September 5, 2000
Preparartion & Certification
By Staff Writers
Howard Hobbs brings extensive experience to The California Star Reading
Specialist web presence. As a writer, teacher, counselor, reading
specialist, guidance consultant and licensed rehab counselor in the State
He holds a Master's Degree
[CSUFresno State School of Education] thesis title -- "The
Reading Process Affect." Fresno State Professor, Maurice Hunt,
Ph.D., tauted Hobbs thesis as a
"brilliant work, setting out a comprehensive
unified field theory of reading by means of computer modeling,
linguistics, motivation, and situational analyses."
He also has an earned doctorate from the USC Rossier School of Education.
It examines the plan and delivery of reading & writing curriculum
for community college and university undergards.
His huamnisitc approach to curricula broke new ground in cognitive and
One example of his reading publications includes his Final Draft
of the 1983 California State Department of Education, K-12 Reading
Framework which he completed with USC Professor Grayce Ransom, Ph.D.,
head of the off-campus USC Student Services Reading Center.
He holds the Life licenses as a K-14 Reading
Specialist and has many years of work with model individualized reading
curricula for underserved youth and adults.
He is a recipient of the Rehabilitation Grant
scholarship from the California State Department of Employment.
and has published the work "The Limits & Possibilities of
Feasible Rehabilitation Design" published by the AE Research
Institute Press. 2nd ed. 1989 -- [In the Madden Library
Stacks, [Call #: fHD7255.H62, 1992].
He was a Hoover Fellow
[Summer 1980] at the Stanford campus. And a recipient of the prestigious
National Reading Association scholarship for the Psycholinguistices
Institute  at Cowell College, UC Santa Cruz.
A Ford Fellow [1956-57] he is a also
a past member of the Fresno State Campus PDK. He lives in Clovis
with his wife Lois, a Fresno Unified School District career 2nd Grade
Son Thomas lives in Fresno and is a network official
for a large Palo Alto IT firm. Daughter Laurie, lives in the Scaramento
area and is married to Matt Kobliska, a Pacific Bell executive.
PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE PROCEEDING:
- A exam writing specimen is made up
of directions and 20 questions similar to those required
for State Certification. Custom tests construction based
upon client venue and test experience levels.
- A list of annotations for each question
on the exam wrriting specimen follows after the last quesion.
1. During adolescence, students' attitudes toward reading are
most likely to be affected by:
A. the teacher's philosophy.
B. physical development.
C. academic requirements.
D. peer influence.
2. According to top-down reading models, reading is controlled
A. visual cues.
B. textual input.
C. inner speech.
D. prior knowledge.
3. The use of context clues in decoding would be most useful
in helping a reader to:
A. recognize spelling changes in words with inflectional endings.
B. predict and confirm the function of a word in a sentence.
C. break down a compound word into its component parts.
D. use the root of a word to determine its meaning.
4. In reading comprehension, metacognition would most likely
enable the reader to:
A. determine the meaning of new words from context.
B. improve decoding skills.
C. adjust reading strategies for different purposes.
D. increase reading rate.
5. An appropriate strategy for teaching structural analysis skills
would be to have students:
A. divide written words into prefixes, roots, and suffixes.
B. identify components of monosyllabic words dictated by the teacher.
C. group words according to their meanings.
D. identify vowel sounds using appropriate diacritical marks.
6. The cloze procedure provides an indication of a student's
A. discriminate among sounds.
B. predict the outcome of a story.
C. sequence events chronologically.
D. use semantic and syntactic clues.
7. A teacher would be most likely to improve students' inferential
comprehension skills by helping them to:
A. identify an unstated main idea.
B. highlight text details.
C. circle descriptive words in a paragraph.
D. prepare a word hunt.
8. Which of the following would be most effective in assessing
a student's content area reading comprehension?
