I am a fourth grade teacher in Long Beach, California. This year, our fourth graders were the recipients of a class set of Walking Classroom materials. We are so grateful to have received this amazing curriculum and the positive impact that it has had on our students from their very first walk has been very exciting for a teacher to see.
From the moment that I heard about The Walking Classroom, I knew that I wanted to incorporate it into my instruction somehow. Receiving this program made that possible at a time that our students needed this curriculum the most. My current group of students began virtual learning when schools shut down as first graders and most did their second grade year online, as well.
As fourth graders, there are so many gaps in their learning that we as teachers are working so hard to bridge simply because of the circumstances of the past few years. I have noticed this year especially, students began the year with less mindfulness and ability to focus in the past. Since we began our Walking Classroom lessons, I have noticed students attention and ability to focus increase. They love being able to move as they listen and learn and as the weeks progressed using the program, their ability to remember details that they learned from the podcasts has steadily increased.
The Walking Classroom is a calm, peaceful time where my students get fresh air each week and learn about a topic that corresponds or ties into our overall learning in class. Watching them walk (and they magically end up in a straight, even paced line all by themselves) is to almost like a sort of zen moment for them as well as for me. Their ability to focus after walks has increased as the weeks have progressed across all subjects and I attribute a great deal of my students’ increase in patience, focus, and mindfulness to The Walking Classroom.
Academically, the Walking Classroom has had a positive impact on students’ listening skills. There is a portion of their grade level standards, as well as a portion of their tests, that is fully based on listening. Finding materials to teach listening skills has often been a struggle in the past, but since incorporating The Walking Classroom into our routine, teaching listening skills has been a breeze.
My students look forward to their walks each week because they enjoy the fresh air. I know that there is definitely a sense of pride that they take in using The Walking Classroom because they love showing their WalkKits to the younger students. Many younger students have said that they can’t wait to be in fourth grade so that they can use a WalkKit also!
As a teacher, I cannot say enough how helpful this curriculum is, as well as how easy it was to incorporate. The quizzes that are a part of the Walking Classroom curriculum are fun for the students to complete and show their understanding of the lesson. The diverse topics have leant themselves so well to accompany our classroom curriculum!
There are multiple topics focused on Earth’s features and rocks, which corresponded with our science unit perfectly. We had to complete a writing performance task about how animals help people, and there was a podcast about that topic which helped my students tremendously! The flexibility of the podcasts and the fact that you can arrange them in any order to support the school curriculum is fantastic.
The Walking Classroom adds another level of depth to instruction, and make Walking Classroom days my absolute favorite. The fourth graders using their WalkKits get so many compliments on how focused they are and how well they are walking. Other teachers go out of their way to come over and ask the students what topic they are learning about this week.
The Walking Classroom has had such a positive impact on the fourth graders that are learning from and enjoying the program. Thank you so much for your support. You truly are making a difference for so many students.
Fourth Grade Teacher