Monday, June 11, 2012

Are you joining us for #summerthrowdown?

We're launching Summer Throwdown:
Librarians vs. Teachers!
Perhaps you've seen/heard the buzz on twitter (where, I've found, most awesome ideas begin with a 140 character spark). Perhaps a friend encouraged you to visit. Perhaps you're just coming across this and think it sounds fun. No matter how you found us, we'd love for you to join in! (No twitter account or blog required-just an enthusiasm for reading with students!)

The event: #summerthrowdown Librarians vs. Teachers

The purpose: To support, encourage, and celebrate reading and librarians and teachers. To network with other teachers and librarians on twitter to grow our PLNs. To enjoy a friendly challenge to keep us motivated to read as much as possible this summer. To hold ourselves accountable because we'll have to tell someone how much we're reading.

The timeframe: June 18 - July 17 ~ Majority of the book finished within these dates.
This means that if you start a book before the competition begins, that book still counts so long as you had less than half of the book finished before June 18th. If you start a book during the timeframe but don't finish it before July 17th, it doesn't count, no matter how much you have finished. So, no waiting to finish the last pages of a book until the 18th (nice try, though!), but go ahead and get started on one, it'll still count. We don't want to interrupt anyone's reading flow/pace here. (Hey, we're middle school teachers, we're trained to think in ways students would to get around rules.)

The guidelines: Every book you read counts as a book read!
We all have different specialties and are reading books to prepare us to teach/work with different levels of students. All of this reading is valuable. If you're reading picture books to prepare to teach Pre-K (or for use with any level students for that matter), that's as important as someone reading 400+ page tomes to prepare to teach AP English. Or if you just like that sort of thing. ALL READING IS VALUABLE. But because we ought to find some way to keep this on a level playing field, there are some handicaps in place for the scoring
          ~Any format of books read counts for this (novel, picture book, graphic novel, etc.)
          ~Any way you read counts (by yourself, audiobook, reading to a child, etc.)
          ~Books under 50 pages count as 1/4
          ~Books between 50-150 pages count as 1/2
          ~Books over 150 pages count as 1

The main rule-KIPP: Keep It Positive, Please! This is all in the mode of encouraging reading and we want to be positive role models for our students. All-in-fun trash-talking is fine (and, essentially encouraged if Brian & I are any example), but please keep it in the spirit of the purpose of this reading event! Thanks so much! :)

The winner(s): EVERYONE because we're all going to be reading more (we hope) and growing our community/network of teachers and librarians on twitter and beyond. But the group (Librarians or Teachers) that reads more, determined by a collective total figured into books/person, does get the bragging rights.

No one loses when everyone reads!

The people behind the curtain: Brian (@brianwyzlic) and I (@heisereads) [teachers] first started the friendly #teacherthrowdown and Kathy (@thebrainlair) and Sherry (@LibraryFanatic) [librarians] ran with a summer version teachers vs. librarians idea. If you have any questions, feel free to ask any of us (you can easily find us all on twitter)!
The history: aka: So what is this #throwdown thing anyway? Brian and I started this as an offshoot from a reading motivator #throwdown we did with our Sister Classroom Project this year. If you want to know more about it, I explained it here and Brian talked about it here.

The links:
Get started here...Join the #summerthrowdown challenge!

Record your progress...on this spreadsheet.
To log the books you've read, open up the Google Spreadsheet, and make sure you're on the correct sheet (you can toggle between teachers and librarians at the bottom of the page). Add your name and Twitter handle (if you have one -- definitely not a requirement), and then every day you finish a book, update the appropriate column in your row with the number of books you have finished (or every few days if you're like Jillian and tend to forget-just keep a record for yourself!). Your total will automatically update at the end of your row. Please total everything you read that day. So if you finished a 150+ page book and 2 32-page picture books on the same day, that would be 1 + 1/4 + 1/4 = 1.5. So you'd type 1.5 into the cell for that day, and your total will automatically update. 
It should go without saying, but please BE HONEST, and NO UPDATING ANYONE ELSE'S BOOKS (unless they have asked you to do so).

The buttons: Copy a button to your blog/twitter/electronic method of choice to show your affiliation and declare it on twitter:
Are you #teamteacher or #teamlibrarian for #summerthrowdown?


  1. Okay! I'm in! Go Team Librarian! :D

  2. Bring it on! I'm team teacher!! Just entered my name on spreadsheet. :)


  3. I'm in! Team Teacher; we're small but mighty! And really, really good at multitasking. We don't need quiet to read... we can do it anywhere!! ;)

    Good luck to everyone!!

  4. I'm in for Team Teacher- how fun! Good luck everybody! :D

  5. Adding my reading power to Team Teacher!

  6. This is great! Sounds like a perfect match for Reading Is Fundamental's #BookPeopleUnite campaign.