When Anna Wolvers started the Academic Olympics in her Hoglan Elementary classroom last fall, she hoped her students could earn 500 medals. It was a lofty goal, but as the months went by and students continued achieving, 500 was quickly reached and surpassed.
Wolvers' students - nine in all - earned a collective 610 medals for academic achievement and celebrated with "closing ceremonies" on May 28. Medals were earned based on weekly academic progress in various areas, with gold, silver and bronze levels given based on levels of improvement on individual academic goals.
"They have worked hard and their progress scores have soared," Wolvers said.
Pictured are the top three medalists, from left: (L to R): Beyonce Corona, Cassandra Ralston and Roman Gonzalez with a cutout of 2012 Olympian and native Iowan Shawn Johnson.
Students also received medals based on positive behavior and for following ROARS (Responsible, Open-Hearted, Achievers, Respectful, Safe).
"They encouraged each other and enjoyed the competition," Wolvers said. "It helped them improve on sportsmanship and team building."
The Olympics theme was also tied to social studies lessons, learning about different regions of the U.S. and moving around like the Olympics.
During the closing ceremony Hoglan's favorite local poet, J.J. Johnson, helped present certificates to students.