The Camanche Middle School Trail

Life is a journey, not a destination; there are no mistakes, just chances we've taken. -India Arie

Life is a journey, not a destination; there are no mistakes, just chances we’ve taken. -India Arie

I teach at the Camanche Middle School in Camanche, Iowa.  Our class is on a journey, thus, the Camanche Middle School Trail.  This article will provide you with ideas on how to create your own trail.

I have wanted a trail map on my wall for a while now.  This year it is happening.  My last class of the day is MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support).  This class is designed to enhance student learning.  The project we are currently working on in this class is creating a map of the Iditarod trail on one of the walls in my classroom while documenting our journey via social media.

Photo Aug 19, 2 58 29 PMWe started measuring the distance in miles of the trail.  We used this year’s route, the southern route.  After we determined the mileage, 1093 miles, we measured the wall we would be using, 29 feet.  Our next step was to figure out how many miles would represent an inch on the wall.  The class agreed that 1 inch would represent 3 miles.  I took their word for it.  That would work if the trail was just east to west, but the trail goes north at some points.  The kids didn’t realize our mistake until about Rainy Pass and the ceiling got in the way.  We used this as a great opportunity to learn from our mistakes.  We talked about what we did wrong and what we should have done.  We decided to keep going from where we were and just modify the trail a little and make it unique to our classroom.

The students have been put in groups with specific jobs to work on each day.  Below are the jobs and their descriptions.

Photo Aug 19, 2 54 49 PMMeasurer – this group finds out the distance between checkpoints.  They figure how many inches to measure on the wall and then mark a dot on the wall.

Wall writer – this group writes the checkpoint name on the wall and connects each checkpoint.

Designers – this group comes up with ideas on how to decorate our wall map when finished.

Photo Aug 19, 3 00 57 PMBlog – this group writes journal entries on our blog about what we are working on that specific day.  Follow our blog.

Twitter – this group keeps a live feed going about how the map is coming along on our Twitter page.  Follow us.

Instagram – this group takes pictures of all the groups working and posts them to our Instagram page.  Follow us.

Facts – this group looks up facts about each checkpoint and keeps a notebook.

The groups are rotated each day so the students have an opportunity to work on each job.  We are currently still working on our map.  Follow our journey of creating this map on our different sites.  I will post a final picture when the map is completed.

Here is the completed lesson plan. Use this as a guideline for your own Trail.  Camanche Middle School Trail Lesson