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Testing Miss Malarkey
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Testing Miss Malarkey

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  282 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Miss Malarkey is a good teacher. Usually she's really nice. But a couple of weeks ago she started acting a little weird. She started talking about THE TEST: The Instructional Performance Through Understanding test. I think Miss Malarkey said it was called the "I.P.T.U." test.
32 pages
Published 2001 by Scholastic Inc. (first published 2000)
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Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is nothing short of appropriate as CRCT testing is on our horizon. This is a hilarious text that paints a pretty accurate picture of what I've observed in my placement. With CRCT testing on the way, my 3rd grade teachers are in a frenzy to make sure their students understand what they'll be tested on. Students are practicing filling in the bubbles and are hearing phrases such as "You need to get this. It's going to be on the CRCT!" It's definitely a weird environment for my 3rd graders ...more
(NS) - Heather Hayman
This picture book about current standardized testing within our culture revolves around a community who is obsessed with student ppreparation and performance. The title gives away the actual joke, however, with the teachers truly being the 'judged' ones. As Miss Malarkey prepares her class, she becomes totally stressed. While she tries to keep it cool, she is surrounded by students who literally eat 'brain food' for lunch. While the story ends with positive results, readers will only get the jok ...more
This is a picturebook about high-stakes testing and the absurd anxiety that educators, parents, and children feel during testing season. It's a great premise, and the book certainly surfaces some of the absurdities of the accountability era. Unfortunately, there's no rejoinder. After the kids take the test (and score #1 on it, leading to a celebration in the teachers lounge), things go right back to normal, like at the end of a weekly sitcom. There's no mention of the lasting impact of testing o ...more
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: testing
I thought this book was perfect for first or second grade students who are being introduced to standardized testing. I liked how the book was informational about "THE TEST", but explained it in a way that is interesting to kids and easy to understand. It will definately ease the students' minds about the stresses of testing. The illustrations are also fun. They are very colorful and animated, and also incorporate children of different races so that everyone is represented. Great choice, I highly ...more
HAHAHA this book is awesome! It's a picture book that tells the story of standardized testing through the eyes of students. It's hilarious because the students document how totally stressed out the teachers become about the tests and show how the whole atmosphere in the school changes during testing. I loved this. I'm not quite sure if anyone other than teachers would find it as amusing but I LOVED IT.
A fun read particularly during testing week. It's about the only book I know that addresses standardized testing. It's humorous and keys into the little things teachers worry about.

I like how the characters are named after their jobs (gym teacher is Fitanuff, lunch lady is Ms. Slopdown, etc.).
Victoria Burnham
"Testing Miss Malarkey" by Judy Finchler; published by Bloomsbury Publishing; London; copyright 2000.
1. Awards the book has received: none.
2. Appropriate grade level(s): 1st – 4th
3. Summary: Throughout the story the students in Miss Malarkey’s class notice that all the adults are acting weird about “the test” the students have to take and are trying to prepare them for it. On the day of the exam, some teachers are outside the nurse’s office while others are strictly monitoring students during t
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Testing Miss Malarkey" was just purchased by a 5th grade teacher in our school. She read it aloud to her class with an enthusiastic response from her students. Now, we're planning to have this hilarious story read to all of our upper grade classes just before "THE TEST."

There's not much to add to the other favorable reviews already posted here, other than to say that "Testing Miss Malarkey" might help to relieve test anxiety for students just prior to testing. As with all good children's books,
Shelby Miller
Personally, I thought this book could be potentially threatening to read to elementary aged children, especially if some have anxiety when it comes to testing. Middle school students may find this humorous, but for many the reading level would be low for them, so they would most likely not be reading this book. Therefore, I just don't see it fit for an elementary classroom even though that is what age group it seems to be appealing to.
Topics: general testing, standardized testing, eating health
Super cute story on how standardized testing drives everyone crazy! Very true 💛💛
My second Miss Malarkey book...this one hits too close to home. Miss Malarkey and her whole school are trying to prepare kids for the tests -- the Instructional Perfomance Through armed guard brings the tests to the school. The principal has a melt-down over #2 pencis being delivered. Kids see the adults around them acting more and more deranged. At the parent meeting, questions are asked: "Will this test hinder my son's Ivy League chances? Should I be concerned about perfoman ...more
Mar 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Most elementary school-age children (especially nowadays) can relate to the extra stress and emphasis placed on the standardized testing that is part of the American public education system. I think, however, that some of the humor of this story would be lost on children and more appreciated by teachers and parents and others involved in the school system. The unreality of the weight of this type of test is unbearable for many, but seems to be the metric by which we have decided to grade our sch ...more
Kandice Buck
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
This book is about a student noticing how the entire school staff begins to act weird when "THE TEST" is around the corner. The test is the state test and every school has to take. The student notices how the teacher is stressed,the principal is yelling, the lunch lady is not serving potato chips anymore, and his mom is having him fill out ditto sheets before he goes to bed. After the test everything goes back to normal. This is a wonderful book to read to children before they take the standardi ...more
May 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: storytime-kidlit
I feel this book is the weakest of the Miss Malarkey tales, and yet it is the one I feel drawn to every single year about this time as teachers approach the standardized EQAO testing (in Ontario) and the world of school rapidly spirals out of control. I think the failing of this title is that it is written more for teachers and staff than it is for the kids. The same is true of the other Miss Malarkey tales but while "Doesn't Live in Room 10" and "You're a Good Sport" remain accessible through e ...more
Kelly Powell
This book was quite the other perspective that younger students may have on testing that I was never aware of. As a teacher it is important to know that your students pick up on your nerves and luckily my teacher never acted this way so I wasn’t nervous other than the fact that I was taking a test. As a future teacher this book showed me that I need to be calm and reassuring for my students because everyone acts differently about things and just because I tested well as a child doesn’t mean my s ...more
Katie Nanney
This book made me laugh. It reminded me a lot about the stress that comes with testing for both teachers and staff at school. The teachers do their best not to stress out the children during testing time and sometimes they end up being stressed out themselves in the process. I would like to read this book to my class of third, fourth, or fifth graders right before testing week or after testing week. Testing is hard and children need to laugh a little at the silliness that sometimes comes with te ...more
Brie Tennyson
"Testing Miss Malarkey" was a really interesting book about students preparing to take standardized tests and how this affected the whole school. This book would be great for 6-9 year olds. It would be a great book to read to students before they take standardized tests, because it is able to show students to not be nervous and just try their best. The illustrations were colorful and fun to look at.
Apr 02, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Though the book tries to lighten the mood and alleviate some tension regarding standardized testing, it has a tone or severity about it that both contradicts its message. Speech bubbles of the characters often include words or phrases that do not make sense to the age of audience that the text seems to cater to; also, the main message seems to support the idea that standardized testing is all that teachers care about.
Deborah Harris
RL 3.50 GRL-O

