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District reading teams earn spots at city contests

Hawthorne team celebrates Battle of BooksTwenty-five reading teams from across the district competed at Whittier Middle School Feb. 11 in the Battle of the Books and Book Battle Royale competitions for a chance to compete in city-wide competition. 


The top two teams from each contest qualified to compete at the next level. 


The district contests, sponsored by the Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant, featured 18 teams from 10 elementary schools for Battle of the Books (Grades 3-5) and seven middle school teams for Book Battle Royale.


In Battle of the Books, Schenck Elementary team #2 won first place with 63 points. The Crimson Bears of Hawthorne and Team #1 from Schenck tied with 60 points, and then tied again in the tie-breaker round. At the middle school level, seven schools brought seven teams to the Book Battle Royale. Hot Wells Middle School was the winner with 62 points.  Twain Dual Language Academy came in second with 51 points.  


To prepare, elementary teams had to read 20 Bluebonnet books and middle school teams had to read 10 books each from the Lone Star and Maverick Graphic Novel lists.   


For Hot Wells, the process began in the fall recruiting students and hosting practice scrimmages to familiarize students with the types of questions that could be asked.  


“I started pulling groups once a week during lunch where we talk about the books, write questions, and practice on a Kahoot all the while motivating students to read,” librarian Lizardo Moreno said. 


The extra practice worked, and they are now among the teams going on to compete at the city-wide Book Battle Royale March 25 at Harlandale Middle School. The city Battle of the Books is planned for May.


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