam is hard...but it seems passable!

    ~J
     

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