AR Quiz No. 59570 EN Fiction
Accelerated Reader Quiz Information IL: LG - BL: 3.6 - AR Pts: 0.5
Accelerated Reader Quiz Type Information AR Quiz Types: RP, VP

Stress, which has more the students or the teachers? Testing is stressful for all involved. This book talks about standardized tests from the students eyes. You see the teachers freaking out more than the students. This will be a book I read every year, in preparation for testing.
Marissa Pezzullo
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: concept-book
This book about test makes me think that it is chaotic. I think it would be a good book to read to children around testing time to show them that this isn't how it should be. If you freak a child out about testing they will go into the test worried and not do their best. I believe it is best to go into a testing environment, feeling confident.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books, school
This book is a book every student who has to take a standardized test can relate too! If tells everything teachers, staff members, and parents do to help students prepare for a test but from a child's view they have no clue what is so important about the test! You could use this book before taking a standardized test and then explain to the children briefly what the test is about.
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
My 8-year-old did not like this book at all (nor did I). The book made school and home sound terrible. I didn't like that the teacher told the class that the test isn't important, it wouldn't affect their grades, and even if they didn't do well they would still move up to the next grade. Why bother taking the test if that's true?
I'm trying to figure out how I feel about this book. On the one hand, it is definitely a commentary on the ridiculous behavior of adults in education with regards to high stakes testing, on the other hand, there's not much room for discussion with this book. Kids see the adults acting goofy and then everything goes back to "normal" at the end. There seems to be a disconnect somewhere.
Mrs Bond
Takes a look at standardized testing from the student's point of view. He and his classmates wonder what has happened to all the adults -- they seem to be a little obsessed with the test, all the while telling the students it isn't a big deal. Some of the comedic moments (or infuriating if your school is truly obsessed with the test) will be lost on the kids, but adults will certainly understand.
Katie Jackson
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I liked how this book relates to what is going on in schools today. It shows how everyone stresses about getting great scores on important test, like ISTEP. If students get failing ISTEP scores teachers can lose their jobs and schools can lose their funds. This school ended up passing and the relief is gone until next time.
Asha Smith
This book is amazing. It makes fun of standardized tests and how crazy people become when it is time to take the "big test." The principal, teachers, lunchlady and parents are stressing out about the tests and the students just dont understand what the big issue is. This is a good book to relieve stress about test taking.
Tiffany Askins
Standardized testing is coming and Miss Malarkey and the other teachers in the school are feeling very anxious. Their anxiousness begins to transfer over to the children in the school. I used this book to kick off TCAP and help the students understand that teachers get nervous about standardized testing too.
Sassy School Counselor
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: testing, stress
I loved using this book during testing time! It was especially fun to talk about what a "ditto" was. I team taught this with our librarian and we discussed the stress that everyone was feeling during "the test." It was a good honest conversation. At the end I lead everyone through a series of stress reducing stretches and breathing exercises.
I loved this book simply by the cover. It explores students natural feeling towards standardized testing and the responses of both teachers and students. It allows students to understand that it is okay to feel that way and then it would be great for discussion as students are working through all the emotions that testing brings on.
Diana Pettis
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book in my opinion makes fun of standarized testing that all schools have to do. Not sure if I would recommend this book other than to read aloud maybe to older students who do not like taking tests at school.
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