• March Madness book bracket Courtesy

Published: 3/24/2021 10:48:24 AM

First-grade teacher Sara Marzinzik at Center Woods Elementary School in Weare decided to marry sports with a love for reading and toss in a little math for good measure with a March Madness Book Battle for her class. She selected 16 books for her students to predict which book would be the class’s favorite by round. “Everything this year has been a compromise. I wanted to do an activity that was fun and would work without changing it whether we’re in person, remote, or someone was on an extended absence,” said Marzinzik.

“We have staggered arrival times in the morning, so each day I use SeeSaw to electronically read two of the books to students individually. As soon as they come in, students get started on their Book Battle of the Day without waiting for all of their classmates to arrive. Each student then votes for the book they liked best. The winning book is also read to them by me the next day during snack time,” commented Marzinzik. In the Book Battle, points are awarded and increase as it progresses. For example, one point is earned in the first round for predicting the favorite book of the day all the way up to 4 points by the end of the battle if you predict the winning book overall. Math skills are used in making the point calculations each day.

Marzinzik also plans to incorporate the Book Battle with English Language Arts as they begin opinion writing this month, too. “This is where students learn to respectfully write statements of disagreement by writing about what book choices they disagree with.”

The class favorites for the best book so far in round one are Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Rainbow Fish, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

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