IECE Praxis II: Play and Learning Environment

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Praxis Practice Question 1
Ms. Graham, a kindergarten teacher, sets up floor
materials in two areas of the classroom each morning,
so the children can interact in groups as they come in.
Typically, the materials include a puzzle with several
pieces and board games. Which of the following types
of interaction is the teacher facilitating?
(A) Associative Play
(B) Cooperative Play
(C) Parallel Play
(D) Functional Play
Play
 Jean Piaget says A child’s work is play.
 Children learn though play.
 Adults set up the environment to encourage different
types of play.
 From the teachers standpoint it should be Play with a
Purpose.
Vygotskian approach to Play
 Play affects the child’s motivation.
 Play facilitates cognitive decentering.
 Play advances the development of mental
representations.
 Play fosters the development of deliberate behaviors –
physical and mental voluntary actions.
 According to Vygotskians, only when these four
outcomes are in place can a young child profit fully
from academic activities.
Praxis Practice Question 2
Which of the following is an example of an assistive
technology that can be used with a child who has a
communication delay?
(A) Battery operated riding toys and power scooters
(B) Plastic, cloth, or fiberglass braces
(C) Non-electronic board or notebook
(D) Toys with large handles, switches, and controls
Characteristics of Play
 Teacher involvement decreases over time as experience
helps children gain independence in negotiating.
 The process is the activity; it keeps children involved,
exploring and discovering without a defined beginning
or end.
 The play-versus-reality distinction inherent in fantasy
or pretend is called nonliterality. This is where
children escape reality, forgo limits, and have power
over what they do.
Types of Play
Nonsocial Activity or Solitary Play
Unoccupied, onlooker behavior
Parallel Play
Plays near other children with
similar toys, but does not try to
influence them
Associative Play
Engage in separate activities, but
exchange toys and comments
Cooperative Play
Children work toward a common
goal (such as make-believe play).
Cognitive Play Categories
Functional Play
Simple, repetitive
0–2 years
motor movements, with
or without objects
Constructive Play
Creating or
3–6 years
constructing something
Make-Believe Play
Acting out everyday
and imaginative roles
2–6 years
Praxis Practice Question 3
A caregiver is setting up an activity center to support the
fine motor skills development of 3 – to 4 – year old
children. Which of the following is an appropriate
activity to support this goal?
(A) Sweeping with a broom and using a dust pan
(B) Removing and replacing lids and caps of containers
(C) Throwing a basketball into the net
(D) Dancing to simple tunes and music patterns
The Learning Environment
 The arrangement of the learning environment is as




important to the classroom as the instructional time.
The learning environment acts as an extra teacher in
the classroom.
A healthy environment supports children’s physical
and mental health.
A respectful environment is one in which teachers
deeply care about the children and families.
A supportive environment is one where the teacher
spends time with the children, pleasantly interacts
with them and encourages and help them.
Learning Environment needs to be
 Clean
 Well maintained
 Loving
 Balance of small and large open space
 Have a variety of well defined learning centers
 Well arranged
 Safe
 Have a good traffic flow
Praxis Practice Question 4
Which of the following is the best example of a
developmentally appropriate environment for a group of 3year-old children?
(A) The choice of materials by the caregiver is related to the
caregiver’s interests, and is restrictive in use.
(B) The daily activities are completed in groups, and the
caregiver has an opportunity to introduce several
activities each day.
(C) The caregiver’s plan provides time for individual and
group activities, and the children have time for
experimentation.
(D) Outside activities is limited to once in two weeks, since
the children have lots of indoor materials to work with.
Learning Environment – A context for
teaching and learning
 1/3 how the environment is arranged

