Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Somehow, The Kids Keep Learning ...

With all our chatter about winners and losers in DeKalb and the shortcomings of the system, I wanted to share this memo regarding some of our successful students and their great schools that are preparing them for the future. I also encourage everyone to go to this weekend's competition and see the quality of these young people first hand. Congratulations too the students, their families and their support teams at each school!




To: All Employees

From: Dr. Morcease Beasley, Interim Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and


Subject: 2011 Winners of the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Competition

Date: 02 February 2011

Attach: HRRB DCSS Winners for 2011

Congratulations to the following winners of DCSS Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl

(HRRB). All student participants and winners are commended for their efforts. A special thanks to the Teachers and Principals who supported this effort. Kudos to the Department of Educational Media and the HRRB Committee for planning and executing such a wonderful Teaching and Learning event.

Elementary School Division:

1st place – Shadow Rock

2nd place – Ashford Park

3rd place – Briarlake

Middle School Division:

1st place – Miller Grove/Henderson (tie)

2nd place – Chamblee

3rd place – Stephenson

High School Division:

1st place – Lithonia

2nd place – Cross Keys

3rd place – Lakeside

Congratulations and great job to all teams that participated.

All 1st and 2nd place teams will advance to the Metro Regional Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, which will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. on the campus of Clayton College and State University in Morrow, Georgia.


pscexb said...

"When I heard about this Reading Bowl, I expected to see about 20 people at the school. When I drove up and walked inside, I saw more people than I have at many AAU basketball tournaments I've attended. All of this for children who read, it was fantastic"

That is a paraphrased comment I got from a former professional basketball player who attended the HRRB. It was truly a sight to be seen at Miller Grove HS. Students (who some call book worms) engaged in a spirited competition measuring their recall from a series of books they've read leading up to this tournament. The only thing more exciting is seeing normally reserved media specialists getting excited when their respective teams do well.

Congratulations to the tournament winners and good luck in the next round. Congratulations also to all the students and supporters for encouraging our children to read. Thanks to the many media specialists and coaches for spending time with our children and putting on this great tournament.

Insider said...

Somehow... some way some people will excel in spite of their circumstances, not because of them.

Such is the case with DCSS.

Anonymous said...

As the parent of a child who participated, it was awesome.

The kids are great -- and they are all winners from reading the books, many of which are challenging both in vocabulary and content.

The volunteers are also awesome, mostly teachers and a few parents.

This is my second child to participate and it never fails to impress!

Anonymous said...

This is great news. Did Ms. Guillory tape the event or highlights o it for broadcast on DCSS TV? Can't wait to watch it.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is on the Chamblee Middle team and it was a great day! She has been a part of a reading bowl team since 3rd grade, first at her elementary school and then at CMS. The kids are all winners and as a volunteer I tell them so before each round!

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:24

Many volunteers do the same -- and that is an awesome message.

Yes, it was taped and they do plan on broadcasting highlights according to our media center.

Anonymous said...

Yeah!!!!! I love the kids and how much they want to learn and how capable and excited about academics they are! Go Reading Bowl!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

While it is wonderful that the kids are involved, my personal feelings about the reading bowl is that it is academically inappropriate for students beyond elementary school.

Middle and H.S. students should be reading for much greater understanding of themes, character, imagery etc. Reading bowl questions are very like accelerated reader questions - short answers bordering on trivia. Instead of teaching students to read deeply and be able to discuss the broader impact of the work, both Reading Bowl and Accelerated Reader teach students to focus on the trivial details. Useful for beginning readers but detrimental to becoming a mature reader. (Mature readers don't try to remember every detail, instead they learn to filter what is important from that which is not.) An appropriate reading competition for older students would do away with the short answer and have students writing essays about what they had read. Of course, that doesn't make for an exciting competition, so it won't happen.

Anonymous said...

Really???? There are values different kinds of reading. Indeed, depth of understanding becomes increasingly important, but so does pulling out facts, at all levels. I've got to respectfully disagree that it is inappropriate and instead recognize context. More importantly, congratulations to these kids. They worked hard, they mastered material, they learned facts, they did it!

Anonymous said...

Don't know how reading bowl is done in other schools, but in the elementary school that I worked at the gifted students were the ones in the reading bowl. The bottom tear of Bloom's taxonomy questions that the reading bowl asks were not appropriate for true gifted children.

Reading should be about the deeper meaning of what the words on the page really mean, and not the fact like questions that the reading bowl asks.

The problem that I have with the reading bowl, CRCT, and so much of what the children are asked to do is that it is surface learning and brain power and thinking are rarely used as deeply as they should be. How many children leave school where their brains are tired? I mean really tired because they've been using it all day long to think. Not many if any. Our kids may have hours of homework, but there is little deep learning truly happening in the schools in DCSS and most schools throughout our country.