Sunday, May 16, 2010

Battle of the Books

Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I have seen so many students excited about reading in one place. Back in June Oneco's Reading Coach, Jill Bradley and I began to discuss ideas for Battle of the Books, which we were planning to use to help build a community of readers at Oneco and improve FCAT scores. During those conversations we decided that we would include book clubs and a blog for each of the books the students will be reading. The decision was made about including the blog was partly based on some of my experiences with blogging in the past and a Reading Teacher Article“ HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking” written Lisa Zawilinski.

From there Ms. Bradley and I looked at literature blog I had created three years ago for the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson and took the basic format of that blog. At that point, Ms. Bradley revised each topic a bit and I then plugged those topics into the blogs for each book. Those blogs can be found linked to Oneco's Battle of the Books' Website, which I created in iWeb.

Finally, in the beginning of November Ms. Bradley introduced all of our fifth grade students to our first ever Battle of the Books on Oneco’s campus and the morning book clubs run by a variety of different teachers on campus. Two weeks after that, I entered each of the fifth grade classes to introduce the blog portion of the battle. Since then students can be found around campus busy reading their chosen books, attending book clubs, blogging and finding adults on campus who will discuss the book with them. It has been so incredible to see all the excitement and listen (and read) the insight and higher level thinking these kids are doing about their reading. Battles are set for later in December, but honestly I don't think it will matter who wins each battle. In my opinion the whole Oneco Community has already won.

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