Heidi Sloan 2018 Teacher on the Trail

Dropped Dogs

Paws Along the Trail with Dropped Dogs Mushers began the Iditarod race with a maximum of 16 dogs before 2019, now they start with 14.  They must end with no less than 5.  Students often are concerned about what happens to the dogs that don’t finish the race.   If a musher feels a dog …

Sled Dog Puppies

Paws Along the Trail with Puppies Musher Meredith Mapes completed her rookie Iditarod race in March 2018.  As did many mushers, Meredith parked her sled under the Burled Arch finish line and walked up the line of her dogs, petting and thanking them.  Recently, she had another event to celebrate. One of her dogs had …

Iditarod Geography

The Iditarod race crosses 1,049 miles of Alaska, so the mushers and their dogs travel through varied terrain.  This gives music teachers or classroom teachers an opportunity to teach the physical geographic features while following the Iditarod Trail!   Our school’s music teacher and I created this little chant to help students understand some of …

Warning Signs on the Iditarod

Paws Along the Trail with Warning Signs This time of year, teachers are reviewing reading and test-taking skills in anticipation or dread of the annual standardized tests.  In the midst of what can be drudgery, throw in some Iditarod articles for comprehension practice.  Motivation and engagement will soar! One reading comprehension skill that challenges our …

Dog Watcher

Paws Along the Trail and Watch Sled Dogs Spending five weeks in Alaska gave me ample opportunities to observe sled dogs.  I want to answer some questions students often ask and share some of my favorite dog photos from the Iditarod Trail! Is it hard for the mushers to get the dogs to run? Mushers …

Nenana Ice Classic

Paws Along the Trail with a River Ice Break-up Rivers flow, yet freeze throughout Alaskan winters.  Airplanes use the solid rivers as runways.  Snow machines criss cross the wide, frozen expanses.  The Iditarod mushers spend plenty of time sledding and camping on rivers as they follow the trail toward Nome.   A village on the …

Lots to Carry

Paws Along the Trail with Lots to Carry I left for Alaska on Presidents’ Day, February 19, carrying gear to last me five weeks in the cities, schools, and  bush of Alaska.  On March 5th, I pared down my gear to essentials since I had to carry it all on the Iditarod Trail.  There have …

Pilots of Alaska

Paws Along the Trail with Pilots I have had a lot to learn.  When we were driving up to the start of the Junior Iditarod in Knik a few weeks ago, I wondered how long you could drive to the checkpoints along the Iditarod Trail before you had to fly.  My mentor glanced sideways at …

Geometry, Iditarod Style

Paws Along the Trail with Geometry I have had so much fun taking photos along the Iditarod Trail!  Here are some images for geometry practice.   As you examine these photographs, perhaps you’ll see some additional geometric shapes and interesting aspects of the Iditarod!      

The Banquet

Paws Along the Trail with the Awards Banquet Tonight all of the mushers, many volunteers, Iditarod staff, and fans gathered in a large gym in Nome for the Awards Banquet.  The food was spectacular and many people left the buffet line with multiple full plates.  Mushers may need to regain weight.  Tim Muto, during his …