A. engaging the student in a conversation about material that the student
B. having the student read a selected passage aloud
C. asking the student to copy previously identified main points
D. administering an open-book test on the material read
9. A student can best obtain a quick overview of a chapter by:
A. using speed reading techniques to read the chapter.
B. underlining key words.
C. previewing the chapter's subtitles, visual aids, and study questions.
D. reading every third paragraph.
10. Teaching library skills to students is generally most effective
if the teacher begins by:
A. explaining the use of the Readers' Guide to Periodical iterature.
B. demonstrating the procedures for checking out and returning books.
C. showing students the various resources in the library.
D. reviewing library rules and regulations.
11. In Dr. Howard Hobbs' individualized reading lab, several
students are having problems with a variety of skills. When providing
instruction, Hobbs should:
A. instruct each student on a specific deficiency during the pupil-teacher
B. group the students according to their skill weaknesses and provide
C. instruct the whole class on skills that are causing problems.
D. give a test to determine each student's weaknesses.
12. Which of the following strategies would be most appropriate
for motivating a secondary student who reads at a sixth-grade level?
A. providing a sixth-grade-level basal reader
B. providing intensive drill work in phonics
C. providing age-level reading materials
D. providing high-interest, low-vocabulary trade books
13. Which of the following criteria does the Caldecott award
A. author's qualifications
C. quality of illustrations
14. Which of the following is an important characteristic of
successful persuasive oral communication?
A. employment of clichés and euphemisms
B. reliance on hyperbole and overstatement
C. use of the manuscript method of delivery
D. awareness of listener needs and interests
15. The most significant way in which the reading specialist
can apply current research in reading is by using the findings to:
A. evaluate teaching methods and materials.
B. review research articles for reading journals.
C. conduct research studies to validate new ideas.
D. speak to parents' organizations on reading research.
16. A student obtains a percentile rank of 70 on the Woodcock
Reading Mastery Test. Which of the following is an appropriate interpretation
of this score?
A. The student has mastered 70% of the objectives covered on the test.
B. The student answered 70 out of 100 questions correctly.
C. The student performed better than 70% of the students who took the
D. The student has mastered 70% of the material taught at his or her grade
17. One goal of a reading program is to improve students' comprehension.
The most appropriate method of determining progress toward this goal
A. integrate reading comprehension with content-area curriculum.
B. analyze test results on the reading section of a norm-referenced test.
C. monitor the accomplishments of each student through periodic assessments.
D. administer tests at the end of the year.
1. Analyze factors that influence reading development.
During adolescence, peer influence has a great effect on many aspects
of students' lives, including attitudes toward reading. Peer influence
affects the choice of materials and genres that are read as well as
interest in reading in general. A Reading Specialist's philosophy
and academic requirements are more likely to influence the amount
or type of reading that students are required to do than students'
attitudes toward reading. Physical development generally does not
have a major effect on attitudes toward reading. Correct
2. Understand models and dimensions of the reading process.
Top-down reading models are based on the premise that readers bring
more information to the reading process, in the form of prior knowledge,
than does the printed page. Visual cues, textual input, and inner
speech are given greater importance in bottom-up reading models. Correct
3. Understand decoding processes.
. In decoding, an important function of context clues is to help readers
determine the function of words in sentences. For example, context
clues can be used to determine if words such as "help,"
"purchase," and "paint" are used as nouns or verbs.
Context clues are not likely to help a reader recognize spelling changes
in words with inflectional endings or to break down a compound word.
Using word roots may be helpful in determining word meaning, but this
is generally not dependent on the use of context clues. Correct
4. Understand comprehension processes.
Metacognition involves being aware of and regulating cognitive processes
during reading. Clearly understanding one's purpose of reading would
provide a basis for making decisions about reading strategies. Such
awareness would be less likely to enable a reader to determine word
meaning using context clues, improve decoding skills, or increase
reading rate. Correct Response: C.
5. Identify appropriate strategies for teaching decoding skills.
Structural analysis involves breaking words into smaller units that
may be helpful in determining word meaning. One aspect of structural
analysis is dividing words into their roots and affixes. Structural
analysis does not include identifying components of dictated, monosyllabic
words, grouping words according to their meanings, or identifying
vowel sounds using diacritical marks. Correct Response:
6. Identify comprehension assessment techniques.
Cloze procedures, which are based on passages from which words have
been deleted, provide an indication of a student's ability to use
semantic and syntactic clues to identify missing words. Cloze procedures
are not used to determine a student's ability to discriminate among
sounds, predict the outcome of a story, or sequence events chronologically.
Correct Response: D.
7. Identify appropriate strategies for teaching comprehension skills.
Of the responses given, only identifying an unstated main idea requires
a student to apply inferential comprehension skills. Identifying text
details and descriptive words requires literal comprehension skills.
Preparing a word hunt would not likely improve comprehension skills.
