Archive for March, 2015

Keep in mind the flick above was NOT taken by me nor do I know who the photographer was. If anyone out there does, let me know so I can give credit where credit is due. I got it off the web. I watermarked it with my logo as it is my copy that I use in my classroom.

If you missed Part 1 of our 2015 Iditarod post packed with activities, fun & FREEBIES, DIG the quick link: 

We Iditarod, Do You? Part 1

Iditarod Updates:

March 10, 2015 3:27 pm – Martin Buser first into Tanana: 

Martin Buser 1st in Tanana

Brent Sass did NOT expect this: Disqualified From Iditarod for Using an iPod Touch:

March 11 – Aliy Zirkle is first out of Tanana: 

Aliy Zirkle 1st Out of Tanana 

March 11- Mitch Seavey the first into the Ruby Checkpoint: 


This may be the successful Iditarod Musher Lance Mackey’s last Iditarod race:

March 12 – Aaron Burmeister 1st into Huslia wins the GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award:

Nome Native 1st to Reach Huslia   

Blind Dog Helping Musher Kelly Maixner:

March 13 –Jeff King, into Huslia:

March 14 – Dallas Seavey following Jessie Royer on the Yukon River: 

Yukon River

March 15 – Burmeister first to the Coast:

1st to the Coast 

March 15 – Aliy Zirkle Second into UNALAKLEET:

Woman Musher 2nd into Unalakleet 

March 15 – Jessie & Mitch at Tripod Cabin:

Jessie in a Great Mood, Mitch Moving On 

March 17 – Dallas Seavey left White Mountain in 1st: 

Down to the Wire

March 18 – Dallas Seavey poses with his lead dogs Reef, left, and Hero in Nome, Alaska on Wednesday, March 18, 2015:

Current Race Standings:

March 18, 2015 Nome Day:

Nome Banquet: 

Next we made a Husky Dog, Husky Dog, What Do You See?   

The original theme of this book was written by Lynn Witte and was adapted by me (C.S. Calkins). Since  I could not find her book anywhere on the web, I had the idea to adapt the theme using the senses and emotions from a sled dogs point of view. My babes did the book some years ago and it is such a fun informative theme for Pre-K all the way to grade 6 that I wanted to expand on it. 

I am offering our mini book as a FREEBIE in our Teacher’s Notebook Store. Our  AKGVH Husky Dog, Husky Dog….What Do You See? book bundle contains 4 different books.

The first book is large for teachers to read aloud to the class. It may also be used for picture drawing reference.

The second book is a mini book for younger children. Cut each page in half and assemble the book by stapling the left sides together. This will give you 2 mini books per printed page.

The third book contains large open drawing spaces for lower elementary children to draw their own pictures using the pictures in the teacher’s book as guides.

The last book is a mini book older elementary children to draw, again using the pictures in the teacher’s book as guides. Cut each page in half and staple the left sides together. This will give you 2 mini books per printed page.

You will most DEF want to have this sensational FREEBIE as a supplement to your Iditarod unit: 

AKGVH Husky Dog, Husky Dog…What Do You See Book Bundle

After this we did a pocket chart version. First we went over the text in pocket chart form.

I took the pictures away and put the pictures on the table. Then my babes rolled the dice to see who went first.

As I read the sentence, the child whose turn it was put the correct picture next to the sentence to complete the sentence.

We also discussed the different Iditarod photos. We talked about what they may be feeling, where they were & what they may be doing.

