Test Information Guide

Field 62: Reading Specialist
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Foundational Literacy Development

Objective 0002
Demonstrate knowledge of phonological awareness and evidence-based practices for explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction aligned to grade-specific standards in this area.

1. An elementary school reading specialist is working with a team of kindergarten and first-grade teachers to determine effective approaches for promoting the phonemic awareness skills of English learners. The specialist has the team begin by identifying English sounds that are not present in the students' home languages (e.g., the two sounds represented by the digraph th). Which of the following approaches would most directly address this challenge for English learners?

  1. teaching the articulatory characteristics of the target sounds explicitly and providing pronunciation practice and visual or tactile cueing when segmenting relevant words into sounds
  2. using concrete representations of the target sounds, such as blocks, for the students to manipulate for tactile-kinesthetic feedback
  3. providing alternative stimuli for practicing the skills of segmenting and blending phonemes using words that have common sounds between the students' home languages and English
  4. focusing on making letter-sound connections and bypassing phonemic awareness activities in favor of explicit phonics instruction
Correct Response: A.

Objective 0003
Demonstrate knowledge of the role of phonics in word recognition and spelling and evidence-based practices for explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction aligned to grade-specific standards in these areas.

2. A reading specialist is working with a small group of second-grade students who have recently mastered reading regular closed-syllable CVC, CVCC, and CCVC words, including words containing an initial or final consonant digraph or blend. The specialist would like to accelerate the students' progress toward reading grade-level texts by teaching them how to decode basic two-syllable words. Which of the following words would be most appropriate for the specialist to use when introducing this skill to these students?

  1. shuffle
  2. instruct
  3. merry
  4. napkin
Correct Response: D.

Literacy Components and Instructional Resources

Objective 0006
Demonstrate knowledge of ways to promote writing skills and evidence-based practices for explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction aligned to grade-specific standards in this area.

3. A new kindergarten teacher consults with the school's reading specialist about evidence-based practices for promoting children's development of letter-formation skills. Which of the following recommendations would be most appropriate for the specialist to make?

  1. grouping letters for systematic, explicit instruction based on shared common formational characteristics
  2. teaching the letters of the alphabet sequentially from A to Z focusing on a letter's form as well as on the most common sound the letter represents
  3. having children engage in forming letters exclusively in the context of authentic writing tasks
  4. ensuring that children master writing each letter of the alphabet in isolation before having them attempt to use letters to form words
Correct Response: A.

Objective 0007
Demonstrate knowledge of evidence-based practices for providing explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction in comprehension, vocabulary, speaking and listening, and research skills aligned to grade-specific standards in the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy and the Massachusetts Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards.

4. A reading specialist who is providing support in a fourth-grade classroom posts the following sentence and sentence frames on the board.

Despite the fact that gasoline is inexpensive, electric-powered cars are cleaner for the environment.

The specialist reads aloud the first sentence and then asks pairs of students to rewrite the sentence in different ways by completing the sentence frames. Their goal is to retain the meaning of the first sentence. This activity develops students' comprehension of informational texts primarily by:

  1. promoting their recognition of words that signal comparison/contrast text structure.
  2. expanding their use of descriptive words to support a text's main ideas.
  3. increasing their awareness of an author's craft with respect to word choice.
  4. developing their ability to differentiate between words that are more and less formal.
Correct Response: A.

Objective 0008
Demonstrate knowledge of evidence-based practices for literacy across content areas (reading and writing processes that are common across disciplines), including disciplinary literacy (literacy to engage in reading and writing processes unique to each academic discipline).

5. During a grade-level team meeting, middle school science and social studies teachers ask the reading specialist for strategies for developing students' ability to pronounce, read, and understand the large number of multimorphemic words that are critical for comprehending the content in science and social studies texts. Which of the following strategies would be most effective and efficient for the teachers to use to build students' word-reading independence across grade-level subjects?

  1. using a structural analysis approach with students to identify Greek and Latin roots and affixes common to a discipline and to explore interrelationships among words with related origins and meanings
  2. showing students how to apply syllabication strategies to divide words into manageable syllables that can be read according to their syllable type
  3. providing students with explicit explanation of how to classify affixes into inflectional or derivational morphemes according to whether the affix changes a word's part of speech and its meaning
  4. encouraging students to develop the habit of using a print or online dictionary to determine a word's phonetic pronunciation, including syllable division and stress
Correct Response: A.

Use the information below to answer the two questions that follow.

At the beginning of the school year, an elementary school reading specialist assesses all students' oral reading fluency and develops a classroom fluency snapshot (CFS) to provide classroom teachers with a quick breakdown of their students' fluency development. The specialist uses the data to consult with individual classroom teachers regarding differentiated fluency instruction for their class and to identify students who warrant a trial intervention from the specialist or teacher.

The specialist organizes the data in the CFS from highest to lowest words correct per minute (WCPM). The beginning-of-year CFS chart for one third-grade class is shown below. Letters of the alphabet are used to identify the 25 students in the class.

