Each time someone enters my classroom, they are reminded of the upcoming Iditarod. There are 2 large maps, several pictures, daily high and low temperatures in Waupaca and Nome, news articles, and much more.
One of the maps in the entry is for students to track the progress on their IditaWalk. Each day when my students walk into the classroom, the first thing they do is put on a pedometer. Their goal is to “Walk” the Iditarod Trail. It started simply – converting their steps to miles (2,000 steps = 1 mile) and moving their marker along the trail. As time went on I made things more complicated. PAWS (Pulling Ahead With Students) is a theme I’m using this year for Character Education. Students can earn dog paws for doing something “good”. 4 paws = 1 dog. With 2 dogs, students can multiply their daily miles by 2. With 4 dogs, they can multiply by 3, and so on. They had to think of a theme for their dog team and name their dogs. While they haven’t formally been introduced to multiplication yet, they are multiplying to figure out their daily progress. They are also moving more to pick up steps on their pedometers. Win – win.
A few students thought this was going to be easy and within a few weeks they would have walked the entire trail. They are now realizing it’s a lot longer than they anticipated. They are also learning names of checkpoints and the distance between them. The attached lesson plan and activity sheets are a little different than what I am doing this year, but it gives a basic overview. Take the general idea and make it your own.