You can do this activity with your babes using our AKGVH Husky Dog, Husky Dog Pocket Chart Set printable FREEBIE from our Teacher’s Notebook Store: 

And leave us NOT forget our trusty flannelboard!! We did 1:1 correspondence:





and subtraction: 

If you would like to do some sled dog Arithmetic with your young babes, DIG our Iditarod Flannelboard Set FREEBIE from our Teacher’s Notebook Store:

Inspired by The freckled Homeschooler Northern Lights Lesson, we talked about the Northern Lights while racing in the Iditerod at night. And using the link Chrystal provided, Explaining Aurora Borealis to Young Babes, we answered the following questions: 
What  colors do you think you would see & why? 
Why are there so many different colors? 
How does the magnetic field work? 
How does the wind move particles?
We answered these questions by doing science experiments. First I let my babes play with some different type of magnets to give them an idea of how the magnetic field works:

Next, we talked about how wind moves particles and did the trusty “wind moving balloon rockets: science experiment:


We also did an old but trusted vinegar and baking soda science experiment to somewhat  mimic the swirling of the lights. We pretended the baking soda were the particles and the colored vinegar water was the wind First my babes added food coloring to the vinegar in the small bathroom size plastic cups:

Then we set up the cups and one paper plate for each babe outside. I poured some baking soda on each plate.

And of course everybody had to take a whiff:

Then my babes grabbed their pipettes, filled them with their chosen colored vinegar and let the EXPLOSIONS begin:

And I must say, their results were NOT too shabby:

Happy babes had a fun day!!! If you would like to do the above experiments and need some supplies, LET’S GO AMAZON SHOPPING!!!

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Well, we hope you were trippin’ on ALL our Iditarod activities and we inspired you to implement some or all of them in your classroom for Iditarod: The Last Great Race 2016!

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We Iditarod, Do You?

Posted: March 7, 2015 in Vintage Curriculum

YEA!!! Today starts the Iditarod, The Last Great Race! Part 1

We started following the Iditarod race when Julian was young. One gets swept up in all the excitement of the race even if you do not get to actually view it. Following day by day via the internet, getting bits and pieces of the race here and there is so much fun. 

Keep in mind the flick above was NOT taken by me & I do not know who the photographer was. If anyone out there does, let me know so I can give credit where credit is due. I got it off the web. I watermarked it with my logo as it is my copy that I use in my classroom. If you need pictures for your own personal classroom use, has some adorable flicks:

Dogs and Sleds Flicks for Classroom Use

as does the Guardian: 

Check out this 279 Iditarod picture slide show flicks from Huffington post:

This one was taken by Jeff King:
While we never purchased the commercial free Premium video of the trail complete with musher interviews, the checkpoints and race analysis, we follow via the GPS tracker. You can get musher alerts, subscribe to Insider alive where you can actually ask questions via live chat, and that is SWEEEEEET!! Also live finish broadcast from Nome features the crowning of the champion and the Live Finish Cameras show all the mushers from the champion to the Red Lantern 24/7! 
In the days of years gone by, we were able to glean enough to follow along as best we could with the free subscription which features access to videos not available to unregistered users like the race documentaries, articles and much more. Registered users also get to choose a favorite musher to track and get email alerts based on their activity. You can view all the packages  the full video here:

Get the GPS tracker here:

For younger babes, I show them the following movie to get them in the spirit as well: 

So either way, you ALL can follow along the fun and excitement of the Last Great Race! So get yourself started, then come back for MORE Iditarod ideas, links & FREEBIES! 

Here is our husky, Eh-nuk. And since we are in the National Forest, it snows from time to time.

Of course Eh-nuk DIGS the snow but being the spoiled boy that he is, he also likes to come inside and keep warm:

eBay has a rather large selection of plush Husky Dog stuffed animals toys to suit your pocketbook:

Husky Dog Plush Stuffed Animal

Next I always show our Balto Movie. Babes of all ages DIG Balto!

I break out our Balto stuffed animal and set him near the TV throughout the race to remind them of the historical meaning of the race. I got him a few decades ago when my babes were young and the movie had just come out. I kept him all these years for classroom Iditarod use:

He is rather pricey on both Amazon & eBay but if you are interested in having a Balto mascot in your classroom. I found one on Amazon:


eBay has more of a selection but again, he is rather pricey as he is considered a collectable now: 

Balto Plush Stuffed Animal

Here is a Alaskan Malamute vs  Siberian Husky detailed chart which is an out-a-sight detailed comparison:

To begin our Iditarod Interactive classroom race, first, I made this bulletin board map of the Iditarod trail. I went to a satellite map site and copied it as best as I could to give my babes a sense of the actual trail terrain, hazards, climate and the like. 

