One of my favorite times of the week is meeting with my Battle of the Books students. Right now, we're meeting twice a week, but students put in a lot of time outside of school. I think students would day that B.O.T.B. is a fun program, but that it's not easy. It requires a lot of reading, a good memory, a willingness to put in a lot of time and effort, and the ability to work together with teammates.
For those wondering, Battle of the Books is a reading incentive program designed for students with a love of reading and a thirst for competition. Students form teams of five members and read a pre-selected set of ten chapter books. The program culminates in a "battle" in which teams answer questions about the books they've read. All questions begin with "In which book..." and students must respond with the title and the author of the book. In order to answer the questions, students must really know the books. Students sometimes read a particular book three or more times.
This year's group of students is the biggest I've had in my three years here at Stroud. And just like every year, I'm already impressed with their hard work. We have 18 fourth grade students and 21 fifth grade students participating this year. Our fourth grade competition ends at the school level, with four teams battling and one team left standing. The fifth grade competition is a bit different. After our school battle, the winning team will go on to battle the other 13 elementary schools in our district. I'm certain that we're going to send a team of very bright and very determined students to represent our school in April.
When we meet on Monday and Tuesday afternoons, we spend a lot of time reading books and thinking about questions. But we also like to try new things. Last year, students blogged about their experiences during B.O.T.B.. Recently, students created riddles that we tweeted from our library Twitter account.
And soon, students will start working on book trailers. This was something I was thinking about, but after attending Erin Broderick's (@librarybrods) session on book trailers at AASL13, I decided to get it started. Students will plan out a brief book trailer, then create a trailer using Animoto or iMovie.
Here's a list of this year's books: