PLT

A teacher introduces multiplying two-digit numbers by breaking down each step during whole-class instruction. Three students continue to struggle after four days of instruction and practice. The teacher provides three additional days of small-group instruction to the students, who are then able to be successful independently. Which of the following learning theories does this best represent?

A. Zone of proximal development

B. Transfer

C. Classical conditioning

D. Metacognition

A. Zone of proximal development

The zone of proximal development means that the students receive additional coaching and scaffolding from the teacher to be successful in mastering a task.

At the end of a unit of study, students refer back to a KWL chart they started to fill out at the beginning of the unit. By reflecting on what they have learned, students can

A. identify the learning objectives for the unit of study

B. determine actual progress to see if they reached their goals

C. activate prior knowledge and experiences using the content

D. prepare for new information they will be learning

B. determine actual progress to see if they reached their goal

Reflecting on the KWL chart allows students to determine actual progress toward goals.

Which of the following assessments can a teacher use to best determine whether a student is reading on grade level?

A. Aptitude test

B. Ability test

C. Achievement test

D. Unit test

C. Achievement test

Achievement tests measure mastery of skills, so a teacher can use the results of the test to determine whether the student is on grade level.

A teacher asks her class, “How did people measure length before they had rulers?” Students work in groups to brainstorm ideas, such as using their hands and feet. The teacher’s question best exemplifies which of the following theories?

A. Pragmatism

B. Cognitivism

C. Behaviorism

D. Constructivism

D. Constructivism

The teacher uses constructivism to pose a question and help students find their own answers. Students came to the learning situation with already-formulated knowledge on measurement. Their previous knowledge will help them understand the new knowledge they will create.

Which of the following examples best represents analytical scoring on an essay?

A. Giving a numerical grade of 87%

B. Rating the work as 4 out of 5 using a rubric

C. Assigning a B for content and an A for mechanics

D. Providing general comments such as “insightful”

C. Assigning a B for content and an A for mechanics

Analytical scoring requires that an essay be evaluated in parts, rather than just as a whole.

A third-grade teacher observes that a student has trouble remembering information and following directions that are presented orally. The student also has difficulty focusing in loud environments. Which of the following best describes the probable area of exceptionality this student demonstrates?

A. Behavioral

B. Visual

C. Speech/language

D. Auditory

D. Auditory

The student’s difficulty remembering information and trouble following directions reflect an auditory-processing problem.

Which of the following findings about bullying is best supported by research?

A. No gender difference exists between bullying by girls and bullying by boys.

B. Boys are more likely than girls to bully others and use physical aggression.

C. Girls are more likely than boys to bully others and use physical aggression.

D. Boys and girls are equally likely to bully others and use physical aggression.

B. Boys are more likely than girls to bully others and use physical aggression.

Research about bullying consistently shows that boys are more likely to bully others and to use physical aggression.

Place the behavioral theorist’s name next to the classroom practice that best implements his theory.

Watson
Maslow
Thorndike
Erikson

1. Students are given assignments on the basis of their ability levels and provided with frequent opportunities for success.

2. Students are encouraged to eat if hungry, provided with a safe environment, and made to feel accepted in the classroom.

3. Students are given a reward for positive behavior and academic success and a consequence for negative behavior and lack of academic progress.

4. Students are assessed and encouraged to work at their own pace as they are introduced to new information one step at a time.

1. Erikson
2. Maslow
3. Watson
4. Thorndike

Erikson’s stages place elementary age students in the industry versus inferiority stage, which says that to encourage industry, students need to feel successful and work at their level.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs starts with basic physiological needs—food and shelter, then safety, followed by a feeling of belonging.

Watson’s theories center around reward and punishment (positive and negative reinforcement).

Thorndike’s theories center on the law of effect, which says that “when a connection between a stimulus and a response is positively rewarded it will be strengthened, and that the more the stimulus-response bond is practiced, the stronger it becomes. By teaching new information in small steps and providing quick and timely assessments for students, the teacher is using the “Law of Effect” to increase student success and understanding.

A science teacher wants to build a garden on school property for students to grow plants and study life cycles. The teacher creates an action plan that includes goals for involving the community. Which of the following describes the best first step for the teacher’s action plan?

A. Assigning tasks to all stakeholders for the project

B. Getting students to ask local businesses for donations

C. Meeting with administrators to talk about the purpose and scope of the project

D. Asking parents to send in monetary donations to support the garden

C. Meeting with administrators to talk about the purpose and scope of the project

The administration should be informed before a teacher implements an action plan that includes community involvement.

To help with classroom management, a teacher teaches students to associate certain clapping sequences and light signals with desired behaviors. The teacher’s classroom management technique is an application of which of the following learning theories?

A. Classical conditioning

B. Moral development

C. Schema theory

D. Stage theory

A. Classical conditioning

The teacher introduces a conditioned stimulus (asking the class to quiet down while clapping three times or turning the lights on and off) and over time receives a conditioned response, which is reflected by classical conditioning.

John, a second grader, complains to his parents that his teacher kept him in from recess for misbehaving in class. At a parent-teacher conference, the parents say that they think the consequence was too extreme. Which of the following best describes what the teacher should do to address the parent’s concern?

A. Agree to modify the consequences for John’s misbehavior in the future

B. Decide with the parents on a mutually agreed upon consequence for every misbehavior

C. Suggest that the parents meet with the guidance counselor to discuss the matter

D. Review with the parents the classroom rules and consequences that are aligned to the school’s standards

D. Review with the parents the classroom rules and consequences that are aligned to the school’s standards

The teacher should ensure that parents are aware of the classroom rules and consequences that are aligned to the school’s standards.

For each learning goal, indicate the domain with which it is associated.

Cognitive Domain
Affective Domain
Psychomotor Domain

Learning Goals:
1. Students will create an original piece of art using their favorite colors and share it with the class.

2. Students will label the states and their capitals on a map of the United States.

3. Students will be able to solve classroom conflicts through discussions and role play.

1. Affective & Psychomotor Domain
2. Cognitive Domain
3. Affective & Psychomotor Domain

The first learning goal is associated with the affective and psychomotor domains because it describes creating something, which is in the psychomotor domain, and using favorite colors is in the affective domain.

The second learning goal is associated with the cognitive domain because it includes recalling and matching data through cognitive skills.

The third learning goal is associated with the affective and psychomotor domains because solving conflict through active discussion is an affective domain activity, and acting out solutions in role-play situations is a psychomotor activity.

Ms. Smith’s students have been studying single-digit subtraction. Before moving on to double-digit subtraction, Ms. Smith develops a quiz to assess how much her students understand about single-digit subtraction. If any of her students do poorly, she will spend another day reteaching and reviewing the concepts. Which of the following types of assessment does Ms. Smith’s quiz best represent?

