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The Big Test
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The Big Test

3.8 4
by Julie Danneberg, Judy Love (Illustrator)
 

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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

Overview

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!

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Mrs. Hartwell's students have been working hard all year, but they are not sure they can deal with the Big Test. The week before it is slated, their teacher tells them they have just a few more things to learn. They need to know how to sit still for long periods of time, how to fill in the bubbles on the answer sheet, and how to follow directions. At each turn, the kids worry and get headaches, stomachaches, and other maladies. On Thursday, Mrs. Hartwell lines up her class and marches them down the hall to the library. The sign on the door says, "Library Closed: Students Testing." But inside it's a test party. The students get to play and relax and eat. This works so well that no one is sick anymore and they breeze through the actual Big Test on Friday. The illustrations, done in ink and transparent dyes on watercolor paper, are priceless. The children's faces clearly express all the agony that the situation requires. The youngsters appear to be about second or third graders. This title will be popular in school and public libraries.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
This humorous antidote to the test anxiety prevalent everywhere these days begins at the end of the school year, with Mrs. Hartwell feeling good, "Really, really good." She tells her students that they are ready to take the Big Test. They are not pleased at the thought, particularly when she tells them that they must still "...know how to show what you know." So she has them practice "...sitting-still-for-long-periods-of-time," and "...fill-in-the-bubbles," and do a practice test. And several students end up in the nurse's office from the pressure. On the tense day before the test, however, she has a pleasant surprise, for the last thing to learn is how to relax. And after the test, the whole class feels, "Really, really good." Love has created a classroom of believable youngsters with individual personalities. Ink drawings and transparent dyes produce animated characters clearly demonstrating their reactions to the frightening Big Test. There are just enough of the school surroundings added to the naturalism. On the jacket, a smiling Mrs. Hartwell looking out the door at the line of apprehensive students, with more of across the title page, sets the stage for this humorous view of part of school life. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews

Mrs. Hartwell is back (First Year Letters, 2003, etc.) in a gentle satire on teaching to the test.

It's a Monday at the end of a really great school year. The kids have learned a lot and had fun along the way, but it's time now for the dreaded standardized test. But first, they need to learn how to show what they know. On Monday, they practice sitting still. Tuesday's lesson is on bubble-filling, and Wednesday finds the class taking a timed practice test. Throughout, Mrs. Hartwell finds that she is writing a lot of passes to the nurse's office—the students can't take the pressure. And so on Thursday, Mrs. Hartwell tosses her lesson plans and leads her nerved-up class to the library for a little relaxation. Danneberg's tongue-in-cheek humor is definitely in evidence as she describes the rigors of getting ready for a standardized test and the maladies that arise in anxiety-ridden students. Love's ink-and-dye artwork captures the varied expressions and body language of a classroom full of students, from a finger-down-the-throat gesture of disgust to the pride on their faces at having learned so much.

Once they stop laughing at the spot-on depiction of standardized testing, teachers should take a page from Mrs. Hartwell's book.(Picture book. 6-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580893619
Publisher:
Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
07/01/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
383,226
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile:
540L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Julie Danneberg is the author of several books for children, including FIRST DAY JITTERS, FIRST YEAR LETTERS, LAST DAY BLUES, COWBOY SLIM, and FAMILY REMINDERS. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

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The Big Test 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
IReadWhatYouWrite More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Hartwell's Class has worked hard all school year and it has come down to the last big test. Mrs. Hartwell takes her class through the skills they will need to be successful on the test. Can they sit still and properly fill in the bubbles? Do they know what that a good breakfast is important? By the day of the practice test all of her student are anxious and nervous and have visited the school nurse and poor Mrs. Hartwell is feeling very bad for them. I am the mom of anxious test taker. The poor kid gets so nervous, he is often not capable of showing what he knows. In a public school culture where the test is the culmination of the school year, this humorous look at Mrs. Hartwell's class happens all too often and it would a terrific jumping off point to discuss with students that those big tests they dread don't have to be scary. It shows the most important part of learning, how to have fun with it. While the story is charming and quite fun, the star of the book is the illustration by Judy Love. Brightly colored in vivid detail, Mrs. Hartwell and her students practically leap off the pages. This is a wonderful class library shelf book for grades 1-3. 5 stars I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
With standardized testing happening in most schools around Canada and United States, there is often nervousness and insecurities surrounding these events. This is a great book for teachers to use with their students to help alleviate these feelings. In the story, Mrs. Hartwell takes a week to go over things with her students. She keeps telling them that they have learned a lot over the year and the test is a chance to show what they know. She keeps it low key and positive. When some of the students still become very anxious, she ditches her lesson plan and plans a day to help the students relax before they have to write the test the next day. The illustrations are great and very realistic. The details and colours are great and add to the story. This is a book that should be in every school library and primary classroom. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago