Teacher's Journal

Junior Iditarod Week – The Roots of the Race

  Junior Iditarod week is upon us! The Junior Iditarod is a great event that has helped pave the way for many mushers to go on and compete in the Last Great Race. It is a place to see the up and coming mushers and is a great sneak peek into the future of the …

Junior Iditarod Week – Classroom Integration and Practice

  It’s time to start gearing up for the big race on the 6th, and practice using some of the tools that are available! A great way to practice with your students is through the Junior Iditarod race THIS WEEKEND. The Junior Iditarod has a website set-up that closely mirrors the Iditarod website www.jriditarod.com. The …

Moments with Mushers: Training the Team

  “Training”, as I have learned, begins with relationships. This month, mushers are running some shorter races and working with their teams to ensure they are ready to go by the time Iditarod rolls around in a mere few weeks. From the mushers I spoke with, all of them attested to the fact that the …

Classroom Connections: Musher Research (With a Digital Twist) – Virtual Lesson Possibility

  One of the things that I love about the Iditarod is how naturally it can be made personal for our students. Each year, the one thing that really hooks my class is assigning a musher for each one of them to follow during the race. We use the Iditarod website to learn about our …

Moments with Mushers: Equipment

  As the mushers start to get ready for the upcoming race, the task of organizing all of their supplies and equipment is beginning to take place. Much like last month’s post about their most important piece of clothing, I asked some of the mushers about their most valued piece of equipment on the trail. …

Update from the Teacher on the Trail™

  2020 was certainly a year of change, and one that nobody will forget. One of the credos of my school district is “Adapt and Adjust”, and that has never been more important than it was this year. With this in mind, I have deferred my Teacher on the Trail™ trail experience until the 2022 …

Learning in Nikolai

Paws Along the Trail with Hospitality Early this morning while mushers were traveling with their dogs through Finger Lake and Rainy Pass, I waited with a group of veterinarians, trail volunteers, communications people, media reporters, and others to jump on a plane and leave Anchorage.  We flew to the community of McGrath.  If you look …

Gold and the Iditarod

 Paws Along the Trail with the Gold Rush Gold. Just hearing someone say the word creates interest and a desire to eavesdrop. The Iditarod Trail is remembered for the path it created for winter travel from the gold mines to the ports, usually by dog team.   Between the gold mines and mail carrying, dog teams …

Dog Team Hitches and Math

Paws Along the Trail with Hitches and Math Most of us picture a dog sled team harnessed in tandem along a gangline, pulling a sled.  For the Iditarod teams, this formation keeps the dogs closer together which is good for narrow, wooded trails.  Pulling power is  concentrated.  Dog teams can also be hitched into a fan formation where the …

Misconceptions and More: Passing

  Thinking about some common misconceptions with the race, I was drawn to a parallel with this time of year. With the passing of 2020 (thankfully) and the aspirations of a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the rule of passing in the Iditarod and the misunderstandings surrounding it. NOW, with …