Saturday, February 1, 2014

Olympics and the Library Triathalon

Over the summer I was reading, The Tibrarian Handbook: A Teacher-Librarian's Guide to Transforming the Library Into a Center of Learning by Christine Varachi. She had a wonderful idea for a school-wide library Olympic contest where the children earn points for reading minutes, activity minutes and researching facts. I fell in love with the idea and realized that the Winter Olympics were this year! Ideas began on my iPad immediately. 
The library, in both schools, hosted a Library Triathlon! Each homeroom was given a country that was competing in the Sochi Winter Olympics. The children would turn in forms for nightly reading and activity minutes along with facts they researched about their homeroom country. Each of the events were weighed equally in a spreadsheet, created by my principal, that gave a daily point count for each country. The country's flags were moved on a large horizontal wall chart in the hall for all the kids to see. Each country had a larger vertical chart paper hang in the hallway as well. The information the children research about their country was pasted on those posters. This way the children could read all the new facts! Here are templates that I used. 

Three weeks of library lessons focused on the background of the Olympics, the contest rules, the town of Sochi and all they did to make their winter games unique and biographies from some of the Olympic athletes representing Team USA. The students truly enjoyed learning about the symbols, traditions and especially the athletes stories. 

At Allen, the Library Triathlon ended with a school wide celebration. Each county ceremoniously walked in to the event with a country flag and a "torch". We "lit" the large Olympic flame with the Olympic theme playing in the background. Our principal, Mr. Clarke, reminded us of how our school behavior is similar to the Olympic spirit and explained the rules to our first activity "Ballius Uppius in the Areaius (from the Greek/Latin: Ball Up in the Air). So much fun! The second activity activity was Olympic Trivia based on the library lessons. Mr. Clarke added more suspense by adding in a relay race with the Olympic rings before the questions were answered. A huge hit! 
In both schools, the top three classes earned Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals from Oriental Trading Company. The Gold class will also receive a Pizza Party, the Silver a Popsicle Party and the Bronze will enjoy a Popcorn Party.   

This is a movie from our closing ceremony at Allen. 

No comments: