Study Guide

Field 206: Early Childhood Education
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Each multiple-choice question has four answer choices. Read each question and its answer choices carefully and choose the ONE best answer.

During the test you should try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will NOT be penalized for choosing an incorrect response.

Objective 0001
Understand early child development from birth to grade two and factors that affect development and learning.

1. A five-year-old child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has difficulty participating in drama and make-believe games such as playing "store" or "house" in the fantasy area of the preschool classroom. Based on what is generally known about ASD, in which of the following components of pretend play would the child likely experience the greatest challenge?

  1. operating functional toys involved in pretend play (e.g., using a toy cash register or a toy toaster)
  2. following social expectations in pretend roles determined by other children (e.g., "You be the mommy and I'll be the baby")
  3. focusing on details of facts related to pretend play (e.g., rules and responsibilities of being a police officer or doctor)
  4. showing interest in pretend play (e.g., driving small cars around a map of a town)
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication, interaction, and relationships. Children with ASD can have difficulties adjusting their behavior to suit various social contexts, in sharing imaginative play, or in making friends. Children who have ASD also often insist on sameness and adhere to routines. These combined social deficits would likely lead to this child having difficulty following expectations of others during pretend play.

Objective 0002
Understand the early childhood curriculum and how to plan instruction that is based on knowledge of young children from birth to grade two, their families and communities, and curricular goals.

2. When developing a curriculum to provide preschoolers with a foundation for academic success, a teacher should include:

  1. instruction in lengthening attention span and sustaining focus on specific activities.
  2. a stimulating setting that is responsive to self-initiated exploration.
  3. daily drills in phonics and mathematical skills.
  4. exposure to audio-visual materials that accelerate progress in reaching developmental milestones.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response:B.
Based on national learning standards for early childhood curriculum, preschool should provide children with varied learning opportunities that incorporate time for play, creative expression, and child-initiated activity. It is important that preschool classroom materials and equipment spark children's interests and encourage them to experiment and learn. Self-initiated exploration activities help children develop various problem-solving skills and discover their own interests.

Objective 0003
Understand the goals, benefits, types, and uses of various formal and informal assessments to support young children from birth to grade two and their families.

3. David is a two-year-old child with developmental delays. An early childhood teacher is asked to assess improvement in David's motor functions as part of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) process. Which of the following strategies would be both appropriate to use and consistent with the guiding principles of the IFSP intervention format?

  1. inviting the parents/guardians to observe David's assessment through a one-way observation window at a private testing location
  2. asking the parents/guardians to take David to a local playground and record the child as he uses the equipment during free play
  3. suggesting activities for the parents/guardians to use and observing David as he plays with the parents/guardians in the family's home
  4. having the parents/guardians fill out a questionnaire describing David's abilities and requests for accommodations he can use at home and school
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is designed to provide special services for young children birth to three years of age who have developmental delays. An IFSP focuses on the child, the child's family, and the services that a family needs to help them enhance the development of their child. Service providers across all disciplines value and encourage family participation and collaboration throughout delivery of intervention services. Families are partners and decision-makers in all aspects of services; they are the experts about their child's and family's needs. In this scenario, the early childhood teacher is a facilitator and an outside observer, assessing David in a natural environment without interfering in the family's interactions.

Objective 0004
Understand principles and procedures for creating and maintaining safe and productive learning environments that encourage communication, social skills, responsibility, and self-motivation for young children from birth to grade two.

4. An early childhood teacher is designing a learning environment for three- and four-year-olds to promote autonomy. Which of the following design features would be most important for the teacher to include?

  1. visual cues for placement of materials to encourage children to clean up after activities
  2. arrangement of learning centers to suggest the optimal number of children who can use them at a given time
  3. well-defined learning centers that give children opportunities to make choices about activities
  4. quality materials and supplies that relate to preschool curriculum
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
Autonomy is the self-confidence and self-determination to think and act independently. In an early childhood setting, learning centers provide structured activities that children can explore in many different learning areas (e.g., fantasy/dress-up, blocks, painting). A well-defined learning center provides children with the opportunity to make their own choices in a safe environment. Engaging in this learning environment design encourages confident and independent children who are developing self-control.

