Tuesday, April 7, 2015

March Book Madness

I have discovered that I am not a creature of habit. Not in the way of "library events". I like to mix it up. Maybe I get bored? Maybe I like the element of surprise for the staff and students? For instance, last year I dressed up as a "different person" for a day. I made up this character. I called her Opal Hughes...or Mrs. Hughes, my second cousin twice removed.  (I think I was in the middle of watching Downton  when I came up with Hughes). It flowed and brought question to my student's eyes when I stated I was "Mrs. Hughes, Ms. Reynolds 2nd Cousin Twice removed." I adored their wondering expressions, especially on the little one's faces as I spat out my broken British accent. I even startled myself a little when I would look in the mirror. If my words don't give enough description I guess I'll let you peek.

All that to say, I did it once. (Had Mrs. Hughes sub for me that is) and the kids ask all the time when my second cousin twice removed will be back to sub. But, this dog is not fond of old tricks. I need something new all the time. Something unexpected. So, I decided to unveil March Book Madness. A world wide event (but not my invention). There is a weebly and everything. 
Found here ---> March Book Madness

It was a lot to put on alongside of the Mockingbird Book Program we do with Kinder-2nd through MISD. But, we managed and the whole school was involved. I didn't have all of the new books in my library, but between Amazon and our inner-school library loan system I was able to obtain them all rather quickly. I only had to order 3 from Amazon so it worked out quite nicely and didn't break the bank.

I only did the picture book bracket. Next year, I am considering the middle grade book bracket. That, is if I decide to forgo the event again. I created a bulletin board bracket on a large wall space in my library. Here she is:
On the left are books that were published in 2014. i.e. the new books. One the right are books published before 2014. Many classics! In the end, a new book will go head to head with an old book. 
Students voted by every Tuesday through the weebly site. I usually emailed the teachers a picture of the bracket and a QR code for the kids to and teachers to vote. 

How did I get all the kids to read all the books in a short amount of time? Well, I didn't. I left the books on my desk and had the teachers read them to their class at their leisure. They just had to read it right away and return it right away. Some participated and some did not. Honestly, I just wanted to expose the kids to new and old books. I read some to older grades when they visited the library. I read Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen to the entire school I looooooved their expressions and comments as I read it. Good book, read it! not the winner, but a great read!
The final two are shown in the picture above.

 Have you participated in March Book Madness on your campus? What were your strategies to get students and teachers reading the books? Maybe you just like to dress up as people you are not?