Rounding whole numbers can be a challenging concept for elementary students, but adding the Iditarod to it makes learning so much more enjoyable! This rounding lesson is one of my favorites!
In this lesson the Iditarod Trail Committee invites students to become “math mushers” and they must race down the trail, including taking two mandatory rests, rounding numbers as they go. Students will learn about the population of checkpoints, distances between checkpoints, annual snowfall in Alaska, and so much more! The first math musher to the finish line is the “Honorary Math Musher Champion” and the last one in is the “Red Lantern Math Musher”.
Year after year, this lesson proves to be a fun and engaging way to have students practice and master rounding whole numbers. If a group of my students finish early, I have them pick books from my Iditarod book bin and find numbers in them to round. A few of my favorites for this activity are Snow Dogs: Racers of the North by Ian Whitelaw and Xtreme Races: Iditarod by S.L. Hamilton. And lastly, to monitor student mastery, I have included a simple exit slip for students to complete before they leave class.
On another note, if you are looking at connecting with other teachers who use Iditarod in their classroom here are a few options. First off, there are quite a few Iditarod Teacher Conferences coming up. I will be presenting at the Midwest Dog Sledding Symposium and Iditarod Teacher Conference in Curtis, MI next weekend. Three Midwest natives, Anna and Kristy Berington and Charley Bejna, will also be presenting! To check out the other upcoming conferences click here.
Secondly, I will be Skyping with classrooms across the country beginning in month or so. I have enjoyed taking my students on virtual field trips over the years, so I’m excited to work with you and your students to bring the Iditarod to life in your classroom (more information to come soon). And lastly, I will also be continuing the Iditarod Classroom Club with Skype which began last year with 2016 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ Laura Wright. To join in the fun, click below.
Linda Fenton, 2013 Teacher on the Trail™, and me at my first Midwest Conference in 2013. It was at this conference that I decided I would someday apply for Teacher on the Trail™. If you are interested in applying you can find information here.