Working together is one of the most outstanding qualities of the Iditarod.  All these people, from all over the world working for one amazing race, one outstanding experience.  That is one thing that all of October’s lessons have in common.  We all work more productively when we work together and the results can be something to be very proud of.

The race is getting closer and my excitement is mounting.  It is never too soon to start planning the educational experience of the year!  It is still in the 80’s here in California, but I can  still dream.

This month I think I have some real treats for you.  At least these are a couple of my all time favorites.  I started doing a Living Wax Museum many years ago when I taught Junior High School History and when my assignment changed and my interest in the Iditarod grew I realized it was a perfect fit and a crowd pleaser to boot.  Check this idea out for your next Open House and you will have parents and family from the entire school lined up at your door for the fun of Heroes of the Iditarod – Wax Museum . I have included a suggested reading List for background knowledge, fact checking and just plain great reading.

My next adventure for you this month also gets the whole school involved as we experience cross-age tutoring with Trail Buddies Primary students just love the older students and don’t you find that you always learn things best when you teach about them?  Well this one hits both ends of the equation and can as hands on as you like.

The last offering I have for you this month is the research report.  So many skills come together when students write research reports.  Some of the skills we used to encourage like letter writing and interviewing for information are easily overlooked in our electronic information age, but last year I had one student create a very close bond with a docent at the Palmer House Museum during the course of her research.  Photos, gifts and letters were exchanged and my student, Katie, set in motion even more interest by other teachers in the history of the Palmer Colony.  I have included a student brainstormed topic list topics list for this project to get you started.

Still following the trail with Rookie,


Pencil Point, the next step

I have been working with Jon and Jona Van Zyle in my quest to be a better artist.  As such, I have been sending sketches of what I have planned for this year’s T shirt.  Jona had some great suggestions for me, but my immediate reaction was “I can’t do that.” I was scared to try it because I thought I might not be able to pull it off very well.  I was sunk before I started.

My motto was creeping up the back of my neck ready to give me a good whack when I remembered what this journey is all about.  “Challenge Yourself,” Blynne!  The suggestions were indeed good ones.  She encouraged me into a more complex expression of my idea, and made me reach a bit further or dig a bit deeper into myself to accomplish it.

Challenging yourself is a little scary sometimes, but it is only by taking another step out onto that limb that you are able to reach the fruit that is so satisfying.

Look below to see what kind of progress I’m making with my oak tree and a sneak peak at my ideas for the Winter Conference T shirt.

A big thanks to all those people that expect more from me!


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