Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Iditarod Mini Lesson

Lots of kids love dogs, snow, and racing, so today, let’ look at the word “Iditarod” for a mini history lesson. It comes from the Indian word “haiditarod” which means “far distant place.” The Iditarod race begins the first Saturday in March, in Anchorage, Alaska, even though the actual trail is about 20 miles away.

The race was modeled after the All-Alaska Sweepstakes of 1907-08. Many people think it was started when the diphtheria serum was delivered to Nome, Alaska. The race became popular during the Alaskan gold rush in the late 1880’s to the mid 1920’s.

A driver (musher) marches dogs to pull his sled. Have your older child research when and why sledding began. Some people think it started when the first people crossed the Bearing land bridge into Alaska. Old parts and pieces were found.

This mini lesson can involve math, science, and history by calculating distances mushers drive dogs; estimating the combined weight of dogs, sled, and musher; pinpointing mushing routes on a map; studying the history of the mushing, including how the gold rush impacted it; learning about the wolves and later dogs that were used for mushing; find out why the price of dogs reached as much as $1,000 by the end of the 19th century; read about dog booties and why they were and are needed…

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How Do You Learn?

We are all different and we all learn differently. You might have a dominant style of learning or you might have a natural mix of learning styles. Knowing your child’s learning style(s) will help you deliver lessons that he can use the best. The three main learning styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

  • Visual-seeing and reading
  • Auditory-listening and speaking
  • Kinesthetic or Tactile-touching and doing

The visual learner has a great imagination. They might talk fast and easily forget auditory instructions. The visual learner uses his sense of seeing or observing things. Things that the visual learner uses or may benefit from using includes illustrations, diagrams, taking notes, sketching, seeing pictures, using flash cards, demonstrations, displays, handouts, movies, charts…
The auditory learner learns by listening. They can repeat things back. They like music and talking on the phone. Tone of voice and the words used can be important. They can be distracted by noise. The auditory learner transfers information by listening to someone speaking, listening to himself speak, or listening to sounds and noises. They can best use or benefit from listening to CD’s, reading out loud, NOT taking notes while someone talks, repeating facts with eyes closed, participating in group discussions, and more.

The kinesthetic learner uses the sense of touch. They learn best by touching, feeling, holding, doing anything that is hands-on learning. They need the experience. They often speak slowly and are very expressive with their hands. Kinesthetic learners benefit the most from physically doing something, working or studying in short blocks of time, using memory games, talking to in person rather than on the phone, taking field trips, marking in their book, and much more.