Praxis Elementary Education For Dummies with Online Practice Tests book cover

Praxis Elementary Education For Dummies with Online Practice Tests

By: Carla C. Kirkland and Chan Cleveland Published: 08-01-2016

Increase your chances of scoring higher on the Praxis II Elementary Education test

Contrary to popular belief, the Praxis II Elementary Education test isn't a measure of academic performance, which is why many test-takers who achieve perfect grades in college don't always pass it. Studying such a broad range of topics and enduring such a long testing processing can be challenging, so what's the best way to prepare for it? Turn to Praxis II Elementary Education For Dummies with Online Practice! It offers easy-to-follow subject reviews, test-taking strategies and advice for multiple choice and essay questions, sample practice questions, two full-length practice tests with detailed answers and explanations, and more.

If you're one of the more than 600,000 aspiring teachers who take this test each year, this hands-on, friendly test prep guide gets you up to speed on everything you need to know to pass the Praxis II Elementary Education text with flying colors. This helpful guide covers Reading and Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Art, Music, and Physical Education. It leaves no stone unturned by offering tips on registering for the exam, as well as a detailed overview of the test and how it's administered.

  • Practice with hundreds of authentic Praxis II questions
  • Hone the skills needed to ace the exam and start your career as a licensed teacher
  • Boost your confidence and do your best on test day
  • Get one year of online access to five Praxis II exams to sharpen your test-taking skills

If you're a future educator gearing up to take the Praxis II Elementary Education test, this is your ultimate guide to one of the most important tests you'll ever take.

Articles From Praxis Elementary Education For Dummies with Online Practice Tests

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37 results
37 results
Praxis Elementary Education Exam—Physical Education

Article / Updated 12-27-2016

Some questions on the Praxis Elementary Education exam will test your ability to help students exercise and develop physical fitness, game and sports skills, and body management and locomotor skills, as well as develop their knowledge of safety, social discipline, and healthy lifestyles. Physical activity provides children with opportunities to experience pleasure, self-expression, and social interaction. They learn to identify their physical and emotional feelings and to participate willingly with others. In kindergarten, children begin to identify the feelings resulting from physical activity, such as happy, excited, frustrated, or tired. They learn how to share and take turns in physical activities. They experience being both a leader and a follower. In second grade, students learn how to engage in group activities without interfering with others and how to acknowledge their own behavior. They acknowledge their opponent or partner before and after an activity and provide positive feedback and encouragement. They engage in more diverse types of group activities, including those that rely on cooperation, such as passing the ball in basketball so that another may make a score for the team. By fourth grade, students set self-improvement goals in health-related fitness and keep records of their progress. They include and invite others in physical activities and learn to respect differences in skill level and motivation. They do not blame others for their own performance and respond to winning and losing with dignity and respect. Practice question Which of the following would come first in the development of a student's social responsibility? A. an understanding of what a teammate (another) is feeling B. an understanding of what he or she (the student) is feeling C. an understanding of how a problem on the playground may be solved D. an understanding of how to set a personal goal on the playground Answer and explanation The correct answer is Choice (B). Identifying one's feelings, which begins in kindergarten, is the first step toward self-responsibility, which later leads to an understanding of group responsibility. Choice (A) is part of learning to respect differences, which is third- or fourth-grade appropriate. Choice (C) is an ability that is fifth-grade appropriate. Choice (D) does involve self-responsibility but is late third- or fourth-grade appropriate.

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Praxis Elementary Education Exam—Music Analysis

Article / Updated 12-27-2016

Some questions on the Praxis Elementary Education exam will test your understanding of how to help students develop their comprehension of different elements of music. For example, how does a work of music's texture contribute to the emotion it arouses in listeners? What elements make up a work of music's texture? Reflecting on and analyzing such questions helps students make informed aesthetic judgments about the music and how it functions in a given section of a given society. Such processes also help students create and evaluate their own music. An awareness of musical property rights is extremely important in today's world, when electronic media allow for so much access and replication. While elementary students need not know specific legal terminology, they do need to know what is right and what is wrong when it comes to "borrowing." As in the visual arts, having students compose their own music, even if it's just the lyrics, helps them understand the importance of respecting and protecting others' creativity. Practice question A fourth-grade teacher wants students to appreciate the role of a participating choir member who does not sing the melody. Which example would work best for the lesson? A. a player on a basketball team whose role is to pass the ball B. a player on a soccer team who scores the most goals C. a player on a baseball team who sits on the bench, waiting for a turn D. a player on a volleyball team who often assists the coach in helping students with their form Answer and explanation The correct answer is Choice (A). The player is not as noticeable as a shooter or scorer but is an integral part of the whole, as is a choir member who sings harmony, which is usually softer than melody. Choice (B) is wrong because the player is the most noticeable, in contrast to someone who does not sing melody. Choice (C) is not the best example because the player, while an important part of the team, is not in a situation that is parallel to the participating choir member, who is engaged with the other students (singing). Choice (D) is not the best example because the player, while an important part of the team, is not in a situation that is parallel to the participating choir member, who is engaged with the other students (singing).

