Author: Heidi Sloan (27 posts)


Iditarod as a Tool for Learning

Paws Along the Trail with Similes I often need to tell people that I don’t teach the Iditarod.  The Iditarod race is a tool for teaching my required curriculums of math, reading, writing, social studies, and science.  As I’ve written previously, I feel that one of a teacher’s biggest dilemmas is motivating students to want …


Story From a Handler

Paws Along the Trail with a Dog Handler Mushers often employ dog handlers at their kennels.  These people work hard keeping the dog yard clean and getting to know the dogs through feeding and watering, harnessing,  and socializing them.  Many of the Iditarod competitors were once dog handlers before trying their hand at the big race. …


Are Sled Dogs Part Wolf?

Paws Along the Trail with Wolves or Dogs? Wolves, ghosts, pumpkins…these are all things we think about on Halloween. Though I hid as a child when hearing the wolf score from “Peter and the Wolf,” now I find wolves intriguing. They are close kin with dogs, and occasionally show up along the Iditarod Trail. Some …


Around the World with the Iditarod

Paws Along the Trail with World Flags How many countries have been represented by mushers in the Iditarod?  It’s a question your geography or math students can discover! This lesson can be used as a research activity, statistical activity, world geography review, or just an extra credit project for those early finishers in your class.   …


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 …