Teacher's Journal

Classroom Connections: STEM Sugar Cube Dog Houses

  Personally, I have always had a difficult time integrating math into my Iditarod unit of study. As a 3rd grade teacher I am usually busy preparing my students for THE tests (for 3rd grade reading and math). However, after the race has concluded, my students are in need of something that is more project-based …

Voices of the Volunteers: Jeff Schultz

  This is the first in a series of new posts entitled “Voices of the Volunteers”. For those who have followed the race for a long time already know, the Iditarod would not even be possible without the help of the volunteers. Therefore, I have decided to do this piece as an homage to all …

Misconceptions and More: The Start of the Race

  Continuing one of my themes from last year, I wanted to start this year by looking deeper at the start of the race. The premise of this post actually brings to mind 2 separate misconceptions about the Last Great Race. The first one being why the race was started. Many think that the Iditarod …

Moments with Mushers: What’s Important for People to Know…

  For me, Interviewing the mushers was one of the greatest highlights of the past year. Talking to these great men and women and hearing their take on the race and sport they love so much was surreal, and the depth and breadth of their responses made it even more incredible. Next year I look …

Classroom Connections: Iditarod Encyclopedia

  I always try to wrap up our study of the Iditarod with a fun activity where the students can really showcase their knowledge they have gained. In this Iditarod Encyclopedia lesson, the students complete a summative writing assessment using the information they’ve learned throughout their study of the Iditarod. The best part is, that …

2020 Teacher on the Trail Kelly Villar’s Most Memorable Moments

The Iditarod Trail in 2020 was definitely different from years past.  Covid was making its way across the country, and the world was quickly shutting down, but not the Iditarod!  I admire the strength and the stability the Iditarod had during this time of unknown.  In true Iditarod fashion, we used our 8 traits of …

Moments with Mushers: Who Do You Look Up To?

  The month of May has finally arrived. For me, this month marks the end of the school year, but begins with the celebration of Mother’s Day, Principal’s Day, Nurses Week, and Teacher Appreciation Week. These events provide time to thank those who help and support us in the schools, and maybe even some of …

Classroom Connections: Coding the Trail with Ozobots

  This is one of my favorite new lessons that I have added to my Iditarod interdisciplinary unit. Programming and coding are two skills that have become much more prevalent in the world of education, and students’ skills with technology are beginning at earlier stages in their development. Adding coding as a part of our …

Moments with Mushers: Funniest Moments

  With April Fool’s day occurring at the beginning of the month, I thought it would be a perfect time to ask some mushers about their funniest moments on the trail. I have heard multiple stories about hallucinations and sleep deprivation, but interestingly enough, none of the mushers talked about any of those kinds of …

Classroom Connections: Student Trail Reporters

  With all the technology we’ve used this year, I was presented with the opportunity to try something new with my students. Throughout my career as an educator, I have met a number of teachers who have had their students conduct a “news update” during morning meetings for the rest of their class. I thought …