Objective 0004
Understand principles and procedures for creating and maintaining safe and productive learning environments that encourage communication, social skills, responsibility, and self-motivation for young children from birth to grade two.

5. A preschool teacher has a number of children in her class who will be attending school for the first time. The teacher wants to help the children feel safe and confident in their new classroom environment. Which of the following practices would most effectively achieve this goal?

  1. establishing expected procedures in the children's daily learning schedule
  2. placing a picture of parents/guardians or other family members in each of the children's cubbies
  3. playing songs and games throughout the day that are familiar to the children
  4. including a job chart with various tasks for which children are responsible
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
Children who follow a daily routine that encourages expected procedures for the daily learning schedule are able to predict events in their environment such as arrivals and departures, meal times, and rest times. This stability in the routine supports the children's feelings of safety and confidence. Following a consistent routine day after day gives children the sense of security they need to make choices and take risks, which facilitates exciting learning opportunities.

Objective 0005
Understand young children's verbal and nonverbal language and communication development and how to provide learning experiences that support and enhance listening and speaking skills in young children from birth to grade two.

6. Mr. Espinosa plans to read the same story several times to the children in his kindergarten class during shared reading time. The text of the story he has chosen is predictable and contains rhymes. When the children become familiar with the story, Mr. Espinosa will read the story with pauses and allow them to fill in the rhyming word. Which of the following rationales describes the primary advantage in engaging children in such an activity?

  1. enhancing the children's abilities to develop understanding of letter-sound relationships
  2. allowing the teacher to assess whether the children are developing listening comprehension skills when a text is read aloud to them
  3. providing children with an opportunity to listen to and become familiar with the language of books and typical story structures
  4. fostering the children's aptitude to listen accurately and remember what they have heard
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Reading aloud predictable books supports the reading process for beginning readers. When children hear the same story multiple times, they are able to follow the storylines and understand the sequence in the story more easily. A book with predictable text and rhymes can be a stepping stone to reading development because children are actively listening and are provided the opportunity to participate in the reading by filling in rhyming words when the teacher pauses.

Objective 0006
Understand the foundations of literacy development and how to use evidence-based, developmentally appropriate strategies for promoting literacy development of young children from birth to grade two.

7. Each morning, a kindergarten teacher gathers his class and reads a message to the children that he has written on chart paper and placed on an easel. As he reads, the teacher points to each word in the message. This strategy would be most effective for helping children learn:

  1. the concept of print skills.
  2. identification of new, unfamiliar vocabulary.
  3. spelling and punctuation accuracy.
  4. letter-sound relationships.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
Print awareness is a child's earliest understanding that written language carries meaning. The foundation of all other literacy learning builds upon this knowledge. Reading from a large piece of paper and pointing to each word as it is being read helps children understand and learn directionality and one-to-one correspondence. Children also begin to note punctuation and the differences between letters, words, and sentences, and recognize words that occur frequently, such as a, the, is, was, and you.

Objective 0007
Understand word-identification strategies and vocabulary development and how to use evidence-based, developmentally appropriate strategies to promote word identification and vocabulary skills in young children from birth to grade two.

8. When using morphology in decoding and word identification, a reader uses knowledge of:

  1. syllabication and accent rules.
  2. semantics and syntax.
  3. the alphabetic principle.
  4. prefixes, root words, and suffixes.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Morphology is the study of word structure and how words are formed. A morpheme consists of letter combinations that contain meaning such as root words, prefixes, and suffixes within a word. Students who use morphology when decoding are better able to decipher unfamiliar complex words by applying their knowledge of the meanings of prefixes, root words, and suffixes to help determine the definitions of words.

