Organization is key. Students and teacher need to know where everybody is positioned.
The Documents Folders
- Team Member Positions & Dog Names
- Photos of Team Member Masks & Names
- Checkpoints Table
- Checkpoint Research Assignments
- Checkpoint Research
- Musher’s Daily Numbers
Trail Log Folder
- Checkpoint Table
- Daily Trail Log
Daily Numbers Folder
- Checkpoint Table
- Daily Trail Numbers
How & Why
- Catalyzing Teamwork
- Organizing Chaos
- Minimizing Copy-Paste
- Reinforcing Accountability
I’ve started a new page for the IditaType™ teams. It contains select videos from a number of Iditarod mushers, and is intended to help the students get a better idea of the trail conditions and terrain along the race. The page can be found here,
Due to the complexity of some of the team tasks, 3rd Grade requirements are open to adjustment:
- No pilot positions are necessary unless someone has already mastered take-offs and landings.
- Lead Dogs may not need to use the measuring tool in Google Earth to pinpoint exact trail position. We’ll see….kids are amazing, and I don’t want to cut them short on one of the best features of the race.
- Hard-copy Trail Log completion before digital Trail Log requirement: I’ll see how they do on this. Like I said, if I lower the bar, they will certainly underperform.
I went through all of the pre-race instruction yesterday with the 3rd graders. Lead Dogs are good with being able to pin the daily location. We will do the full-blown program with them sans pilots.
The winner of the real Iditarod Sled Dog Race is the first team to Nome. Since each team leaves the starting line at different times, the staggered start is equalized by corrections elsewhere on the trail.
The IditaType™ Race teams likewise do not start at the same time; they don’t even start on the same day. Additionally, due to holidays and other schedule disruptions, grade levels may not have the same number of class meeting each week.
To equalize the differences, the Race Marshall will log actual time spent working by each team with the Racing Time Google sheet shown above. In this way, the shortest elapsed time working among all the grade levels will determine the first team to Nome.
Your most efficient implementation of this project is for me to provide all the daily trail positions for your typing test data.
The project is scalable, so teachers can start with the basics; the 14 one-minute typing tests through typing.com. Teachers create an account (free), then add their students to the class.
Teachers establish minimum accuracy standards. Students have to have 14 tests at or above the standard. I use 90% accuracy for my 3rd through 6th grade classes.
Students do all the tests in one class session. Teachers export the results from the Reports page and email the file to me. I’ll run the data through my macros and build two evenly matched teams, then turn their tests into 14 days of Iditarod trail progress. I’ll return the results as PDF’s and they can take it from there, as much as they are comfortable with. I’ll charge a nominal fee, say a buck per student.
I allowed two teams to swap one wheel dog after being approached by a student with the request due to a personality conflict with the musher. It was OK’d by both mushers, but objected to by the other wheel dog.
After crunching the numbers, it turned out that the deal would make the two teams more evenly matched, so by a meeting with all parties involved, I informed the reluctant fellow that he’d been traded. In the end, he was impressed that his numbers made such a big difference to the new team.
- Prerequisite Teacher Skills
- Prerequisite Student Skills
Typing Test Data
- Online Typing Site
- Number of Tests
- Length of Tests
- Minimum Accuracy
Using Typing Test Data
- Exporting Data
- Preparing Data
- Transposing Data
Creating Matched Teams
- Microsoft Excel “Teams” Workbook
- Using Macros to Populate Teams
- Paste-Linked Data
Determining Rate of Progress on the Trail
- The Rate Sheet
- Lowest Number of Words to Nome
- Setting the Rate
- Communicating Test and Team Outcomes to Students
- Multi-grade Racing
- Potential Winners
- Teamwork Wins
- Masks and Collars
- Dog Names
- Musher Selection
- Positions and Responsibilities
- Lead Dog
- Swing Dogs
- Team Dogs
- Wheel Dogs
- The Trail Log
- Pilot Testing and Training
- The Pilot Map
- The Pilot Log Book
- Checkpoint Research
- Trail Research
- Weather Research
- Workstation Assignments
- The Musher’s Workbook
- The Trail Time and Resting Time Calculator
- Practicing Team Location Plotting
- Practicing Race Day Procedures
Race Day Procedures
- Masks and Collars
- Mushing Position
- Race Marshall Briefing
- Release of Data
- Hard Copy Trail Log Completion
- Return to Mushing Position
- Race Marshal Verification
- Release of Online Trail Log
- Completion of Team Responsibilities
- Return to Mushing Position for Verification of Online Trail Log and Map
- Release of Additional Days’ Data as time allows
- 5 Minute Debriefing at close of each class session
- Adding Photos and Videos to the Race Map
- Comparing IditaType with actual Iditarod race
- Modifying IditaRead
- Teacher on the Trail
- Pilot Resources
- Online Typing Sites
- Cooperative Learning
- The Official Iditarod Photographer
- Put all Day markers in home box.
- Added Pilot Map with routes and airport codes
- Added link to Google Compass.
I’m finding quite a bit of instructional/management benefit to using hard copy documents to assist students in preparing for the race:
- Team Members document: Filled out by the mushers. A Google Docs file for Student Name, Position, Simulation Name (dogs, pilots, mushers) and checkoff for mask completion.
- Checkpoints document: This is used by the Musher to assign checkpoint research to all of the team members.
- Trail Log: I’m doing this hard copy to develop students’ notetaking skills and discourage copy/paste research.