A. Summative

B. Portfolio

C. Formative

D. Preassessment

C. Formative

Formative assessments are designed to provide feedback during the instructional process to allow the teacher to adjust instruction to address students’ needs. In this scenario, the quiz that Ms. Smith has developed will let her assess her students’ understanding before building on it in the next step.

Constructivist teaching is based on the belief that the teacher’s role is to encourage students to

A. receive and record information presented to them

B. seek answers by making connections to prior knowledge

C. focus learning on a fixed topic that has been defined by the teacher

D. learn new content through repetition of important skills

B. seek answers by making connections to prior knowledge

The basis of constructivist learning is that students build upon prior knowledge to construct new meaning. The constructivist approach encourages students to take ownership the learning process. The roles of the teacher are to facilitate interactive, discovery learning and to avoid direct instruction and passive learning.

Which of the following instructional approaches will best allow a teacher to increase student interdependence?

A. Independent grouping

B. One-to-one instruction

C. Whole-class instruction

D. Cooperative learning groups

D. Cooperative learning groups

Cooperative learning groups will help students improve interdependent relationships with their classmates.

Which of the following actions complies with the fair use provisions of copyright law?

A. Allowing students to read a scanned copy of a complete textbook that the teacher found online

B. Permitting several groups of students to watch a portion of a teacher-purchased movie

C. Providing students with multiple copies of a short story by a contemporary author

D. Copying a CD of a recorded novel and distributing the copies to students

B. Permitting several groups of students to watch a portion of a teacher-purchased movie

Teachers are allowed to show a film that has been purchased legally to students.

A teacher wants to use copyrighted materials in class.

Select whether the action is allowed or prohibited under copyright laws.

Statements:
1. A teacher makes 25 copies of a compilation of songs. Students practice the songs in class and perform them in the auditorium for parents.

2. A teacher makes 25 copies of a short story from a book to be distributed to each student in the class.

3. A teacher copies a poem to be displayed in class. Students discuss the poem in small groups.

1. Prohibited
2. Allowed
3. Allowed

The action described in the first statement is prohibited because under copyright laws, teachers may not make copies of music to be performed outside the classroom by students.

The action described in the second statement is allowed because under copyright laws, teachers may make a reasonable amount of copies from a book for the purpose of teaching within the classroom environment only.

The action described in the third statement is allowed because under copyright laws, teachers may display copyrighted material in distance learning as long as the material is relevant to the course of study, would typically have been displayed by the teacher, and is used only by those in the classroom.

Which of the following is an appropriate goal for administering a criterion-referenced test?

A. Assessing student mastery of specific concepts

B. Discriminating between low and high achievers

C. Comparing individuals’ performances to those of a peer group

D. Measuring broad skill performance in a controlled environment

A. Assessing student mastery of specific concepts

Criterion-referenced tests are appropriate for assessing student mastery of specific concepts or skills.

Mr. Irwin encourages his elementary students to be active participants during his lessons. A few weeks into the new school year, Mr. Irwin notices Aiko, an Asian Pacific student, does not participate in discussions or ask any questions. Which of the following should Mr. Irwin consider first about Aiko?

A. Aiko is an elementary-aged student and does not have the attention span to participate during class time.

B. Aiko is bored and does not have interest in the lessons.

C. Aiko may have grown up in a culture that encouraged him to be quiet and obedient without questioning his superiors.

D. Aiko may have a learning disability that is preventing him from asking questions.

C. Aiko may have grown up in a culture that encouraged him to be quiet and obedient without questioning his superiors.

Teachers must be aware of a student’s cultural background, since it may greatly affect the way the student learns and participates in school settings.

A teacher planning instruction completes the following ordered steps.

1. Identify the lesson’s objective
2. Develop assessment criteria
3. Choose instructional activities

By following the steps, the teacher best demonstrates an understanding of

A. using teaching activities to lead lesson development

B. augmenting lessons with hands-on manipulatives

C. offering choices to students when creating lessons

D. ensuring that concepts students need to learn guide lessons

D. ensuring that concepts students need to learn guide lessons

In order to plan for performance, the teacher must be sure of the objective and purpose before planning activities.

A teacher implements message journals in the classroom. The teacher sends a journal home with each student on Monday, along with a note regarding accomplishments, concerns, needs, and upcoming school events. Parents return the journals on Thursday with any questions or concerns. Which of the following best describes the purpose of the journals?

A. Increasing family participation in school events

B. Supporting communication between home and school

C. Encouraging honest family conversations about school

D. Promoting awareness of the complexity of the student’s school day

B. Supporting communication between home and school

The message journals support the communication between home and school by providing two-way communication.

A teacher notices that some students learn best by discussing subject matter content with peers, while others prefer a quiet place to read and practice on their own. In response, the teacher decides to adjust lesson expectations and create space in the classroom to meet the needs of both sets of students. By taking this action, the teacher demonstrates an understanding of the importance of which of the following?

A. Scaffolding

B. Constructivism

C. Divergent thinking

D. Differentiated instruction

D. Differentiated instruction

The teacher is differentiating instruction by providing students with different avenues to process and acquire subject-area content.

The primary purpose of an analytic scoring rubric is to

A. evaluate specific criteria for an assignment

B. assess the quality of a product as a whole

C. determine a single best answer to a question

D. provide a progressive record of student growth

A. evaluate specific criteria for an assignment

Analytic scoring rubrics are used to evaluate specific criteria the students must incorporate in an assignment.

Aria is learning to write her first and last name in cursive. After each correct attempt, Aria is rewarded with a sticker on her paper. After Aria masters the skill, her teacher stops giving her stickers for correct responses, which causes Aria to become upset. According to Edward Thorndike, this reaction is due to the law of

A. readiness

B. effect

C. exercise

D. belongingness

A. readiness

Aria is frustrated because her actions did not bring about the expected result. Aria expects a particular response for a given behavior, which is the law of readiness.

With respect to phonemic awareness, which of the following could be the greatest area of challenge for an English-language learner?

A. Metaphorical or figurative uses of words and phrases

B. Multiple spellings of the same sound

C. Sounds that are different in the student’s native language

D. Homonyms and homophones

C. Sounds that are different in the student’s native language

Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in words. Therefore, it is a challenge for ELL students to distinguish sounds that differ from their native language.

A school establishes a mentoring program for incoming teachers. Which of the following is the primary goal of this program?

A. Providing one-to-one assistance for new teachers

B. Ensuring group staff-development for new teachers

C. Creating a thorough growth plan for struggling new teachers

D. Developing a community-relations plan for new teachers

A. Providing one-to-one assistance for new teachers

Mentorship has one-to-one support as its goal.

