Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Battle of the Books

Today I'm linking up for the first time with Head Over Heels for Teaching for...
 (Yes, I know it's not Saturday, but the topic of this post fits perfectly with this Linkup)

I'm over the moon excited to share an update on our school-wide reading celebration! 
Back in the beginning of January I approached my principal with this crazy idea to host a book competition to get students motivated and excited about reading. Battle of the Books kicked off this month and the hallways and cafeteria are buzzing with discussions about... BOOKS! Even with all this snow outside students are having meaningful conversations about which books in the bracket they like better. Best part of all... they are saying WHY that book is better!

So what is Battle of the Books? It's a sports bracket themed book tournament (wow, that's a mouthful). At the beginning of February, I introduced our book bracket to the school. Students filled out the brackets with their predictions and then the voting began. I used SurveyMonkey for online voting and hosted it at my classroom book blog Dempsey's Donuts. Here's a peek at how our bracket looks now, 3 weeks in:
There have been a few surprising results so far (the 8th graders begged me to put Fault in our Stars in and it fell out in the first round!) And I really thought Pete the Cat would have won over The Cat in the Hat (no offense Dr. Seuss, but Pete is HUGE right now in this house of little readers!)

When a winner is crowned next week, my class will sort through the bracket predictions to see if anyone in our school correctly guessed our favorite book. Any students who did will receive a free book at our next school book fair.
Voting online through our book blog!
Helping the kindergartners vote!
To build student enthusiasm for books even higher, I put together a packet for my colleagues with fun reading activities they can do in their classrooms. You can download it (plus materials for Battle of the Books) {HERE} for free from my TpT store. I'd love to hear if you try this out in your school!
Musical chairs with books!
So far, Battle of the Books is accomplishing exactly what I had set out to do! Stay tuned to see which books make it into the championship round and to see our giant bar graph of voting results my class is currently working on.

Good luck and "May the odds be ever in your favor!"

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