The 2016 - 2017 school year found my class and Mr. Racosky's 4th grade class collaborating on a hockey movie. The process was long, difficult, and stressful at times, but the end result was phenomenal! The students in both classes learned so much and became good friends. Many of the students, staff, and parents who saw the movie asked, "Is there going to be a sequel?" At the time, I was so mentally exhausted from everything related to our movie, that I couldn't even think about doing another one.
Over the summer, I had time to relax, reflect, and think about our hockey movie and the possibility of a sequel. As the summer drew to a close, I talked with Mr. Racosky. The conversation went like this:
Me: "I know everyone keeps asking for a sequel, but I don't want to do a sequel. I think that would limit the students' creativity." (Since voice and choice is a HUGE component of project based learning, I really didn't want to do limit anything for them.) "However, it would still be fun to make another hockey movie and see where this year's classes take it."
Mr. R: "We can do a prequel! All about Mrs. Lynch in the Olympics!" (If you saw the movie - link up above - you'll understand why Mr. Racosky said that.)
Me: (while laughing,) "No, not about Mrs. Lynch in the Olympics, but an Olympic themed hockey movie could be fun! Especially since the winter Olympics are coming up this February."
We agreed to get our classes together the last Friday in September to see if they a) wanted to make a movie and b) if they wanted it to be a hockey movie.
As my students walked into Mr. Racosky's room, they were a little intimidated by the 4th graders. (Same thing happened last year!) That quickly eased up.
The first thing I did was ask the students who didn't see the movie to stand up. There were a few. I explained to them what we did last year. I then turned to both classes and said, "Think about this for a minute. Don't answer until I tell you to. Do you want to make a movie this year?" Everyone said yes! I then asked if they wanted it to be a hockey movie. ALMOST everyone said yes. There were a couple who said no. (A similar thing happened last year. Within a month, they were all about it being a hockey movie.)
I told the students I had another thing I wanted them to think about, but they wouldn't be answering it that day. It will definitely be awhile before this question is answered. The winter Olympics are coming up. One of the events is hockey. Perhaps their movie could be an Olympic themed movie. I talked a little bit about what the Olympics are and then showed them this cool Olympic video. That really got the students pumped!
I proceeded to tell them about my favorite hockey player, TJ Oshie of the Washington Capitals. I told them how he was part of the US Hockey team in 2014. Mr. Racosky chimed in about Oshie's role on the team when the USA played Russia. He brought up a shootout video to show the kids. (I can't find the exact one he used, but it might have been this one.) I can tell you that every time Oshie was up, the students started chanting, "OSHIE! OSHIE! OSHIE! OSHIE!" Mr. Racosky and I were CRACKING up! Needless to say, they were very excited.
One of the things I love about using hockey to teach different areas of the curriculum is all of the authentic math that comes with it! Just as I did last year, I showed my students the game stats from one of the Caps' games. We went over what all of the columns mean. We looked at the numbers. They told me what stood out for them. I had students model some of the things I talked about. They would have done that all day if I had let them! Here are 2 pictures I took!
I promise you they are smiling! :-)
We are going to continue looking at hockey stats throughout the year!
Last year was a year of firsts:
First time doing a movie as our project.
First time learning a whole lot about hockey. (I watch hockey, but my knowledge was limited at that point in time.)
First time trying to teach hockey. (I am not athletic!)
First time working on a project with another grade level.
Mr. Racosky and I learned a lot! Two things we learned: 1) start this project as early in the year as possible, and 2) spend more time trying to teach them how to play.
When our classes met on Friday the 13th, (oooooooooooh,) we worked on two different things.
1st and 4th graders worked in groups of 2 or 3 on a writing assignment. Each student had to write their goal or goals for the year. They also added a "puck" to their writing which serves as a reminder to work hard in order to accomplish your goal. The students got to decorate their pucks.
Here are some pictures of them working together!
Mrs. Racosky (yes, she works at our school too and is my awesome co-teacher,) helping 3 students with their goals!
Afterwards, Mr. Racosky took them in the hallway and worked with them on hitting the puck.
Mr. Racosky is showing them what NOT to do!
Here's the lineup!
Mr. Racosky showing them how to line up their bodies and where to put their hands on the hockey stick.
Someone got it in the goal. They were excited!
It was a super fun day! Can't wait until we meet again next Friday!
Have a great weekend! :-)