Author: Heidi Sloan (31 posts)


Light and Arctic Fur

Paws Along the Trail with Light What arctic animal might a sled dog team encounter along the Iditarod Trail?  Moose?  Bison?  Likely.   Polar Bears?  Unlikely, yet possible along the coast.  I happened upon these Christmas ornaments in a store and was troubled by penguins paired with a Native Alaskan and a polar bear. Both …


STEM and a Robotic Paw

Paws Along the Trail with STEM Our school has an initiative to incorporate more STEM projects, creating student thinkers and problem solvers.  My latest STEM project combined sled dogs and robotics!  Students were given the task to design a robotic dog paw. To introduce the idea, students were directed step by step to create a …


Born to Run is the Main Idea

Paws Along the Trail with Dr. Jen If you get the opportunity to speak with any musher on the Iditarod, you sense their passion for dogs and the outdoors.  So many have even changed lifestyle to incorporate a simpler, work-with-your-hands way of life.  Dr. Jen Freking, wife, mother, veterinarian, and musher, talked with me about …


Thankfulness

Paws Along the Trail with Thankfulness The Thanksgiving holiday is almost here.  We often ask our students to reflect on being thankful.  Here’s what three of our 2018 Iditarod mushers said in regard to thankfulness!   “I am thankful for being able to share my childhood dream with other kids.”  -Jason Campeau       …


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 …