First I outlined the map on a large sheet of butcher paper.  Next using a paint brush, I splotched the colors on, then dabbed at them to blend together with a wet sponge. This technique gave my map a more realistic look.

Needless to say, it took me several day to complete. Then I covered it with clear contact to preserve it for future race studies.

If you are hep to making your own somewhat realistic Iditarod trail map, LET’S  GO AMAZON SHOPPING!

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Each child chose a musher to follow, either one they just happened to like (my younger babes) or through musher and team analysis and probability. You can get some freebie graphs, charts, notebooking and other various Iditarod worksheets, activities, and the like via the links below that I will be adding later.  

I charted their chosen teams by putting the musher’s number on the dog and placing it in its correct location (or thereabouts) daily. Adding unchosen teams to the mix proved an exciting and sporting interactive Iditarod to classroom race!

And here is your first FREEBIE!!! A vintage Eskimo dog sled paper toy from our AKGHV Teacher’s Notebook Store:


 Vintage Eskimo Dog Sled Paper Toy

Here is a close up of my bulletin board musher and dogs. I printed out a set of dogs for each child and colored the booties to match. To make the musher, first I colored the musher then glued the sled frame onto the back of the runners and let it dry. Then I glued the back of the pack onto the back of the frame and let it dry. I turned it over, then glued cover on the pack above the dotted line. Next, I folded the flap up and glued the inside contents on the pack back and let dry. Last I glued the musher’s hands onto the sled. Then I connected the musher and sled with black yarn for the harnesses, tuglines and ganglines to the huskys.

And now for another FREEBIE! You can print out our musher and dogs for your own Iditarod interactive bulletinboard with the following templates from our Teachers Notebook Store:

 AKGVH Iditarod Interactive Bulletinboard Templates 

Check out Rachel from the Tattoed Teacher’s  Iditarod Map Tracking activities for the older child:


Jr. High & High school children can make their own authentic sled dog harness with the following tutorial:


WHOAH!!! DIG these Historical sled dog harnesses: 


If you are into sewing, here is a real far out dog bootie sizing FREEBIE printable for the pup in your life! With this chart, you can quickly sew booties for your  beloved pup: 

If your babes want to talk like a musher, DIG this youtube video. You can also make a vocab chart or word wall with the words you have learned: 

Here is another Iditarod Bulletin Board Set you can get from the 3AM Teacher Shop on Teacher’s Notebook: 


Here are some fun Pre-K-K Musher printables from Making Learning Fun: 

Your babes can race online with Scholastics Be a Musher Game. Just click on the link below and take off!! 

Dig this Mush Rush! internet game from Ecokids: 

Here is a dog team for your babes to cut out and stand up from Yukon Quest Educational Activities: 

Stand Up Sled Dog Team

Keep on moving with the 2015 Iditarod race in AKGVH Part of 2 post packed with MORE activities, fun & FREEBIES, DIG the quick link: 

We Iditarod, Do You? Part 2

Once again, I am off to get updates on the race, so be sure to check back soon for more Iditarod FREEBIES, activities and fun!!

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                  That Daffodil Time of Year in Our Forest 

Daffodils are one of the first signs of “SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET, Spring is just around the corner!!!”,  here on the mountain in the Southern Cali Cleveland National Forest.  While we do not see as many as there was in years gone by, there are still some survivors here and there. We have our own little patch right outside the kitchen window and they sure are pretty to look at whilst washing those never ending dirty dishes. And what a respite that is! I oft think to myself through the decades , “Gee, it seems like I spend my life washing dishes. Seems like I have washed enough dishes to stack to the moon!” That there small patch of Daffodils sure does take the monotony of it all away, if just for a few moments & that my friends, is NOTHING to shake a stick at, as every dish washing mother would most prob agree. Can you dig it?