Objective 0008
Understand reading comprehension and how to use evidence-based, developmentally appropriate strategies for promoting young children's application of reading comprehension skills and encouraging their independent reading.

9. A second-grade teacher often reads literature to the class that is beyond the students' independent reading level. This activity helps students develop comprehension skills by:

  1. exposing the students to new vocabulary and concepts in the text that expand their knowledge of word meanings.
  2. developing the students' ability to monitor their own understanding of the text.
  3. challenging the students to understand texts that contain complex sentence structures.
  4. motivating students to participate in discussions as they attempt to understand higher-level thematic elements.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
Reading aloud to children is the foundation for their literacy development and success. Children often have a "listening level" that surpasses their reading level. When children are engaged in this process, they are exposed to vocabulary and language patterns that are not part of everyday speech. This helps them understand new vocabulary and the structure of stories and books.

Objective 0009
Understand evidence-based, developmentally appropriate writing processes and strategies for promoting writing competence in young children from birth to grade two.

10. A second-grade class recently went on a field trip to a local museum to learn how historical sources can be used to study the past. The students were fascinated by the authentic tools, clothing, and artifacts they saw. The most appropriate practice for the teacher to use in instructing the students to write a narrative account of the field trip is to have students:

  1. introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement in their writing.
  2. apply details in their writing that describe their observations during the field trip, including temporal words to signal order of events.
  3. state an opinion about their experience on the field trip and supply reasons in their writing that support their opinion.
  4. use their five senses to incorporate specific details in their writing to illustrate the experience.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
A narrative account can be defined as a retelling of an event or series of events. By including temporal words in their writing (e.g., transition words such as first, next, then, finally) the students can more clearly organize their narratives chronologically. Including specific details from the field trip in their writing will help the reader understand the students' experiences.

Objective 0009
Understand evidence-based, developmentally appropriate writing processes and strategies for promoting writing competence in young children from birth to grade two.

11. Mr. Randall is a first-grade teacher who is working on fiction writing with his students. The students have been reading an exciting adventure book in small groups. At the story's climax, Mr. Randall asks the students to work in pairs to write a few sentences predicting the ending to the story. The greatest benefit of this activity is that it will provide students with an opportunity to:

  1. imitate a published author's writing style.
  2. integrate their reading vocabulary knowledge into their writing.
  3. expand their reading and writing skills to promote comprehension.
  4. incorporate cooperation skills with literacy work.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
Predicting the ending of a story promotes comprehension by activating students' prior knowledge and using that knowledge to make connections about new information. Through this process of active thinking about what they have read and what they believe will happen next in the reading, students' comprehension of text is strengthened. Writing predictions about what a student comprehends through reading allows them to express their connections and predictions as well as practice their writing skills.

Objective 0010
Understand fundamental mathematical concepts and skills and how to promote mathematics learning for young children from birth to grade two.

12. Use the information below to answer the question that follows.

The students in Ms. Brady's first-grade class are preparing for snack time. Ms. Brady asks the students to figure out how much fruit they will need. She tells the students they may each have one apple or one banana. The students indicate which type of fruit they would like, and one student records the numbers on the board. Ms. Brady says, "Okay, now we know how many of each type of fruit we will need. How can we figure out how many pieces of fruit we need altogether?" Ms. Brady then encourages the students to discuss their ideas.

According to the information, Ms. Brady is attempting to:

  1. promote the students' comprehension of the commutative property of addition.
  2. integrate mathematics with social skills, such as turn-taking and cooperation.
  3. encourage the students' understanding of the conservation of number.
  4. capitalize on natural opportunities to develop the students' problem-solving skills.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
In this scenario, the teacher is using a real-world situation of determining how much fruit is needed for snack to engage the students in using their problem-solving skills. This type of natural teaching opportunity can often be engaging and meaningful to students because it is immediately relevant to their lives.

