After the Iditarod



Since the Iditarod continues until the last musher completes the race, this is a long event, sometimes lasting two weeks! That is, two weeks AFTER the start of the race. Preparation in the classroom begins before that, so this is a long time for a unit. Somehow, though, after the last musher has crossed the finishline in Nome, it is important to celebrate that accomplishment and bring the events to a close in your classroom as you would any unit of study.

After your deadline for the Classroom Iditarod, it is a good idea to share the projects and, again, have an ending to this event as well. Depending on how much emphasis you want to put on "awards," you might decide to have an ending "Awards Ceremony." In my classroom I order some small prizes from the Iditarod online store. We also give certificates to our classroom buddies/sponsors. As an example, anyone second grader who participated (completed at least one project - which should be everyone) receives an Iditarod pencil. Then there are additional prizes for third, second, and first place finishers. I do not discuss prizes during the race as I do not want that to be the motivation for children to compete.

Additionally, I give out four other awards that relate to awards given in the real Iditarod. The first award is the FIRST TO FIRST Award, which goes to the student who reached first place first during the Classroom Iditarod. I also give a RED LANTERN Award to the student was the last to reach first place during the Classroom Iditarod. There is the QUALITY Award given to a student whose work was exceptionally well done (neat, organized, etc.) Finally, there is the SPIRIT Award given to a student who showed true enthusiam for the race. This has been a student who has completed more Classroom Iditarod projects than was necessary to reach first place. For example, if the children needed to complete 7, sometimes I have had a student who completed 9 or 10, just because he or she wanted to do the work! I've also had ties for the QUALITY and SPIRIT awards. The children who win these four awards recieve a certificate and some gold (chocolate gold coins).

See the Iditarod Web site for more information about some of the special awards that are given. You will get some good ideas for your own awards!

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List of Special Awards - 2008