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Praxis Elementary Education Exam—Art Analysis

Article / Updated 12-27-2016

Some questions on the Praxis Elementary Education exam will test you on different principles of art, from the aesthetics of art to legal ownership and copyright. For example, one painting may thrill some viewers while offending others; one artist may receive funding while another does not. These responses and choices are part of a culture's aesthetics, how people characterize what is beautiful or in good taste, both emotionally and intellectually. Aesthetics can be individual, varying within a culture, as well as cultural, varying among cultures. Teachers may begin a discussion involving aesthetics by displaying two works of art that vary, for example, in balance—one being balanced and the other not. Ask students how each work makes them feel. Then lead students in a discussion of each work's elements and design, and how the choices each artist made affect the viewer. Ask students to consider why the artists made those choices. Finally, it's important for students to understand that while a work of art may be shared and enjoyed by many, it belongs to its creator. Having students create their own artwork will help them understand the importance of respecting and protecting others' creativity. Older students will learn the legal aspects of copyright, but elementary students can and should learn about copyright as a basic concept. Practice question A third-grade teacher's students are working in groups, talking about which of two paintings they like better and how the colors in one painting make them feel really different than the colors in the other painting. Which set of colors are the students probably studying? A. complementary colors B. analogous colors C. colors of two different values, one of which is a tint of the other D. colors of two different values, one of which is a shade of the other Answer and explanation The correct answer is Choice (A). Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel and so are likely to have opposite effects, such as the cool effect of blue and the warm effect of orange. Choice (B) involves three colors next to each other on the color wheel; thus, they do not create a different effect but a unified, similar, or calming effect. Choice (C) describes two closely related colors, one of which is the other with white added, such as green and light green; these colors create a similar effect. Choice (D) describes two closely related colors, one of which is the other with black added, such as green and dark green; these colors create a similar effect.

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Praxis Elementary Education Exam— Energy and Matter

Article / Updated 12-27-2016

The Science section of the Praxis Elementary Education exam may contain questions about the interaction of energy and matter. There are several ways that energy can interact with matter: Sound: Waves made by vibration passing through the matter of air. The faster the vibration, the higher the pitch. Shorter (more compressed) wavelengths carry more energy so they vibrate at a higher frequency. Nuclear energy: Stored in the nucleus of an atom. The energy may be released through fusion, when two or more nuclei are combined (as in a hydrogen bomb), or through fission, when the nucleus of an atom is split (as in a reactor or an atomic bomb). Magnetic energy: A force that pulls or pushes across a distance by opposing or like poles, respectively. A north pole (N) pulls a south pole (S), and vice versa, but two N poles repel, as do two S poles. Light: Electromagnetic waves produced by fast-moving electrons releasing energy. Light waves are transverse, occurring in a series of up-and-down oscillations. When the rays of light waves bounce off a surface, it is a reflection. When light rays bend passing through a medium, such as water, it is refraction. The color we see is the color—frequency—of the spectrum NOT absorbed by an object. A ripe orange absorbs all the colors except orange, reflecting that color back out. Electric energy: Produced when electrons move through a conductor along a closed circuit, as shown here. Because electrons have a negative charge, they move toward a positive charge (opposite charges attract). Electric energy may produce heat, light, motion, or a magnetic force. Static electricity is an accumulation of charges (positive or negative) on an object. Units of measurement include the voltage (volt), measuring electrical pressure, and the ampere (amp), measuring the rate at which the current flows. Practice question Which of the following is true? A. A circuit needs just to be closed and to have a conductor in order for heat or light to be produced. B. You can hear sound in outer space. C. A prism is an example of reflection. D. A compass's North points towards the North (directional) Pole of the planet. So, in reality, Earth's North directional pole is its South magnetic pole. Answer and explanation The correct answer is Choice (D). Earth is a magnet and thus reacts with other magnets in this opposites-attract manner. Choice (A) is not true because there must also be a source (of energy) such as a battery. Choice (B) is not true because there is no matter, no air, for the energy to interact with and produce vibrations (of the air molecules). Choice (C) is not true because when (white) light passes through a prism, the light is refracted, or bent, and the different colors, traveling at different frequencies, exit the prism at different speeds.

