Monday, January 19, 2009

Class Olympics

Last week, we studied the Ancient Greek Olympics all week, which then culminated in creating our own class Olympics on Friday. It was great fun and encouraging. Since the kids were interested, they did better work, and since I was more interest I put more work into it. (The opposite of a vicious cycle- what would you call that?) Anyway, early in the week, I had them read some descriptions of the characteristics of various city-states in Greece (this came from a great 6th grade social studies website), including the Spartans with whom they are already familiar with through the movie. (I know, I know, why are 6th graders watching stuff like that???) They had to choose which group of people they were most like and explain why and they did an awesome job! They listed their choice and gave several supported reasons why they were most similar to that group. I think their writing is improving because I make them do it all the time :-) (No-brainer, right?) So that made me feel good. 

Throughout the week, we read more about the Ancient Olympics and compared it to what we already knew about the modern Olympics and what had and hadn't changed. (Perfect opportunity for a Venn diagram.) In addition, we chose 7 "sports" to include in our class
 Olympics, wrote the rules for them (functional writing), created record-keeping forms, and chose which ones to participate in.  On Friday afternoon, we began the festivities, which included the following sports: running, paper basketball (throwing wadded up paper into the trash can), arm wrestling, 

thumb wrestling, hitting a volleyball (how many times you could hit it with
out dropping it), twister and musical chairs. (Again, these were all chosen by the kids.)
 Everything went great (if not a little noisy). The kids loved it. I took pictures the whole time, and we even had a medal ceremony in which bronze, silver and gold medal winners got their medals and got their pictures taken :-) A good time was had by all!

I think that definitely qualifies as a "good teacher" moment :-) 


TBW said...

Sounds like fun and you backed everything up by standards. I wish I was getting better at that faster sometimes.

D Shetler said...

TBW-it was fun and we did have a great time :-) I'm sure you are just as good, if not better than me at coming up with stuff like that. It's just that this is the time of year that I get bored of all the intense test-prep stuff, and I have to keep myself entertained somehow. :-) Next week we're making Roman togas!