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Ruffin Writers. Training for Question Writers for CCSD Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl. Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl. Started in DeKalb County Georgia Book Award chapter book nominees

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Ruffin writers

Ruffin Writers

Training for Question Writers for

CCSD Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl

Helen ruffin reading bowl

Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl

  • Started in DeKalb County

  • Georgia Book Award chapter book nominees

  • Expanded to middle school using the Georgia Book Award chapter book nominees

  • Expanded to high school using Georgia Peach Teen nominees

Ruffin writers

Meet ..

  • Helen Ruffin, retired media specialist Sky Haven Elementary, DeKalb County

  • Dr. April Ruffin, relative of Helen Ruffin who attends the CCSD HRRB

Competition format

Competition Format

  • 6 rounds

  • 10 questions per round

  • 5 members on each team

  • 2 teams each round (rotate)

  • Team members respond individually

  • 10 points for each correct answer

  • Cumulative Score for all 6 rounds determines 1st and 2nd place



  • Everyone who participates is a winner!

  • All teams receive a participation trophy!

Advancing to the regional bowl

Advancing to the Regional Bowl

  • Top 2 scoring teams in each division receive first and second place trophies

  • These teams are determined by cumulative scores for all 6 rounds

Room volunteers

Room Volunteers

  • Moderator:

    • Reads rules each round

    • Reads questions

    • Determines if answer is correct

    • Makes sure rules are followed

  • Console Judge

    • Operates the lockout device

    • Recognizes student who buzzes in first

    • May assist moderator in determining if answer is correct

  • Score Keeper

    • Keeps score on board

    • Completes score sheet

    • May assist moderator in determining if answer is correct

  • Time Keeper

    • Uses a watch with a second hand to track 10 second time limits

    • Task may be assigned to score keeper or console judge

As you write questions remember

As you write questions remember …

  • The competition should be fun

  • The room volunteers have not read the books

  • All possible versions of an answer should be given

Always start questions

Always start questions

In the book <book title>, …For example:In the book Elsewhere, what are Observation Decks?

Indicating answers

Indicating answers ….

p. #, answerFor example:p.64, places where you can see all the way to Earth

Things to think about

Things to think about …

  • Is the question based on facts?

  • Is the question clearly stated?

  • Does the answer have too many parts (beyond 3 parts is too many, you could ask for 3 out of 7 from a list)?

  • Can the question be answered differently depending on the point in the story?

  • Do not use Yes/No and Either/Or type of questions

Things to think about1

Things to think about …

  • Is a full name required or will just the first or last name suffice? (Liz Hall or just Liz)

  • Moderators and other volunteers have not necessarily read the book so list all acceptable answers (i.e. Mein Kampf or My Life or My Struggle)

Things to think a bout

Things to think about …

  • There may be a very interesting fact in the story …

  • But it may be too hard to word a question clearly …

  • So just go on to something else!

  • There are lots of possible questions!

In the following slides

In the following slides

  • Read the question and answer

  • Determine if the question is

    • Good – acceptable for reading bowl

    • Bad – needs to be rewritten for clarity before being used for the reading bowl

    • Ugly – wrong facts; correct facts and rewrite or throw out and try another question

Good bad or ugly

Good, Bad, or Ugly?

  • In the book Green Angel, what are the three colors of stones and what did each represent?

  • p.27, black for her mother, silver for her father, and pure white for her sister

  • Good!!!

Good bad or ugly1

Good, Bad, or Ugly?

  • In the book Notes From the Midnight Driver, what book did Alex bring Sol for Hanukkah?

  • p.92, Monk

  • Bad!!!

  • The question should read what is the title of the book that Alex brought Sol for Hanukkah?

Good bad or ugly2

Good, Bad, or Ugly?

  • In the book Phineas L. MacGuire Erupts!, who are the authors?

  • title page, Frances O'Roark Dowell and Preston McDaniels

  • Ugly!!!

  • Frances O’Roark Dowell is the author and Preston McDaniels is the illustrator.

Let s write some questions

Let’s write some questions!

  • Go to

  • Under more choose Books

  • Search Books: Here Lies the Librarian

  • 1st result – click on title

  • Use arrows above book cover to “turn” to page 1

  • Read chapter 1 (p.1-11)

  • Write 2 questions.

Enter your 20 questions into the question database file

Enter your 20 questions into the Question Database file

Practice entering into the spreadsheet database

Practice entering into the spreadsheet/database

  • Go to

  • Choose Question Writer Volunteers

  • Download the Excel spreadsheet (save to your directory)

  • Enter your 2 questions and save

Time to choose books

Time to choose books!

  • “Pass the hat”

  • Pick one at a time

  • One “hat” for GA Book Award Books

  • Another “hat” for Peach Teen books

Questions from the whole book

Questions from the whole book!

  • The 10 questions for each book need to cover the entire book, beginning to end

  • Total Pages ÷10 = section

  • Then make 1 question from each section of the book

Tending to grace has 176 pages

Tending to Grace has 176 pages!

  • 176 ÷ 10 = 17.6 or 18 pages

  • Sections:

    1-18, 19-36, 37-54, 55-72, 73-90

    91-108, 109-126, 127-144,


You will write 2 questions for each section of your book!

Ruffin writers

Email your question database file (Peach Teen and chapter book) to Kate Lyons at k9lyons@yahoo.comPlease complete your questions for all 4 books by June 1st!

Now it s your turn

Now it’s your turn -

  • It is highly recommended that you read the entire book before writing questions

  • This will alert you to possible questions that could be answered differently at different points in the story

  • So go ahead and read your book … ENJOY!

  • Then go back and write questions.

Final words

Final Words …

  • The Reading Bowl should be fun!

  • The Reading Bowl cannot happen without your help!


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