Curriculum

Ode to Iditarod

In honor of Valentine’s Day and the Iditarod, my students and I worked together to write a special form of poetry called an ode.  An ode is an exaggerated poem that celebrates something ordinary as extraordinary.  They are great fun to write because they use figurative language, vivid verbs, expressive language, personification, and can be …

20 Lucky Huskies

The Iditarod Summer Camp for Teachers is a remarkable opportunity to meet mushers at the volunteer picnic as they sign the dotted line and enter the Last Great Race on Earth®.   I had the pleasure of meeting rookie musher Mary Helwig that day.  I remember Mary casually mentioning to me that she had lost …

Sled Shopping with Musher Kristin Pace

Reading the actual 2016 Iditarod rules is a fascinating learning experience for any classroom teacher, and it is a very important process to understand how the Last Great Race on Earth® is successful all the way from Anchorage to Nome.   There are many interesting questions from students about the requirements for an Iditarod musher, especially the section …

Summing it All Up

We summed up our year of Iditarod fun the same way we started it… with the Quilt.  If you remember, our class hosted one of the Iditarod Travelling Quits.  You can read that original post here:  LINK To summarize our experiences, we decided to create our own quilt square to be added to a new …

Robitarod!

So this year everything I’ve touched has gone to the dogs… and that includes my Robotics Club! I work with a group of fourteen fourth and fifth graders once a week after school using Lego Mindstorms to begin to explore programing and basic robotics.  We usually spend the fall semester learning how to program and …

Giving a Hero His Due

I was recently sent a copy of a book to preview, and just today ordered a class set of them for my classroom for next year! Dog Diaries #4: Togo by Kate Klimo is a fantastic story of Togo who, according to many historians, should get the most credit for the success of the 1925 …

What Makes a Hero?

Teachers at this year’s Winter Conference for Educators had the fortune to hear Shelley Gill share some of her amazing stories of Alaska, her 1978 Iditarod run, and her work as a humpback whale researcher in Prince William Sound.  Shelley is an engaging speaker, and I have always shared her book Kiana’s Iditarod with my …

Scaling Up the Trail

Several years ago, we realized that we were never getting to the Geometry Unit that inevitably occurred at the end of the math book and therefore at the end of the school year. We decided to break up the unit into pieces and teach it periodically throughout the year. Inspired by the book Mathematical Art-O- …

As the Trail Turns

Meanwhile Back at School: Rule Number 6 deals with timing on the race: Rule 6 — Race Timing: For elapsed time purposes, the race will be a common start event. Each musher’s total elapsed time will be calculated using 2:00 p.m., Sunday March 2, 2014, as the starting time. Teams will leave the start and …

What’s an Average Leg?

Meanwhile Back at School:  This week we have been exploring mean, median, mode, and range.  This skill have been removed from the elementary curriculum by the Common Core, but for me, it’s still a great way to review the basic operations and it’s pretty essential to understand some of the data that comes out of …