Grades 4 through 6 have been learning how to use Microsoft Word by studying Robert Frost’s famous poem in a table format, one stanza per cell with observations and comments in the right-hand column.
Most students have to finish the project for homework, but some do not have access to Microsoft Word at home. The solution for those students is simply to copy and paste their content into ASD Google Docs.
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.
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.
If you are considering this approach to Iditarod/technology education, welcome aboardI
My students and I are super excited about this project. Some notable changes so far this year:
Dog team members will be wearing paper-maché dog masks made in art class during each day’s running.
Team member dogs will have dog names.
The team musher will be named after one of this year’s real contestants.
The Trail Log is undergoing major changes, so that team members are assigned more specific roles.
In order to get ready for the race, I will be documenting the skills and steps necessary for implementation in an orderly fashion, so that new adopters can make sense of the amazing complexities of the project.