GET STARTED TODAY

Professional Teaching Knowledge (PTK) Exam Standards

Domain 1: Instructional Design

Topic 1: Selects, Organizes, Plans, and Designs Content

1.1.01

Writes measurable objectives for both individual or classroom performance based on student data and subject matter.

1.1.02

Guides curricular planning (e.g., content clusters, instructional methods, learning activities and assessment tools) based on goals of the instruction.

1.1.03

Organizes content across lessons around central concepts, propositions, theories, or models.

1.1.04

Selects facts, samples, examples or a combination to substantiate or illustrate ideas.

1.1.05

Juxtaposes examples that differ in many ways but are the same in defining features, so that students can generalize to new examples and learn to discriminate same/different when faced with new examples.

1.1.06

Plans lessons, depending on size and content of unit, so that important ideas or skills are studied or practiced on several occasions rather than all at once.

1.1.07

Selects lesson content that builds on prior learning.

1.1.08

Uses routines, presentations, practice, review, memorization, application and homework, as appropriate, to organize instruction into clearly defined segments.

1.1.09

Designs instruction that shows relationships among content and ideas and points out opportunities for transfer.

1.1.10

Knows about the ways to organize information for students, including:

  • Outlines and graphic organizers that depict relationships of central ideas, super-ordinate concepts, subordinate concepts and coordinate concepts;

  • Study guides that call attention to key ideas and address literal, interpretive, and applied levels of comprehension;

  • Concept guides that link new information and previously learned material;

  • Methods for identifying cause-effect relationships and temporal sequences and to compare and contrast situations;

  • Organizers that help students keep track of the steps involved and the strategies they use to complete assignments

Domain 2. EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY

Topic 1: Communicates Effectively

2.1.01

Stimulates student interest by connecting prior knowledge and students’ personal experience to larger concepts.

2.1.02

Explains how current lessons build upon previously learned knowledge and skills.

2.1.03

When introducing new concepts, previews major ideas or questions to be covered in the lesson to stimulate students’ thinking about topic.

2.1.04

States what will be taught in the lesson in the form of verbal associations, concepts, principles, or cognitive strategies.

2.1.05

States what sorts of changes he or she will be trying to foster in students’ knowledge in the lesson, e.g., increase accuracy, speed, generalization and application, assembling elements into larger wholes, retention, independence.

Topic 2: Provides Clear and Focused Instruction

2.2.01

Assesses students to decide where and how to begin instruction based on students’ prior knowledge and prerequisite skills.

2.2.02

Presents material in a logical sequence.

2.2.03

Presents new content in small steps.

2.2.04

Demonstrates the steps for defining concepts, applying rules, and solving problems.

2.2.05

Focuses on learning objectives without disrupting continuity by digressing.

2.2.06

Teaches vocabulary required for mastery of the subject matter.

2.2.07

Presents sufficient, varied, systematic examples, non-examples, problems, or materials in order for students to master critical concepts. So students grasp relationships, make predictions, debate alternative approaches to problems, or otherwise consider the content’s implications or applications.

2.2.08

Determines that students have mastered material in lesson before introducing new idea.

2.2.09

Identifies mistake patterns or knowledge gaps in student responses.

2.2.10

Systematically reduces or withdraws assistance as students become proficient.

2.2.11

Utilizes metaphors and analogies to communicate key ideas.

2.2.12

Provides frequent and varied opportunities for students to practice new skills, apply new knowledge, or both.

2.2.13

Provides students with ample opportunities to solve similar problems.

2.2.14

Uses both examples and non-examples, (e.g., of concepts) so those students can induce the defining features.

2.2.15

Provides opportunities for students to actively participate through questions, share task-related observations or experiences, compare opinions to deepen their appreciation of what they have learned and how it relates to their lives outside school.

2.2.16

Provides opportunities for students to explain in their own words how individual elements are connected in a network of related content and connect it (the new content) to their prior knowledge.

2.2.17

Provides closure to lesson (e.g., reviewing main points, stressing concepts, and previewing next lesson).

2.2.18

Knows the different purposes of various instructional methods and how and when to use them, including whole class, cooperative, small group, and tutoring.