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Praxis Elementary Education Exam—States of Matter

Article / Updated 12-27-2016

The Praxis Elementary Education exam will usually contain questions about the basic states of matter and how they can be affected by temperature and pressure. Matter is in everything, from rocks to water to air, from mountains to microbes to mist; it comprises all objects and substance—anything that has mass and takes up space is matter. As you can see in the table, there are three basic states of matter, with each state having specific properties regarding the shape it takes and the speed at which its molecules move. Changes in temperature or pressure can cause a change in a state of matter. As temperature increases, molecules move faster. As pressure increases, molecules move slower. Melting: An increase in temperature making the molecules move faster; a solid may change to liquid, which may change to gas Freezing: A decrease in temperature making the molecules move slower; a gas may change to liquid, which may change to solid Boiling: When liquid, having reached its boiling point, changes to gas Sublimation: When a substance changes from a solid to gas, skipping the liquid state Deposition: When a substance changes from a gas to a solid, skipping the liquid state A change in a state of matter, such as ice (solid) melting (becoming liquid), results in a physical change. The process can be reversed: The melted liquid can be frozen back into a solid. The substance is still water. When the substance of matter changes, it is a chemical change. A nail made of iron, when left outside long enough, will rust. The rust is made of iron and oxygen: The substance (iron) changed to iron and oxygen. Practice question Which of the following is NOT true? A. Burning wood is an example of a physical change. B. On Earth, an empty glass is actually full. C. Protons and neutrons are inside the nucleus of an atom. D. Carbon dioxide is a compound. Answer and explanation The correct answer is Choice (A). It is a chemical change. When wood burns, new substances are formed (such as carbon dioxide and water vapor) that cannot be changed back. The ash in a fireplace where wood is burning cannot be changed back to wood. Choice (B) IS true because, on Earth, the glass has air in it, and air, as matter, takes up space (has volume). Choice (C) IS true. Choice (D) IS true because carbon dioxide, CO2, is one atom of the element carbon bonded to two atoms of the element oxygen.

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Praxis Elementary Education Exam—Our Solar System

Article / Updated 12-27-2016

On the Praxis Elementary Education exam, you may be asked questions about Earth and the other planets and objects in our solar system. You should also be familiar with how Earth revolves around the sun, and how the moon rotates around Earth. A year is the time it takes Earth to make one revolution around the sun. A month (the lunar month = 28 days) is the time it takes the moon to make a revolution around Earth. As Earth revolves, it rotates on an axis, resulting in day and night. The moon also rotates on an axis, and it does so at the same rate of speed as Earth's rotation. As a consequence, we only ever see one side of the moon as it's lit by the sun, resulting in the portion of the moon—or phase—we see. Eclipses happen when either the Earth blocks sunlight from reaching the moon, and it is eclipsed (lunar), or when the moon blocks sunlight from reaching the Earth, and the sun is eclipsed (solar). Earth and its moon are part of our solar system, which includes eight planets and one dwarf planet, Pluto. Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars—the inner planets—are made mostly of rock and are the smaller group of planets. The larger group—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune—all have rings and are made mostly of gas; they're often referred to as the gas giants. Also found in our solar system are the following: Asteroids. Large, rock-like objects orbiting the sun; the Asteroid Belt lies between Mars and Jupiter Meteoroids. Small, rock-like objects (smaller than 10 meters in diameter) orbiting the sun Meteorites. What's left of a meteoroid that has burned in the atmosphere and fallen to Earth Comets. Bodies also orbiting the sun and made of a nucleus surrounded by dust and gas that often forms a tail Practice question Which explains the main cause of a solar eclipse? A. the Big Bang theory B. the casting of a shadow C. the lunar revolution D. the tilt of the Earth's axis Answer and explanation The correct answer is Choice (B). During a solar eclipse, the moon blocks sunlight from, or casts a shadow on, the Earth. Choice (A) is an explanation for how the universe was created, more of an ongoing expansion than an actual explosion. Choice (C) is the 28-day period it takes the moon to make one revolution around the Earth. Choice (D) is the main cause of the seasons.

