Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sports and Learning

Today is "Sports Day" at school, when you can wear your favorite sports clothing. The ONLY sport-type clothing I own are a handful of Iditarod t-shirts. When I taught second grade, I used the Iditarod dogsledding race to teach the kids many things, and they and their families had a great time and made lasting memories.

The Iditarod race takes place the beginning the first Saturday in March. We used to prepare weeks in advance. You can check out some of what we did here (although I haven't updated the site since I moved to fifth grade).

You can find out more about the Iditarod and how you can use it in your classroom here:

What I am thinking about today is how project-based learning is an effective way to get kids excited about learning and to actually learn. It takes a lot of prep work, but it is worth it. Past students AND their parents often reminisce with me about one of their favorite parts of second grade - The Iditarod. Some have continued to follow the race years after first learning about it in school.

Here is just a quick list of what the children learned through this exciting sport:

  • Reading (fiction and nonfiction)
  • Writing (fiction, journaling, informational, news stories)
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Time zones, 24-hour time
  • Maps, geography
  • Addition, subtraction
  • Statistics and probability
  • Singing, dancing
  • Northern lights
  • Water color painting
  • Technology - tracking mushers and dogs
  • Community service and volunteerism
  • American history
  • Current events
  • Point-of-view
  • Animal care
  • Alaskan culture
  • Marketing

I encourage everyone to take a look at this event and the great resources provided for educators on the Iditarod web site. And they have fun t-shirts!!


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