We started by announcing the 14 picture books that were part of the bracket. Each class selected a student representative who marched in our parade of books in front of the school. Jason announced each title and author while the students cheered for some of their favorite books from our tournament!
We had two classrooms decorate a box for the finalists which we used to reveal the results.
For the main event, we selected two teachers who were passionate about the final titles. Mary, one of our third grade teachers and huge fan of Tarra & Bella, created masks for two of her students to showcase their favorite book. Sydney, one of our fourth grade teachers and a huge fan of Pedro, wore baseball attire during the announcement of her favorite book. She even threw a first pitch in honor of Pedro! The entire school community was waiting to hear the results of our nonfiction tournament!
Finally, it was time for the big announcement! Jason led the whole school in a countdown for the big moment. At the count of one, Valerie and I ripped open the boxes to reveal helium balloons floating out of the box for Growing Up Pedro. As you can imagine, cheering erupted in the entire gym!
The best moment of the assembly for me was when I shared a special message from Matt Tavares. A few days before the assembly, I e-mailed him to let him know our school had selected his book from a collection of sixteen outstanding titles. It was such an honor to read aloud his response to our entire school. By looking at the faces in the audience, I could tell how special our students felt to hear from the author of their favorite book. Thank you so much, Matt!
At the end of the event, I asked the students to raise their hands if they wanted to have another March Madness bracket next year. The vote was unanimous! We've already started to collect potential outstanding titles to share with our students next spring.
Here are a few of our top contenders for March Madness 2017!
It's hard for me to express in words what this March Madness bracket meant to our school. For the past six weeks, we've been energized about read aloud, picture books and nonfiction. Kids couldn't wait for their teacher to share a new book each day! Our students were passionate and jubilant, not about basketball, but about books! This event brought our school community together in such a powerful way. As one of my colleagues shared, "this is the most awesome thing we've ever done! " I can't wait to see what next year brings! Stay tuned!