A Dozen Iditarod Traveling Quilts are Traveling the USA, Canada, and Germany!

12 09 2012

The 2012 – 2013 school year is well under way, and this year, a dozen Iditarod Traveling Quilts are making a journey from classroom to classroom to help educators ‘uncover’ the curriculum in a unique Iditarod way!  Reading, writing, math, social studies, character education, and even science concepts can be taught using the Iditarod themed quilts as a teaching tool.

That’s right!  The Quilts are in the mail!  Off to Canada!  Off to Germany!  Off to Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, California, New Hampshire, and Ohio!   Priority mail flat rate boxes must have been created with this project in mind!  And no, BJ, the cat, didn’t REALLY travel with a quilt!

Each Iditarod Traveling Quilt is a unique teaching tool.  Upon the squares of each quilt are images, messages, and concepts that a teacher can use to help teach a skill or to demonstrate a strategy of learning.  The quilts also server as a discussion piece because the inspirational messages provide discussion topics.

A classroom ‘hosts’ a quilt for about 2 – 3 weeks before sending the quilt to the next school on the list.  Quilts are sent by priority mail and when the package arrives in a classroom, the Iditarod – Quilt Learning begins!

Each Iditarod Quilt travels with a notebook filled with standards aligned lesson ideas or project samples as well as Iditarod memorabilia and other information about that quilt’s schedule.  A favorite lesson by many is a ‘scavenger hunt’ that is a useful to in helping the students get to know the quilt-guest that will be visiting their school.  Most classrooms also complete a social studies lesson mapping and following the quilt on the year’s journey.   Reading the monthly updates throughout the school year allow the classrooms to be involved in this project for the entire school year – not just when a quilt is at a particular school.  The online articles also allow schools that aren’t receiving a quilt to learn about, participate virtually, and be a part of the Iditarod Traveling Quilt project.

Each classroom receiving a quilt has the opportunity to add a page in the quilt’s scrapbook before sending the quilt on to the next location. By the end of the school year, the notebooks are filled with images, newspaper articles, and memories of that quilt’s yearlong adventure.

For the first time ever, classrooms will also have the opportunity to create an Iditarod Quilt Memory book of their own! It’s so hard to say ‘farewell’ to an Iditarod Traveling Quilt!  We know our memory book project will be a lot of fun!

Throughout the year, participating schools as well as schools that are on the waiting list for a quilt in a future year, have the opportunity to follow the journey of the quilts, track each journey on maps, create a square for a virtual  on line quilt, or create a square for a future quilt. Using the ‘Chat’ menu tab, teachers can also leave messages for other teaches, provide updates on the Quilt’s traveling schedule or arrangements, or exchange information.  Sharing lessons or student projects and keeping in touch with each other are important aspects of this year’s project.

This website is the ‘home’ for the Iditarod Traveling Quilt project.  By following the links on the right side of the page, it’s easy to read about past journeys or learn the history behind each quilt.

This is the 8th year of this Iditarod Educational project which began at the 2005 Summer Camp for Teachers.  Terrie Hanke, 2006 Teacher on the Trail™ and now Iditarod Educational Committee Member and Race Volunteer, created the first and most of the Traveling Quilts.  Several other teachers have volunteered their skills in sewing to help grow this project a quilt or two more, each year since the beginning of the project. Terrie’s cat, Blue Jeans, has played an instrumental role in assisting Terrie with the creating of the quilts, advising Terrie to place each square exactly where it ought to be so the proper message is created by each quilt, and making sure that each of those ‘dog gone’ quilts have a little bit of cat hair included in the project.

Each square of each square was created by either a teacher who has attended the Iditarod Summer Camp for Educators, a classroom that has followed this project on line, or a classroom/teacher that has hosted one of the Iditarod Traveling Quilts.

Any classroom (or homeschool) anywhere in the world can create a quilt square and send it Iditarod’s Education Department to be included in a future quilt.  Any classroom (or homeschool) anywhere can follow this project throughout the school  year, no matter if a quilt is visiting their school or not!  AND best of all, this project can be enjoyed by one and all from now until June, when we ‘wrap up’ the school year!  So, bookmark this website and stop by often to follow each quilt!

Here’s some late breaking news!  WE’VE still got one more quilt in development.  That quilt will be sent out starting in October of November and be a special quilt dedicated to 8 Traits of Iditarod!  There’s a few open spaces for schools to host this quilt, so learn about the program and contact us soon if you are interested! (djohnson@iditarod.com)

Get started now!  Follow this project.  You can subscribe to this website and  receive an email notification when new articles are posted.  (See the right side of this page for details!)




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