Objective 0010
Understand fundamental mathematical concepts and skills and how to promote mathematics learning for young children from birth to grade two.

13. A kindergarten teacher includes large and small dice for group activities and in centers. The teacher has also taught students how to play dominos, which are included in the box of items children use at recess. These materials are likely to be most effective in developing which of the following mathematics skills?

  1. probability
  2. number sense
  3. ordinal numbers
  4. rote counting skills
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
Number sense involves understanding numbers, including how to write and represent them in different ways, and recognizing the quantity represented by numerals and other number forms. Playing with dice and dominoes encourages children to recognize dot patterns, one-to-one correspondence, counting, and grouping, which are fundamental skills in children's number sense development.

Objective 0011
Understand fundamental scientific concepts and skills and how to promote scientific learning for young children from birth to grade two.

14. A first-grade teacher has designed a lesson to help students learn about sound and motion. The teacher demonstrates that when a ruler is struck against a desk, it vibrates and produces a sound. The teacher also demonstrates how grains of rice bounce on the surface of a drum after the drum has been hit. Which of the following activities would be most developmentally appropriate for the teacher to implement to extend students' learning of this concept?

  1. providing opportunities for students to experience sound vibrations using several of their senses (e.g., feeling vibrations in their throat as they hum music)
  2. assisting students with measuring various sound waves through the use of a microphone and a sound level meter
  3. playing recordings of various sounds and having students describe the pitch they hear as high or low
  4. using a model of an ear to teach students how sound waves move through the eardrum and other parts of the ear (e.g., ossicles, anvil, stirrup), which leads to hearing various sounds
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
This lesson teaches students that sound vibrations can travel through different mediums. Including an additional experiment in which students can further understand sound vibrations by using several of their senses is developmentally appropriate and also extends student learning about how sound vibrations work without needing extra materials.

Objective 0012
Understand fundamental concepts and skills in the social sciences and how to promote learning in the social sciences for young children from birth to grade two.

15. A preschool class has been learning to identify commonly known community workers and the services they provide. The children have the opportunity to pretend to have these jobs in the dramatic play area (e.g., cashier in a grocery store). The teacher would like to invite into class some of the children's family members who work in these occupations to tell the children about their jobs. The children and teacher work together to create invitations to send to the prospective guests. This activity would be most effective for which of the following purposes?

  1. promoting children's understanding of how all people have important responsibilities in a community
  2. relating children's everyday experiences with classroom experiences
  3. providing children with experiences to gather and present information
  4. integrating children's learning in the social sciences with language arts learning
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: D.
Integrated learning incorporates multiple subjects, which are typically taught separately, in an interdisciplinary method of teaching. In an early childhood education setting, social science topics are related to self, family, and community. In this scenario, the teacher is integrating two subject areas into one activity by combining a language arts lesson (having the children create invitations) with a social science lesson (inviting members from the community to speak in the classroom).

Objective 0013
Understand the comprehensive nature of the physical, emotional, and social development and well-being of young children from birth to grade two.

16. An infant room in a child-care center has five infants currently ranging in age from eight weeks old to ten weeks old. Which of the following activities would best promote gross-motor development for all of the children in this room?

  1. engaging each infant in tummy time and gentle stretches each day
  2. including interesting visual objects at each infant's eye level throughout the classroom (e.g., colorful pictures, mobiles)
  3. interacting with each infant often in various positions throughout the day (e.g., in high chair, on floor mat)
  4. giving each infant toys that make noise and move
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: A.
Gross motor development involves the development of the larger, stronger muscle groups. In early child development, it is the development of these muscles that enable an infant to hold his or her head up, sit, crawl, and walk. Engaging an infant in tummy time and gentle stretches is a developmentally appropriate way to develop strong head, neck, and shoulder muscles and promote gross motor skills.

Objective 0014
Understand fundamental concepts and skills related to the fine arts (including the visual arts, music, drama, and dance) and how to promote fine arts learning for young children from birth to grade two.

