The Walking Classroom has been an amazing resource for us to add to our classrooms! We currently share one set of WalkKits across a third-grade team, and everyone loves them. When thinking about adopting a resource like this, consider how it fits into your school and district’s mission and plan. This will allow you to frame requests for funding.
The program has fit our needs like a dream! Asbell Elementary is 76.8% FRL and over 50% minority. A typical school approach just doesn’t always meet the needs of our students. They need to move, and they should have the opportunity to learn in a way that is most appropriate for them.
Our district has adopted a strategic plan to prioritize student growth. Two of the four goals in that plan align with the Walking Classroom curriculum. Goal One of our strategic plan is that “All students will have equitable access and support to excel in personalized learning experiences and to meet academic challenges.”
The Walking Classroom is allowing us to meet the kinesthetic needs of our students. Research has shown that all students, but especially students of poverty, need to get up and move. Students have been responding well to their WalkKits. They are so excited to get out of their seats and learn!
Goal Four of our strategic plan states that “all students will have equitable, financially sustainable access to safe and innovative physical and technological resources.” The Walking Classroom is definitely a safe and innovative technological resource.
The program appeals to a certain type of learner who is often overlooked in a “traditional classroom.” This type of learner is prevalent in our building and just doesn’t seem to be growing academically in a way that many of the other students are growing. The WalkKits have provided an excellent resource for these students.
Beyond this, the affective piece of the Walking Classroom curriculum is invaluable right now. Many of our students missed out on some foundational affective skills early on due to COVID. This has become a problem for both their academics and their social-emotional well-being. They are behind and have been overlooked. The Walking Classroom gives them some tools to achieve success.
Let’s face it, this approach to learning is different. It is innovative. Sometimes, that makes it difficult to get funded because there aren’t a lot of precedents to demonstrate the value of the program. The Walking Classroom is backed by some really great research. Incorporate the benefits into the goals of your district. I think that you will find yourself with support for your own class set. Trust me, the program is worth it, and the possibilities are out there to make it happen!
Gifted and Talented Facilitator