Quilt 7 is in Aberdeen, South Dakota Preparing for the 2013 – 2014 School Year…

11 05 2013

DSCF8294Quilt 7 has successfully journeyed from school to school and has been returned to South Dakota, where Quilt will rest up and get ready to meet new students during the 2013 – 2014 school year.

In summary, to start the school year, Quilt 7 traveled to Canada to meet students at Garderie Bonne Adventure Preschool.  Following a trip to Canada, Quilt traveled to Michigan visiting 3 schools in October, November, and December.  In January, Quilt traveled to North Dakota and back to Wisconsin for two more school visits before returning to South Dakota for the summer.

During the year, students enjoyed meeting Quilt and participated in a variety of activities that their teachers chose to help students build skills listed in their curriculum.  Most of the classrooms submitted a page or two to the scrapbook that travels with Quilt.

Quilt 7 wants to thank all of the teaches and classrooms that were such wonderful hosts!

During the summer months, a new schedule will be created and in August, Quilt 7 will be packed carefully in a postal box and shipped off to follow a new journey.  If you are interested in hosting an Iditarod Traveling Quilt for the 2013 – 2014 school year, send an email and get on the list!

Quilt 7

Quilt 7

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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!)





3 New Quilts Join the Iditarod Traveling Quilt Project!

26 08 2012

The sewing has been completed!  Terrie Hanke and her cat, Blue Jeans have successfully finished creating 3 quilts that will be added to the Iditarod Traveling Quilt Project.

A big thanks to Terrie  (and BJ) for each stitch.  From these stitches and the squares that are now three Iditarod Traveling Quilts, students will strengthen their skills in math, science, social studies, language arts, and other content areas!   Participating schools will be working in partnership with each other, to share the learning by contributing to this website.

The schedule for 12 quilts is being finalized for the 2012 – 2013 Iditarod Traveling Quilt project.  This project first began in 2006 and continues to be a project that engages classrooms around the world!

It won’t be long now!  Soon packages will be arriving in schools and teachers will be ‘covering’ an exciting school project!  The quilts will visit nearly 100 schools this year!  Stay tuned!  We’ll be bringing updates all year long!





Iditarod Traveling Quilt 10 is Born in Wisconsin

26 08 2012

Quilt 10, other wise known as the ‘Wolf Quilt” has every stitch in line and is set to head out on a journey to classrooms not just in the United States, but also to Europe!

Quilt 10 was sewn by Terrie Hanke.  Each square was created by a teacher who attended the 2012 Summer Camp for Teachers or a classroom that participated in the Iditarod Traveling Quilt Project last year.

Quilt will travel first to Germany and then all the way to Nebraska to visit Ms. Andrews.  From there, Quilt will travel to Ohio to see Mrs. Wyckoff, Texas to visit with Mrs. Hart, and Georgia to be spend time with Ms. Fitts and Ms. Ackermann.  Next, Quilt will head back to Nebraska to spend February with Ms. Maly’s students before spending the 2013 Iditarod with Ms. Bentson who teaches in California.  Towards the end of March, Quilt will head to New York to celebrate the end of the race with Ms. Alix before ending the school year with Mrs. Lee in Maine!

What an incredible jouney Quilt will have this year!

Get out your maps!  Get ready to trace the journey of this quilt and the other quilts!

Check the site often to read about the Iditarod Traveling Quilts and the schools they visit.

Use the menu on the right side of the page to sort and read about just Quilt 10 or any other quilt.

The menu can also help you find lesson ideas or other important information!





Quilt 9 Ends the School Year in California

11 06 2012

I thought I would sort of outline what we did in our year-long study of The Iditarod.

We did get to display the quilt for a good long time so the students got to really read and look at all of the quilt squares.  We also discussed the squares.  Another thing that we had time for was to watch Trent Herbst’s CD.  The kids loved it and I was amazed.  I learned a lot about how mushers prepare for the race.  It was great for the kids to see other students filling checkpoint bags with everything that is needed for the trail.

Our year-long Unit.

Sept. – Oct. = Study of landforms – We learn about and make a relief map of Alaska’s landforms.  We label and paint our maps also (we make the maps out of crayola modeling compound because we use the maps all year and they compound doesn’t break apart).

