The Iditarod, a 4th grade project

The 4th graders have been studying the Iditarod, the 1000 mile dog sled race across Alaska that starts the first Saturday in March. We began by watching the movie Balto (a fictionalization of the Great Serum Race of 1925 which the Iditarod commemorates.) We are reading the novel Bright Dawn, Black Star by Scott O’Dell (we get didn’t get to finish before school was suspended) We examined the history of how long it takes to complete the race. How long in recent years? What was the fastest time ever? What slows mushers down or allows them to go faster? Then we each made our best educated guess about when this year’s winner would finish. We each picked a musher to follow during their time on the trail and checked their progress each morning. 
On Wednesday the winner, Thomas Waerner of Norway, reached the finish line in Nome. His time was 9 days, 10 hours and 37 minutes. Which 4th graders picked the closest time? We don’t know! The chart is hanging in the library. Mr. Hilbert (Mr. Rider’s assistant) to the rescue! He was on campus last week and took a picture of our chart. Five students guessed nine days but David W. was the closest, only 3 hours off. Some of our mushers are still on the trail and we will keep checking progress until the last musher (the Red Lantern winner) reaches Nome. 
Founded in 1912, The Park School of Buffalo has the distinction of being one of the oldest Progressive schools in the country. Park is an independent, co-educational school serving approximately 300 students enrolled in prekindergarten (3 and 4 year olds), lower school (kindergarten through grade 4), middle school (grades 5 through 8), and upper school (grades 9 through 12). Park is uniquely situated on 34 beautiful acres in Amherst, New York. The School’s campus – formerly a farm – includes a pond, marsh, gardens, and a greenhouse while being located just minutes from downtown Buffalo and easily accessible from many communities throughout Western New York. Park’s educational philosophy embraces active, student-centered learning, delivered by exceptional teachers who design and continuously update a robust curriculum. Faculty members approach each student as an individual within the context of a kind and respectful community. From the preschool years through college preparation, The Park School of Buffalo helps learners realize their own unique potentials and prepares them to be confident, successful, life-long learners.

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