I didn’t even really get to say goodbye to my students or my co-teachers…
The last day I was meant to be at my school there ended up being snow day!
That day was also supposed to be the day of our big “Musher Banquet” so, now that the kids are back in school after their five day extra-long weekend, they finally got to have their banquet!
The banquet was the time that they finally rounded out their Fantasy Iditarod Team by choosing the musher for their team. When we first began our Iditarod Math Unit, they did some research and chose the sixteen dogs for their team. You can see that lesson here: LINK
Previously, we had also completed a series of probability lessons where we predicted the characteristics of the winning musher (male, veteran, from Alaska, etc). In that lesson we created “musher stacks”. There is one stack per musher and shows their gender, race status, and location. You can see that lesson here: LINK
When the day of the banquet finally arrived, the kids signed in to school on a board in the order of their arrival. This was to simulate the mushes “signing up” for the race, which in part determines their order for drawing their numbers.
At the banquet, kids were seated at long “banquet” tables decorated with puppy print tablecloths and some extra copies of the centerpieces we had sent up to Alaska for the “real” musher banquet (more on that here – LINK).
The boys began the festivities by belting out Hobo Jim’s “The Iditarod Trail Song” and munched on Klondike Bars and cookies shaped like dogs and sleds.
When it was their turn to choose their musher, they went to the front in the order they signed up in the morning, reached their hand into the mukluk and drew out one the musher stacks from the probability experiment. (In real life, the mushers to go the stage, reach into the mukluk and draw out a chip with a number on it. That number becomes their starting number for the race). The students then had to choose a musher from the board that matched the characteristics on the stack they had drawn.
Once they chose their musher, they moved through the autograph chute and autographed some posters (not quite as many as the mushers do at the banquet!) and then proceeded to pick up their race packets. (The mushers will find their dog tags and the identification tags for their handliers in their envelopes, now that they finally know their start order.) The students found biographies of their mushers, an Iditarod pencil, and a blank biography card in their packets. While the others were choosing their mushers, they got started on completing the biography card of their musher that will be displayed with their tracking map.
Everything of course was photographed and filmed by the “paparazzi” from the Gilman/Anchorage Daily News and the Gilman/Nome Nugget!
I was sorry I missed the banquet. By all accounts it was a huge success! The countdown is on!