Teams chosen for Battle of the Bluebonnets - Odessa American: ECISD

Teams chosen for Battle of the Bluebonnets

By Ruth Campbell rcampbell@oaoa.com | Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 5:19 pm

Campuses across Ector County Independent School District have selected their teams for the Battle of the Bluebonnets, coming up at 10 a.m. Feb. 22 at the Odessa High School fieldhouse, 1301 N. Dotsy Ave.

Odessa Arts Executive Director Randy Ham will emcee and the competition is funded by the Education Foundation.

Some 26 schools will participate with a total of about 156 students. There are about six students per squad.

Reagan Magnet Elementary School had its campus battle Tuesday in its cafeteria with an audience of parents, administrators and teachers. Music teacher Loretta Walker posed the questions.

This was one of several campus battles held across the district.

Media Specialist Janice Wilson said the teams included third through fifth graders.

The battle is like a quiz show where multiple choice questions relating to the Texas Bluebonnet Award-winning books they’ve read are projected on a large screen and students click in with their answers.

The winning team at Reagan featured third graders Michael Emmanuel and Ava Scott; fourth grader Carson Hernandez; and fifth-graders Jazlynn Brooks, Devin Martin and Paege Salzwedel. Wilson said she tries to make the teams as equal as possible.

This year, she had 53 students in grades three through five participate in the battle. She encourages fifth-graders to take part because they can help with the higher level books.

Wilson said the teams that win each year always surprise her.

“These are all good readers,” Wilson said of the top team.

She added that they would meet Wednesday and figure out which books the team members haven’t read and have them read those to prepare for the district contest.

Brooks said her team was surprised they won.

Emmanuel said they thought they came in second or third, but when Wilson said they were first, they were shocked.

Martin said the books they read were all very interesting. Emmanuel added other adjectives saying they were also sad, funny and good.

“They all had different emotions,” Brooks said.

Salzwedel said the books had different themes, so “it wasn’t just all stuck on one theme.” She added that they thought for sure another team with a girl who had read all 20 Bluebonnet books would win.

“But now we know we just need to be confident in ourselves and believe,” Salzwedel said.

They also found they worked well as a team.

“We didn’t let one person do it, so when we came up with the answer we all discussed it and then when we made our final decision …,” Brooks said.

Laura Doege, the librarian at Sudderth Elementary School in Monahans, came to observe the contest at Reagan.

“It exposes them to a variety of books that they might not read if we did not have the list and the contest,” Doege said.