Monday, April 28, 2014
It was a “knock out” for three teams winning the Battle of the Books reading competition held at Kenneth Gardner Elementary School during National Library Week. Third grade champions, The Brainiacs, defeated their opponent, The Lightning Stars (Ty’ayjah Darby, Ja’Nel’Ya Hanna, SaMara McFadden, Tazari McKnight, Mya Scott, and Larissa Wall). Fourth grade champions, The Legends, were victorious over their opponent, The Challenging Readers (Devi Dasarapu, Jamie Evans, Kenneth McCrea, Tammala Lasane, Amani Robinson, and Amber Wilson).
Fifth grade champions, The Reading Nerds, won out over their opponent, The Golden Readers (Keon Chandler, Christian Dukes, Jada McCollough, Bryce McIntosh, Cherish Porchea, and Alanna Pressley).
“Training” for the reading competition began in January. Participating students begin by forming teams of six members, get a reading list, and begin reading the books. Teams gather in the library for book discussions prior to competition. Elimination rounds, held one week before the “battle,” narrow the field to four teams per grade level. On “Battle” day, four teams compete for the title of Battle of the Books Champions for their grade level.
The “battle” begins with two opposing teams, each taking a corner on the stage to compete for who can accumulate the most points by answering questions in a debate-style fashion about the books they read. “Battles” are held in three, 10-minute rounds for each grade level.
Coordinator for this event is Elaine Culick, school media specialist. “The students really enjoy the competition; it can get really tense on the final round.
The students know they have to read the books, and so do I; all teams want the title! The students have fun coming up with team names and coordinating their outfits for “battle day,” says Culick.
A variety of student competitions are held at Kenneth Gardner Elementary throughout the school year. In support of the school’s leadership initiative, team competitions give students a chance to synergize and be proactive; two “habits” of Franklin Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids. “Competitions like Battle of the Books require students to work as a team.
Students learn the value of teamwork and the reward of sharing a victory. On the other hand, students learn to choose the attitude of being a good sport, even when not coming out on top,” says Culick. This is the fifth year for the Battle of the Books reading competition at the school.