Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bored? How?

This winter has been brutal.  We've had several snow days and some late openings and an early dismissal due to the weather.  But no matter where you are, there's lots of learning to be done.  Parents and children should celebrate the time they have together because there is so much they can do! Learning doesn't just take place at school, and learning can be, or should be, FUN!!

Here's what I did today.  If you have some extra time with your children, look at it as an opportunity to do something different.  And if your power is out and you can't use the computer...well, be creative!!

1.  Art Lessons:  I spent some time laughing and making a cat.  There are more lessons, so bring on the snow!  I can't wait to share this with my school kids. This is a drawing course for kids pre-k to third grade, but it was just right for me.   Check out illustrator Will Terry as he helps us all learn how to draw.

2.  Make puzzles.  I made some cryptograms to share with my class.  I bet your kids will love these.  Or, better yet, have them make puzzles for YOU to solve.  You can trade.

3.  What?  You're not following the Iditarod?  It starts in about a month, so get moving.  I spent a lot of time revising my lessons and preparing for our annual Iditarod Banquet. The Iditarod site has tons of suggestions for how to use the Iditarod to teach children, and there are even blogging dogs.   Lots to do, lots to do!

4.  Do you want to learn how to make comics with kids?  The National Association of Comics Art Educators can help.

5.  And if you think you have it bad stuck in the house for a day or two, visit this Alert Map site.  It shows every type of disaster imaginable happening in the world now.  Then count your blessings.

1 comment:

  1. For the dogs, the Iditarod is a bottomless pit of suffering. What happens to the dogs during the race includes death, paralysis, frostbite (where it hurts the most!), bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. At least 142 dogs have died in the Iditarod, including two dogs on Dr. Lou Packer's team who froze to death in the brutally cold winds.

    During training runs, Iditarod dogs have been killed by moose, snowmachines, and various motor vehicles, including a semi tractor and an ATV. They have died from drowning, heart attacks and being strangled in harnesses. Dogs have also been injured while training. They have been gashed, quilled by porcupines, bitten in dog fights, and had broken bones, and torn muscles and tendons. Most dog deaths and injuries during training aren't even reported.

    Iditarod dog kennels are puppy mills. Mushers breed large numbers of dogs and routinely kill unwanted ones, including puppies. Many dogs who are permanently disabled in the Iditarod, or who are unwanted for any reason, including those who have outlived their usefulness, are killed with a shot to the head, dragged, drowned or clubbed to death. "Dogs are clubbed with baseball bats and if they don't pull are dragged to death in harnesses......" wrote former Iditarod dog handler Mike Cranford in an article for Alaska's Bush Blade Newspaper.

    Dog beatings and whippings are common. During the 2007 Iditarod, eyewitnesses reported that musher Ramy Brooks kicked, punched and beat his dogs with a ski pole and a chain. Jim Welch says in his book Speed Mushing Manual, "Nagging a dog team is cruel and ineffective...A training device such as a whip is not cruel at all but is effective." "It is a common training device in use among dog mushers..."

    Jon Saraceno wrote in his March 3, 2000 column in USA Today, "He [Colonel Tom Classen] confirmed dog beatings and far worse. Like starving dogs to maintain their most advantageous racing weight. Skinning them to make mittens.. Or dragging them to their death."

    During the race, veterinarians do not give the dogs physical exams at every checkpoint. Mushers speed through many checkpoints, so the dogs get the briefest visual checks, if that. Instead of pulling sick dogs from the race, veterinarians frequently give them massive doses of antibiotics to keep them running. The Iditarod's chief veterinarian, Stu Nelson, is an employee of the Iditarod Trail Committee. They are the ones who sign his paycheck. So, do you expect that he's going to say anything negative about the Iditarod?

    The Iditarod, with all the evils associated with it, has become a synonym for exploitation. The race imposes torture no dog should be forced to endure.

    Margery Glickman
    Sled Dog Action Coalition,