Answers to Sample Questions Generalist EC-6 Exam
Answer 1: d
The Language Arts and Reading section counts for a large portion of the EC-6 Generalist Exam, so it's important for the teacher to be able to convey the characteristics of many styles of communication. The correct answer could probably be ascertained from context in this case. A diary is generally a narrative of day-to-day occurrences told from observation. William Bradford's narrative account of the voyage and landing is a well-known and rare narrative, and the question pertains to Language Arts and Social Studies classes at all levels. The Generalist teacher must be able to teach students to differentiate among certain kinds of writing: narrative, persuasive, expository, fictional accounts, editorial writing, and others.
Answer 2: b
A familiarity with the cognitive skills of first graders would help to answer this question. Picking out the number of twos in a hideously long number could lead to more frustration, not to mention eye strain. Nor is choice "d" a good choice as the classroom is not likely to offer too many useful examples and could actually confuse the issue. The song might be a good idea as a reinforcement activity if it were accompanied with an appropriate visual but, as a learning activity by itself, is not likely to be successful. First graders are enthusiastic and interested in animals, so flash cards with two ducks, two horses, and so forth, followed by a repeat question would be a better learning strategy.
Answer 3: b
In such a lesson, it is best to use a subject with which students are most familiar. Most students begin to take an interesting in wearing apparel at an early age. The business of brand name athletic shoes provides a good example of the manner in which high-visibility, high-popularity brands also have a high price. Commodities' future prices are a bit too obscure for the age group and also add an additional mathematical factor (risk) which might confuse a young learner at this level. A similar situation occurs in a comparison of gold and silver prices and desirability, a bias with historical roots that created the demand pattern. Many Native Americans actually preferred silver. If this historical preference were carried over, the demand for silver would be higher, making it a poor example of supply and demand.
Answer 4: c
Literature circles are not teacher-centered; they are student centered. There is no single definition that fits all classrooms, but literature circles are guided by student insights and curiosity. Circles are formed on the basis of the books chosen for reading. The teacher guides the process and provides cohesion. A chief aim of literature circles is to spawn student ownership of literature, individual responsibility, and independent thinking. Literature circles are not used exclusively but are integrated into an entire reading program that fuses with writing activities and basic skills learning. A reading circle must be structured but adapted to the abilities of each circle. A literature circle should also be diverse and provide opportunities for those with lesser literary exposure to learn from others with higher level skills.
Answer 5: d
Questions such as this one apply to teacher competencies and general knowledge required of Generalist EC-6 teachers in Texas. The Magna Carta was an English document that delineated many of the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. The pertinent clause of the English Magna Carta states "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land." It may be of additional interest to note that the concept of "due process" was adopted into two constitutional amendments, the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment. Due process is also emphasized in the U.S. Bill of Rights.
Answer 6: b
The question goes to general competencies in the fields of science, history, and art. Within the purview of Art, the lives of artists do not exactly correlate to decades of study, but Andy Warhol became widely known during the 60s as a "Pop Artist." Lyndon Johnson was president during the 1960s, and Yuri Gagarin and John Glenn should be recognized as astronauts and part of the Soviet and American space projects, respectively. Choice "c" mentions figures of the 60s, but Robert Frost is a poet, not a painter, and was part of JFK's inauguration ceremony. Finally, Eisenhower was president during the 50s and, while Edward Hopper's paintings extended into the 60s, he is primarily known as a painter of earlier periods—the 30s, the 40s, and the 50s.
Answer 7: d
Students can easily observe the "hunter-chase" instinct that compels a dog to chase a moving object, whether it be a person, a stick, or a ball. Therefore, this example is a good teaching tool. Moreover, most children are familiar with domestic pets and have had frequent occasion to observe their behaviors. On the other hand, most students know that dogs must be taught to sit, and that it is not the preferred position for a dog. A tadpole turning into a frog is a biological process which is ordained by the organism's DNA. Similarly, a process of a caterpillar spinning a cocoon and changing into a moth affords no opportunity to observer behavior or learned response.
Answer 8: a
The number of times a coin flip lands on heads or tails is a common method of teaching statistical probability. While other objects may be used, dice for example, the heads vs. tails coin toss offers the simplest and most comprehensible example because the probability curve is limited to one of two options. The teacher generally sets the number of times the coin will be flipped; it is important that the length of the experiment and the number of times allotted to the coin flip be of sufficient length to account for short term deviation. In other words, the probability curve will be vastly different if the coin is flipped four times instead of 40 times.
Answer 9: d
The fastest growing population in the United States is the Latino population. Consequently, teachers are often aware of language and cultural issues impacting education. However, some students are legal immigrants or naturalized citizens from the countries of Eastern Europe. Bulgaria is one such country. While immigrants from Bulgaria are predominantly Christian, with a large population of Muslims, the key issue is the different alphabet used in the countries of Eastern Europe. The Cyrillic alphabet is phonetic to a greater degree than the Latin alphabet. However, it would benefit a teacher to know that students beginning school in Eastern Europe have been taught on the basis of Cyrillic alphabet language conventions.
Answer 10: a
If no insights were gained by talking to the student, the next step would be to notify the guidance counselor. The guidance counselor may have helpful file information regarding the student. Together, the guidance counselor and teacher can devise a strategy to jointly monitor activity and behavior between the time the student leaves and returns to the classroom. A conference with the student's parent(s) would be appropriate but may be better conducted later. The talk about school rules regarding bullying and harassment is helpful but may be ignored, as it applies broadly, rather than specific to this instance. With regard to "private" teacher talks, it is always good to be mindful that stepping into a hallway for a talk with teacher can be intuited by a bully and lead to more inappropriate behavior.
Last Updated: 02/21/2013