It’s the beginning of March and so our minds turn to our annual March Madness Tournament of Books – 2017! This will be our fourth year hosting this tournament at Oak Hills. This week, Oak Hills students are completing their 2017 March Madness Tournament of Books brackets! This book tournament has been so popular that our students begin asking me for it in January! I love their enthusiasm and the discussions they have around their favorite books.
To select the original list of sixteen books, I surveyed a few classes for an initial list of favorites. Then I cross-referenced the list with our checkout records in Destiny, our library database, to find the fiction books that have been checked out the most. I always try to choose books that are already popular among the students. This will provide students with more evidence to make their predictions.
This year, there were a few books on the list that I didn’t consider “the best of the best”, but I wanted to be true to student choice. Library is one of the few places where elementary students get to make their own choices, and I really want to honor their choices even if the books aren’t my favorites. Each week during March we vote using a Google Form to determine the Elite 8, Final 4, Finals and Winner. Students with the highest point total will win a book from the BOGO Scholastic Book Fair in May! Stay tuned to see the results!
This year I have added a few new features. I have collected book trailers for all but one book and put them in a Padlet so students and teachers can see a little bit about each book. I am hoping this will hook a few students to read books in the bracket that they haven't yet read. It might also help them make predictions.
Another addition this year... Our 2nd grade teachers decided to participate, so I created a Primary Book March Madness Tournament of Books. Each 2nd Grader filled out the bracket, which I made smaller so they wouldn’t get overwhelmed. I was able to give the teachers a copy of each book so they could read them before they vote for the Supreme Six, Terrific Two, and the winning book! I am excited to see how this goes this year. Understanding how a bracket works can be a challenge for 2nd graders, but our fabulous 2nd Grade teachers did a wonderful job of helping their students through the process!