Monday, March 14, 2016

March Book Madness!

It's that magical time of year when a little March mayhem can be harnessed into a fun competition! This year, I was was inspired by Nerdy Book Club contributor Tony Keefer and the amazing Catherine at The Brown Bag Teacher to try the Tournament of Books.

First, I polled my class to record their favorite "Sweet Sixteen" books of the year so far.  There were a lot of amazing "bubble books" like I am Malala, The Tapper Twins Go to War, or The Strange Case of Origami Yoda that were great reads but either didn't quite have the number of readers to recommend them, or didn't get "hot" until recently.  All the 16 books listed had at least 9 of my 24 students read them.

The "Sweet Sixteen"

  • The One and Only Ivan
  • The Honest Truth
  • I Funny
  • Big Nate
  • Hatchet
  • Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood
  • Home of the Brave
  • Auggie & Me
  • The Crossover
  • The Hunger Games
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Smile
  • Flying Solo
  • El Deafo
  • Wonder
  • Sunny Side Up

Next, I printed images of the titles and Catherine's great tournament markers (for FREE - yay!) and set to work with my Fiskars Circle Cutter to make the basketballs.  I found some precut white letters at Staples that saved me a TON of time and added the basketball details with a Sharpie.

Then, I set to work constructing the bracket on the wall outside my classroom.  With a little adjusting - and some helpful input from my colleagues (start from one side and work in) - I got the lines taped and markers added.

And let me tell you - there was some BUZZ in the hallway this afternoon! The 6th graders across the hall were debating which title would win, teachers were commenting on favorite books as they walked by, and my students were groaning over the difficult match-ups.  (Truly - how DO you choose between The One and Only Ivan and The Honest Truth??)

Today my class filled out a paper bracket to predict which book would win, and they started planning how to fit in just one or two more reads so they could vote in as many face-offs as possible.  I loved the renewed energy and excitement around their reading!
Hope you'll join the madness this year and stay in touch through the #2016MBM hashtag on Twitter!

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