We love The Walking Classroom! We received our WalkKits in the middle of September, and we began walking right away.
The WalkKits themselves are so cool! Each device fits in the palm of your hand. There’s a little lanyard connected to them, so the students wear the devices around theirs neck as we walk. The students each got their own set of earbuds too!
When they’re ready, the students cue up the podcast. We press the volume that we want and the lock button, so it stays on that podcast while we walk for 15 to 20 minutes, Then, we walk — around the school, around the playgrounds, down to the football field and even on our outdoor trail while we listen and learn!
Each device comes preloaded with over 160 different podcasts and includes a variety of positive character lessons too. Podcast topics cover language arts, social studies, and science. Students hear young kids their age discuss what they are learning about, sharing facts and opinions about the educational topics. In addition to the academic content, students learn about things like friendship, being considerate, empathy, staying focused, confidence, reliability, optimism, individuality, patriotism, ambition, perseverance, sense of humor, forgiveness, life goals, bravery, fairness, self-respect, being helpful, and good choices.
We have listened to Dr. Martin Luther King (4-#64, Complete-#123), Trail of Tears (5-#40, Complete-#105), Native American Mound Builders (4-#72, Complete-#96), Abraham Lincoln (5-#54, Complete-#83), Statue of Liberty (5-#65, Complete-#75), and more. We plan to walk, listen, and learn about other topics as we continue to walk around our campus.
When we return to the classroom, we have a discussion about what we listened to, learned, and remember. We discuss new terms and vocabulary. There are a variety of supplemental activities we can pair up with these podcasts too. They are all free under Adopter Resources on the website! These include things like puzzles, quizzes, online activities, and even hands-on science experiments.
The weather tools activity, paired with the podcasts on Tornadoes (4-#31, STEM-#14, Complete-#149), and Hurricanes (4-#28, STEM-#13, Complete-#150) was a favorite. At the time, we were reading about weather and the tools scientists use in our textbooks. To support that, we listened to the podcasts and completed puzzles with vocabulary words from the podcast.
Next, we opened up our science kits and got to explore different weather tools. We collected data using thermometers and weather calendars, and planned safety strategies for extreme weather like tornadoes and hurricanes. We even tested properties of water on surfaces such as wax paper, foil, and paper towels.
The students built paper houses and had to help keep them intact as the wind from tornadoes would get near them. They ended the project with an erosion activity. Problem solving together, they came up with strategies to save some houses near the bottom of a hillside that began to have mudslides. We got to get out sand, dirt, and rocks for this one, and they loved it!
The Walking Classroom enables the students to get exercise while they are learning. The podcasts keep kids moving, allowing them to be active and use the energy they have. It gets them out of the classroom and into the fresh air. This provides them a chance to build strong minds, bodies, and educational experiences. We very much appreciate your dedication to health, education, and the futures of these young children!
Third Grade Teacher