California Star Navigation

Related Links





Primary Sources

Plagiarism Advisor



News & Events



Research Links

About Cal Star

User Help

Site Index


Contact Us


September 5, 2000
Professional Reading Specialist
Preparartion & Certification
By Staff Writers

      Related story:Reading Specialist Innovations

       Dr. 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 of California.
      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 Dr. Howard Hobbs is a great reader!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 motivation theory.
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 [1983] 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 teacher.
    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.



  • 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 primarily by:

    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 ability to:

    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 has read
    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 conference.
    B. group the students according to their skill weaknesses and provide remediation.
    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 address?

    A. author's qualifications
    B. format
    C. quality of illustrations
    D. vocabulary

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 test.
    D. The student has mastered 70% of the material taught at his or her grade level.

17. One goal of a reading program is to improve students' comprehension. The most appropriate method of determining progress toward this goal is to:

    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 Response: D.

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 Response: D.

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 Response: B

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: A.

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 skills.

    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 reading program.

    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 Response: D.

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 skills.

    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.

©1846-2001 All rights reserved. Disclaim
See United States Code - 17 U.S.C. Sec. 512(c)(2)