Tuesday, April 9, 2013

*The Big Test*

We've been busy preparing for standardized testing. Teachers just finished taking an online computer training session and a test on how to administer THE BIG TEST.  

Our classrooms have been transformed. All instructional materials, like posters and bulletin boards, are covered or removed including the classroom clock. Yes, even the face of the clock has been covered.  :) 

Here are two books that make perfect read-alouds for this time of year:

The Big Test by Julie Danneberg

Summary:  Mrs. Hartwell is preparing her class to take THE BIG TEST. Knowing they have studied and are well-prepared, she helps the students practice how to sit quietly, fill in the bubbles, and follow the directions. She even instructs them on proper morning-of-the-test nutrition. As her students grow increasingly anxious about the Big Test, Mrs. Hartwell realizes she has to teach the most valuable test-taking skill of all: learning to relax!

Testing Miss Malarkey by Judy Finchler

Summary:  The new school year brings standardized testing to every school and Miss Malarkey's is no exception. Teachers, students, and even parents are preparing for THE BIG TEST. Even though the grown-ups tell the children not to worry, they're acting a little strange. The gym teacher is teaching stress-reducing yoga instead of sports in gym class. The cafeteria is serving "brain food" for lunch. Parents are even giving pop quizzes on bedtime stories at night. The kids are beginning to think that maybe the test is more important than they're being led to believe. 

You can one or both of these books as a springboard to discuss topics like test preparation or test anxiety.

If you are looking for ideas to help your students prepare for THE BIG TEST, check out Teaching Is A Gift's Test Prep Linky.  There are more than a hundred great activities.  Link-up and share your own tips, too!

Best of luck on your school's BIG TEST.  :)


  1. I love BOTH of these books. I used both of these books last year to get ready for our state test! This year I'm in first so I haven't gotten a chance to read them! Hope your kiddos liked them!

    Closing the Gap... in a Cute Outfit!

  2. O.k., I feel more comfortable posting a test comment on this post.
    I went back through my code, and I have:

    That First Grade Blog

  3. Wendy, you are awesome! Thanks for sticking with me today. I really appreciate your help! Now, I can post a real comment. These book suggestions are great. Even though I don't do testing with my kiddos, I will be getting these books for my son. He'll be in 3rd grade next year. Can you believe he is already scared about the testing he'll have to go through next year?

    That First Grade Blog