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Literacy Resources

Welcome to the Houghton Mifflin self-testing site for literacy!

This site was developed to offer you a wide variety of multiple choice questions that cover all aspects of literacy development. As you are no doubt aware, there has been an increased focus on high-stakes testing in the field of reading which has impacted students, teachers, and administrators alike. Some states are now even requiring the passing of a reading methods test for teacher certification (for example, California's RICA exam).

There are several ways that these questions may be used:
  • by university professors who require or encourage their credential candidates to self-test in order to review what they have learned about literacy through coursework;
  • by preservice teachers who wish to develop background knowledge in preparation for classroom teaching--or who need to pass an exam for teacher certification;
  • or by practicing teachers who desire to maintain currency in the field.

The questions were drawn from three sources, all of which are published by Houghton Mifflin:
Teaching Reading in Today's Elementary Schools (2002, 8th Edition), by Paul Burns, Betty Roe, and Sandra Smith
Literacy Assessment: Helping Teachers Plan Instruction, by J. David Cooper and Nancy Kiger (2001)
Literacy: Helping Children Construct Meaning, by J. David Cooper (2000, 4th Edition).

An accompanying grid provides guidance to locate the specific chapters in each text that correlate the questions in each of the 16 literacy topics. These key literacy topics are listed below.
Comprehension Strategies
Emergent Literacy
Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
Approaches to Reading Instruction
Types of Reading Material
Prior Knowledge (Schema)
Classroom Organization and Management
Early Intervention
Formal Assessment
Informal Assessment
Approaches to Writing Instruction
Independent Reading
Word Recognition
Scaffolding for ELL Students

The test questions were developed by two educators in the field of literacy education: Janice Pilgreen and Christine Meek, who both teach at the University of La Verne in Southern California.

Janice Pilgreen is the Reading Program Chair at ULV. A veteran reading specialist and English/ESL teacher of 22 years, she now works extensively with pre-service teachers, grades K-12, instructing them in literacy assessment, methods, and materials. In addition, she advises and teaches candidates for the Reading and Language Arts Specialist Credential and the Master of Education in Reading (M.Ed.) Program. Her primary area of research is the development and implementation of Sustained Silent Reading Programs. Dr. Pilgreen also does workshop presentations throughout the state of California on SSR and content area literacy.

Christine Meek is a Language Arts Resource Teacher and a Title I Coordinator in the Azusa Unified School District. As a reading specialist, Christine provides support for teachers through side-by-side classroom teaching experiences and works with intervention groups of at-risk students on a daily basis. She has taught for 21 years, providing inservices in literacy for the Azusa Unified School District, as well as districts in Los Angeles County. As an adjunct professor at the University of La Verne, she teaches reading methods courses for preservice teachers, helping to prepare them for the state reading methods exam. Her primary areas of research include early literacy practices and interventions for at-risk readers.

We hope that this self-testing site will offer you an opportunity to practice using literacy terminology, to apply what you already know about literacy, and to discover areas that you may want to know more about. Good luck!