Outstanding Books Challenge


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Outstanding Books Challenge: A Reading Incentive Program that Works, presented at the New Jersey Association of School Librarians Annual Conference on 12/4/2010 in Long Branch, NJ.
To download the OBC toolkit, click here: https://sites.google.com/site/juliegoldbergspringer/home/outstanding-books-challenge

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Outstanding Books Challenge

  1. 1. Outstanding Books Challenge 2011 Take the challenge!
  2. 2. What is the Outstanding Books Challenge? <ul><li>The Outstanding Books Challenge is a program that rewards you for reading books. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What books do I have to read? <ul><li>You select the books from the American Library Association’s list Outstanding Books for the College-Bound and Lifelong Learners. </li></ul><ul><li>These books are contemporary, not “classics.” </li></ul><ul><li>The books were selected for their interest and value to college-bound high school students. That means you! </li></ul>
  4. 4. What are the books about? <ul><li>The books are in all genres: fiction, non-fiction, biography, poetry, and drama. </li></ul><ul><li>The five categories are Arts and Humanities, History and Cultures, Literature and Language Arts, Science and Technology, and Social Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>There is something for everyone in every category! History and Cultures includes historical fiction; Science has some science fiction; Arts and Humanities includes books about photography, comedy, music, etc. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Books You Might Have Already Read <ul><li>Arts & Humanities </li></ul>Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  6. 6. Books You Might Have Already Read <ul><li>History & Cultures </li></ul>Devil in the White City by Sara Gruen What is the What by Dave Eggers
  7. 7. Books You Might Have Already Read <ul><li>Literature & Language Arts </li></ul>The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  8. 8. Books You Might Have Already Read <ul><li>Science & Technology </li></ul>Feed by M.T. Anderson Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
  9. 9. Books You Might Have Already Read <ul><li>Social Sciences </li></ul>Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines by Nick Sheff A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
  10. 10. How many books do I have to read? <ul><li>Bronze level : 1 book from each of the 5 categories= 5 books </li></ul><ul><li>Silver level : 2 books from each of the 5 categories= 10 books </li></ul><ul><li>Gold level = 3 books from each of the 5 categories= 15 books. </li></ul><ul><li>The important thing is to read widely, which is why you must read at least one in each category! </li></ul>
  11. 11. Do I have to attend meetings? <ul><li>No. </li></ul><ul><li>We communicate mostly via email, so please enter an email address you actually check when you sign up on TurnItIn. Last year, many students missed the deadline for this reason. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who finish the OBC are expected to attend a brief award ceremony. </li></ul>
  12. 12. How will you know I read the books? <ul><li>For each book you read, you will write a 250-500 word review and submit it through TurnItIn.com. </li></ul><ul><li>All reviews must be original and must follow the directions posted on the Library website. </li></ul>
  13. 13. What do I get for doing this? <ul><li>The usual rewards of reading good books: </li></ul><ul><li>improved vocabulary and comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>better scores on the SAT verbal section </li></ul><ul><li>broadened horizons </li></ul><ul><li>exposure to new ideas and new points of view </li></ul>
  14. 14. Okay, but what else? <ul><li>An award certificate (useful for your college application on the section that says “Academic Awards or Honors”) </li></ul><ul><li>Cake and cookies at an end-of-the-year celebration. </li></ul><ul><li>A prize! Usually, a Barnes & Noble gift certificate for a respectable sum, sponsored by HASA. </li></ul>
  15. 15. When are the reviews due? <ul><li>All reviews are due on Monday, May 2, 2011. No late reviews will be accepted. </li></ul><ul><li>If you plan to participate, please sign up no later than December 1 on TurnItIn.com with a valid email address. </li></ul>
  16. 16. How do I sign up? <ul><li>Complete instructions for signing up through Turnitin.com, writing the reviews, and everything else are available on the Outstanding Books Challenge 2011 section of the Library’s website. </li></ul><ul><li>You can also stop by the Library and ask Mrs. Goldberg for more information. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Why Should I Do This? <ul><li>The more good books you read, the smarter you get. </li></ul><ul><li>OBC looks great on your college application. </li></ul><ul><li>You get a prize! And cake! </li></ul><ul><li>Your family will be proud of you. </li></ul><ul><li>Your English teacher will be impressed! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Take the Challenge!
  20. 20. First, you’ll need to prepare
  21. 21. #1 Books <ul><li>Check your collection </li></ul><ul><li>Purchase what is missing </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with your public library and regional cooperative </li></ul><ul><li>Not necessary for you to have every book </li></ul><ul><li>Consider special labeling </li></ul><ul><li>Consider special shelving </li></ul>
  22. 22. Our OBC Collection
  23. 23. #2 Decide on your rules <ul><li>I have three levels. You could have more or fewer. </li></ul><ul><li>What evidence do you want of their reading? Reviews? Blog posts? Presentations? </li></ul><ul><li>What prizes will you offer? Certificates? Recognition? Gift cards? Donated prizes from local merchants? Will you need to fundraise? </li></ul><ul><li>To meet or not to meet? </li></ul><ul><li>Additional choices? </li></ul>