Makayla, a sixth-grade student, received a grade-equivalent score of 7.2 on a recent standardized reading test. Which of the following interpretations of the data is most accurate to communicate to Makayla’s parents?

A. Makayla is ready to be placed in a seventh-grade reading classroom immediately.

B. Makayla’s reading comprehension score is equivalent to that of a student who is seven years and two months old.

C. Makayla’s overall reading ability is comparable to that of a student who is in the second month of seventh grade.

D. Makayla performed better than seven out of ten students in the sixth grade.

C. Makayla’s overall reading ability is comparable to that of a student who is in the second month of seventh grade.

A grade-equivalent score of 7.2 means that the performance is similar to the average score of students in the second month of seventh grade.

A teacher evaluates the scores students in a class achieved on a recent standardized assessment. Which of the following best describes the instructional implications of a high standard deviation in the scores?

A. The teacher must differentiate instruction to meet the wide range of ability levels in the class.

B. The teacher must adapt the curriculum to address the students’ high ability level.

C. The teacher must provide remediation because the students are performing below grade level.

D. The teacher must focus more on state-level content standards and on teaching to those standards.

A. The teacher must differentiate instruction to meet the wide range of ability levels in the class.

Standard deviation is a measure of how spread out, or bunched together, the numbers are in some data set. Because the students’ scores are so spread out, the teacher must differentiate instruction to meet their different ability levels and skills.

Which of the following questions best promotes the highest level of student thinking skills?

A. Who are the main characters in the story?

B. How are the two characters similar?

C. Why do you think the character’s actions were justified?

D. Can you provide an example of characterization?

C. Why do you think the character’s actions were justified?

Using “Why do you think…?” requires students to evaluate the character’s actions. Evaluating is on the high end of Bloom’s taxonomy.

Which of the following scenarios best describes a teacher’s use of holistic scoring?

A. A teacher reads a student paper and places it into the high, middle, or low scoring group. The teacher then rereads each group of papers to assign a letter grade.

B. A teacher reads a student paper and looks for the criteria on the scoring rubric. The teacher adds up the points for each criterion and assigns a single number grade to each paper.

C. A teacher reads a student paper using a rubric that addresses the scoring criteria. The teacher balances the strengths and weaknesses and assigns an overall score.

D. A teacher reads a student paper and assigns a score to each criterion. The teacher writes feedback on the paper about the score for each criterion.

C. A teacher reads a student paper using a rubric that addresses the scoring criteria. The teacher balances the strengths and weaknesses and assigns an overall score.

Holistic scoring is used to give students a single, overall score for an assignment as a whole. A scoring rubric is used in holistic scoring to lay out specific criteria. As the teacher reads a student’s paper, he or she balances the strengths and weaknesses among the various criteria to arrive at an overall assessment of success or the effectiveness of a paper.

Which of the following should a teacher do to best improve content knowledge in science?

A. Participate in an online book club for teachers

B. Join the National Science Teachers Association

C. Attend a district-wide professional-development seminar

D. Watch a video about how to differentiate instruction in science

B. Join the National Science Teachers Association

Subject-specific professional organizations provide many opportunities to learn and network.

An elementary school teacher has developed a series of centers at which students can practice literacy skills and create learning logs. Which of the following teaching strategies is the teacher most likely utilizing?

A. Direct instruction

B. Experiential learning

C. Independent study

D. Interactive instruction

C. Independent study

The teacher is using learning centers to provide students with opportunities to independently practice skills.

Mr. Larson is teaching his third graders how to “read between the lines.” He will later explain that the skill they are practicing is an example of

A. generalizing

B. inferring

C. sequencing

D. modeling

B. inferring

Inferring helps students understand when information is implied, or not directly stated, and will improve their skill in drawing conclusions.

A teacher sets up an interactive Web site that allows students to post comments about the book that the class is currently reading and to read one another’s posts. The teacher is most likely using technology in this way to

A. improve students’ composition skills

B. support students’ inquiry of various topics

C. enable students to develop a product

D. encourage students’ expression of ideas

D. encourage students’ expression of ideas

By posting comments on the interactive Web site, students are expressing their ideas about the book and responding to the ideas of their classmates.

A score report from a standardized test ranks a seventh-grade student in the 70th percentile. The score indicates that which of the following is true?

A. The student earned a letter grade of C.

B. The student scored higher than 70% of all students.

C. The student correctly answered 70% of the questions.

D. The student earned the same score as 70% of all students.

B. The student scored higher than 70% of all students.

Percentiles rank an individual’s score among the scores of a specific population. The student was ranked in the 70th percentile, meaning the student scored better than 70% of the students who took the same test.

According to the second stage of Kohlberg’s stages of moral development, which of the following is true of students who exhibit characteristics of preconventional moral development?

A. They behave according to personally developed moral guidelines.

B. They seek to obtain the approval of others.

C. They believe in acting in their own best interests.

D. They abide by the law and respond to the obligation of duty

C. They believe in acting in their own best interests.

The main characteristic of Kohlberg’s preconventional moral development is that students believe in acting in their own best interests.

Which of the following is the primary benefit of using a KWL chart with students during instruction?

A. Helping students link prior knowledge to the current lesson

B. Emphasizing the need for clearly communicated expectations

C. Promoting in students an intrinsic motivation to learn

D. Meeting students’ basic need for autonomy in learning activities

A. Helping students link prior knowledge to the current lesson

A KWL chart is a graphic organizer that encourages students to consider what they know about a topic and what they want to learn about the topic before beginning a unit of study, and then record what they learned about the topic after the lesson. By having students share what they already know about a topic before studying it, the teacher is helping students connect prior knowledge with the current lesson.

Which of the following strategies best increases motivation and achievement in students?

A. Designing a more rigorous and challenging curriculum

B. Allowing students to design the curriculum in its entirety

C. Setting realistic goals for the class and helping students achieve them

D. Providing students with a menu of instructional choices

D. Providing students with a menu of instructional choices

Offering instructional choices increases students’ motivation and achievement.

Ms. Erman, a new teacher, has met once a week for 30 minutes with an assigned mentor to discuss curriculum and discipline management during the past month. Ms. Erman is frustrated that the mentor spends the whole time sharing personal issues and disregards Ms. Erman’s questions. Which of the following best helps Ms. Erman obtain the needed support to address and resolve the issue?

A. Scheduling a meeting with the mentor to share her frustration

B. Seeking another colleague’s advice about the situation

C. Meeting with the principal to discuss how to manage the problem

D. Sending a formal letter to the director of human resources about the lack of help

C. Meeting with the principal to discuss how to manage the problem

The teacher should request a meeting with the principal to discuss how to manage the problem, since the principal most likely assigned the teacher the mentor.

