Saturday, February 22, 2014

10 Ideas to Encourage Your Elementary Battle of the Books Team

Little J is participating in his school's Battle of the Books (B.O.B.) program and I'm one of his coaches.  Students can join in 4th grade and are organized on teams by homeroom class.  If you're not familiar with B.O.B., it's a program where teams read a list of 16-18 books and prepare for a competition where questions are asked in a format of "In which book…".  The team confers with each other to form a response that includes the full title of the book and the author's name.  As you can see, the teams put a lot of work and effort into preparing for the battle.  It can get a bit competitive (which is I think is fine), but I also wanted to sprinkle it with a little fun and encouragement along the way.

Ideas to Encourage Your Elementary Battle of the Books Team

1.  Help the team choose a name.

2.  Assist the team in picking a color for a shirt that everyone can  wear at practices and on battle day.  If you have funds, consider purchasing t-shirts with their team name.

3.  Make bookmarks for the team with the list of book titles and author's names.  I used card stock to print these bookmarks on and then laminated them.  I punched a hole at the top and looped a few pieces of twine through.  The kids really liked them, and maybe it will help them learn the titles and authors.

Ideas to Encourage Your Elementary Battle of the Books Team

4.  Send them encouraging notes during the week.  I'm including a practice battle question and a sticker.  (Little J informed me that if I sent stickers, the only cool ones were the scratch and sniff.  You know I had to have a little fun with him and showed him the Mickey Mouse and Barney stickers we had in our stash.)

Ideas to Encourage Your Elementary Battle of the Books Team

5.  Send them book suggestions from the B.O.B. list.  Get to know the kids and what they like and don't like.   Many of the kids are reading books strictly off the list for these couple of months and many of the titles aren't ones they would choose on their own.  Sometimes knowing a bit more about the book and why you think they might like it is enough to get the excited about reading it.


Ideas to Encourage Your Elementary Battle of the Books Team

6.  Bring snacks every now and then.  Our team meets at lunchtime, so we occasionally bring dessert.


Ideas to Encourage Your Elementary Battle of the Books Team

7.  Give positive feedback to their teachers or parents in their presence about their participation.

8.  Read some of the books too.  Let them give you suggestions to read based on their favorites.  Encourage discussions.

9.  Share a list of battle books' author's websites. Many authors have kid friendly sites 

10.  Regardless of the battle results, celebrate their success in reading. It can be through a team party, special pizza day, certificates, a new book not on the list, etc

Do you have any more ideas?  I would love to hear them!

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Linking to:  Share it Saturday, The Sunday Showcase, Link and Learn, Kids Weekly Coop, For the Kids Friday

3 comments :

Growing Book by Book said...

What a fun idea to expose kids to different. I love the team approach!

jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa said...

Wow a team competition for reading books. Awesome! Hooray for books!

Unknown said...

I love this!! i'm a BOB captain for my community this year. I'm definitely going to try some of these out!! :D