Annie Kelley, a 4th grade teacher at Saint Andrew School in Chicago, IL, is the 2017 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™.
Iditarod’s educational department is proud to welcome Annie to the team of educators who strive to help teachers use cutting edge technology and Iditarod lessons with their students so the students may achieve academic success through Iditarod based curriculum.
Annie has been teaching and using the Iditarod for the past eight years. Her classroom techniques are fine tuned to helping all students be successful through a journey of educational lessons and activities that use Iditarod as a teaching theme. Step into her classroom ‘online’ now and join Annie throughout the months ahead.
Annie began her teaching career in 2009 after receiving her B.S. in Middle Childhood Education with concentrations in math and social studies from the University of Dayton. She also graduate from Loyola University Chicago this past May with her masters in Pastoral Studies with a focus in religious education.
Annie was first introduced to the Iditarod during her student teaching placement in Riverside, OH. A teacher on her team used the Iditarod to motivate students and teach various writing skills. When Annie had her own classroom the following year, she was looking for an exciting teaching tool during the first week of March. She thought of the Iditarod.
Since March 2010 the Iditarod has become a staple in Annie’s classroom, and the unit has grown year after year. In May 2012, musher Pat Moon surprised the 4th graders of Saint Andrew School after receiving a letter from one of Annie’s students. After Pat’s first visit, the Iditarod has exploded in her room. It is now taught year round.
The Iditarod can be seen in math, language arts, and social studies in Annie’s classroom. From weekly math stations that integrate Iditarod themes, to student blog posts in language arts, the Iditarod is a constant theme throughout the year. The culminating event is a day in late March in which students partake in the Jr. ChIditarod at the Chicago lakefront. The day is the ultimate cross-curricular event which includes lessons in math, science, language arts, social studies, art, and music. The ChIditarod concludes with awards at the annual “musher banquet”.
Annie has loved using the Iditarod in her classroom. It has led to many personal adventures in her life including trips across the country, including kayaking in the Pacific Northwest, camping and hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, and a month long journey to Alaska in 2015.
This past June, Annie attended the 2016 Summer Camp for Educators and shared her love of teaching, energy for ‘running’, deep insight on teaching and learning, and her aspirations for the upcoming school year. Attendees at summer camp got a glimpse of the facilitation Annie will provide to educators and the lessons she will be providing to educators around the world who visit and follow the Iditarod Teacher on the Trail online projects.
Annie, along with Linda Fenton, 2013 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ and Diane Johnson, Director of Education for Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, attended the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teacher Academy in Pittsburg, PA. The focus of this conference was to gain additional knowledge in the creation of Iditarod STEM related lessons that will be added to the Iditarod Education Portal and to strengthen STEM presentations at the 2017 Winter Conference for Educators as well as future events.
During the 2016 – 2017 school year, Annie will lead educators in an exciting educational adventure sharing curriculum lessons for classrooms around the world. During the 2017 race, Annie will travel down the historic Iditarod Trail and bring the race to life for thousands of students and teachers around the globe as she shares her observations and lessons ideas.
An exciting aspect of this year’s race coverage will include the continuation of last year’s Skype in the Classroom project which was facilitated by Laura Wright, 2016 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™. More information on this project is soon to follow! If you don’t have a Skype account set up now, don’t delay! Additional information will soon be announced!
Educators, you are invited! Make a difference in the classroom this year by working with Annie and bringing the best education experience to your students through real time adventure learning.