A teacher wants to improve the literacy skills and self-motivation of several fifth-grade students who are struggling with reading and writing. Which of the following strategies will most likely accomplish this goal?

A. Giving special rewards to students who complete reading and writing assignments correctly

B. Modeling positive reading and writing skills and praising students who exhibit the modeled behaviors

C. Praising students for all attempts to complete reading and writing tasks, even if they are not successful

D. Providing students with engaging materials and focused instruction on successfully completing reading and writing tasks

D. Providing students with engaging materials and focused instruction on successfully completing reading and writing tasks

Engagement of students and student success lead to improved student motivation.

Which of the following statements accurately describes the impact of metacognition on the learning of elementary students?

A. Students become aware of their use of cognitive strategies as early as two years old.

B. Students naturally notice how the use of effective cognitive strategies leads to success.

C. Students benefit from receiving explicit instruction on when to use cognitive strategies.

D. Students best comprehend cognitive strategies when they are introduced to them in middle school.

C. Students benefit from receiving explicit instruction on when to use cognitive strategies.

Students in second through sixth grades do not automatically acquire metacognitive knowledge, but they respond to explicit instruction.

Which of the following teacher strategies is most effective for motivating elementary students to read recreationally?

A. Reminding students that reading is crucial to getting a good job in the future

B. Offering incentives, such as rewards for the number of pages read

C. Creating a class library that includes a variety of topics and a range of reading levels

D. Using a progress-monitoring assessment program that awards points for books read

C. Creating a class library that includes a variety of topics and a range of reading levels

A well-stocked and well-organized classroom library forms the foundation for reading success.

According to social learning theory, students working within the zone of proximal development are most likely to learn because they are

A. thinking independently

B. relying on their prior knowledge

C. receiving support from a knowledgeable helper

D. using concrete objects to learn abstract concepts

C. receiving support from a knowledgeable helper

In the zone of proximal development, a student is able to use emerging skills with the help of others.

Which of the following requires that public schools provide increased accountability measured by the administration of standardized tests?

A. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

B. The No Child Left Behind Act

C. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

D. The Common Core State Standards Initiative

B. The No Child Left Behind Act

Through the No Child Left Behind Act, accountability for teachers and school administrators has increased and is mainly assessed through standardized tests.

Select whether the assessment described is norm referenced or criterion referenced.

1. A multiple-choice test that evaluates basic mathematics skills for the purpose of determining the students need for academic support

2. A mathematics test provided by the district twice each year that determines student mastery of state performance standards

3. A pretest and posttest that evaluate teaching effectiveness and students’ learning progress in mathematics

1. Norm referenced
2. Criterion referenced
3. Criterion referenced

Assessment 1 is norm referenced. A prime example of a norm-referenced test is one that is used to determine a need for academic support. A norm-referenced test helps ascertain whether a student has acquired the skills needed to function successfully at his or her grade level.

Assessment 2 is criterion referenced. Criterion-referenced tests are often used to determine whether a student has obtained the expected knowledge and skills in a certain area and whether there are any gaps in learning.

Assessment 3 is criterion referenced. Criterion-referenced tests are also used to evaluate the effectiveness of a course of study.

Which of the following is an open-ended question?

A. What color are lions and where do they live in the wild?

B. What other animals can you think of that use color as camouflage?

C. What do you predict would happen to a lion born in the wild with a coat of a much darker color?

D. Why do lions hide from the animals they are chasing in the tall savanna grass in Africa?

C. What do you predict would happen to a lion born in the wild with a coat of a much darker color?

This is a divergent question that allows the student to consider a scenario and to use knowledge regarding camouflage, coat coloration, and the environment the animal lives in to create an original answer that is logical and correct.

Which of the following activities best reflects a family-centered program and a promotion of parent partnerships with the school?

A. Relating classroom activities to the various needs and interests of children and families

B. Creating programs that offer community resources after school

C. Implementing before- and after-school programs for students in the community

D. Providing opportunities for families to use the school’s computer lab

A. Relating classroom activities to the various needs and interests of children and families

By relating classroom activities to the needs and interests of students and families, the school promotes parent partnerships and a family-centered program.

A teacher observes that a student is able to do the following:

1. Solve problems with hands-on manipulatives in a logical fashion
2. Understand laws of conservation and is able to classify and seriate
3. Understand reversibility

According to Piaget, which of the following stages of cognitive development has the student reached?

A. Sensorimotor

B. Preoperational

C. Concrete operational

D. Formal operational

C. Concrete operational

Concrete operational is the third stage of cognitive development, which includes being able to solve concrete problems in a logical fashion and to understand the laws of conservation.

Which of the following is the best action for a teacher to take to develop self-motivation in a group of students?

A. Providing students with frequent and specific positive feedback

B. Using general phrases to balance praise and critique of student performance

C. Reminding students that assignments make up a significant part of their grade

D. Determining classroom rules and instructional decisions prior to the first day of school

A. Providing students with frequent and specific positive feedback

When a teacher frequently encourages students with specific, positive comments, the teacher builds confidence and encourages better classroom performance. When students feel good about themselves, they want to do more and take charge of their own learning.

A small group of students in a sixth-grade class is socializing during instructional time. Which of the following teacher responses is most likely to be effective in redirecting the students’ attention to their task?

A. Speaking softly so students are required to stop socializing to hear

B. Increasing transition time between activities

C. Ignoring all but the most disruptive behaviors

D. Moving closer to the students

D. Moving closer to the students

Increasing proximity is effective without disrupting the rest of the class. It also puts the teacher in the position to escalate to the next level, if necessary.

A second-grade teacher is planning a unit on insects. Which of the following objectives for the unit best addresses the psychomotor domain?

A. Students will identify the parts of an ant’s anatomy and the roles within an ant colony.

B. Students will summarize the stages of metamorphosis in a butterfly.

C. Students will describe the differences between a butterfly and a moth.

D. Students will construct a cocoon using thread and white paste.

D. Students will construct a cocoon using thread and white paste.

Students use the psychomotor domain when creating the cocoon because it requires the use of motor skills.

Which of the following questions during a reading lesson best fosters metacognition in elementary students?

A. Which reading strategies did you try using?

B. How does the character solve the problem?

C. Why does the main character get upset?

D. What might happen next in the story?

A. Which reading strategies did you try using?

This question requires the students to use metacognition, in that students must think about their own thinking or use of strategies and also incorporate reflection.

After the first week of school, a beginning teacher has concerns about managing behavior in the classroom. Which of the following is the teacher’s best first step to address the concern?