physical environment
 1/3 what teacher does in the environment

Cognitive/academic
 1/3 the other children in the
environment

Social/emotional environment
Context for Teaching & Learning
Scheduling
2. Selecting Activities
3. Designing Learning Centers & Selecting Materials
4. Planning and structuring activities to ensure that
all children can participate
1.
Praxis Practice Question 5
Which of the following materials would be most
appropriate for teaching 4-year-old children about
patterns?
(A) Cards showing simple patterns in bright colors
(B) Manipulatives that can be arranged in patterns
(C) Books that define and feature illustrations of
patterns
(D) Worksheets containing pattern-identification
activities
Context: Schedule
 Fosters Engagement
 Function with Independence
 Anticipate Transitions
 Prevent Challenging Behavior
Balance of activities (active/passive; teacherdirected/child-selected; large/small group/
centers/individual)
2. Length of time – changes during the year
3. Novelty embedded into Consistency
4. Transitions – Reduce; Anticipate; Learning
Opportunities; Teach Expectations
1.
Context: Selecting Activities
 Throughout day – across activities & environments
 Child-directed; Teacher-directed; Routines
 All provide opportunities to teach content and
dispositions (persistence, independence,…)
 Embedded Learning Opportunities
 Interesting
 Opportunities to practice and use peer modeling
 Routines – maximize target behaviors including
adaptive skills & caring for environment
Praxis Practice Question 6
A class, made up of children with diverse needs and
abilities, is grouped for an activity. In the groups, the
children will assist each other according to their
individual strengths and abilities. Such a grouping
strategy is an example of which of the following?
(A) Homogenous clustering
(B) Cooperative learning
(C) Scaffolding
(D) Tiered instruction
Adaptation Continuum
Adapt
Environment
Adapt
Activity or
Routine
Adapt
Materials
Adapt
Instruction
Provide
Assistance
Least to Most Intrusive
The Goal:
 Use the least intrusive adaptation. If an
adaptation is not having the result you
want, try the next least intrusive
adaptation.
Praxis Practice Question 7
Which of the following will best support the
development of literacy skills of an English language
learner (ELL) in an early childhood setting?
(A) Allowing bilingual children to speak and learn to
write in their preferred language
(B) Grouping all bilingual children together during
classroom activities
(C) Including in the reading area only books written in
the English language
(D) Requiring bilingual children to verbally express
themselves in English only
Adapt Environment –
changes to the setting
 Adapt room set-up
◦ Rearrange the furniture so child
in wheelchair can move freely
◦ Invisible support: arrange materials
sequentially
 Adapt/select equipment
◦ Ex: use a slant board to help
child participate in coloring
activities or a wedge to
provide supportive seating
during circle activities
Adaptations to
Activities and Routines
Continuum:
 Select to meet child’s ability
 Select to support child’s preferences
 Adapt activity or routine to accommodate a special
need
 Add periodic movement activities to a story time activity
to help children who have difficulty paying attention.
 Extend the length of free
choice time so that children
have the opportunity to
finish a block building project.

Praxis Practice Question 8
The parents of a 5-month-old infant are searching for a
suitable child care center for their baby. Which of the
following best characterizes an environment that
functions within professional guidelines?
(A) The ratio of adults to infants is one-to-eight
(B) Caregivers are moved weekly from one group to
another to get to know all infants in the center
(C) Caregivers work with the infants in large groups,
thus fostering social interaction
(D) The ratio of adults to infants is limited to allow for
one-to-one interaction
Adaptations to
Materials
Continuum:
 Make the pencil thicker by putting a foam curler around it or
by wrapping the pencil with play dough or silly putty to help a
child who has problems gripping pencils.
 Use assistive technology—
a simple switch interface to help a
child with motor difficulties
activate a toy.
 Visual cues – photos to
remind child of handwashing steps
Continuum:
Requirements and Instruction
 Changing the requirements of an activity or a routine, or the way you
provide instruction for them, can enable a child to participate. For
example:
 Modality reinforcement: Use photographs to show each
step rather than simply speaking the instructions.
 Simplification: Reduce the number of
steps a child is expected
to perform to change
requirements; task analysis
Praxis Practice Question 9
Which of the following activities is most appropriate for
a teacher to use to introduce a group of 4-year-old
children to the concepts of life cycles using butterflies?
(A) The teacher talks to the children for 30 minutes on
how butterflies develop
(B) The teacher reads a book about butterflies to the
children
(C) The teacher asks the children to color a picture of
different types of butterflies
(D) The teacher brings a butterfly habitat with eggs and
larvae to the class
Continuum:
Assistance
 Providing assistance is the most intrusive form of adaptation
because it involves another child (peer assistance) or adult
actually helping the child do the activity or routine, rather
than allowing the child to do it independently. Always try to
have a peer provide the assistance first before using an adult.
 Provide assistance only
when other adaptations
have not worked, and
only as a last resort.
Activity
 Divide up into 6 groups (Dramatic Play, Blocks or
Construction, Puzzles or Manipulative, Science or
Nature, Books or Library, Art)
 Select a learning center poster
 On the poster list
 The items you would need for that learning center
 Activities that could be used in that learning center
 Where in the classroom would be the best place for the
center.
Praxis Practice Question 10
Which of the following materials will provide the most
opportunity for children to play, learn and explore?
(A) A bowl with very large beads in different sizes and
colors
(B) A bird that sings and flaps its wings when the power
button is turned on
(C) A battery operated car that can hoot when it bumps
into any object
(D) A box with the letters of the alphabet written around
it
Wrap-up
 Give prize to the person who has the most answers
correct
 Remind participants to pick up a sticker as they leave
 Give out evaluations
 Close in prayer
References
Berk, L. (2008). Infants and Children Prenatal through
Middle Childhood Sixth Edition. New York, NY:
Pearson
Brown, J., Hemmeter, M, & Pretti-Frontczak. (2005)
Blended Practices for Teaching Young Children in
Inclusive Settings. Baltimore, MD: Brooks Publishing.
Koralek, D. (2004) Spotlight on Young Children and
Play. Young Children. National Association of the
Education of Young Children.
Morrison, G. (2011) Fundamentals of Early Childhood
Education. Sixth Edition. New York, NY: Pearson.
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