I teach fourth grade at Nixon Academy in Cerritos, located in Southern California. Our location affords us plenty of sunny days to enjoy going outside and learning while we walk. When I first found out about The Walking Classroom program, I was intrigued and thrilled to learn that it allows my students to continue learning while getting exercise at the same time. Definitely a program I could not pass up!
Since I received the set of WalkKits, my students and I have averaged two walks a week. If we have to skip a day, the students eagerly ask me when we will make it up.
We have covered topics that relate directly to what we are learning in class; for example, interjections, prepositions, and conservation. We also enjoy listening to podcasts on topics that may not directly relate to what we are learning in class but are much fun, such as, “Take Me out to the Ballgame” (5-#6, Complete-#30) and “Who’s on First?” (5-#19, Complete-#122).
Before we go on a walk, I share a relevant video to front load the students on the topic of the day. I also go through the slides provided by the program for the introduction and key vocabulary. We then set to our actual walking and learning for about 20 minutes. The students listen to the podcast and pair up to discuss the topic, which helps with their communication skills.
Upon returning to the classroom, the kids get their whiteboards out and write something they learned from the podcast. Students then share with the class what we reviewed and what was discussed.
The final activity is participating in the online quiz program, Kahoot! that I had previously prepared using questions from The Walking Classroom Teacher Resources. This is a fun way to hold students accountable for absorbing the material and listening to our discussions.
This program has made a huge difference in my students’ ability to focus, plus it has had a noticeable impact on their attitude towards school. The Walking Classroom is going to be a program that students will remember all through their school years, and hopefully instill the importance of physical fitness.
Fourth Grade Teacher