Tottie to the Rescue


#sol20- May 26, 2020

We are in week 9 (I think) of online learning… Yesterday was a new adventure. A few years ago, at my previous school I introduced the Potato Olympics to grade 3 as a way to add something new and different near the end of the school year. A bit of everything- math, writing, speaking, and more! Well, this year, I was talking to my friend, Kim, who mentioned they were still doing it virtually and I was excited- I had really forgotten about it. My friend, Jamie, shared what they had done and I was off and running. I knew it was just what I wanted to do in the last week of school (next week).

I proposed it to my current team, and I have to admit it, some of them were skeptical at first. With the collaboration of a teammate- I convinced them in the end! It might be that they were willing to do almost anything and it might be that I trimmed it down to three days. My teammate started the slides and I was committed to making it all happen!

Yesterday I finally decided to start work on the teaching videos, so I had to get my potato ready. Behold, Tottie…

You might not be able to tell, but in the first picture Tottie has just successfully completed her ski jump. 114 cm is now the record to beat! In picture two she is selling her “moxie”. Commercial endorsements are how we often remember Olympians- the students will be inspired by Mary Lou Retton, Bruce Jenner, and… Tottie!

I created videos to demonstrate potato basketball, ski jumping, and weightlifting. There I was, in my apartment all alone, decorating my potato friend with old wrapping paper and washi tape (and the ever helpful black Sharpie) and designing “Olympic events” that potatoes could compete in. Then, Tottie had to do some test runs to provide mentor videos for the third graders. If only I had WordPress premium you could see the fun, but suffice it to say I totally amused myself and almost missed my team meeting, leaving the game paraphernalia strewn about.

If you are looking for a way to keep students smiling in the last days of school you may want to consider the Potato Olympics. The students do not know the details yet but are intrigued by our request to bring a potato to Monday’s Zoom. My one student who never makes it to a Zoom emailed me several times the other day asking for more information. Who knows, maybe he will join in too! In the meantime I am “hiding” a potato in my Bitmoji Virtual Classroom every day to build suspense.

Hopefully the students will have as much fun as me!

4 thoughts on “Tottie to the Rescue

  1. sallydonnelly11

    I immediately shared your link with my 3rd grade friends! Creating is such a great way to keep the energy going! This post shows the importance of enthusiasm is as a leader. Your enthusiasm nudged your co-workers. Your enthusiasm created Tottie and lots of video mentor text! I predict that your students will keep creating and will stay engaged until the last day of school, thanks to their enthusiastic teacher!

  2. dianeandlynne

    Wow! What a great idea and what a great way to keep that enthusiasm going in these final days. So creative.

  3. Denise Krebs

    Oh, Erika, I have three more weeks of school, so I hope you will write another post after you do it with your students and tell us more about it. Tottie is too cute! Thanks for a fun post!


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