Passing the PPR TExES Exam for EC-12 Teachers

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Mr. Wylie, a seventh-grade Texas history teacher, is planning a unit to help his students understand the structure and functions of government as created by the Texas Constitution. To address the objective, he plans to have pairs of students work together to interview a city official. He gives students the following handout that provides a timeline of activities for student pairs to perform during the project.

Straight From the Source: Learning About Our City Government.

Day 1
Brainstorm a list of ten to fifteen possible questions to ask a city official to help you learn how the Texas Constitution affects decisions that city officials make every day. The questions should elicit a variety of answers.

Day 2
Share your list of potential questions in small groups to get feedback. Revise your questions.

Day 3
Practice your interview using role-playing with at least two different members of the class (other than your partner). Take turns as the interviewer, asking your questions and taking notes.

Day 4
Use your experiences from Day 3 to reflect on the quality and scope of your questions.
Refine your list of questions based on your reflection.

Day 5
Conduct yourself appropriately during the interview and take good notes.
Write a summary of the information you learned from your interview.

Day 6
Make a brief oral presentation to the class to share what you learned.

In preparing for the interviews, Mr. Wylie develops a list of officials who have an office in the city hall building. Then he contacts the officials to determine if they are interested in the project and their availability for interviews.

The project design primarily demonstrates Mr. Wylie's understanding of the importance of:

A. establishing an environment that respects diversity.
B. helping students make potential career decisions.
C. monitoring teacher effectiveness during instruction.
D. connecting students' learning to the real world.
Before students begin their research, Ms. Soto posts the broad mathematics goal on the chalkboard. The following is the class discussion.

Ms. Soto:
OK, I have written the mathematics goal on the board, "To practice estimation skills." We completed an estimation unit about a week ago. We used a jar of jelly beans to start out the unit... does anyone remember what estimating is in measurement?

It's when you figure how much something weighs or how many things there are, or something like that. I mean, not exactly how much, but around how much.

Ms. Soto:
Yes, that's correct. You give an educated guess. We estimated how many jelly beans were in a jar based on the size of the jar and the size of the jelly beans. Now, for our research, we are going to use estimation to help others understand the size of the animal based on things that we already know. For example, let's look at this science textbook. We don't know how much it weighs, but what can you tell me about its weight? [No one volunteers to answer the question.] Well, let's see, is the textbook heavier or lighter than this magazine?

Several students:

Ms. Soto:
Good! Now what's another question you could ask to help us estimate its weight?

You could ask if it's heavier or lighter than a student dictionary, and it's lighter.

[The conversation continues, and students practice estimating the relative heights and volumes of different objects.]

Ms. Soto:
So for each of the endangered animals you research, you will be responsible for helping us understand its height and weight in terms of estimation based on things that we already know. For example, an African elephant can weigh more than four tons and stand twelve feet tall. In terms that we can understand, that's the weight of three average-sized cars and the height of a tall man standing on the shoulders of another tall man.

Ms. Soto mentions the jelly bean activity primarily to do which of the following?

A. Connect ideas to prior knowledge
B. Relate the project to real life
C. Stimulate critical thinking
D. Encourage visual learners