2.2.19

When using whole class instruction, implements its design principles by:

  • Establishing whole class instruction based on lesson objective

  • Establishing seating arrangements so all students can see and hear instruction

  • Monitoring student attention during instruction such as: using teacher eye contact, proximity or questions

  • Ensuring that students receive the assistance they need to learn successfully

2.2.20

When using small-groups, implements principles of design by:

  • Establishing cooperative workgroups that are based on lesson objectives

  • Placing students in small groups on the basis of diagnostic information for short-term learning activities

  • Regrouping students when they are ready

  • Setting up peer tutoring and peer evaluation groups to use time effectively

  • When working with small groups, stays aware of and makes sure not to spend excessive time away from the remainder of the class

2.2.21

Holds members of cooperative work groups or small groups individually responsible for performance.

Topic 3: Uses Effective Questioning Techniques

2.3.01

Suits questions to the knowledge and skill of students.

2.3.02

Uses factual and higher order questions to further student learning.

2.3.03

Uses open-ended higher-cognitive questions that call for students to apply, analyze, synthesize or evaluate what they are learning.

2.3.04

Provides appropriate wait-time when asking higher order questions.

2.3.05

Promotes discussion on a range of possible correct answers.

2.3.06

Requires students to clarify or justify their assertions to improve the quality of student responses.

2.3.07

When asking questions with a short and specific correct answer, orchestrates chorale responses to involve all students (e.g., reading word lists, memorizing facts, practicing pronunciation in foreign language).

Topic 4: Makes Efficient Use of Learning Time

2.4.01

Paces the lesson to allow time to develop the most important content in greater depth and according to its difficulty.

2.4.02

Arranges schedule to maximize engagement of all students (e.g., teacher-directed, independent work, group work).

2.4.03

Knows the differences among uses of time: time allocated to the lesson, the time students are actually engaged in learning, and the time students are effectively learning the key objectives.

2.4.04

Arranges classroom space to ensure monitoring of all students’ engagement.

2.4.05

Extends learning through homework assignments that are relevant to the lessons being learned.

2.4.06

Extends learning time through homework that is appropriate in length and difficulty.

Topic 5: Builds Students’ Study Skills

2.5.01

Instructs students about when and how to use study skills such as:

  • Repeating material to remember it more effectively

  • Outline material to structure and remember it

  • Self-monitoring and self-regulating to maintain concentration and task focus

  • Minimizing performance anxiety and fear of failure

Domain 3. CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION

Topic 1. Establishes Smooth, Efficient Classroom Routines

3.1.01

Develops and teaches clear class rules during the first week of school.

3.1.02

Enforces rules and re-teaches as necessary.

3.1.03

Designs and establishes procedures and routines for classroom activities prior to the beginning of the school year, e.g., lining up, attendance, lunch, passing out papers, pencil sharpening, restroom, entry and exit, tardiness, hall passes, attention signal.

3.1.04

Presents clear expectations concerning classroom behavior.

3.1.05

Presents expectations regarding participation in lessons and learning activities such as teacher-directed instruction, cooperative learning and independent work (class work and homework).

3.1.06

Enforces expectations about classroom behavior in a consistent manner.

3.1.07

Begins each class promptly and purposefully.

3.1.08

Avoids unnecessary delays and pauses during lessons such as stopping to consult a manual or locate an item needed for display or demonstration.

3.1.09

Teaches students procedures for carrying out recurring instructional activities, e.g.,

  • Participating in whole-class lessons, engaging in productive discourse with classmates.

  • Collaborating in pairs or small groups

  • Storing and handling equipment.

  • Managing learning, completing assignments on time

  • Knowing when and how to get help

3.1.10

Provides explicit instruction (e.g., modeling and practice — about listening, sharing, and integrating the ideas of others and handling disagreements constructively).

3.1.11

Encourage student effort by focusing on the positive aspects of students’ performance.

Topic 2: Sets Clear Standards for Classroom Conduct and Applies Them Fairly and Consistently

3.2.01

Establishes clear standards of conduct that students are required to meet.

3.2.02

Arranges classroom so teachers can gain proximity to all students.

3.2.03

Provides positive feedback that is specific, descriptive, accurate, and meaningful.

