Outstanding Books Challenge

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  • Outstanding Books Challenge2011Take the challenge!

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  • What is the Outstanding Books Challenge?The Outstanding Books Challenge is a program that rewards you for reading books.

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  • What books do I have to read? You select the books from the American Library Associations list Outstanding Books for the College-Bound and Lifelong Learners.

    These books are contemporary, not classics.

    The books were selected for their interest and value to college-bound high school students. That means you!

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  • What are the books about?The books are in all genres: fiction, non-fiction, biography, poetry, and drama.

    The five categories are Arts and Humanities, History and Cultures, Literature and Language Arts, Science and Technology, and Social Sciences

    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.

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  • Books You Might Have Already ReadArts & HumanitiesWater for Elephants by Sara GruenThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

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  • Books You Might Have Already ReadHistory & CulturesDevil in the White City by Sara GruenWhat is the What by Dave Eggers

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  • Books You Might Have Already ReadLiterature & Language ArtsThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark HaddonThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

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  • Books You Might Have Already ReadScience & TechnologyFeed by M.T. AndersonLittle Brother by Cory Doctorow

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  • Books You Might Have Already ReadSocial SciencesTweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines by Nick SheffA Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

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  • How many books do I have to read?

    Bronze level: 1 book from each of the 5 categories= 5 books

    Silver level: 2 books from each of the 5 categories= 10 books

    Gold level= 3 books from each of the 5 categories= 15 books.

    The important thing is to read widely, which is why you must read at least one in each category!

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  • Do I have to attend meetings?No.

    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.

    Those who finish the OBC are expected to attend a brief award ceremony.

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  • How will you know I read the books?For each book you read, you will write a 250-500 word review and submit it through TurnItIn.com.

    All reviews must be original and must follow the directions posted on the Library website.

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  • What do I get for doing this?

    The usual rewards of reading good books: improved vocabulary and comprehensionbetter scores on the SAT verbal sectionbroadened horizonsexposure to new ideas and new points of view

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  • Okay, but what else?An award certificate (useful for your college application on the section that says Academic Awards or Honors)

    Cake and cookies at an end-of-the-year celebration.

    A prize! Usually, a Barnes & Noble gift certificate for a respectable sum, sponsored by HASA.

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  • When are the reviews due?All reviews are due on Monday, May 2, 2011. No late reviews will be accepted.

    If you plan to participate, please sign up no later than December 1 on TurnItIn.com with a valid email address.

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  • How do I sign up?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 Librarys website.

    You can also stop by the Library and ask Mrs. Goldberg for more information.

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  • Why Should I Do This?The more good books you read, the smarter you get.

    OBC looks great on your college application.

    You get a prize! And cake!

    Your family will be proud of you.

    Your English teacher will be impressed!

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  • Take the Challenge!

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  • WOULD YOUR STUDENTS LIKE TO TAKE THE OUTSTANDING BOOKS CHALLENGE?

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  • First, youll need to prepare

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  • #1 BooksCheck your collectionPurchase what is missingCollaborate with your public library and regional cooperativeNot necessary for you to have every bookConsider special labelingConsider special shelving

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  • Our OBC Collection

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  • #2 Decide on your rulesI have three levels. You could have more or fewer.What evidence do you want of their reading? Reviews? Blog posts? Presentations?What prizes will you offer? Certificates? Recognition? Gift cards? Donated prizes from local merchants? Will you need to fundraise?To meet or not to meet? Additional choices?

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  • #3 TurnItInSet up your TurnItIn.com account

    (this only works if your school subscribes)Set up a class called Outstanding Books Challenge.Note the Class ID and create a password. This is your students registration process.Create assignments for your reviews (15)Make the due date your OBC deadline

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  • #4 Add an OBC page to your websiteHere is mine. Things to include:Links to the Outstanding Books listsInstructions for registering on TurnItInInstructions for writing the reviewsLevels, prizes, etc.Meeting information, if you have meetingsDeadlinesHow to get more information

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  • Publicize

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  • StudentsMake every student aware of the programVisit every English class (pros and cons)Hold an assemblySchool newspaper, video, website, etc.Ask teachers to help you talk it up, encourage students. Extra credit?

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  • FacultyLet the teachers know what youre doing and whyPresent at a faculty meetingSend an all-staff emailPut it in your Library newsletterTalk it up around the building. Get friends to help.Present at a supervisors/administrators meeting and ask them to discuss at department meetings.The English department may be particularly receptiveReading Across the Curriculum

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  • Community and ParentsUse all school publicity resources to let people know what youre doing and how they can support it!

    Press release to your local paperParent organizations email listsPTA newsletterStudent newspaperSchool website, blog, Twitter feed, etc.Why? Parents may encourage their kids to get involvedYou may need organizations to support prizes!

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  • Plan Fabulous Prizes!(or not)OutstandingChallengeBooks

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  • Possible PrizesRecognition & Celebration Award certificatesGift certificates to a bookstoreDonated prizes from organizations or businessesTry PTA, your Association, Womens Club, other community organizations or parent groups.

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  • Keeping Track

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  • Keeping Track

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  • SpreadsheetStudent dataGradebookColor-coded booksIf you are an Excel goddess, you can make a formula to do this. If you figure it out, please send it to me!Records of contact, if you likeWinners!You can find a blank sample on my website

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  • Grading suggestionsSimply accept/reject on the basis of whether the review met the criteria.Keep it simple. They have an English teacher. Spelling doesnt count.I like to give feedback for excellent reviews.

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  • Help Keep them on TrackSend reminders, encouragement, reportsOne more Science and two more History & Culture and youll have the Silver!Give plenty of warning when deadlines approach

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  • Celebrate!

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  • Celebrate!Bake and get others to bake, too!Give prizes, refreshmentsGive opportunity for kids to talk to each other informally, or speak publicly about what they learnedInvite Board of Ed, administrators, teachers, kids parentsSchool newspaper, local newspaper

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  • Eric is my first two-time Gold winner! Hes going for a third this year!

  • Members of Home and School Association, who sponsored the prizes.

  • BenefitsGets high school kids reading. Some just need a push!Great library marketing: gets more students in your library looking at books.Helps them transition into adult reading in a way that English class doesnt: breadth, currency, choice, sophisticated nature of some of the books.

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  • BenefitsExpands horizons: many of these are books that kids would not pick up on their own. They are often surprised!Average & below-average students can earn an academic honor. They dont have to be the bestthey just have to finish, choosing their own level of challenge, both in the number and difficulty of books.

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  • BenefitsAllows students to dip into new subjects.Teachers like it! Makes content-area connections! (Bill Bryson)Lets us, high school librarians, be the fairy godmother of books for a change. Gives you a reason to talk to kids about benefit of being readers and lets them see for themselves.

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  • To get your complete OBC ToolboxGo to:

    https://sites.google.com/site/juliegoldbergspringer

  • Take the Challenge!

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