A. Make behavior modification plans for all disruptive students

B. Read scholarly articles to find strategies for handling unruly behavior

C. Keep a reflective journal about the types of problematic behaviors that occur

D. Have a colleague observe the class and make suggestions

C. Keep a reflective journal about the types of problematic behaviors that occur

Keeping a reflective journal of the types of problematic behaviors would be the teacher’s first step to address concerns about managing behavior in the classroom

Which of the following best describes an example of differentiated instruction?

A. A teacher demonstrates how to complete a task and then has students work independently

B. A teacher maximizes each student’s growth by meeting his or her level of readiness

C. A teacher has students work collaboratively to complete learning tasks

D. A teacher extends students’ thinking by requiring them to organize new ideas

B. A teacher maximizes each student’s growth by meeting his or her level of readiness

Differentiating instruction ensures that each student’s needs are individually addressed.

A teacher administers a summative test following a unit of study. More than 80 percent of the students receive a grade of 50 percent or below. Which of the following is the best next step for the teacher to take?

A. Returning the test to students and requesting a parent’s signature

B. Allowing students who failed to retake the test multiple times

C. Reteaching content not mastered and reassessing students with a new tool

D. Teaching the next unit in the scope and sequence schedule

C. Reteaching content not mastered and reassessing students with a new tool

The best next step is to reteach content not mastered and reassess students, since more than 80 percent of the class failed the assessment.

Which of the following best describes the primary role of a mentor working with a new teacher?

A. If students are being disruptive, the mentor takes over the class and models how to manage different types of behavior for the new teacher.

B. The mentor observes the new teacher in the classroom and then meets with the teacher to discuss and reflect on the observations and plan strategies for improvement.

C. The mentor reads the principal’s evaluation of the new teacher and then suggests effective instructional strategies for the principal to use to support the teacher.

D. As students engage in independent study work at their desks, the mentor and the new teacher circulate around the classroom and provide support to students as needed.

B. The mentor observes the new teacher in the classroom and then meets with the teacher to discuss and reflect on the observations and plan strategies for improvement.

Mentors often support new teachers by observing them in the classroom and debriefing and reflecting with them after class. At this time, the mentor will discuss the new teacher’s strengths and plan strategies to address areas for improvement.

Prior to an activity, a teacher gives students written criteria that explain what they will need to know in order to receive a specific grade. Which of the following assessment tools is the teacher most likely using?

A. Exam

B. Rubric

C. Portfolio

D. Anecdotal notes

B. Rubric

Rubrics are written criteria that detail expectations of what students will need to know and be able to do in order to receive a given grade. Rubrics help instructors develop clear learning objectives for students and guide students’ efforts, if provided before the activity.

Which of the following is most likely to encourage parents to help their child continue his or her learning after school hours?

A. Posting assignments on a Web site so parents can monitor their child’s work

B. Having students design invitations for their parents to attend school programs

C. Inviting parents to be a part of a school improvement team

D. Linking parents with family outreach programs in the community

A. Posting assignments on a Web site so parents can monitor their child’s work

The Web site will help parents continue the child’s learning after school hours by allowing them to review the material and concepts with the child at home.

A student who has been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) needs additional time to complete work and to take tests. Which of the following pieces of legislation is most appropriate for the school to use in implementing a plan to help the student?

A. No Child Left Behind Act

B. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

C. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

D. Americans with Disabilities Act

C. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Students with ADHD are protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

A teacher exposes students to a topic several times with increasing complexity throughout the school year. The new learning is put in the context of prior learning. By instructing students in this manner, the teacher best demonstrates an understanding of which of the following?

A. Spiral curriculum

B. Constructivist teaching

C. Inquiry-based learning

D. Interdisciplinary learning

A. Spiral curriculum

Based on Jerome Bruner’s cognitive theory, spiral curriculum exposes students to a topic or theme several times with increasing complexity and in context to the prior experience. This approach is based on the idea that a student’s learning ability changes over time and learning should not be in isolation, but rather build on one another.

Which of the following strategies is most likely to increase students’ self-motivation during a unit?

A. Planning project-based, hands-on activities
B. Organizing a culminating performance for parents
C. Providing students with extrinsic rewards for finishing activities
D. Offering students a menu of activities to choose from

Option (D) is correct. Offering students a menu of activities to choose from increases self-motivation.
Which of the following best describes a characteristic of a summative assessment?

A. It includes observations accumulated over a period of time.

B. It occurs frequently during a unit of study.

C. It provides scores that can be used to determine program effectiveness.

D. It gives teachers opportunities to adjust strategies during instruction.

C. It provides scores that can be used to determine program effectiveness.

Summative assessment at the classroom level is an accountability measure that can be used to determine program effectiveness.

Two teachers share responsibilities for leadership and instruction in a classroom. The teachers alternate leading instructional activities and supporting students. The classroom described is primarily an example of

A. direct instruction

B. coaching

C. explicit teaching

D. team teaching

D. team teaching

In team teaching, teachers share leadership in the classroom. Both are equally engaged in the instructional activities.

Increasing the font size of a student’s reading assignment is best described as

A. an environmental accommodation

B. an instructional accommodation

C. a lesson modification

D. an assessment modification

B. an instructional accommodation

An accommodation is an adjustment in teaching strategies, environment, or the assessment to content to allow students to learn a target skill at the same level as other students. By increasing the font size of a reading assignment, the teacher has made an instructional accommodation to make the content more accessible to the student without lowering the learning expectations.

A teacher who supports the theory of social learning will most likely plan instruction to include which of the following activities?

A. Using think-alouds to model how to question text

B. Introducing new learning activities with a KWL chart

C. Having students write reflective statements at the end of lessons

D. Posing Socratic questions during class discussions

A. Using think-alouds to model how to question text

Social learning stresses the concepts of modeling and performing to teach others.

Which of the following is the best strategy for a new teacher to use when determining instructional content?

A. Treating the first year as a trial period to be improved on in future years

B. Using the previous teacher’s lesson plans as a foundation and adjusting them as needed

C. Reviewing the curriculum standards provided by the state and school district

D. Utilizing student textbooks and teacher guides to outline appropriate content

C. Reviewing the curriculum standards provided by the state and school district

A teacher’s primary resource for appropriate content is the state-mandated and school district curriculum standards. These knowledge and skills statements provide the baseline for student mastery by subject and skill level for what is taught and learned.

Which of the following statements about validity and reliability is most accurate?

A. Reliability and validity are both measures of age equivalency in an assessment.

B. Reliability and validity are both measures of grade equivalency in an assessment.

C. Reliability measures the consistency of an assessment, and validity measures the accuracy.

D. Validity measures the consistency of an assessment, and reliability measures the accuracy.

C. Reliability measures the consistency of an assessment, and validity measures the accuracy.

Validity relates to accuracy, and reliability relates to consistency.

