Today … We Play … Quidditch

Atomic Blur 2011
For my students, today is one of those days they have been waiting for since kindergarten. Today, our sixth grade takes part in the Quidditch Championship, in which all four classes square off against each other on the gym floor for our version of the magical game (the video tutorial is here). It may be no surprise in how invested my kids are in this event, which consumes the entire school for the day (other grades come to watch the games underway, cheer for teams, make signs and posters, dance during intermission, etc.)

My job as the teacher, and coach, is to keep my students positive (even if we lose), foster good collaboration and communication amongst our class, remind them of the balance between wanting to win and being a gracious loser, and working hard. Some years, that is all harder than others. Not this year. Not with this class. They have been wonderful — supporting each other, very little complaining, coming together as a single team instead of 21 individual students.

I can’t say it is all roses. One student is missing a substantial part of the day because of consistent behavior difficulties. We’ve tried to work with this student all year, but impulsiveness is their downfall right now, despite multiple warnings and smaller consequences other than losing Quidditch. Which is too bad. For a student like this one, Quidditch is the kind of event they can thrive and excel at. But in the end, logical consequences had to come into play.

Our team name is Atomic Blur and as you can see by the picture, they have been working hard at developing posters that now hang in the gym for today’s events. We’re the blue team. Yesterday, my class chose a theme song for the team. Appropriately enough, it by the band Blur. The song — Song 2 — will be playing when they enter the gym for each of the games. Whoohoo ….

Wish us luck. We’re going to have noisy, chaotic fun today.

Peace (in the blur),

Quidditch: the game we play

I am following with interest the various news articles about the upcoming collegiate Quidditch World Cup this coming weekend (46 teams?), mainly because our elementary school has been playing a version of Quidditch for the past ten years. The college version is quite different than ours, and I have to say, I think I like our version better.

I noticed the other day that our Quidditch tutorial video that we made two years ago got more than 200 hits on a single day last week, which makes me think that there must have been a link posted somewhere out there.

Here is how you play OUR brand of Quidditch:

Playing the game of Quidditch from Mr. Hodgson on Vimeo.

Peace (with the snitch),

Ice Ice Baby: Quidditch is Coming

Tomorrow, we hold our annual Quidditch Tournament at our school, where the four sixth grade classes face off throughout the entire day (yep, all day) in a series of Quidditch matches. The kids are excited and trying to keep them focused on the classroom … a bit difficult. My team is Dry Ice and they picked their theme song to be “Ice Ice Baby,” which I realized yesterday as I was downloading it is now 20 years old. I find it funny they chose that song, which is played as they run into the gym before screaming crowds of other students and family members.

We’ve been working on art and writing around Quidditch for the past two weeks – using expository writing to explain a play on the field or descriptive writing to describe the craziness of the day of Quidditch; making t-shirts and posters for the wall; and more.

I don’t know if we will win the Quidditch Cup this year, but I do know that my class has really come together in the last few weeks in ways that they had not come together earlier in the year. That makes me a happy teacher/coach.

Peace (with the snitch),

PS — here is how we play the game:


So, you want to play Quidditch?

Yesterday, the day before our February break, we gathered all of the the sixth graders together to begin discussing Quidditch season at our school. Yes, we play Quidditch and it is both exciting (all paths lead to a sixth grade tournament in April) and frustrating (all brains seem to fixate on the tournament). The key for us teachers is to use the excitement for learning, and we do all sorts of art, writing, math and other curricular activities.

So, what is our game of Quidditch? Glad you asked. Last year, I created this video that shows the way we play our game.  And I wrote a song about Quidditch, too, called The Q Rap.

Take a listen to the song.

Take a look at the video.

Peace (on the field),

The Quidditch Rap Song

Today is the Quidditch Tournament in our school. A few years ago, I wrote a song to celebrate our game and last week, I updated it, using a music loop software for the music. Then, I made a music video. Yesterday, I had all of my students listen to it and I had all 80 of them help me sing the chorus. Yeah — it was messy, but messy fun.

Here is the video and then below, you can listen to the song with my students singing the chorus:

Listen to the Q Rap with Students

Peace (in flying snitches),

Quidditch Artwork and Student Imagination

I shared this over at PhotoFridays (a day late) but this is a photo collage of some of the artwork being done by my students for our upcoming Quidditch Tournament (in two weeks!). I love how it all looks together.

My motto for our team: Riptide — a force that you can’t resist.

Peace (in art),


How the College Kids Play Quidditch

As some of you know, we are in full swing for Quidditch season at my elementary school. This is the eighth year that we have played a version of the Harry Potter-inspired game at our school and all four sixth grade classes will be competing in a crazy, madcap Quidditch Tournament in about three weeks. (My team won last year … not that it is about the winning, of course)

Our version of the game is a mishmash of activity, but it also stresses teamwork, cooperation and positive interaction on the field. The game was created by some students and our gym teacher.

But I guess Middlebury College has their own version and their players came to visit the local Amherst College last week. CBS News was there and did some segments on the college game for The Early Show. And I just found the video of the segments.

Let’s see if I can embed the video here:

Peace (in games and competition and magic),