This post is part of our Walk This Way series, designed to share The Walking Classroom experiences of teachers and students across the United States. It provides a glimpse into Lisa McDowell’s class.
I use The Walking Classroom STEM podcasts in my STEM Enhancement classes for grades three and four. Since I serve all students in my school, my relationship with The Walking Classroom is a bit different than that of a classroom teacher.
A Different Kind of Implementation
I see students on a weekly rotation, so I have the same group of students daily for the week. Then I will not see that group again for five weeks, as they rotate through STEM, Media, Music, Art and PE.
I say all of this because I do not have a specific student that I can pinpoint how The Walking Classroom helped them to learn a specific piece of content or help them during a particularly rough day. My class period is only 50 minutes. However, this works well for The Walking Classroom.
I get to introduce the topic, pass out materials, walk, clean up and have time to discuss the content of the podcast with students before they leave. But, since I do use the program with roughly 200 students, I get quite a bit of feedback about The Walking Classroom!
Feedback from Students
Just last week, Lance (a fourth grader), was asking if we were going to get to do The Walking Classroom. He’s an introvert and loves the fact that one day of STEM is done “by himself” instead of having to work with a partner or small group.
. . . and Some Thank You’s too!
Likewise, around Thanksgiving, a fourth grade teacher has students write a note to a teacher to say why they are thankful for them and deliver that note to that teacher. I received two cards from that fourth grade class. Both of these students were with me in STEM last year in third grade where we first experienced The Walking Classroom.
Here is what they had to say:
“I’m thankful for you because I love how you read us books and let us do The Walking Classroom. I like how sometimes you match the books, how you make fun activities, and how you treat all the classes. From the One and Only, Harper.”
“I am thankful for you because you let us do fun stuff like play with toys and magnets and how we get to walk outside. Jayden”
Though Jayden isn’t as eloquent as Harper, you can see they both love the addition of The Walking Classroom STEM podcasts to their week of STEM. I am so thankful for this program and the impact that it is having on my students!