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4th Graders Run The Oregon Trail

Mr. Carson's 4th grade class runs every week, twice a week and track their mileage on an Oregon map. Their goal is to run the entire length of the Oregon Trail.

Posted: May 10, 2018 4:38 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 10:16 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The students in Mr. Carson's class run every week, twice a week, at least 1 mile each. They started back in January and not too long ago they got a special surprise to help them track their journey.

"When we got it some people had tears and I was kind of getting teary-eyed too because we didn't know Mr. Carson was doing this for all of us," said 4th grader, Jorgia.

Mr. Carson had put together a donation page on choosedonors.org asking for donations so that he could buy each one of his 28 students a Fitbit.

"When I set up the thing for the Fitbit I wasn’t 100% sure when it would happen or if it would happen. It happened within a week so that was great!" said Kyle Carson, a 4th grade teacher at Orchard Hills Elementary School and the organizer of the Oregon Trail Run.

Mr. Carson started out making tally marks for every student every time they completed a lap and then marking their time on his watch. Now with the new Fitbits the students are directly involved in tracking their mileage. At the end of every run they write down how many steps and miles they completed and then they map out how far they went on the Oregon trail. Each student has his own personal map of the trail with their own distances.

Mr. Carson says that the bi-weekly runs have done much more than help him teach history.

"They're learning a lot more about commitment too. We say, no matter what, if it's raining, if it's cold, if the sprinklers are on, if it's hot, we will always come out. I think it's good for them to learn that being dedicated to something and working towards a goal," he explained that for many of the students this is one of their first long-term goals they have ever set for themselves, "I think too, now with kids, everything is so instant; everything is at their fingertips. So to have something that is a six-month goal that we're constantly working towards has been really cool for them to learn and practice and see."

Now the students are excited and they look forward to the runs but at the whole idea had a bumpy start, "Once we talked about the fact that running is more about improving for yourself and it doesn’t matter how fast you go you know you can walk you can run it’s just about you getting better once we kind of learned that then it really changed for a lot of the kids," said Carson, "We also learned about encouraging each other like I said it’s not a race it’s not about who can get here first it’s about all of us trying to get better together."

Even beyond running, Mr. Carson says that he has noticed a difference in the classroom too.

"At the elementary level now so much of it is just reading and math; there's other standards but those two especially, so some of the kids, if they don’t feel successful in those two situations then they just don’t feel like they're successful at school. The fact that we’ve added the running part in and kids can be active out here and find success that way maybe rather than in other ways and allows them to connect more with school which I think is important too," explained Carson.

The class plans on finishing the trail before the end of the school year and Mr. Carson says he will definitely be incorporating this in future classes as well.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5061240

Reported Deaths: 74159
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152548627128
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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