Author: Heidi Sloan (23 posts)


Iditarod Conference, Virginia!

What a great conference we had!  Learning how to incorporate the Iditarod into STEM, primary source research, literacy, writing, math, and art was the emphasis for this incredible professional development weekend.  Jen Reiter, 2014 Teacher on the Trail™, led the educators in activities involving the history of the Iditarod Trail and working with primary sources, giving everyone strong …


Picture This!

Paws Along the Trail: making a mental Iditarod picture Do my students understand what multiplication actually represents?   For example, that 8 x 42 is 8 rows of 42, or 8 groups of 42? I want them to learn to form mental  images when they see  math symbols. Day 1 goal: give a thinking/doing problem  to establish a …


Gold and the Iditarod

 Paws Along the Trail with the Gold Rush Gold. Just hearing someone say the word creates interest and a desire to eavesdrop. The Iditarod Trail is remembered for the path it created for winter travel from the gold mines to the ports, usually by dog team.   Between the gold mines and mail carrying, dog teams …


Lhotse, the Athlete

Paws Along the Trail with Lhotse, the  Mom Dog Athlete  Shaynee Traska was all smiles and the first rookie musher to sign up for the 2018 Iditarod at Iditarod Headquarters in June. She and her husband, Jeremy, have been building their kennel of sled dogs and training toward their dream of running the Iditarod Trail. Talking with …


Adopting Copernicus

Paws Along the Trail with Adoption What happens to sled dogs when they are retired or when they just don’t have the heart for pulling? Mushers keep them or find new, loving homes for the dogs. Heidi: For two summers at Iditarod Educator’s Camp, I loved seeing Copernicus in the dog yard. He appeared to be …


Beginning the Dream

Back when I began following the Iditarod and the EDU website, I read about 2004 Teacher on the Trail™, Jeff Peterson. I remember thinking, “Wow! I would LOVE to do that!” The dream began for me, but it seemed beyond reach. As the years passed and I used the Iditarod more and more as a tool …


Dog Team Hitches and Math

Paws Along the Trail with Hitches and Math Most of us picture a dog sled team harnessed in tandem along a gangline, pulling a sled.  For the Iditarod teams, this formation keeps the dogs closer together which is good for narrow, wooded trails.  Pulling power is  concentrated.  Dog teams can also be hitched into a fan formation where the …


Are Sled Dogs Forced to Run?

Paws Along the Trail with Real News A friend recently sent me a video depicting sled dog racing in a bad light.  She asked if I had seen any of those incidents while in Alaska.  I replied with a more balanced article that showed what I have observed over the years. Recent videos on the Internet …


Students, Dogs, Character

Paws Along the Trail with Character As you get your class list, do your eyebrows go up at certain names? Do you feel a twinge of joy seeing other names? Whether we are thrilled or not, those students are our team this year. As the teacher, or musher if you will, it is our job …


Reading Corner “Drop Bags”

  Mushers are allowed to ship supplies ahead so they can replenish their “people” food, dog food,  and gear such as  boots, gloves, dog booties, and more. They may send three 50-pound “drop bags” per checkpoint. The bags are labeled with their names and A, B, or C. The bags are flown into the checkpoints and …