17. A group of early childhood teachers plan to integrate music into the daily routines of the 6- to 12-month-olds in their day-care program. An activity that would be most appropriate for this purpose would include playing music:

  1. with fast and slow tempos that encourages the children to move their bodies in time to the beat.
  2. that promotes children's growing body awareness (e.g., "The Hokey Pokey", "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes").
  3. during transitions to encourage children's self-regulation (e.g., lullabies at naptime, goodbye song when leaving).
  4. and using puppets and props to tell a story to the children.
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
Infants are able to recognize the melody of a song and associate it with certain events. Integrating music into an early childhood setting can help infants follow the expectations of a daily routine and transition between activities more easily by giving them the cues that a change is coming. Quiet background music can be soothing for infants during naptime and a simple song can help an infant learn a hello or goodbye routine faster.

Objective 0015
Understand the importance of building positive, collaborative relationships with children's families, other professionals, and community agencies and organizations to support the learning and well-being of young children from birth to grade two.

18. A preschool teacher would like to inform the parents/guardians of children in the class about upcoming instructional units, field trips and classroom events, and volunteer and visiting opportunities. Which of the following modes of communication would be most effective for accomplishing this goal?

  1. holding parent-teacher conferences twice each year
  2. posting information to a Web page and blog weekly
  3. sending home a calendar and newsletter each month
  4. displaying an updated bulletin board outside the classroom
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: C.
Keeping families informed about upcoming classroom events or field trips is an important part of home-school communication. Providing a monthly calendar or newsletter for each child to take home allows families to keep track of what is presently happening or soon to happen in the classroom and can be referred to throughout the month as needed. Sending this information home each month via backpack is an accessible means of communication for most families.

Objective 0016
Understand the roles and responsibilities of early childhood educators.

19. A group of primary grade teachers wants to evaluate the impact of showing their students an instructional video series that is designed to promote cooperative behavior. Before showing the video, which of the following questions would be most helpful for the teachers to ask themselves to stimulate their reflective thinking?

  1. What outcomes do the teachers in the video accomplish that we want our students to achieve?
  2. What practices are demonstrated in the video that we can adopt in our classes?
  3. Which activities should we use to introduce the purpose of the video to our students?
  4. How can we share the results of the video with families, other faculty, and the professional community?
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
Reflective thinking is a part of the critical thinking process. It refers specifically to the process of analyzing and making judgments about what has happened or what needs to happen. In this scenario, the teachers are participating in reflective thinking by asking themselves how the practices in the video can be relevant to their own classes. The teachers are taking necessary steps to analyze the video and discuss how they can use the techniques themselves in their own classrooms before taking action.

Objective 0016
Understand the roles and responsibilities of early childhood educators.

20. An infant and toddler teacher has been participating in a comprehensive evaluation for a two-year-old child who has a cognitive and motor developmental delay. The teacher has met with the child's parents several times and has determined that one of the family's immediate needs is respite care. As the team meets to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for this child, which of the following tasks is the responsibility of the infant and toddler teacher?

  1. connecting the family with a nearby agency that provides respite services for families with children who have disabilities
  2. requesting the team add the family's respite care need as a measurable goal in the child's IFSP
  3. talking with the family about ways they can address their respite needs within their circle of friends and family
  4. recommending that the team increase the frequency of the child's cognitive and orthopedic services in the child's IFSP
Answer and Rationale
Correct Response: B.
An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is a plan for special services for young children with developmental delays. It is a written document that outlines the early intervention services a child will receive. The IFSP is a whole family plan with parents/guardians as major contributors in its development as well as teachers and therapist. In this scenario, the teacher understands the family's need for respite care and presents the information to the rest of the team so that it can be discussed and written into the IFSP. It is the teacher's responsibility to ensure all information is provided about the child to help provide accurate and effective services to the family.