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Boston Marathon Week at Miles of Math (part of page 44, Happy Feet, Healthy Food by Carol Goodrow)
April 13 , 2004
When the forecast is rain all week and you only have a small gym for a great number of children, it takes some quick thinking to design an activity where some children can stay active but use their space wisely.
Materials: Approximately 80 cards with various pictures and directions. Each card had a hole punched in it and was strung with a 12-inch piece of GREEN, YELLOW, or RED yarn, tied so that the children could wear the cards on their wrists or hold them easily as they ran.
The "green" cards were running cards with activities to be completed on the outer track which circles the gym. These cards had directions such as, "Jog 1 lap." There were a few special Boston Marathon cards that said, "Jog 3 laps."
All of the children wanted to draw this card.
The "yellow" cards were walking-type cards. They had directs such as, "Speed walk 1 lap," or "Skip 1 lap." These activities were to be completed on the inner track of the gym.
The "red" cards were strength and stretching activities to be performed in the center of the gym. These had directions such as, "Hop 3 + 7 times," or "Stretch for 20 seconds," or "Do 5+5 push-ups."
We had group and individual goals for the game.
-1. Have fun!
-2. Complete activities from all color groups.
-3. Be safe. Be careful when passing. No cutting corners. Follow directions. Be good sports.
The cards were placed in bins by colors. The children were asked to draw a card (without looking at the picture). They were to complete an activity of each color category. After that they were allowed to choose from a bin of their choice.
After our game, it was time to go back to the classroom for a drink of water, a little reading (the topic of the day was Fun Runs) and then journal writing.
A quick show of "fingers" told us that many kids had completed 10 laps in the gym during our exercise period. Quite a few kids had run our children's version of the "Boston Marathon". The children have become more and more independent in their journal writing. Many wrote that they did the Boston Marathon. Others wrote about their dancing in the center of the gym, their stretching or their walking laps. No one seemed fatigued. In fact we could have headed back and played the game all over again.
OUR MILEAGE CHARTS
Between the two groups, we've now completed 185 miles. The children know that we will reach our 500 mile goal early. Their hundred squares are being filled in and each session allows them to add a little more detail to their footprint charts which are turning into masterpieces.
The children want to know how far a marathon is. I tell them the mileage but then I compare it to a distance they understand. I say it's the same distance as if you ran all the way from school to Old Sturbridge Village. They want to know if I've ever run Boston. I tell them yes, but that it was not easy for me. But I tell them how it's easier for some runners who put hard work into their training. I tell them I have been lucky enough to see runners at the finish line who still have enough energy left after 26 miles to do a sprint finish.
WHEN THEY GROW UP
And they leave knowing that.."If your heart is full of desire and you stick with your running, that you can run a marathon when you grow up."
First Week at Miles of Math
Second Week at Miles of Math
Third Week at Miles of Math
Fourth Week at Miles of Math
Fifth Week at Miles of Math
Sixth Week at Miles of Math
Seventh Week at Miles of Math
Eighth Week at Miles of Math
Ninth Week at Miles of Math
Tenth Week at Miles of Math