Classroom Fluency Snapshot (CFS)
Grade: 3

Beginning-of-Year (BOY) Benchmarks in Words Correct Per Minute (WCPM)
90th percentile = 134 WCPM          25th percentile = 59 WCPM
75th percentile = 104 WCPM          10th percentile = 40 WCPM
50th percentile = 83 WCPM

WCPM Range Student Identifier (WCPM)
170to179 student A (175)
160to169 student B (161)
150to159 none
140to149 students C (145), D (144)
130to139 student E (134)
120to129 students F (127), G (122)
110to119 student H (113)
100to109 students I (109), J (106), K (105), L (103), M (100)
90to99 none
80to89 students N (88), O (85), P (82)
70to79 students R (74), S (73), T (70)
60to69 student U (69)
50to59 students V (56), W (54), X (50)
40to49 students Y (42), Z (41)

Foundational Literacy Development

Objective 0004
Demonstrate knowledge of ways to promote reading fluency at the word, sentence, and passage levels; and evidence-based practices for explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction aligned to grade-specific standards in this area.

6. Which of the following approaches would likely be most appropriate for the reading specialist to use during a trial intervention period to improve the fluency development of students V through Z, who performed below the 25th percentile benchmark on the assessment?

  1. matching the students during fluency practice with partners who scored at or above the 50th percentile benchmark and having the partners monitor and track the students' oral reading fluency rate
  2. conducting echo reading and reader's theatre activities focused on improving the students' expression and phrasing with grade-level texts
  3. providing the students with explicit instruction in phonics skills that they have not yet mastered and fluency practice using decodable texts with corrective teacher feedback focused on accuracy
  4. building the students' background knowledge and vocabulary relevant to a text's topic prior to having them read the text during fluency practice
Correct Response: C.

Literacy Assessment and Evaluation

Objective 0011
Demonstrate knowledge of the purposes, attributes, strengths, limitations, and administration of various types of assessment.

7. Which of the following additions to the assessment would allow the reading specialist to expand the data captured by the classroom fluency snapshot for students at or above the 50th percentile across all fluency indicators to better inform differentiated classroom instruction in fluency?

  1. recording students' word-reading errors and analyzing the errors according to phonics elements
  2. determining if individual students' WCPM scores improve with several repeated readings of the same passage
  3. asking individual students to reread the story or information in the passage to identify their favorite part
  4. calculating each student's accuracy score and using an evidence-based fluency scale to assign a score for phrasing
Correct Response: D.

Objective 0012
Demonstrate the ability to use assessment data to identify students at risk for reading difficulties and to inform appropriate instruction, and apply knowledge of the structure and purposes of flexible multi-tiered systems to support the needs of all students.

8. A reading specialist has joined the faculty of a school that uses the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) model. The principal shares data with the new specialist indicating that over 50 percent of students in the fifth grade scored below benchmark on the meaning-based sections of the evidence-based universal screening assessment. Which of the following initial actions by the specialist in response to this information would be best aligned with the MTSS philosophy?

  1. reorganizing staff to provide targeted support to students in all tiers of instruction with particular emphasis on implementing Tier 3 instruction in vocabulary and reading comprehension with fidelity
  2. moving the students who scored below grade-level benchmarks in vocabulary and reading comprehension from Tier 1 to Tier 2 instruction and providing them with a targeted evidence-based intervention
  3. analyzing the vocabulary and reading comprehension components of the school's Tier 1 core instruction reading program and identifying barriers to students achieving grade-level expectations
  4. identifying students currently receiving Tier 2 instruction who could move to Tier 1 or Tier 3 to allow the students scoring below benchmarks in vocabulary and reading comprehension to move to Tier 2
Correct Response: C.

Theoretical, Professional, and Language Foundations

Objective 0014
Demonstrate knowledge of the components of language and evidence-based practices for explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction aligned to grade-specific standards that develop students' language acquisition.

9. A high school reading specialist is working with a student who has difficulty with pragmatic language skills. To promote the student's pragmatic competence with oral and written discourse, which of the following skills would be most appropriate for the specialist to focus on with this student?

  1. determining the function of various types of speech acts and texts
  2. analyzing how a word's connotation or the meaning of an utterance or text is affected by context
  3. determining the theme or thesis in literary and informational speeches and texts
  4. analyzing how the rules of grammar are applied in oral and written samples of academic language
Correct Response: B.

Objective 0016
Demonstrate knowledge of culturally responsive collaborative leadership and adult learning theories and strategies.

10. At the beginning of the school year, an elementary school reading specialist is tasked with planning professional development workshops for teachers on ways to improve student writing. The first step that the reading specialist should take is:

  1. polling the teachers about areas in which they think students are having the most difficulty with their writing.
  2. reviewing student writing samples and grade-level standards with cohorts of teachers to identify areas of strength and need.
  3. determining instructional techniques that teachers from higher-performing districts use to deliver effective writing instruction.
  4. advising the teachers to study information about the state writing assessment and to identify correlating standards to cover.
Correct Response: B.