Hi Walter!

My students and I are having a ball!!! Every day when they come to my class ( I teach middle school and have 90 minute classes), they immediately go to the computer and check where their musher is. The boys picked Doug and the girls picked Dee Dee so it is a constant battle to see who has left each checkpoint. I bought the girls Dee Dee bracelets and we all wear them proudly.

Thanks for all your hard work!

Jackie Otto
Participating 7th Grade Teacher


Hi, Walter! I am helping to coordinate this project for my daughter's third grade class. We are in Indiana and this is our first year doing the eIditarod.   The class is very excited about this project.  They had a great time making the wall map.  We have made sleds and are going to make dogs to go with them.  

I love all of the great ideas and progects everyone has posted.  This is such a great learning experience for both the kids and teachers!

Shannon Vierling
Participating Project Coordinator


Hello Walter,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you very much for all of your hard work in making my first Iditarod experience a terrific one! I had no idea exactly what I was getting into when I signed up last November. I knew it was going to be a huge learning curve for me. My students and I grew tremendously. I was able to connect this project into every part of my curriculum.

The exciting part was to observe my students who were so motivated about it all. They really were able to "feel" like they were there through the emails. Checking the status of our mushers was always a thrill. We did it at least 3 times during the day and I had students self tracking on the weekends too. Seeing themselves along with their map on line was super as well. Thank you for posting their projects too. They felt so proud.

This whole experience has made a difference for myself as well as my students. They will remember it for a lifetime! I am looking forward to next year already.

Joan Conklin
Participating Grade 2/3 Teacher


Walter,

Here in Fairbanks, Alaska, we have an event called "Mush for Kids". We attended and were excited to meet Jeff King, Ramy Brooks and Bill Cotter!! They signed autographs and posed for pictures. I am happy to see my kids look up to them. They represent hard work, determination and a winning attitude. They are great examples and role models, unlike some people in the spotlight that don't deserve our kids' admiration.

Thank you for including us in this project after the registration date. This was our fourth Winter here and the first time we got into the spirit of the Iditarod. This past weekend the kids were even excited to see the Balto statue on Fourth Avenue, in Anchorage, where the race starts. It has put them in-touch with Alaska in a new way. I can't thank you enough!

Sincerely,

Lorinda Barnes
Participating Homeschool Teacher


Hi, Walter! I just wanted to thank you for providing us with such a great project. We couldn't wait to track our mushers everyday. A parent of one of my children bought each child in the classroom their own stuffed husky dog - which they named - and had with them everyday. The technology director stopped in my classroom one day to check out what the children were doing with the Iditarod project and site, and thought it was great! When I asked the children what they thought of this project they said it was, "Awesome"!

Thanks again!

Linda Smith
Participating Second Grade Teacher


Hi Walter;

Just writing to let you know how much fun my class is having with this project! We have "pumped" it up for the last month, and now they are reaping the rewards. I involved the families, too. I have passed on websites and all the information to them so they can follow the race at home. A few children were late for school this morning because they were getting the latest update off iditarod.com!!!! How can I be upset with that kind of learning?

We have taken the entire project and integrated it through everything. Today was the first day of school since the race began, so we just started tying it all together. The kids had more fun in math because they charted the weather and daylight from Zuma's Paw Prints. They are keeping a daily journal along with this information. It leads into all kinds of topics of science, etc...

We check our email and the websites three times a day. The kids screamed aloud when they saw that their musher, Martin Buser, was in the lead coming out of Finger Lake. They can't wait to see what will happen tomorrow. Thank you for this wonderful project. I am having more fun than I thought I would! The possibilities for learning are endless!

Karen Edge
Participating First Grade Teacher


Dear Walter,

Another year and another exciting race! Thank you so much for all you do to help us to provide a wonderful learning experience using technology. My students loved the unit! We hope to have some follow-up after our Spring Break as Karen Ramstead often comes to Calgary to visit family and may be able to drop by our school. We also have a contact with a veterinarian who works on the Yukon Quest - so the learning continues! My teaching partner and I look forward again to following the race with you next year.

Thanks again!