3.2.04

Selects from a repertoire of correction techniques for early stage misbehavior (i.e. non-chronic), such as:

  • Using proximity (i.e., moving closer to the student)

  • Using reprimand (i.e., brief, proximate, state positive expectation, avoids asking a question, emotionally supportive or neutral)

  • Using eye contact and/or discussion

  • Using humor

3.2.05

Implements corrective techniques for common rule violations, such as:

  • Using counting

  • Creating charts

  • Debriefing

  • Using penalties e.g. Loss of points, time owed, demerits

  • Using time out

  • Using restitution

  • Making parental contacts

3.2.06

Determines educational reasons for chronic student misbehavior.

3.2.07

Once the educational reason for the misbehavior is known, designs plan to help meet students’ needs in positive ways.

3.2.08

Chooses corrective techniques for chronic misbehavior and implements them calmly, consistently, immediately, and respectfully.

Topic 3. Routinely Provides Students Feedback and Reinforcement Regarding Their Learning Progress

3.3.01

Indicates approval for correct responses.

3.3.02

Follows correct answers with new questions to maintain momentum.

3.3.03

When students are correct but uncertain, asks students clarifying questions to ensure understanding.

3.3.04

When students give incorrect responses, gives immediate corrective feedback depending on the type of student mistake made (whether by mistake of fact, concept, or rule) including:

  • Modeling the correct answer

  • Asking simpler questions

  • Providing hints or processes or rules to determine the answer

  • Asking student to explain his/her answer

3.3.05

Provides consequences on homework that helps students assess their progress with respect to goals and to understand and correct errors or misconceptions.

3.3.06

Informs students of what they need to do to earn recognition or rewards.

3.3.07

Provides incentives to students.

3.3.08

Provides feedback that is meaningful (e.g., specific, accurate, and important).

3.3.09

Avoids embarrassing, insulting, or demeaning students when providing feedback.

Topic 4. Expects Students to Learn

3.4.01

Holds high achievement expectations for student learning.

3.4.02

Communicates to students the measurements and criteria for attaining learning objectives.

3.4.03

Sets goals for meeting standards, gains in learning, or both.

3.4.04

Holds all students accountable for participating in learning activities and attaining goals.

3.4.05

Holds all students accountable for completing high quality work (class work or homework).

3.4.06

Teaches that effort is necessary for success in attaining rigorous standards.

Topic 5: Involves Parents and Guardians in Supporting the Instructional Program

3.5.01

Involves parents and guardians in monitoring their child’s academic progress and homework.

3.5.02

Alerts parents and guardians to the educational benefits of leisure reading.

3.5.03

Informs parents and guardians of child’s assessment results and progress.

Domain 4: Assessment

Topic 1: Monitors Student Progress Closely

4.1.01

Aligns assessments to taught objectives and lesson content.

4.1.02

Uses ongoing assessment to monitor and guide student learning aligned with curriculum goals.

4.1.03

Monitors procedures to check on student progress:

  • During cooperative work groups or lab activities, uses informal or formal checklists, performance evaluations, papers, or projects

  • During independent work periods, circulates to check students’ work

  • During teacher-directed instruction, monitors verbal responses

4.1.04

Uses information from assessments to evaluate student progress and inform instructional planning to do the following:

  • Determine what students have learned and not learned.

  • Identify patterns of student or class mistakes.

  • Ensure students know how to generalize knowledge to new examples, materials, tasks, and problems.

  • Make adjustments in time and corrective remedies and in instructional materials or teaching plans.

  • Identifies learners’ special needs, that may require additional time or corrective remedies.

Topic 2. Understands Testing Concepts

4.2.01

Understands the purpose and use of educational tests (e.g., norm referenced, criterion referenced, performance assessments, and portfolios).

4.2.02

Understands the purposes and uses of different item types (e.g., multiple-choice, constructed response format).

4.2.03

Can apply general testing concepts (e.g., reliability, validity and standard error of measurement).

4.2.04

Understands and uses general statistical concepts (e.g., mean, mode, median and standard deviation).

4.2.05

Understands and uses common assessment terminology to interpret test results (e.g., the differences between percentage and percentile; aggregated and disaggregated data; norm-referenced score and criterion-referenced score; achievement and aptitude tests) to teaching and diagnosing student performance.

Topic 3: Gives High-Needs Students Extra Time and Instruction They Need to Succeed

4.3.01

Develops plans to accommodate students’ special needs.

4.3.02

Provides struggling students with extra time, instruction and encouragement.

4.3.03

Seeks expertise and help from other professionals when individual students require special provisions.

Scroll to Top