My second grade students love learning, love moving, love coming to school everyday and love dogs. They come from many different cultural backgrounds and many receive reduced or free breakfasts and lunches. Their enthusiasm for school is rich and joyful.
My students engage best when lessons integrate high interest subjects with a connection to their lives: the Iditarod..
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) pulls all the curriculum areas together and the Iditarod creates excitement and inspires a connection all students can feel.
We live and learn near an extensive trail system that is utilized by the Iditarod Ceremonial Start each March. Families celebrate the Iditarod start as part of our city's Fur Rendezvous with games, competitions, rides and dogs; lots & lots of sled dogs racing through downtown streets with their mushers. Kids LOVE the thrill of the race and many experience it first hand as spectators.
I have attended four Iditarod Conferences for Educators to collaborate and learn about using the Iditarod curriculum. I have pulled most of the books from my grant request from their suggested reads list.
Children read & learn from books that pique their curiosity and keep them engaged. Children must have a selection of high quality, high interest, relevant books. My selection includes books at their readability level for independent and partner reading, books to use as read-alouds and a classroom set of Magic Treehouse (Balto) books to use in a whole class novel study.
These books provide the opportunity to learn and review reading strategies such as prediction, questioning, monitor & clarify, evaluate and summarize.
My students will make text to text and text to self connections because the Iditarod starts in our city and runs through our community for it's Ceremonial Start each March. The Iditarod provides numerous opportunities for art projects such as our Husky bulletin board, sled designs and Aurora Borealis. Community Outreach and connections are strengthened between our students and the students and communities in rural Alaska.
These books will provide the opportunity for a semester long unit of study which will increase students' fluency and comprehension. The books will be shared among all of the 2nd grade classes.
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