While we hope to expand the number of kits we have through additional funding options by next school year, for now, The Walking Classroom works for us thanks to some creative planning.
Our classes follow the suggested routine with an assigned line leader and a caboose, and one ear bud at a time for safety. Students easily learn this routine, which helps us maximize classroom management. If we are indoors, we are fortunate to have a larger school with a lot of space for our walking path. In addition, our fabulous Occupational Therapist allows us to utilize the sensory movement path she has created in a nook of our building.
We arrange for about half the group to listen independently to a particular podcast. As they are listening, the other half is partnered up for the lesson preview or post-walk discussion questions. Using Google slides, we create additional visuals to help the students. These share the goals for the day and/or focus of discussions.
While we seek out podcasts that align with our Illinois Learning Standards, like the Human Body’s Slimy Shields (4-#4, Complete-#127, STEM-#29), we also practice our National Health Education Standards. Specifically, we focus on the NHES standard of Interpersonal Communication. This is where our students demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.
Christine Murray and Joanna Wolk
Woodland Middle School