This is the first year using The Walking Classroom. We started out walking outside around the playground but as the weather got colder, we walked in the building. This has brought a lot of questions from fellow teachers. After my explaining the concept, they (especially the PE teachers!) thought it was a good idea.
I’ve been choosing podcasts that go along with the units that I am teaching. The students seem to enjoy this. It gets them out of the classroom and they are hearing a lesson from someone else. They even remind me if I forget the time and start to miss The Walking Classroom portion of the day. We’ve shared our experiences with The Walking Classroom on ClassTag, which is a communication tool we use to keep in touch with parents. They have given positive responses to our posts.
I give the quiz to the students before we do the podcast, so they have an idea as to what is happening in it. It also gives them the opportunity to listen closer to find the answers. When we are done with our walk, we have a short discussion. Then, they take the quiz.
Each time we do our walk, a different student becomes the leader. We do have a problem keeping all together and sometimes we have a gap in our line! I have found that many of the podcasts go with our curriculum. When we were working on essay writing, Summary Writing (4-#34, Complete-#20) and Adjusting Your Writing to Different Audiences (4-#43, Complete-#18) were very helpful.
My class really enjoys The Walking Classroom. I haven’t found a podcast that wasn’t liked by my students. Importance of Superheroes in Society (4-#379, Complete-#43) was the favorite. We discussed what a superhero was and what they did before the walk. They could hardly wait to see what it was really about. After the walk they started answering the questions to the quiz, commenting that this was easy. It is enjoyable to watch the students really listening as they are walking and then doing a great job on the quiz afterward!
I have a fantastic paraprofessional that does The Walking Classroom with my class. This is because my students walk faster than I can. I have injured my leg and can’t walk very well. Ramona is able to keep up with them and keep them on task. I’m hoping that next year I’ll be healed and can keep pace with the students.
It has taken a little bit of creative scheduling to get The Walking Classroom worked into the school day, but it is totally worth the effort! I’d like to try to do it two times a week next year. There are so many podcasts to choose from. Until next time, “Happy Trails!”