Our Last Classroom-Family Fun Run
Spots wearing marathon space blankets
Click for printable Spot journal page.
Run, Spot, Run! has not always been held in the woods.
It's always been a true fun run with the only goal in mind - to finish. It hasn't always been at the park. We started on our school field. The children ran 4 1/4 mile laps and had to call out their name each time they passes a volunteer "checker" to make sure they had accurate count. But while some things have changed others have remained the same. The children have always received medals and T-shirts. The first year, the medals were recycled from a marathon in Pennsylvania. The T-shirts sported a standing Dalmatian wearing the number 4. Run, Spot, Run! has never been a race.
Two years ago, we changed the name for that year and called it "Run to Read and Write", but the children all called it "Run, Spot, Run!" anyway.
We journaled right at the event. We have gone back to the name "Run, Spot, Run!" but we still journal at the event. Three years ago we changed Spot to a giraffe, but now Spot's a Dalmatian again.
Some things change and some remain the same. Here are some things we have had in the past:
-Raffle (prizes - old race T-shirts, toys, sports equip., clothing)
- "Run, Spot, Run!" hats donated by a parent
- Face painting (spots of course)
-Make your own Spot running numbers
-Spot certificates (made by Sarah)
Now we also serve healthy food at our event - pot luck style.
Click for printable Spot journal cover
Spot always becomes a classroom writing theme earlier in the year. This year we've written to the following story topics.
1. The Day that Spot got Lost
2. Spot's Space Blanket
3. Run, Spot, Run!
4. Spot at the Finish Line
The children participate in the preparations. They write invitations to parents. They write notices requesting healthy food. They decorate the bulletin boards, backing them with children made Dalmatian-spotted paper.
We talk about pacing and we train for the mile. We run all year playing games, following the leader, observing nature, in our running/writing program, but about a month before the event we get serious. We talk about pacing for the mile is too long for young children to be racing at full tilt. We had our first practice yesterday. We jogged a lap of the field, then walked a lap, then the last lap was the child's choice. Most chose to sprint the lap.
New Event T-shirt Design
This year we'll keep it simple. Easy as pie. We bring healthy food, have fun running around, then at 9:00 run the mile together. We get medals (leftover medals from past years), write in our new "Run, Spot, Run!" Journals and then eat healthy food. Very simple, to the point, and lots of fun.
A FEW LINKS FROM PAST EVENTS
2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000
I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible for me over the years to combine my love for literacy, math, and running. My milestones have been: Creating Way Cool Running (no longer in existence as I created it). Creating KidsRunning.Com and working for RUNNER'S WORLD magazine (a thrill for me), getting a book published by Breakaway Books (lifelong dream), and having my first school-wide running club (CNC Software and NERAC.COM's "Miles of Math" Kids' Club).
Of course one of the high points has been getting my first book published. Happy Feet, Healthy Food, Your Child's First Journal of Exercise and Healthy Eating. (Page 26 of the book is a Run to Write page featuring Run, Spot, Run!) The book is used by all of the children in my running club and the book and club combination could possibly be changing their lives. The children will attest to this. Hannah says, "I used to eat candy but then my father and I looked at your book. He told me that fruit is as sweet as candy but it's healthy. So now I eat fruit and I don't eat candy anymore."
And Trevor says, "I used to sit on the couch after school. Now I exercise a lot. I have even started going to the track to run."