Yahoo! Both teams now
have less than 1,000 miles left on this Route 66 challenge!
The 5th graders only have 998 miles to go before reaching
the finish line, and the 4th graders are down to only 867½
miles left on this virtual trek. Currently, the 4th grade is
leading the 5th grade by 130½
miles. However, there are still 17 weeks remaining before
summer vacation, so the 5th graders have time to chip away
at the 4th graders' lead.
Currently, for the 4th graders to complete Route 66 by the
end of the school year they need to average 51 miles per
week. For the 5th graders to finish before heading off for
summer vacation, they need to average 59 miles per week. So,
the 5th graders need to log 8 miles more than the 4th
graders each week.
All combined, there are 84 students in both the 4th and 5th
grade classes. When looking at the total mileage that
both classes have covered so far since September, the 84
kids have completed a total of 2,690 miles - which averages
out to be 32 miles per student (which is 6 miles farther
than a marathon)! That's pretty impressive for 5 months of
running and walking. The students can be proud of what
they've accomplished so far this school year!
With any virtual trek of this distance there's always a
bunch of different emotions that can be experienced.
Sometimes the kids enjoy running or walking to add
distance... some days they couldn't care less about it.
Sometimes frustration can set in due to being behind the
leading team, or feeling bummed out because of how much
remains. Anger, joy, confusion, silliness and more can be
felt... depending on the day and how things are going in the
trek. It's important for each student to keep in mind that
every single step that every person takes adds to their
team's progress of covering the entire Route 66. Some days
there will be kids who just don't give their full effort,
and other kids will need to try and make up for that
person's lack of enthusiasm and effort. That's what happens
when you're on a team. Not everyone will always give 100% of
their effort. There will be those who, for one reason or
another, decide that they're not going to do their best.
Regardless, you have to think about the "team" and the fact
that there are others on the journey who want to succeed.
There's a lot to be learned in a virtual trek... not just
learning about places along the way or historical facts.
There's learning about how to work together toward a goal.
For a class to complete the entire 2,278 miles of Route 66
in a 9-month school year takes a strong effort by everyone.
When it's all over each student will want to feel the
satisfaction of knowing that he or she gave their best
effort for the team to make it to the finish line.
Hopefully, all of the Russell runners and walkers will
So, where are the teams at right now? Well, the leading 4th
graders are currently in Rio Puerco, New Mexico - about 30
miles west of Albuquerque. Rio Puerco sits at 5,052 feet in
elevation, which is nearly one mile above sea level. Much of
the landscape around Rio Puerco is volcanic in origin. The
Rio Puerco valley has about 50 volcanic necks. A "volcanic
neck" is a cylindrical-shaped landform standing above the
surface created by magma solidifying in the vent of a
volcano. Erosion of the sides of the volcano exposes the
neck, as the picture to the left shows. Also, the Rio Puerco
valley is home to more than 10,000 archeological sites. The
next town is about 30 miles away (Laguna, New Mexico), which
is in the Laguna Indian Reservation.
The 5th grade class is currently in the middle of nowhere
New Mexico. They are actually 12 miles east of the city of
Santa Rosa in the high and dry countryside of New Mexico. If
they were to leave their current position on Route 66 and
take Highway 4F about 2 miles south they would find a tiny
village called Milagro - a place of about 400 people.
Believe it or not, the tiny village of Mialgro had a movie
made about it in 1988 by Director Robert Redford. The movie
was called The Milagro Beanfield War and was about a
guy who wanted to build a large resort in this tiny location
and how the people of the area were against it. The 5th
graders will soon be arriving in the big city of
Albuquerque... which is home to over half a million people!
The kids keep running and walking and we keep moving them on
our Route 66 virtual trek map. They're getting closer to the
ocean each day and in a few months they'll be virtually
hearing the seagulls at the Santa Monica pier!
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