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Praxis Elementary Education Exam— Anthropology

Article / Updated 12-27-2016

Anthropology is the study of humankind. Human culture allows for a wide variety of anthropological study, and so the Praxis Elementary Education exam may contain questions on fields ranging from archeology to primatology to ethnography. An anthropologist can focus on modern culture or prehistoric culture, as well as all the cultures in between. There are a lot of different types of anthropologists, including the following: Archaeologists. Archaeologists re-create the lives and cultures of people who died a long time ago. They do this by excavating entire cities, burial grounds, and other areas like wells and even garbage dumps. Biological or physical anthropologists. Physical or biological anthropologists examine both living and fossilized primates and humans. Yep, these anthropologists dedicate their time and expertise to studying things like rock-hard skulls. Primatologists. Primatologists study primates like gorillas and chimpanzees to see how their group behavior matches or differs from human behavior. Gorillas and chimps are mankind's closest relative species; primatologists work to discover just how close. Linguistic anthropologists. Linguistic anthropologists study language and how it's used socially. These specialists learn about people by looking at their writings and words. Ethnographers. Ethnographers study ethnic groups in the field. They have a firsthand look at how different cultures work by living among the people or primates. This line of work can be fun and even dangerous. Practice question The emergence and widespread use of the code of Hammurabi from ancient Mesopotamia is most directly connected to which of the following? A. Laws concerning economic necessity which brought about the use of a government-controlled banking system B. A rise in government-sanctioned religious ceremonies C. A focus on the physical and biological needs of all community members, not just the ruling class D. The emergence of laws concerning the rights of individuals in matters of personal economics, punishments of crimes, and contractual provisions Answer and explanation The correct answer is Choice (D). The question requires an understanding of the role of the fundamental laws in government and legal rights of citizens in this culture, as well as an understanding that this is one of the oldest primitive constitutions to be found by archeologists. The answer is not Choice (A) because the code was not related solely to economics and did not precipitate a government-controlled banking system. The answer is not Choice (B) because the code was not based on religious ceremonies; it was more political in nature. The answer is not Choice (C) because it was not related to the basic human needs of the society; rather, it was focused on individual rights.

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Praxis Elementary Education Exam—Economics

Article / Updated 12-27-2016

You will need to know some basic concepts of economics for the Praxis Elementary Education exam. Elementary economics examines the desire for, the manufacture of, and the sale and use of money, both locally and globally. The teaching of economics includes concepts like wants versus needs, costs, and more thought-provoking topics, such as the following: Natural, human, and capital resources Supply and demand Producers and production Consumers and consumption Taxation and spending Inflation and recession Teaching economic literacy, or the ability to understand how money works in the world, can help students understand how the payment of taxes works to keep roads safe, to repair bridges, and to pay for their schooling, for example. Also, economics brings home the point that the shiny trinket in the store is a result of the use of natural resources, human labor, shipping, wrapping, and overhead. Basically, economics helps the student learn that sometimes people have to make choices based on needs rather than wants. As you travel through the more complex economic ideas, you can discuss how people make decisions based on their economic status; how they use natural resources to build economic stability; and how rivers and ports help with trade. The end goal is to see that money, indeed, does make our world go round, whether we want it to or not. Practice question A social studies teacher shares a graph with her class that shows how home heating costs rise in the local area during winter months because of the reliance on heating oil, a product that has risen in cost. Which economic principles can the teacher be demonstrating by the use of the graph? Check all that apply. A. Supply and demand B. Consumers and consumption C. Natural, human, and capital resources D. Inflation and recession Answer and explanation The correct answers are Choices (A) and (B). This question requires that students have an understanding of the basic economic principles governing goods. During the winter months, when the demand for oil is greater, the supply decreases, creating a higher cost, hence, Choice (A). A discussion of the graph can also relate to the amount of money spent by households in an economy. It is usually measured on a monthly basis, hence, Choice (B). The answer is not Choice (C) because the graph does not explore natural, human, and capital resources. Only one type of resource, oil, is mentioned. The answer is not Choice (D) because in a recession (when businesses cease to expand), you would expect inflation (a general rise in the prices of goods and services over a period of time) to decrease. Neither of these is presented in the graph.