An elementary teacher, Ms. Reed, reads aloud a story to a group of English-language learners. She pauses to indicate a change in events, points to illustrations in the book, and changes the volume and pitch of her voice to emphasize certain aspects of the story. Which of the following strategies is she most likely implementing?

A. Helping the students analyze the story structure and characters

B. Using verbal and nonverbal clues to help students understand the story

C. Facilitating transfer of the information to another language

D. Scaffolding instruction of how to read a new story

B. Using verbal and nonverbal clues to help students understand the story

The teacher is using verbal and nonverbal clues to help students understand the story.

The use of which of the following is most effective for improving the reading fluency of emerging readers?

A. Silent reading

B. Concept maps

C. Timed repeated readings

D. Story maps

C. Timed repeated readings

Timed repeated readings address reading fluency in emerging readers.

Which of the following actions is the best example of a teacher applying the zone of proximal development theory?

A. Assigning reading for the students to preview before a lesson on a new topic

B. Using pretest data to develop lessons that account for students’ prior knowledge

C. Providing technology in class to keep students interested in a topic

D. Playing a vocabulary game to help students prepare for an upcoming test

B. Using pretest data to develop lessons that account for students’ prior knowledge

The zone of proximal development theory suggests that the teacher should emphasize connections between what the students already know and new knowledge. Since the teacher is accessing the students’ prior knowledge, she is then able to build on what they already know.

Isaac’s parents are surprised to learn of Isaac’s academic functioning.

Propose TWO ways in which Mr. Herrera could improve his communication with parents.

Explain how EACH proposed strategy could improve his communication with parents. Base your response on principles of fostering positive school parent relationships to support student learning.

Scenario:

Mr. Herrera is a second-year, first-grade teacher. Ms. Mariner, a tenured first-grade teacher, mentors him. The 25-student classroom is heterogeneously grouped with respect to culture and ability. Prior to the beginning of school, Mr. Herrera sent all of his students a postcard welcoming them to his classroom. He also sends them a “Get to Know You” survey in which the child and parents answer a few questions that can help him understand his new students’ likes and interests. Isaac is a student in Mr. Herrera’s class.

Mr. Herrera’s Classroom Management

Content specific activity centers line the walls of the classroom. Desks are arranged in small group clusters to facilitate instruction. Mr. Herrera used the responses from the “Get to Know You” survey to organize children into small groups for activities and instructions. Groupings of students vary based on the subject area, the class activity, and the academic needs of the student. Mr. Herrera interacts with his students in whole class and small-group instruction. Students receive a daily schedule of activities and assignments. His students are expected to complete the assignments and to file the folders on his desk at the end of the day. To alert his students to transitions, Mr. Herrera uses visual signals (he puts on a red cap to signal finishing an activity) and auditory signals (he rings a small bell for lunch, recess, and dismissal). He expects his students to become independent learners and to be responsible for their work

Isaac’s parents are concerned about his transition to first grade.

(Parents:) We have asked for this meeting because Isaac has been complaining of a stomachache all month. Last year in kindergarten, Isaac was always ready to go to school. When we received your letter this summer, he was so excited. Now he does not want to come to school. The doctor says Isaac is suffering from anxiety about school. How is Isaac doing in school?

(Mr. Herrera:) I am glad that you contacted me. Isaac is a very young first grader; he has difficulty paying attention and sharing his space. His record of achievement from kindergarten indicated that he was developing in academic skills but had not yet achieved mastery. I have also spoken to him about taking his time to do a good job instead of rushing through his work.

(Parents:) This is the first we have heard of any problems. He did well in kindergarten and got along with everyone. This year he seems to worry about all kinds of things. We would like to volunteer to work in your room to observe Isaac ourselves.

(Mr. Herrera:) Isaac might be having a hard time transitioning from kindergarten to first grade. We should give him more time to adjust to a new teacher and routine. Let us wait a few more weeks before you come in to volunteer.

Ms. Mariner’s Observation

When I first went into Mr. Herrera’s classroom, I didn’t see him; he was sitting with one of several small groups of children working on math activities at small round tables. Each group was sharing a set of materials. Mr. Herrera asked me to sit with Isaac’s group and ask the children what they were doing. Isaac volunteered, “We are finding out how many ways we can make the different shapes that we see in the classroom.” Then I asked, “How did you know what to do?” Another child explained, “We had a meeting with Mr. Herrera and talked about the shapes we knew. He drew all the shapes we told him on the board. Then he told us to look around the classroom for those shapes. Then we had to choose a way to make those shapes at our tables. Bobby and Francesco wanted to use rods but the rest of us voted on the geoboards. That’s when Mr. Herrera clapped his hands three times which meant we had to work on our choice.” The students really worked well together and helped one another. Some groups seemed to have difficulty with the materials they chose. Then Mr. Herrera placed a red cap on his head. The children saw it and proceeded to put their materials away, check off the activity they accomplished (on Mr. Herrera’s bulletin board), and gather in the meeting area to report on what they had done.

Ms. Mariner shares her observation with Mr. Herrera

(Ms. Mariner:) Your classroom is a very busy place. The students were all engaged in the activity you planned.

(Mr. Herrera:) They are starting to work independently.

(Ms. Mariner:) While you require the students to be independent in their work, are you keeping data to ensure that they are accomplishing the work in the activity centers?

(Mr. Herrera:) I use a checklist. The students check off what they did, and I move them based on their reports.

(Ms. Mariner:) I’m not sure that first graders can be so reliable. Your classroom activities are great, and the students are engaged, but assessment data will provide you with more reliable and valid evidence of the students’ learning.

(Mr. Herrera:) I’m confident that checklists reflect their work.

(Ms. Mariner:) Checklists are valuable to help guide students through the steps. However, to check for understanding, other forms of assessment would be more beneficial. In addition, it is important that you align your classroom activities to the district curriculum and the state standards.

Mr. Herrera uses checklists primarily to assess the students’ progress in the subject matter. His mentor, Ms. Mariner, feels there are more valid and reliable ways to assess students’ progress.

Suggest TWO other forms of assessments Mr. Herrera might use to better evaluate the students’ progress in the subject matter.

For EACH assessment you suggest, explain the kind of information that Mr. Herrera might obtain. Base your response on principles of formal and informal assessment.

Scenario:

Mr. Herrera is a second-year, first-grade teacher. Ms. Mariner, a tenured first-grade teacher, mentors him. The 25-student classroom is heterogeneously grouped with respect to culture and ability. Prior to the beginning of school, Mr. Herrera sent all of his students a postcard welcoming them to his classroom. He also sends them a “Get to Know You” survey in which the child and parents answer a few questions that can help him understand his new students’ likes and interests. Isaac is a student in Mr. Herrera’s class.

