The 2018 Iditarod Conference for Educators
“*Make Sense of Problems and Persevere in Solving Them”
Iditarod Educational Learning Projects connect a real event, in real time- to content learning by providing experiential, project based, place based, standards aligned/common core aligned, and 21st century technology rich learning projects that focus on best practices of education and enhance curriculum areas of literacy, science, math, and other content areas. (STEM strong!) These technology based projects put rigor in your curriculum, enhance classroom instruction, and inspire students to read more, write more, solve more mathematical and scientific problems while involved in technology based and experience enriched lessons. Iditarod Educatonal Learning Projects are standards based, common core aligned, motivational, and a key to academic success. Join us at the conference to learn more about using Iditarod in the classroom and experience first hand this motivational teaching tool. (*Mathematics Common Core: Standard #1 – CCSS.Math.Practice.MP1)
Event Location: Anchorage: (tba) A pre-conference reception will be held February 26 at 7:00 PM at the conference location.
*Special bonus: The 2018 Iditarod starts on March 3 in Anchorage and Restarts on March 4 in Willow. Make your plans to stay for those events! We can provide you information on how you as an attendee of our conference, can sign up to volunteer at the start or the restart of the race. This provides attendees with an opportunity to be involved in Service Learning projects. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. We suggest if you are flying to Alaska for our conference that you book your itinerary to arrive by 5:00 PM on Monday, February 26 to attend our 7:00 PM pre-conference reception and if at all possible, your departure late Sunday evening, March 4 or on Monday, March 5 to allow time for you to attend the Restart.
This conference is created for educators of students in all grade levels and disciplines. Administrators are welcome to attend.
“Make Sense of Problems and Persevere in Solving Them”
Our overall conference theme, based on mathematics common core standard 1, sets the stage for educators to gain information on helping to meet this and other standards to provide enrichment and rigor to lessons in order to guide students to greater academic success. Students must discover multiple ways to solve problems, be flexible to change gears and try a different method to solve problems, and ‘stick to it’ to solve problems and reach goals. In a sense, that’s what the Iditarod mushers are doing as they set goals, problem solve, and journey from Anchorage to Nome. This common thread… is the environment for success, academically for students….. and for the mushers, is just so similar!
Quick Summary of Conference Schedule (A more detailed schedule will be posted in February.)
Monday: February 26, 2018: Pre Conference Social – Host: Education Sponsor, ExxonMobil, 7:00 PM, location to be announced soon.
- Plan on arriving in Alaska in time to join us for this event. We’ll be stepping on the runners of the sled together at this meet, greet, and share our goals for the week to come. This will start us off on the week’s adventure! Special Honored Guest; “Finn
Tuesday: February 27, 2018: Get in the Sled with us! Integrate the Last Great Race on Earth into Your Existing Curriculum.
- Speakers and sessions will provide attendees with examples of lessons and activities for classroom use with a focus on STEM and applicable to common core and content standards. Among the speakers will be the educators who have been selected as finalists for 2019 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ and other presenters who are experts in delivering Iditarod instructional materials to students. A focus on authentic learning techniques, technology, and STEM instruction are key elements of this day.
- Evening (late afternoon) session will be a field trip to the Official Artist for Iditarod, Jon Van Zyle’s home and gallery. He and his wife, Jona, will introduce us to their kennel dogs and share a behind the scenes look at their life and their colorful – artistic history; Jon having raced in two early Iditarod races, has been the Official Artist for Iditarod since 1979.
Wednesday: February 28, 2018: Get on the Bus! Site Based, Project Based, Experiential Learning
- This is our field trip day. We will be visiting Iditarod Headquarters in the morning, enjoying a delicious lunch, and visiting a musher’s kennel in the afternoon. We’ll leave at 7:45 and return around 5:00 pm.
- At Iditarod Headquarters, attendees will observe the work day of the team of Iditarod veterinarians who are in the process of examining the dogs who will be racing. Each dog must pass medical exams and be pronounced fit for the trail. The veterinarians will be conducting physical exams, recording data, and visiting with mushers. We’ll be stepping into a serious work environment to gain the opportunity to better understand the focus on dog care before, during, and after the race. Attendees will be able to observe the examinations – temperatures being taken, urine collected, and other details examined, photograph or video record for instructional purposes back in the classroom, and ask questions about the science behind the true athletes who run this race — the Iditarod sled dogs.
- At the musher’s kennel, attendees will have the opportunity get a behind the scenes look at a working – racing dog kennel. The culture of the life of a musher will easily be observed and better understood after this visit. Not to mention, most likely attendees will get an opportunity to meet any puppies that are at the kennel.
- Attendees are encouraged to bring their devices (Smart phones/tablets) and to communicate with their classrooms if possible while on this field trip. We’ll provide attendees more information about this in February.
- A list of optional evening activities that you may wish to choose from will be provided to attendees.
Thursday: March 1, 2018: Get on the Runners with Applicable Lessons, Projects, and Activities for You Students
Location: (TBA) Anchorage
Speakers will include educators who are experts in using Iditarod as a classroom tool to deliver Iditarod based curriculum to students in k-12 classrooms. There will be both break out sessions and general sessions with a focus on what we call: SLED: STEM, Literacy, Experiential Learning, and Differentiated Instruction.
