This is part of the Slice of Life Challenge hosted by the Two Writing Teachers
Last Friday I wrote about the excitement of Read Across America in our school and my classroom. This morning, I set this up in my classroom.
I think it will definitely continue the celebration of books in a big way.
The kids know it is coming because they helped choose some of the books. We spent about 10 minutes of our read-a-thon on Friday jotting down ideas on index cards. Their choices were any books read this year by them that they shared with others. About half the books in our bracket are from this brainstorming. The other half are books that I read aloud this year.
In the spirit of the basketball March Madness, I seeded the books. I based the seeds on my perception of the buzz level generated by the books. Each day over the next few weeks we will have quick votes of various match-ups and the winner will move onto the next round. Our Final Four vote will be on Monday, April 4. That is the same day the NCAA men's basketball champion will be crowned. If the top four seeds make it through to the Final Four we will have some tough decisions to make on that Monday.
One potential Final Four match-up will see Bigger than a Breadbox by Laurel Snyder (not only a great book, but we Skyped with Laurel earlier in the year) face Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allburg (a Wolfcott honor book). The other match-up will be Powerless by Matthew Cody vs Wolfcott winner Me ... Jane by Patrick McDonell.
For me the choices between these four book would be nearly impossible. I love all of them. My hope is the class discussions that will help frame the votes in the later rounds will let the kids see how hard it is to choose. I expect passionate pleas for why certain books should win. We will crown a "winner", but in no way does that mean the other books are "losers".
We will walk away from this experience revisiting and remembering the wonder of powerful stories.
We had our play-in games for the 8th seeds in each part of the bracket during our morning meeting today. Results are below:
Two nailbiters and two blowouts. No surpirses for me, but I was impressed with the peskiness of the Little White Rabbit and Balloons over Broadway. Both "gave 110% and kept fighting until the final buzzer" If Tough Cookie thought it had its hands full with Balloons Over Broadway, it better get ready, it faces the overall top seed, Bigger Than a Breadbox, next.
I am going to have way too much fun with this.