Mr. Herrera’s Classroom Management

Content specific activity centers line the walls of the classroom. Desks are arranged in small group clusters to facilitate instruction. Mr. Herrera used the responses from the “Get to Know You” survey to organize children into small groups for activities and instructions. Groupings of students vary based on the subject area, the class activity, and the academic needs of the student. Mr. Herrera interacts with his students in whole class and small-group instruction. Students receive a daily schedule of activities and assignments. His students are expected to complete the assignments and to file the folders on his desk at the end of the day. To alert his students to transitions, Mr. Herrera uses visual signals (he puts on a red cap to signal finishing an activity) and auditory signals (he rings a small bell for lunch, recess, and dismissal). He expects his students to become independent learners and to be responsible for their work.

Isaac’s parents are concerned about his transition to first grade.

(Parents:) We have asked for this meeting because Isaac has been complaining of a stomachache all month. Last year in kindergarten, Isaac was always ready to go to school. When we received your letter this summer, he was so excited. Now he does not want to come to school. The doctor says Isaac is suffering from anxiety about school. How is Isaac doing in school?

(Mr. Herrera:) I am glad that you contacted me. Isaac is a very young first grader; he has difficulty paying attention and sharing his space. His record of achievement from kindergarten indicated that he was developing in academic skills but had not yet achieved mastery. I have also spoken to him about taking his time to do a good job instead of rushing through his work.

(Parents:) This is the first we have heard of any problems. He did well in kindergarten and got along with everyone. This year he seems to worry about all kinds of things. We would like to volunteer to work in your room to observe Isaac ourselves.

(Mr. Herrera:) Isaac might be having a hard time transitioning from kindergarten to first grade. We should give him more time to adjust to a new teacher and routine. Let us wait a few more weeks before you come in to volunteer.

Ms. Mariner’s Observation

When I first went into Mr. Herrera’s classroom, I didn’t see him; he was sitting with one of several small groups of children working on math activities at small round tables. Each group was sharing a set of materials. Mr. Herrera asked me to sit with Isaac’s group and ask the children what they were doing. Isaac volunteered, “We are finding out how many ways we can make the different shapes that we see in the classroom.” Then I asked, “How did you know what to do?” Another child explained, “We had a meeting with Mr. Herrera and talked about the shapes we knew. He drew all the shapes we told him on the board. Then he told us to look around the classroom for those shapes. Then we had to choose a way to make those shapes at our tables. Bobby and Francesco wanted to use rods but the rest of us voted on the geoboards. That’s when Mr. Herrera clapped his hands three times which meant we had to work on our choice.” The students really worked well together and helped one another. Some groups seemed to have difficulty with the materials they chose. Then Mr. Herrera placed a red cap on his head. The children saw it and proceeded to put their materials away, check off the activity they accomplished (on Mr. Herrera’s bulletin board), and gather in the meeting area to report on what they had done

Ms. Mariner shares her observation with Mr. Herrera

(Ms. Mariner:) Your classroom is a very busy place. The students were all engaged in the activity you planned.

(Mr. Herrera:) They are starting to work independently.

(Ms. Mariner:) While you require the students to be independent in their work, are you keeping data to ensure that they are accomplishing the work in the activity centers?

(Mr. Herrera:) I use a checklist. The students check off what they did, and I move them based on their reports.

(Ms. Mariner:) I’m not sure that first graders can be so reliable. Your classroom activities are great, and the students are engaged, but assessment data will provide you with more reliable and valid evidence of the students’ learning.

(Mr. Herrera:) I’m confident that checklists reflect their work.

(Ms. Mariner:) Checklists are valuable to help guide students through the steps. However, to check for understanding, other forms of assessment would be more beneficial. In addition, it is important that you align your classroom activities to the district curriculum and the state standards.

In Document 1, review Mr. Marder’s objective for Wednesday. In Document 2, Matt is struggling to work cooperatively with his group.

Suggest TWO strategies Mr. Marder could use to make group work more effective.

Explain how EACH of these strategies could be effective. Base your response on principles of planning instruction.

Scenario:

Matt is a sixth-grade general education student at a suburban school. Recent standardized test scores indicate that Matt is performing academically at grade level. However, his report card indicates a history of low achievement across the academic subjects as well as consistent comments concerning his lack of ability to control his behavior.

His science teacher, Mr. Marder, is a second-year teacher who is concerned about Matt’s limited progress. Matt is rarely able to complete a task without frequent and direct supervision.

Lesson plan
Goals:

Monday: Students will demonstrate ability to (SWDAT) recall prior knowledge about force, acceleration, gravity, and the design principles in anticipation of “The Great Egg-Drop Project.”

Tuesday: SWDAT brainstorm strategies to prevent an egg from breaking during a 15-foot drop and discuss a rationale for each strategy.

Wednesday: SWDAT work cooperatively in small groups to plan and build a container that will protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a height of 15 feet.

Thursday: SWDAT build a prototype for a trial run, collect data, and make modifications as needed.

Friday: SWDAT make a prediction, collect data, and draw a conclusion during an experiment using raw eggs.

Assessments:

Written Lab Report
Hypothesis
Materials
Procedures
Observations
Conclusion
Teacher Observation
Student Self-Reflection Sheet

Science lesson

The bell rings. Mr. Marder begins to review the goals for the day orally. Shortly after, a student runs into the classroom. “Ah. Matt, how good of you to join us. Where is your hall pass?” asks Mr. Marder. Gasping for breath, Matt responds, “It wasn’t my fault, Mr. Marder. I forgot my notebook and had to run to my locker . . . but then I forgot my combination and had to go to the office . . . and . . . and . . .” “OK, OK, please take your seat and open your notebook,” interrupts Mr. Marder.

Mr. Marder reminds the students they may use only the items provided on their worktable and that each group’s prototype must be ready for trial runs tomorrow. Once the directions are given, Mr. Marder asks if there are any questions. Many students shake their heads “no.” Matt calls out, “Can we trade supplies?” Mr. Marder nods “yes.” “Matt, please raise your hand first. Yes, you may trade. Any other questions?” Mr. Marder quickly assigns the students to their group.

Matt meets his group, “Hey Alex, can I borrow a pencil?” Alex tosses him a pencil, “You owe me — again; when are you going to bring your own?” Matt just laughs in response. Mariah, a group member, snaps, “Let’s get started, we only have today to design and build our prototype.” “Wait,” interrupts Matt, “I thought we weren’t dropping the eggs until next week?” “Matt, we are dropping the raw eggs next week. Tomorrow, we are only dropping boiled eggs as a trial run,” answers Alex.

