So you've got the list, you've got the books. Now what?
Many of you are well seasoned at the Battle of the Books, but some of you are looking for a new edge? Well, there is one thing to decide before you start planning...
Are you in it to win it? Or do you just want to be Number 1 in fun? You can cherry pick your team and groom them for the trophy, or just take a mix of kids that just want to participate and hope they have fun reading the books.
Either way, you still need to pick a team, decide on some meeting times and get those kids reading. There will need to be some practicing for the competition and other logistics. It doesn't have to be a chore. It can be fun! But don't forget to consult the NCSLMA website and read the manual for official rules, etc: http://www.ncslma.org/competitions.
Jenny Umbarger, library media specialist from Rogers-Herr Middle School, had the state winning team last year. Jenny shared some of her secrets to a winning team: "Our success definitely stems from having super motivated students who really push/challenge each other. I always feel like I don't have much to do with our success, but we have tried to put several things in place to help prepare the students. We use Edmodo as a tool for announcements and some book discussion, but we also use Google Docs as a way for students to discuss the books virtually. A doc is created for each book and the students add in details about characters, setting, plot, theme, etc. as well as a list of details that might come up in competition questions. Students have to write 10 questions for each book they read and pass a comprehension quiz (downloaded from MyBOBTeam, which our district subscribes to for all the schools) for the book to "count" for them. We have deadlines set up throughout the year with the goal that a student must have at minimum 15 books read by the district competition in order for them to be eligible to be one of the 12 competing team members (I count everyone participating as part of the team so as not to discourage anyone from participating). We have an after school practice every week starting 2nd quarter (I hate to do after school, as I feel it eliminates some great candidates, but it is what it is) during which we give some time for reading, writing questions, practicing authors and titles, and mock battles. All students are expected to learn authors and titles very early on so that won't be an issue later. As the year progresses, more of our practice time consists of mock battles. We will also use the jeopardy games available through MyBOBTeam and sometimes I pull out the eggspert buzzers for variety. Sometimes the students have the chance to ask the questions...whoever gets it right gets to ask the next question. Of course we also try to make sure we have some bonding time so the students really get to know each other and feel a part of the team. This definitely helps with the motivation piece."
If you would like to learn more about Battle of the Books, the state committee will be presenting at the NCSLMA conference next week in Winston-Salem and will provide opportunities for attendees to share ideas.
Some other ideas:
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