Bummer tho’ as it seems that as soon as they pop up, they once again vanish before one can blink an eye.  So as you can imagine being a homeschooler of my grand wee ones, I wanted to capture the moment for them in art and I must say they came out real psychedelic. 

So much so, Gramma snagged ’em to deco her pad!  

Before we started on our daffodil crafts, I showed them this time lapse video of a daffodil opening:


Beginning with the flowers in the vase, here is how we made them. First, I cut the egg cups out from an egg carton flat:

and carefully smashed them down like so:
Next, I glued gunned them together to form the outside of the flower:

Next I had my babes paint them yellow and we let them dry. For the leaves, I cut one in half and had them paint these green:

The stems are a paper towel tube cut in half:

Then I rolled it and glued the ends together. For the cup of the flower, I kept the original egg cup in tact. After the paint dried, I glue gunned the egg cup on top of the smashed flower, bent and glued some golden pipe cleaner pieces for the filaments. Next we outlined each flower and leaves in school glue & covered the glue with gold & green glitter. So, cannot blame gramma for trippin’ heavy!

I got the suncatcher daffodil idea from here:

I changed the design a bit to brighten them up as we DIG making things our own. First, I drew a pattern as I wanted to make ours bigger. You can get it FREE from our AKGVH Teacher’s Notebook Store here:
First, I had my babes crush some yellow crayons and we added bits of orange and brown here and there to add more color. I had previously pre-cut 2 flower outlines out of yellow construction paper for each babe. Then placing a cut piece of wax paper on my ironing board adjusted to child height, I placed one of the flower outlines underneath the wax paper to use as a guide. Next had my babes add some of the crushed crayon in the middle of the flower with a plastic spoon:


Then I placed another sheet of wax paper on top & they ironed the wax until it melted somewhat:

Using a yellow permanent marker, I traced the outside line of the flower and wrote their initial near it so I knew whose was whose. See how brilliant the colors turned out:

Next, my babes glued the bottom flower outline:

My babes then glued on top of the wax paper and placed the 2nd outline on top of that:

On separate wax paper sheets, we melted green crayon bits.

I cut out leaf shapes from their green wax paper and glue gunned a length of green pipe cleaner around the edges:

For the inside part of the flower I used the yellow painted nut cups left over from our Christmas Advent Tree Calendar. If you would like to view our Advent Tree click on the quick link here: 

AKGVH Christmas Tree Advent Calendars

And while everyone around here caps on me for saving & stashing, they had to admit those left over used cups came in real handy for these, and look pretty far-out! HA! Once again, I glue gunned gold pipe cleaner lengths for the filaments and glue gunned it onto the suncatcher:

We outlined the suncatcher in gold glitter and added some on the yellow paper and let them dry.  I glue gunned on a green pipe cleaner stem, yellow hook, and the leaves, and WELLA!!!

Here is a different daffodil suncatcher template you can print out from Chantals: 

Chantal’s Stainglass Suncatcher Templete

If you would rather purchase some for your home, check these out on Etsy: 

Etsy Daffodil Suncatchers

Check out these daffodil suncatchers from Fun at Home with Kids: 

Fun at Home with Kids Daffodil Suncatchers

Dig these other daffodil crafts from around the web: 

Mend and Make New Daffodils

Make and Takes Paper Daffodils  

Mr. Printables Daffodils 

Learn to Create Love’s Daffodil Craft with FREE Printable 

Teacher Vision’s Daffodil Craft Printable Template 

Daffodil Craft PDF from Visit Wales 

FREE Daffodil Craft Printable from Here We Are Together 

Free Daffodil Craft Printable and Tutorial from Rockabye Butterfly 

Very Pretty Daffodil Craft from Tired, Need Sleep 

Make Your Own Daffodil from Wales 

Daffodil Bunting from Nurture Store U.K. 