After a few minutes, Matt begins to look around the classroom. “Hey, that’s pretty cool,” he shouts as he runs over to another team for a closer look at their prototype. Mariah and Alex yell at Matt to return and finish the sketch. After a few minutes, Matt asks for permission to use the rest room. Mariah and Alex finish the sketch by themselves and show it to Mr. Marder. “Great job, guys. I knew you could all work together,” he praises.

Matt returns and watches Mariah and Alex as they begin building the prototype. “That’s never going to work. Here, let me show you a better way,” Matt comments as he reaches in to grab the prototype. “Matt, stop! We’ve already decided how this is going to be built,” shouts Mariah as she grabs the prototype back. “Whatever. This is stupid,” Matt replies sullenly and stomps off. Mr. Marder quickly intercepts Matt, “Matt, you have to work with your team. Part of your grade includes participation and cooperation within your group. Do I need to call your parents?” “Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . whatever. Fine,” mutters Matt. Mr. Marder escorts Matt back to his team. For the rest of the class, Matt sulks in his seat. Mr. Marder ignores Matt’s behavior and after a few minutes asks the class to begin cleaning up.

Mr. Marder’s journal

Matt is falling farther and farther behind. I have tried talking to him and calling his parents. His parents keep reassuring me they will talk to him at home. My mentor suggested I keep ongoing anecdotal notes on Matt’s behavior to see if there is a pattern. I feel like I am constantly nagging Matt, but if I don’t, he loses focus and causes his group to get off-task. Perhaps I need to focus

Matt’s self-assessment assignment

1. List the things you did to help your group complete the task.

I gave them suggestions.

2. List the cooperative skills you used to help complete the task.

We worked together to design and build.

3. Which cooperative group skills do you need to work on?

None, our group built the best one.

4. What would you do differently next time?

Tell everyone to be quiet. It gets very noisy when we all work together, and I can’t concentrate

Mr. Marder indicates in his journal (Document 3) that he feels that he is constantly nagging Matt. He decides to focus on understanding Matt better as a learner.

Identify TWO instances during the science lesson when Matt exhibits behavior that is typical of 11 and 12 year olds.
For EACH instance you identify, describe a characteristic of Matt’s behavior that is typical of the social and/or emotional development of 11 and 12 year olds. Base your response on principles of human development.

Scenario:

Matt is a sixth-grade general education student at a suburban school. Recent standardized test scores indicate that Matt is performing academically at grade level. However, his report card indicates a history of low achievement across the academic subjects as well as consistent comments concerning his lack of ability to control his behavior.

His science teacher, Mr. Marder, is a second-year teacher who is concerned about Matt’s limited progress. Matt is rarely able to complete a task without frequent and direct supervision.

Lesson plan
Goals:

Monday: Students will demonstrate ability to (SWDAT) recall prior knowledge about force, acceleration, gravity, and the design principles in anticipation of “The Great Egg-Drop Project.”

Tuesday: SWDAT brainstorm strategies to prevent an egg from breaking during a 15-foot drop and discuss a rationale for each strategy.

Wednesday: SWDAT work cooperatively in small groups to plan and build a container that will protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a height of 15 feet.

Thursday: SWDAT build a prototype for a trial run, collect data, and make modifications as needed.

Friday: SWDAT make a prediction, collect data, and draw a conclusion during an experiment using raw eggs.

Assessments:

Written Lab Report
Hypothesis
Materials
Procedures
Observations
Conclusion
Teacher Observation
Student Self-Reflection Sheet

Science lesson
The bell rings. Mr. Marder begins to review the goals for the day orally. Shortly after, a student runs into the classroom. “Ah. Matt, how good of you to join us. Where is your hall pass?” asks Mr. Marder. Gasping for breath, Matt responds, “It wasn’t my fault, Mr. Marder. I forgot my notebook and had to run to my locker . . . but then I forgot my combination and had to go to the office . . . and . . . and . . .” “OK, OK, please take your seat and open your notebook,” interrupts Mr. Marder.

Mr. Marder reminds the students they may use only the items provided on their worktable and that each group’s prototype must be ready for trial runs tomorrow. Once the directions are given, Mr. Marder asks if there are any questions. Many students shake their heads “no.” Matt calls out, “Can we trade supplies?” Mr. Marder nods “yes.” “Matt, please raise your hand first. Yes, you may trade. Any other questions?” Mr. Marder quickly assigns the students to their group.

Matt meets his group, “Hey Alex, can I borrow a pencil?” Alex tosses him a pencil, “You owe me — again; when are you going to bring your own?” Matt just laughs in response. Mariah, a group member, snaps, “Let’s get started, we only have today to design and build our prototype.” “Wait,” interrupts Matt, “I thought we weren’t dropping the eggs until next week?” “Matt, we are dropping the raw eggs next week. Tomorrow, we are only dropping boiled eggs as a trial run,” answers Alex.

After a few minutes, Matt begins to look around the classroom. “Hey, that’s pretty cool,” he shouts as he runs over to another team for a closer look at their prototype. Mariah and Alex yell at Matt to return and finish the sketch. After a few minutes, Matt asks for permission to use the rest room. Mariah and Alex finish the sketch by themselves and show it to Mr. Marder. “Great job, guys. I knew you could all work together,” he praises.

Matt returns and watches Mariah and Alex as they begin building the prototype. “That’s never going to work. Here, let me show you a better way,” Matt comments as he reaches in to grab the prototype. “Matt, stop! We’ve already decided how this is going to be built,” shouts Mariah as she grabs the prototype back. “Whatever. This is stupid,” Matt replies sullenly and stomps off. Mr. Marder quickly intercepts Matt, “Matt, you have to work with your team. Part of your grade includes participation and cooperation within your group. Do I need to call your parents?” “Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . whatever. Fine,” mutters Matt. Mr. Marder escorts Matt back to his team. For the rest of the class, Matt sulks in his seat. Mr. Marder ignores Matt’s behavior and after a few minutes asks the class to begin cleaning up.

Mr. Marder’s journal

Matt is falling farther and farther behind. I have tried talking to him and calling his parents. His parents keep reassuring me they will talk to him at home. My mentor suggested I keep ongoing anecdotal notes on Matt’s behavior to see if there is a pattern. I feel like I am constantly nagging Matt, but if I don’t, he loses focus and causes his group to get off-task. Perhaps I need to focus on understanding Matt better as a learner.

Matt’s self-assessment assignment

1. List the things you did to help your group complete the task.

I gave them suggestions.

2. List the cooperative skills you used to help complete the task.

We worked together to design and build.

3. Which cooperative group skills do you need to work on?

None, our group built the best one.

4. What would you do differently next time?

Tell everyone to be quiet. It gets very noisy when we all work together, and I can’t concentrate.