Isanti Middle School students begin their own Summer Olympics

Just as the Summer 2012 Olympics take place, summer school students at Isanti Middle School will compete in their own version of the games.

Gabby Georgecopoulos, left, and Mackenzi Carnahan from Team Compassion display their team banner during the Opening Ceremony of the Isanti Middle School Summer Olympics on Thursday, July 26. Photos by Elizabeth Sias

Gabby Georgecopoulos, left, and Mackenzi Carnahan from Team Compassion display their team banner during the Opening Ceremony of the Isanti Middle School Summer Olympics on Thursday, July 26.-Photos by Elizabeth Sias

On Thursday, July 16, students and staff presented the IMS Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The teams—self-discipline, honesty, respect, compassion and responsibility—represent the school’s character traits, with students going into sixth, seventh and eighth grade participating.

Katie Casey, IMS reading teacher and summer school coordinator, said each year a theme is chosen and teachers plan math, reading and science curriculum around it. Last year the theme was space travel and NASA, and this year it’s the Olympics.

Ms. Ruth Oliver and Caylor Barrows hold up yardsticks for students to bounce a ball through the hoop. Alexis Iglesias, right, watches as the ball successfully makes it through the hoop.

Ms. Ruth Oliver and Caylor Barrows hold up yardsticks for students to bounce a ball through the hoop. Alexis Iglesias, right, watches as the ball successfully makes it through the hoop.

“The teachers of the summer school program thought it would be a relevant theme to engage our students,” Casey said.

During the opening ceremony, the teams walked in with their team T-shirts and decorated banners, lit the “torch” and presented their unique team chant, song or dance.

Each team planned a “Minute to Win It” type of game for the competition. Students from each team demonstrated the games in which the kids will compete throughout the next four weeks of their Olympics.

One of them involved stacking cups in a pyramid, another student balanced dice on a Popsicle stick propped in his mouth, while another team held up yardsticks in a square and had other teammates bounce a ball through the hoop formation.

Students will earn points for their team by participating in the Olympic games, and by returning signed permission forms.

On Thursday, parents and guardians who attended the opening ceremony earned one point each for their child’s team.

The points will go toward each team’s total, and at the end of the IMS Summer Olympics, the team with the most points will earn gold ribbons, second place will earn silver ribbons and third place will earn bronze ribbons.

Shane Hoskins kicks a ball into a goalpost, earning his team points.

Shane Hoskins kicks a ball into a goalpost, earning his team points.

Finally, in the first point-earning game, one student from each team kicked a ball into a goalpost as many times as he or she could in 45 seconds, with each successful goal earning one point.

“We want to make students aware that our district character traits—compassion, respect, responsibility, self-discipline and honesty—are not only used in school but relate to real world life,” Casey said. “When students can see what they learn in school can transfer to everyday life, they see the connection and they get excited. When they see those same traits in the Olympic athletes, it takes it even further.”

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