How Big Is Alaska?

To further our study of the great state of Alaska, I asked my students which was bigger – Alaska or Wisconsin.  After looking at a few standard maps, they decided that Alaska was a little bigger.  When I asked how many Wisconsins would fit into Alaska, the average prediction was 2.5.  Aha!  This was going to be fun.  Next I showed them a map where Alaska and Wisconsin were the same scale.  What a difference.  It began a great discussion of map scale.  Their new predictions were closer, but still were a little low.  I had them cut out the state of Wisconsin and trace as many as they could into Alaska.  The average amount was 9 Wisconsins fitting into Alaska.  (Area wise it would be 10, so they were pretty close.)

Try this lesson with your own state.  I have maps attached that are the same scale – I’m sure you can find plenty with a different scale.

Compare Alaska Map

Meet Angie Taggart

Last February I attended the 2012 Iditarod Winter Conference for Teachers and met an amazing woman – Angie Taggart.  Angie had been a rookie musher in the 2011 Iditarod and finished in 43rd place.   The teachers at the conference felt a kinship with Angie because she’s not only a musher – she’s a teacher!   Angie taught in Ketchikan, AK for 10 years until she began training for the 2011 Iditarod.  She taught Phy. Ed. and Kindergarten, but spent most of her time teaching 2nd grade.

Due to the expense of running in the Iditarod, Angie took the 2012 race off, but will be running again in 2013. (Read her Bio here) I’ve been curious about how someone trains for the Last Great Race on Earth so I asked Angie if she would share her training schedule.  She immediately said yes. 

Currently Angie is working with 17 of her dogs.  She has 5 more, but they are working giving tours for the summer and  she should have them back by the end of the month.  A few days ago she began training her dogs with a 4-wheeler running a 7 and 4 mile run with 2 different teams.

I’ll keep you posted as she prepares her dogs and herself for the 2013 Iditarod.  Go Angie!