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Praxis Elementary Education Exam—Geography

Article / Updated 12-27-2016

Geography helps us understand the Earth and our place on it. Geography questions in the Social Studies section of the Praxis Elementary Education exam cover the following basic geographical ideas: Physical factors affect cultural factors. In other words, natural resources affect human civilization. Greece developed differently than Russia, in large part because of the different terrain. Everything changes, and it changes all the time. Merely by existing in a region, people bring change to the region. The region also changes them, both physically and culturally. Humans manipulate the environment to fit their needs. Controlled burning of forests and the damming of rivers are basic examples of how man changes the environment to better suit the needs of a community. While many may question the need to know geography with maps and technology available to guide us, there are many ways that the study of geography helps students, including Discovering how different regions help create different cultures Explaining how historical conditions, such as colonialism, land ownership, and economics, affect humanity and its cultures Understanding how humans adapt to environmental stresses, such as climate or soil fertility, and create architecture, clothing, and food Explaining how technology and the use of tools affect the environment Discussing the purpose of human migrations, in terms of political, economic, physical, and/or cultural factors, both locally and internationally Discussing the similarities and differences of world regions In essence, geography helps explain the Earth and its inhabitants, how they interact with each other, and what can result from that interaction. Practice question Which of the following is NOT an example of the probable impact of humans on the environment? A. a rise in solar activity B. a loss of coral reefs C. a rise in sea levels D. a loss of species Answer and explanation The correct answer is Choice (A). Solar flares are related to the sun's magnetic field. Between human activities and climate change (rising ocean temperatures), less than half the world's coral reefs are considered to be healthy. In addition to melting icecaps, rising ocean temperatures lead to the rise of sea levels. Most scientists tend to agree that the extinction rate has been accelerated because of humankind.

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Praxis Elementary Education Exam—The Earth's Layers

Article / Updated 12-27-2016

In the Science section of the Praxis Elementary Education exam, you'll probably encounter a question or two about the structure of our home planet, Earth. A cross-section of Earth's interior contains several layers, as shown here. Deep inside is the inner core, solid and made mostly of iron. Next is the liquid outer core, the source of Earth's magnetic field. The mantle is the largest layer, being roughly 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) thick. It contains the lower asthenosphere, which has a fluidity that makes the plates move, and above that the lithosphere (litho- means stone), which is solid. Last is the crust, about 5–30 miles (8–50 kilometers) thick. The ocean floor has levels, from the depths of an ocean trench (the Mariana Trench is the deepest, at 6.8 miles, almost 11 kilometers), to an abyss, to a continental slope, to the continental shelf where water meets land, or continent. Earth's atmosphere is made up mostly of nitrogen (78 percent) and oxygen (21 percent). The lowest layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere, extends about 11 miles (17.7 kilometers) and is the source of most of our weather and most of our clouds. The stratosphere extends to about 31 miles (50 kilometers); it contains the ozone layer and, at its lower reaches, a few clouds, planes, and large birds. Next is the mesosphere, extending to about 50 miles (80 kilometers). Most meteors burn up in the mesosphere. The thermosphere extends to about 430 miles (almost 700 kilometers). It is extremely hot and has satellites, little air, and many ions. The exosphere extends to over 6,000 miles (10,000 kilometers) and has very little in it at all. Practice question Which of the following is NOT true? A. An object falling to the deepest possible part of the ocean would land in the abyss. B. A vulture was seen in the stratosphere. C. The aurora borealis and aurora australis both occur in the thermosphere. D. The tectonic plates of the Earth are in the lithosphere and crust. Answer and explanation The correct answer is Choice (A). The deepest level of the ocean is the oceanic trench. Choice (B) IS true. A large Rüppell's vulture was found at 11,552 miles, just into the stratosphere. Choice (C) IS true. The aurora borealis and aurora australis (from the north and south polar regions, respectively) occur as a result of charged solar particles (ions) falling through the thermosphere. Choice (D) IS true. The tectonic plates are the hard slabs of Earth's crust (surface) and lithosphere; there are seven or eight large plates and several smaller ones.

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