Nov. – Dec. = Study of Arctic animals – We research and write reports about the animals found in Alaska.

Jan. = Study of dogs used in The Iditarod = We label dog parts, learn about Huskies and Malamutes and discuss breeding for certain attributes for Iditarod (good leadership, endurance etc).  Then we make sock puppies to look like Huskies with a dark cap etc.  They take the puppies home and record all of the things they do with their puppies in a journal

Feb. = Mushers – We pick mushers to follow and learn a little bit about them.

Mar. = Checkpoints and Iditarod – We pick a checkpoint and learn about its location on The Iditarod Trail, weather, etc.  We label some checkpoints on our map and put The Iditarod Trail on the map also.  Then we complete the maps by making a map key.  Then we chart our mushers’ progress and keep track of all of the happenings during the race.  We also participate in Iditaread (We keep track of how many pages we read to see how many times we can get from Anchorage to Nome during the actual time the race takes).  Then we write letters pretending that we are mushers, telling our parents about our Iditarod adventures (signed with their firt name and their musher’s last name)  They get their pictures taken with snow gear on standing on our fake sled and we put their letter over their picture using the computer program Pages.

Then we have Open House where we display all of the things we did all year.  The picture shows this year’s bulletin board Our Journey to Iditarod.  It was a timeline of the build up of learning towards Iditarod.

It shows our Landforms bridge maps on the left, then the Arctic animals reports and pictures had to go on the side board, then you see the paper plate dogs and the puppies and their houses on the lower counter with the journals.  Over by March are the Musher trading cards and checkpoint info cards.  You can also see their musher dolls ( that have photos of the kids for their faces) and the chart of where each of their mushers were on each day of the race (to compare one musher’s progress with another’s).  You can see the maps on the students’ desks and those stand up projects on their desks are their musher letters.

I got some of the ideas from Teacher on the Trail lesson plans (sock puppies and musher trading cards) and adapted other ideas from things I did with other subjects.  All of the activities address Second Grade California State Standards in some way.





Quilt 7 Spends February in Massachusetts

11 03 2012

Early in the afternoon on January 31st a small package (10 x 12 x 8 ½) arrived in our classroom.  When the kids were all settled in their seats after lunch, the package was brought out.  Before it was opened, the students were asked to guess what could be inside the box.  At first they thought they were new books, then letters from soldiers (as we had written to them).  Then some hints were given….It has to do with the Iditarod.  Of course they all shouted “A Puppy!”  Some other guesses were made (snow, dog collars, etc.) and then the box was opened.  Slowly, Quilt #7 was unveiled.  A collective “Ahhh” could be heard in the classroom.  The backing of the quilt was red fleece with dog bone pattern! Desks were moved and the quilt was spread across the desks for inspection.

Students looked at all the squares – there was a buzz in the classroom like no other.  They loved the drawings and loved reading the verses on the squares.  With a partner they were to choose a square and decide what the meaning was behind it.  Then they partnered to write a poem about the square like the one below.

“Although the race is nearly done

The Iditarod waits for every last one

To cross the finish line with pride

With trusty dogs by their side

The red lantern is then put away

Till the following year and another race day”

The quilt was certainly a highlight of the year and will be remembered by the students for years to come.  Thank you for bringing the Iditarod just a little closer to Massachusetts!





Quilt 9: September in New York!

12 12 2011

We were very excited to be the first class to have the quilt. The kids enjoyed seeing all the quilt squares including the two our school did last year. Some of the kids that participated in the project last year got to see the square with their name on it. Since we did two squares last year the quilt will return to us in March. We are very excited to see where the quilt has been since we sent it on its journey.

We watched the DVD of the teacher (Trent Herbst) who participated in the Iditarod Race and talked about the race and the sled dogs. We will do more projects when the quilt comes to us again. We hope the other schools enjoy the quilt as much as we did.

Ms. Danielle’s and Mr. Ethan’s Pre-K Class
Ms. Beth’s and Ms. Carrol’s Pre-K Class
The Children’s School @ URMC
Rochester, NY