Jim Deprez 2021 Teacher on the Trail

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Wednesday, March 17th

Wednesday, March 17     As my students track the race each year, they record their musher’s location and standing in the race, as well as the dogs that remain on the trail with the team. There are always a number of questions about why the number of their dogs decrease as the race goes …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Tuesday, March 16th

Tuesday, March 16       Question of the Day: How do mushers sleep during the race?   This question actually came up in my classroom today after watching some of the mushers cross the finish line. My students noticed how exhausted the mushers looked and asked about their sleep during the race. This is …

Moments with Mushers: How the Race Has Changed

  In hindsight, this question was a really meaningful one to ask this year, given all of the changes due to Covid. I presented it to  some of the mushers over the summer, long before the route was changed to the “2021 Gold Trail Loop”. Given what we know now, I’m sure many of them …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Monday, March 15th

Monday, March 15th     Over the weekend I watched several videos of the Northern Lights that were posted on the Insider and I also took a look at some of Dave Poyzer’s amazing photos on the Iditarod Photo Gallery page https://iditarod.com/photo/.  Based on what I saw, it seems like there has been an extra …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Sunday, March 14th

Sunday, March 14th   As Martin Buser said in a recent Facebook post, the next stretch from Nikolai to Skwentna will be just like Mr. Toad’s Wild ride! There are many unknowns on the return trip, and mushers need to be prepared for anything.  Here are the current standings (according to the Iditarod GPS tracker) …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Saturday, March 13th

Saturday, March 13th Since it’s the weekend and all of my students are home, the trail reporting will look a little different for the next two days. Instead of video reports from my students, I will be typing up some of the most recent developments in the race. However, on Monday we will go back …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Friday, March 12th

Friday, March 12th     Who is winning? This is probably the most common question and one that I get every day, usually as soon as the students walk in the door. For my third graders, it makes the most sense to use the GPS and updated standings on the Insider to determine who is …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Thursday, March 11th

Thursday, March 11th     As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about Iditarod vocabulary and terminology, another common point of confusion for my students comes with some of the more common language used throughout the race. We have had many class discussions about different homonyms like the bib “draw” and “scratching”. No, mushers do not …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Wednesday, March 10th

Wednesday, March 10th     There is always a big learning curve with regards to the vocabulary associated with the Iditarod. The quantity alone of race-related terminology can be overwhelming, not to mention the added challenge of pronouncing the names of certain checkpoints and even some of the mushers themselves! In my classroom, we always …

49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Tuesday, March 9th

Tuesday, March 9th     Every year I read the stories of Balto and Togo to my students in order to introduce them to the sport of mushing and the history of the Iditarod trail. The picture that both stories paint of the blizzard is so powerful that it always seems to stick with the …