Blasting Off A Great Year

Aug 21, 2014

Do you ever have those moments when an idea just appears?  You are not even sure where it comes from, but it is there.  This happened.  And I just could not get that idea out of my head.  It just kept pushing its way forward until I finally did something about it!
After much creating, printing, cutting, laminating, and mounting, my idea is ready to "blast off" and help our firsties have a great year!

So what was this fantastic, ground breaking idea?  Face-Off--Book Style.

I wanted more interaction between my students and the bulletin boards we spend so much time on (or in my case, a hallway wall).  So I decided that I would post two books.  Both books would be read-aloud books that all students had heard the previous week.  For example: maybe during the first week of school I read "The Crayon Box That Talked" and "Falling for Rapunzel."

engage students by asking them to recommend books to others

   Then students vote on the book that they would recommend to others.  Voting materials could include die cuts or stickers (for a pictograph) or rectangles (for a bar graph).  They would place their vote right there on the board (or my wall). Once the data is collected, oral questions about the graph could be asked.  I have some of our questions posted right on the wall for students to ponder.
engage students by asking them to recommend books to others

As the year progresses, our questions will change.  One week the questions may be more math related and another week they may be more reading related.
Once I started coming up with more oral questions, I decided that I may need some response sheets.  So now I have sheets for graphing, comparing/contrasting author's purpose, comparing/contrasting plot, and opinion writing.

And I am so excited.  REALLY excited.

It is something new that will be easy for me to change out each week (just the books).  I can make it a quick voting activity during transitions with oral questions.  Or I can decide to go more in-depth with responding through written work.  It can take a couple of minutes a week or a couple of hours.  It is up to me.

I like the flexibility of it.

Here is a free download for you.  It is the "Face-Off" banner.  If you want all the question cards and response sheets, just click any of the images above.

I am so happy that I got to share this idea with you!  I hope it helps you to "blast off" to a good year with your students! 

Head on over to Literacy Spark for your next literacy stop!


  1. I LOVE this idea Em, and I think your kids will really enjoy sharing their opinions with you. It's a great way to connect with them as readers. Your post ties in nicely with Jessica's post. Did you plan it together??? Just kidding!! Thanks for the freebie!

  2. What a cute idea!! It reminds me of a smaller version of March Madness, but I like how you added the questions for them to think about!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  3. Really cute idea! You'll have to keep us posted in the next few weeks and show us how it's going!
    BigTime Literacy

  4. Super idea! I have to say I was distracted - is your classroom wall tiled like with bathroom type tiles? Must be interesting to get stuff up there sometimes! Interesting design! Thanks for the inspiring post too!
    Reading and Writing Redhead

  5. This is great! This is my district's first year for ELA Common Core. What a great way to incorporate purposeful opinion writing!

  6. This is an awesome idea, Em! I have an interactive bulletin board that I maintain for the school year. I'd really like to "steal" this idea and give it a try. I wonder how I could adapt it to fit grades 1-5?
    Read With Me ABC

  7. So adorable and creative! I may just have to take that idea and run with it in my reading room. Thanks for sharing! ;)
    Literacy Loving Gals

  8. Such a fun idea! I will have to try this with my different groups!

    Reading Toward the Stars


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