Friday: March 2, 2018: Theme: Behind the Scenes of “The Last Great Race on Earth®”
Location: Lakefront Anchorage, a Millennium Hotel
- This day is designed to deliver information on the race, Alaska, and the icons that have played an important role in 45 years of Iditarod. Location: Lakefront Hotel. There will be 4 speakers scheduled this day for attendees. and the sessions will be open to the public for a cost of $20 per speaker. In addition, there will be 2 sessions for the conference attendees which will be small group break out sessions for collaboration, goal setting, and accountability of instruction.
Information about Meals:
Tuesday, Thursday – Light breakfast and lunch will be provided. A ticket to the Musher Banquet Thursday night will be included for all 4 day attendees. Additional tickets for family members or attendees will be available for purchase through conference registrations. (Contact djoh email@example.com, or call 605.290.3423 for information)
Wednesday – Lunch will be provided
Friday – Lunch will be provided
Quick Facts About Attending the Teacher Conference
1. If you are not from Alaska, book a flight to Anchorage. Plan to arrive by 5:00 PM on Monday so you can attend the Pre Conference Social which begins at 7:00 PM. The Start of the Iditarod will be on Saturday, March 3 and the Restart will be on Sunday, March 4, in Willow. If your schedule permits, plan to stay in Alaska to attend both of these events for the maximum Iditarod experience. Contact us if you have questions about your departure or arrival times. (*We will sell shuttle bus tickets at the conference to those wishing to attend the Restart. ($20) The shuttle will leave and return to the conference hotel. Time to be announced at a later date. See below for more information.)
2. Upon arrival at the airport in Anchorage, take a taxi to the Hotel or other location for your lodging.
3. Attending the Iditarod Musher Drawing Banquet: Your banquet ticket is included in the 4 day conference fee. Dress is casual. The banquet is held at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center. The conference hotel is a short walk to the Dena’ina Civic Convention Center. Most attendees walk to the banquet. Tickets for the banquet will be handed out on Thursday afternoon of the conference.
4. Attending the start of the Iditarod: The race begins in downtown Anchorage. The starting line is a short walking distance from our conference hotel. Plan to get up early and get on the street to meet mushers, handlers, and dogs! Dog trucks start arriving around sunrise.
5. Attending the restart of the race at Willow, Alaska: A shuttle bus will depart from the Conference Hotel and take you to the restart and bring you back to the Hotel There will be a $20 shuttle bus fee for the shuttle bus. Since parking in Willow is very limited and traffic is heavy, this is your best and only option for attending the restart of the race. The $20 fee will be collected at the teacher conference and cannot paid in advance when attendees register. Plan to ride the shuttle to the Restart of the race. Times and details will be announced when registration materials are collected.
6. What to wear: Dress is casual for all events. For outdoor events, ‘winter’ dress is necessary: gloves/mittens, hat that can cover your ears and keep you warm, winter coat, *optional – winter pants/snow pants, winter boots are a must!.
7. What to bring to Alaska: In addition to your clothing and personal items, we remind you to bring your camera, of course we recognize many of you have smart phones, but sometimes a camera is also great to have along. Bring your devices! Most teachers also bring their laptop, ipad, or other technology tools they normally use. Your cell phone will generally work in Alaska, but check with your personal cell phone service prior to going to Alaska. Internet is available at the Hilton, Race Headquarters – , The Lakefront Anchorage, A Millennium Hotel, and other places, however if you have a personal Wifi hotspot, you might consider bringing that with you. There are places we may travel that you’ll find Internet and/or cell service may be spotty due to the nature of your location and other factors. Bring your devices! Plan to use them!
Most attendees conduct Skype calls or Facetime to their classroom while they are in Alaska. When doing so, we suggest you work with Jen Reiter, 2014 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™, our Iditarod Skype in the classroom expert. She is an expert in using Skype in your local classrooms and in Alaska. She’s got tips and ideas for you to use Skype and to create/maintain blogs for your classroom to view to and follow you while you are in Alaska. Contact Jen for details.
8. Attendees can opt to take up to four credits from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Please note, our conference schedule is designed to meet the hours in attendance necessary to be eligible to receive credits. We therefore must ensure attendees are in sessions a minimum number of hours as required in order for us to provide this option of university credits. Our days are long, jam packed with options, and designed to provide every attendee with maximum information and attention from our staff regardless of whether they are taking the university credits or not. Attendees not in attendance for the required 4 days, and wishing to take the UAA credits must attend make up sessions and complete homework assignments in order to obtain the university credits. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. Attendees not taking the conference for UAA credit are free to limit sessions they attend or opt out of the Tuesday evening field trip, however those taking the UAA credit, must attend all sessions on Tuesday – Friday. The additional fee to UAA for University credits is about $100 per credit. The conference fee for all attendees is the same, with the additional cost for university credits collected at the conference when registration materials are collected.