Daffodil Bouquet from Saved by Love Creations 
Martha Stewart’s Lovely Crepe Paper Daffodils 

Crepe Paper Daffodils from Activity Bucket 

 Coffee Filter Daffodils from DLTK

Lovely Daffodil Wreath from Stay at Home Artist 

Daffodil Pen Toppers from Make it Easy Crafts 

DLTK’s Daffodil Pinwheel 

Daffodil Easter Nut Cups 

Daffodil Embroidery Pattern from Crafty Ferret U.K. 

Host of Daffodil Crafts from The Crafty Crow 

Daffodil Card from 1st School 

Paper Plate Cup Cake Daffodil’s from Molly Moo Crafts 

Scholastic’s Printable Daffodil Craft Pattern Template  

Daffodil Card Stamps from Martha Stewart

Scrapbook Daffodil Background  

Daffodil Banners, Etc from U.K.’s Sparkle Box 

Daffodil Background PDF from Printable Heaven

Mini Cupcake Daffodils from Craft Projects for Kids 

Pinterest Daffodil Crafts 

WHEW, what a list! That ought to hold you for awhile!

If you are up to making some daffodil shaped goodies, these are SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET:

 Daffodil Lemon Cookies from Freebie Finding Mom

 Lemon Mousse Candy Cup Daffodils from Hungry Happenings

Easy Daffodil Cake

Next we borrowed the flowers back from gramma and used them as puppets when singing the following songs & poems:

Yellow Daffodil by Johanne Levy 

Sing to: Jolly Old St Nick

Yellow, yellow daffodil, dancing in the sun,
Oh yellow , yellow daffodil, you tell me spring has come.
I can hear a blue bird sing, and hear a robin call,
But yellow yellow daffodil I love you most of all.

Daffodils Fingerplay 

One little daffodil had nothing much to do,
Out popped another one, then there were two.
Two little daffodils were smiling at a bee,
Out popped another one, then there were three.
Three little daffodils were growing by the door,
Out popped another one, then there were four.
Four little daffodils were glad to be alive,
Out popped another one, then there were five.
Five little daffodils were wearing golden crowns,
They danced in the breeze in green satin gowns. 

Daffodil Illustrated Song Sheet from Early Learning

Daffodil Poem Prinatble from DLTK

They loved playing the daffodil song game I found here:

  And here is another out-a-sight Daffodil FREEBIE you can use with the above. This pack includes both small and large, color and black & white cards. You can use them for the flannelboard, pocket chart, anchor chart and the like:

 AKGVH Daffodil Flannelboard Pocket Chart Pack 

We also have a daffodil activity Pack FREEBIE:
 AKGVH Vintage Daffodil Activity Pack

Here are MORE Daffodil activities and printables for your babes from around the web:

Daffodil Activities from Making Learning Fun 

Daffodil Printables from Activity Village 

Daffodil Printable Coloring Page from She Knows 

Daffodil Printable Coloring Page from Raising Our Kids 

Daffodil USA Coloring Page 

The Graphics Fairy Printable Daffodil Coloring Page 

Daffodil Coloring Page from About 

Wild Daffodil Coloring Page from Hello Kids 

Daffodil Day Printables from New Zealand Schools 

Cottage at the Crossroads Daffodil Graphic 

Daffodil Printable Coloring Page 

Printable Daffodil Coloring Page

Easy Daffodil Printable Coloring Page

Wild Daffodil Printable Coloring Pages for Older Children & Adults 

Miss Bold Design’s Daffodil Cut & Paste Activity (Scroll Down) 

Printing & Cursive Daffodil Sheets from Twisty Noodle  

FREE printables and activities for older children:

Daffi Library Handouts 

Daffodil Dissection 

Daffodil Handouts from Australia 

Parts of a Flower Dissection from the USA 

That wraps up our Daffodil Activities for this year! Hope to see you next year for MORE AKGVH Vintage Daffodil activity fun!

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