The Walking Classroom is a national award-winning education program that provides students and teachers with an innovative way to get exercise without sacrificing instructional time. The nonprofit program’s “Walk, Listen, and Learn” methodology capitalizes on the favorable link between exercise and cognitive function.
How The Walking Classroom Works
The Walking Classroom program is simple: Students take brisk 20-minute walks as a class while listening to the same custom-written, kid-friendly podcast that comes pre-loaded on their WalkKit (audio device). Each podcast begins with a brief health literacy message, and the lesson plans in the Teacher’s Guide help educators effectively discuss and review the podcast material.
The two available programs directly align with the 4th or 5th grade Common Core curriculum, but the content is appropriate for and used by students in grades 3–8. Each program contains more than 100 pre-loaded podcasts, and the WalkKits can be shared among classes and reused year after year. Click here to see a listing of podcasts included in each program.
In addition to the obvious health benefits of walking, there is much research confirming the link between exercise and cognitive function. Students return to the classroom in better moods, more focused, and more likely to engage in post-walk discussions. Teachers regularly report that after implementing The Walking Classroom, students retain the information better, demonstrate better behavior and engagement in the classroom, and perform better on standardized exams.
While all students benefit from the increased activity and educational content of The Walking Classroom, inactive children and children with low academic achievement stand to benefit the most. The Walking Classroom also provides teachers and out-of-school time professionals with an innovative tool to meet the needs of their students with alternative learning styles such as ADHD, dyslexia, and/or autism.