Joan Sveen
Participating Sixth Grade Teacher


Dear Walter,

Our lower school has Iditarod Fever. I have also passed it to many in the outside world. Daily, and often more than once, we moved the sleds of the mushers we were following. During recess my lower school lab has been packed with students checking on their musher's whereabouts. I was successful in snagging 2 teachers into the WEB!

Thank you.

Heidi York
Participating Technology Resource Teacher


Walter,

What a great adventure for my students and me. Having spent 16 summers in Alaska, it was fun for me to share some of my Alaska stories with my students including a bulletin board located in the hallway with many of my photos.

Each morning my students eagerly logged onto computers to check the race progress of their chosen mushers. They then moved a push pin with the musher's name along the Iditarod map on a class bulletin board. Each table group had chosen a musher as well as a class pick, Doug Swingley.

We were impressed with the internet coverage of the race, had fun watching the rookies as well as the veterans. There was a big cheer from the class as the final musher made it to Nome. There is so much more that could be done with this project, but I'm glad we put as much effort in as we could this first year. We'll be back in 2003!

Sally Wells
Particpating Middle School Teacher


Walter,

My Kids are so excited! Over February break we had a Musher and dog team come to a vacation camp and the kids really got into it! They asked a lot of questions! 30 of my kids participated and 30 from another school not following the iditarod were there. Go Dee Dee!!

Kim Bolduc
Participating Elementary Teacher


Hi Walter,

We're in the process of writing our letter to Ramy Brooks. This has been such a super experience for us!! It combined language arts, reading, math and art -- talk about teaching across the curriculum!! We're just finishing up the booklets that the kids made in which they all did some type of research. We're now looking forward to playing "Iditarod Millionaire" -- the kids are reading and studying up on all their Iditarod facts.

Thanks for giving us this wonderful opportunity to combine so many facets of research and learning in so many different subject areas! We're already talking about what we're going to do for the Iditarod next year. Thanks again!

Joyce Wells
Participating Elementary Teacher


Walter,

After the great experience with the eIditarod, I tried another one this Spring. Yuck. I also did the Jason project for the first time this year and got so much out of that. I learned a lot about using Internet through the three projects with the class. The support through the eIditarod teacher listserv and your quick email responses plus the activities at the site made your project very enjoyable and educational for the kids.

Sincerely,

Julie Fryman
Participating Elementary Teacher


Dear Walter,

The end of school has arrived.....and we are STILL talking about the eIditarod! This was our 2nd year of following the race, and we thoroughly enjoyed every day of it. A LOT of parents learned about it for the very first time. Thank you so much for all of your work. Our only wish is that the media in the lower states would pick up on it, and tell us more about what is going on at the time. We feel it is as important as car races, and we sure hear plenty about that!

Rochelle Imboden
Particpating Elementary Teacher


Hey Walter! My culminating activity was for my class to send Zuma pizzas (her favorite food) in the shape of dog bones which I accomplished last week. I also plan to have my students write Rick Swenson (their musher) congratulation letters for finishing in the top 10. In addition, I have a penpal exchange with a class in Anchorage. One the student's is the nephew of the winner. He's going to the class to speak next week so the teacher will send us photos.

So we're doing lots of unit end activities. But as one of my student's said last Fri., "I sure wish it wasn't over" Thanks for another fun & educational race!

Bev Resh
Participating Second Grade Teacher


Hello Walter,

Thanks for all of your efforts through the Iditarod race.  The experience for my students was truly awesome.  All of the work you did to help set my class up was much appreciated.  The extra energy and activities you provided for the students and myself ensured a maximum learning opportunity. The additional hours you put in, posting the projects, maps, etc. was so motivational!  

It was really funny this year to watch one of my students who stayed in my class a second year.  The class voted to cheer for Rick Swensen and Aaron Peck, however, this student was cheering for Alyi Zirkle, because that is who we cheered for last year.  Of course, Alyi finished ahead of Aaron so she had the last laugh.  As well, my students from last year stopped me in the hall and asked me about the race.  They wished that their teacher from this year would follow the mushers. I had students cut out news clippings of the race and follow the mushers on the weekends simply because of their high interest.

Thanks as well for always being at the other end of my emails.  Even through my computers glitches, you were always positive.

Thanks for everything and I am already looking forward to doing it all again next year. Until then . . . enjoy a much deserved break.

Michelle Askew
Participating Third Grade Teacher