Correct Response: A.
8. Identify strategies for assessing content area reading, research,
and study skills.
Of the responses given, engaging the student in a conversation about
material that the student has read would be the most effective way
to assess comprehension. The student's ability to discuss the content
would be a good indication of how well he or she understood the material.
Having the student read a selected passage aloud, copy previously
identified main points, and take an open-book test would provide little
information regarding the student's content area reading comprehension.
Correct Response: A.
9. Identify appropriate strategies for guiding content area reading.
Previewing the chapter's subtitles, visual aids, and study questions,
which identify major topics addressed in the chapter, is generally
an effective way to obtain a quick overview of a chapter. Reading
the entire chapter using speed reading techniques would provide more
information than necessary in a quick overview. Underlining key words
would require reading the chapter. Reading every third paragraph would
be time-consuming and would give an incomplete picture of the chapter's
content. Correct Response: C.
10. Identify appropriate strategies for teaching research and study
Library instruction is likely to be most effective if the teacher
begins with a general orientation, including showing students the
various resources in the library. The Readers' Guide to Periodical
Literature is only one of many specific tools that students should
learn to use. Procedures for checking out and returning books and
other rules and regulations are important for a student to learn after
gaining a more general understanding of the library and its resources.
Correct Response: C.
11. Identify organizational strategies (e.g., grouping) for the
The most effective strategy for Dr Howard Hobbs to deploy might be
to group students according to common reading styles or traits and
provide small focus-group instruction. Providing individual instruction
and personal conferences for review might be an o-tional use of conference
time in given cases. Using grorup instruction might be an appropriate
strategy for students who had been able to demonstrate mastery of
specific and general skills necessary group reinforcement practice.
Administering a test to determine each student's weaknesses is valuable
diagnostic tool for building relevant instructional strategy. Student
reading skill might best be determined before any instructional plan
is developed, however.. Correct Response: B.
12. Identify appropriate strategies and activities for meeting
individual needs in reading instruction.
A student who reads textbook assigfnment matrials with great difficulty
miught benefit from alternative means of acquiring the factual material
needed to complete the assignment successfully. Correct
13. Demonstrate familiarity with children's literature.
Each year, the Caldecott Medal, named for English illustrator
Randolph Caldecott, is awarded to an American illustrator for work
appearing in a children's book. Correct Response: C.
14. Identify strategies to promote the development of oral reading
Being aware of listener needs and interests is important in successful
persuasive oral communication. Such awareness would likely allow a
speaker to alter delivery to appeal to recognized listener needs.
The employment of clichés and euphemisms and reliance on hyperbole
and overstatement are more likely to weaken an oral presentation than
strengthen it. The manuscript method of delivery generally requires
a speaker to deliver a prepared speech exactly as it was written.
This method would likely interfere with a speaker's ability to meet
audience needs; therefore, manuscript delivery is not generally a
characteristic of successful persuasive oral communication.
Correct Response: D.
15. Understand research in reading.
The reading specialist can apply current reading research most appropriately
by using it in evaluating teaching methods and materials. This application
would assist students in quickly improving functional reading skills.
Reviewing articles for reading journals and conducting research are
less important responsibilities of the reading specialist than evaluating
and assisting students in learning tio apply effective methods and
procedures to get meaning fr0om written text. A reading specialist
keep appraised of current research literature about reading for meaning,
linguistics, and semantics in materials used by the reading curriculum.
Bur, specialists must keep in mind that the main emphasis of the reading
program is teaching students to read efficiently with clear comprhension.
Correct Response: A.
16. Apply knowledge of formal and informal assessment techniques
to determine school or district-wide progress in reading.
Only one respons correctly interprets the term percentile rank as
the point below which a given percentage of examinee test scores fall.
Correct Response: C.
17. Evaluate reading programs.
Of the strategies given, using periodic assessments would be most
appropriate, since this would provide a teacher with information at
several points during the school year. The teacher could then modify
instruction as necessary. Integrating reading comprehension with the
content area curriculum would not provide as clear a picture of students'
reading comprehension, since content knowledge would influence results
and their interpretation. Results from a norm-referenced test would
not indicate mastery of objectives specific to a particular program.
Administering a test at the end of the year would be inadequate since
progress along the way would not be documented and necessary remediation
would not be possible. Correct Response: C.