In Florida, 3rd-grade testing is a BIG DEAL! You see for my poor 3rd graders, their performance determines whether or not they have to repeat the year. That’s a lot of pressure to put on an 8 year-old. No wonder there’s so many kiddos with testing anxiety #sonotfair
Every year, a few days before “testing day”, I like to read the story The Big Test by Julie Danneberg. She’s also the author of First Day Jitters, a great back to school read.
The Big Test is the perfect read aloud right before testing. It was also exactly what my kiddos needed to lighten the mood a little. My students absolutely LOVED it!
The book is about a teacher named Mrs. Hartwell who prepares her class for the Big Test. She starts out by going over a few important test-taking strategies. I’m sure you can relate to this part…
The best part of the book, though, is the surprise ending. I love when Mrs. Hartwell gathers her frazzled students and walks them to the library to take the BIG TEST… However, instead of being greeted by a scary testing monster, the kiddos enter into a room full of silly tests. Some of the tests include a taste test and a driver’s test!!!! Could you imagine that
I mean doesn’t that look like fun?
My kids loved this idea so much, that I decided to create my own version of Mrs. Hartwell’s Big Test. The games below are just a sample from my Test Prep: Bundle of Fun pack which can be found here.
After reading the story and discussing how they could relate to the children in the book, I let my kiddos know that it was time for us to take our very own BIG TEST. I proceeded to gather a few testing supplies…
I quickly started to notice the little worried faces right before me start to disappear. My kids knew that something was up!
We spent the next hour or so T-E-S-T-I-N-G… It was so much fun!
First, we tested our bubbling skills…
My kids learned that they had “mad” bubbling skills.
Did you see how they managed to stay INSIDE those bubbles without being able to see! The only help they had were the directions their partner gave them such as “go left, no a little bit more to the right… yea right there, bubble!” That game was hit.
Next up, I-SPY the Big Test Version…
Each team had 3 minutes to locate as many items as possible on their I Spy sheets. Check out the GREAT teamwork that’s happening up above.
After that, we played Follow the Reader…
This game tested if the kiddos were careful readers and if they could follow directions. This is definitely a task all our kiddos need to work on.
The Reader’s job was to read a series of tasks to their partner. The Follower had to listen carefully and follow the directions such as “place 3 red M&M’s inside of the circle”… Some of the groups had to reread the last task carefully because they incorrectly assumed that the last M&M belonged in the empty shape (Which it did NOT!) This was a great opportunity to remind the kids NOT to assume, but to read directions carefully!
Finally, Pin the passing score on the Big Test…
We ended our testing session with a game of Pin the Passing Score on the Big Test. For this test, students were given a passing score medal, blindfolded, and spun around a few times. Then I gently guided them in the direction of “The Big Test” sign taped on the board. This game is just like pin the tail on the donkey, just with a testing twist As you can see below, our Big Test is covered in awards… Woo Hoo… way to go 3rd graders!!!!
Don’t you wish ALL tests were this much fun?
It did feel GREAT to take a much-needed break! We were exhausted from all the practice tests and strategy sessions. My kiddos and I left that day feeling re-energized! We were now in the right mindset to take the BIG TEST!
Here’s a little preview of some additional resources I’ve used to motivate my students for the big day…
It All Started with FlubberJuly 17, 2016 at 3:47 pm
Hi, Melissa – I love all of the test prep ideas from this post and the one on iTeach Third! Very helpful for our little test-takers! We love your blog and enjoyed meeting you are #TpTOrlando16! Drop by and visit our blog, too – itallstartedwithflubber.com
Thanks – happy summer!
Ludo Star Mod APK AndroidMarch 27, 2018 at 11:05 am
This book though is the surprise ending Thanks for sharing dear.
MelissaApril 5, 2018 at 8:35 am
Glad you enjoyed it! My kids love it as well :0)