If you’re talking about reading, Ms. Stover’s third grade class at Bobby Lester Elementary in Jacksonville is a prime example.
They ambushed the Reading Road Trip with a book show. Everybody in the class wanted to show what they had been reading.
Fantasy, horror, historical fiction, biographies—they had it all. Even a journal. Catching a child reading (and an adult for that matter) is a pure joy.
Now, a Craig O’Neill True Confession:
At Carver Magnet, in their East Lab, I was beaten... badly. In a children’s book reading contest that proved to be no contest.
The project was a “Book Bracket.” Just like the NCAA basketball tournament, community readers were paired against each other reading popular kids’ books. They were all recorded on a computer by the 5th graders in the lab.
Each week, beginning in the fall, kids viewed the week’s matchups and voted. Books and readers with the most votes advanced.
It came down to the finals between me reading “Kung Foo Pigs” and Stacey MacAdoo, Arkansas’ teacher of the year, reading “Ada Twist Scientist.”
Stacey won going away and I was upset. But, the big winner was Carver. They saw a marked improvement of students reading at grade level, with the help of things like the Book Bracket Battle.
And what a week for Stacey MacAdoo. As Teacher of the Year, she attended a White House reception for all state teachers on Wednesday, and she beat Craig O’Neill on Thursday.
As for me, now I know how Texas Tech felt.