  24. 24. #3 TurnItIn <ul><li>Set up your TurnItIn.com account </li></ul><ul><li>(this only works if your school subscribes) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up a class called Outstanding Books Challenge. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note the Class ID and create a password. This is your students’ registration process. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create assignments for your reviews (15) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make the due date your OBC deadline </li></ul></ul>
  25. 28. #4 Add an OBC page to your website <ul><li>Here is mine . </li></ul><ul><li>Things to include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to the Outstanding Books lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructions for registering on TurnItIn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructions for writing the reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Levels, prizes, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting information, if you have meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deadlines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to get more information </li></ul></ul>
  26. 29. Publicize
  27. 30. Students <ul><li>Make every student aware of the program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit every English class (pros and cons) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hold an assembly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School newspaper, video, website, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask teachers to help you talk it up, encourage students. Extra credit? </li></ul></ul>
  28. 31. Faculty <ul><li>Let the teachers know what you’re doing and why </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Present at a faculty meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send an all-staff email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put it in your Library newsletter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk it up around the building. Get friends to help. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present at a supervisors’/administrators’ meeting and ask them to discuss at department meetings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The English department may be particularly receptive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Reading Across the Curriculum” </li></ul></ul>
  29. 32. Community and Parents <ul><li>Use all school publicity resources to let people know what you’re doing and how they can support it! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Press release to your local paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parent organizations’ email lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PTA newsletter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student newspaper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School website, blog, Twitter feed, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parents may encourage their kids to get involved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You may need organizations to support prizes! </li></ul></ul>
  30. 33. Plan Fabulous Prizes! (or not) Outstanding Challenge Books
  31. 34. Possible Prizes <ul><li>Recognition & Celebration </li></ul><ul><li>Award certificates </li></ul><ul><li>Gift certificates to a bookstore </li></ul><ul><li>Donated prizes from organizations or businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Try PTA, your Association, Women’s Club, other community organizations or parent groups. </li></ul>
  32. 35. Keeping Track
  33. 36. Keeping Track
  34. 37. Spreadsheet <ul><li>Student data </li></ul><ul><li>“ Gradebook” </li></ul><ul><li>Color-coded books </li></ul><ul><li>If you are an Excel goddess, you can make a formula to do this. If you figure it out, please send it to me! </li></ul><ul><li>Records of contact, if you like </li></ul><ul><li>Winners! </li></ul><ul><li>You can find a blank sample on my website </li></ul>
  35. 38. Grading suggestions <ul><li>Simply accept/reject on the basis of whether the review met the criteria. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple. They have an English teacher. Spelling doesn’t count. </li></ul><ul><li>I like to give feedback for excellent reviews. </li></ul>
  36. 39. Help Keep them on Track <ul><li>Send reminders, encouragement, reports </li></ul><ul><li>“One more Science and two more History & Culture and you’ll have the Silver!” </li></ul><ul><li>Give plenty of warning when deadlines approach </li></ul>
  37. 40. Celebrate!
  38. 42. Celebrate! <ul><li>Bake and get others to bake, too! </li></ul><ul><li>Give prizes, refreshments </li></ul><ul><li>Give opportunity for kids to talk to each other informally, or speak publicly about what they learned </li></ul><ul><li>Invite Board of Ed, administrators, teachers, kids’ parents </li></ul><ul><li>School newspaper, local newspaper </li></ul>
  39. 43. Eric is my first two-time Gold winner! He’s going for a third this year!
  40. 44. Members of Home and School Association, who sponsored the prizes.
  41. 45. Benefits <ul><li>Gets high school kids reading. Some just need a push! </li></ul><ul><li>Great library marketing: gets more students in your library looking at books. </li></ul><ul><li>Helps them transition into adult reading in a way that English class doesn’t: breadth, currency, choice, sophisticated nature of some of the books. </li></ul>
  42. 46. Benefits <ul><li>Expands horizons: many of these are books that kids would not pick up on their own. They are often surprised! </li></ul><ul><li>Average & below-average students can earn an academic honor. They don’t have to be the best—they just have to finish, choosing their own level of challenge, both in the number and difficulty of books. </li></ul>
  43. 47. Benefits <ul><li>Allows students to dip into new subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers like it! Makes content-area connections! (Bill Bryson) </li></ul><ul><li>Lets us, high school librarians, be the fairy godmother of books for a change. </li></ul><ul><li>Gives you a reason to talk to kids about benefit of being readers and lets them see for themselves. </li></ul>
  44. 48. To get your complete OBC Toolbox <ul><li>Go to: </li></ul><ul><li>https://sites.google.com/site/juliegoldbergspringer </li></ul>
  45. 49. Take the Challenge!