Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mock BOB Finally Ends

Motto for Mock BOB: May the Best Book Win!
It did: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

We started the Mock BOB at PFTSTA on March 10th. It took a month to get through 15 battles in four rounds. In Round 1, there were eight battles that were fought live during lunch in the commons area. Students stood up to speak as a champion for their book. For Round 2 and 3, the students picked their selections online. In Round 2, the champions wrote a brief pitch for their book, but in Round 3, the champions created a brief video. The events brought some excitement to the library and with multiple copies of the original sixteen books, students eager to read the books that their friends were defending could check them out and read throughout the month of battles.

Championing Far Far Away
Going to Bat for The Thing about Luck

Middle School Students Listen Attentively

More Words for Far Far Away

Since this was the end of a long process, we decided that this battle should be live like in Round 1. The final battle was scheduled on Thursday, April 10th. The books in the final round included Far Far Away by  Tom McNeal, The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata and back from the dead was Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Student defenders had 90 seconds each to try and convince the audience to vote for their book. After both lunches and the votes were tallied, we ended with two books in a tie. So I made an executive decision and created another online survey for students to select their favorite book, and I included all three books in the voting. By the way, the winning book was one of the titles that was tied in the original vote for this round. 

Results for Round 4: Eleanor & Park declared the winner
When all was said and done, I asked the participating students if they would want to do this again next year. They all said yes, but they want to boost participation. I could not have agreed more. So look for us again next March to see how we make our Battle of the Books bigger and better.

Thank you School Library Journal for spurring us on to engage in such a fun competition. Open here to read all about which books the celebrity authors chose as their picks in the official SLJ BOB

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

YALSA Teen's Top Ten Books Announced

Bookmarked, the high school book group, has been helping to nominate the books for Teen's Top Ten since 2010. The 2014 list of nominated books was announced two weeks ago. There are twenty-five books on the list, and teens around the country can begin voting August 15th to help select the ten winners.

Open here for a PDF with an annotated bibliography of the nominated titles

Watch a video of the titles here: 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mock BOB Round 3, Battles 1 and 2

The students and I created a video to share their take on the four books in Round 3 of our Mock BOB. The books left in the battle were: All the Truth that's in Me by Julie Berry, Far Far Away by Tom McNeal, Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgewick and The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata. The voting ends on Monday afternoon. Open here to find the video on the PFTSTA Library website. We know that SLJ finished the BOB last week, but it took us some time to get all the champions rounded up to record. The winning books will be announced on Tuesday. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lovely Gift from the NHS Exec Board

PFTSTA is a small school with 350 students, so I have to wear many hats beyond the librarian one. Seven years ago I initiated our school's chapter of the National Honor Society because I thought a college prep school needed to have NHS. I always have enjoyed working with the seniors who hold office on the executive board, but this year was special. This is the first class that went from 6th to 12th grade, and this group has so many smart kids who are good thinkers with great work ethic and are eager to learn. There are many kids in this class that I am really going to miss next year. 

Today was the last NHS meeting of the year that the senior officers will attend. They took me by surprise when Lauren, the out-going president, handed me a shiny red bag. Inside was the small plaque that you see in the picture below. The inscription brought me to tears. I love this gift because I know that in some way I touched these students's lives. Isn't that what teaching is all about? Making a real connection with my students is what makes me want to get up every morning, and this gift proves to me that all my hard work is appreciated. Thank you Lauren, Alicia, Micquel and Nick for the awesome gift--I really did enjoy the time that we spent working together for the organization as well as getting to know each of you individually as the amazing young adults that you are. I can't wait to hear about all your wonderful accomplishments and achievements after you leave Taylor. I will truly miss you all of you!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Infographic Shows Why Librarians are needed to Prevent Plagiarism

Easybib and ALA joined forces to create this infographic illustrating where students get most of their information when creating citations. Note the sites students seem to use the most -- sites that are user-generated. Librarians can help steer students to accurate and reliable resources. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Find PFTSTA in the Peanut Gallery from SLJ

Find the PFTSTA Mock BOB featured in this week's Peanut Gallery from the Battle Commander in the SLJ Battle of the Kids Books. The students won't finish voting in our Round 3 until we put together the video later this week. For Round 4, the final round, we will go live at lunch in the commons area next week. 
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