My second stop on my California sojourn involved a bit of a drive. I headed sixty miles south to Moreno Valley. There I visited Wendy Guzman’s fourth grade class at Moreno Elementary. Ms. Guzman is in her second year implementing The Walking Classroom. She received her class set in August of 2016.
More about Moreno Elementary
Part of the Moreno Valley Unified School District, Moreno Elementary was built in 1962 and recently modernized. Led by its new principal, Nancy Allbee, the school serves nearly 550 students in grades K-5.
The top performing API Title I school in the district, the Moreno Mustangs definitely have “the horsepower to learn!” In addition, to the academic success, Moreno Elementary is renowned for its performing arts program and has presented numerous performances to the community-at-large. In fact, on the day of my visit, many students remained after school to rehearse for the school’s annual Black History Month program!
Following my leisurely drive (and a pit stop for lunch!), I arrived at Moreno Elementary a few minutes before my scheduled 1:30 p.m. visit. As the class was enjoying an assembly, I waited in the office. A colorful bulletin board let me know that “Mustangs are responsible, respectful, and safe!” Within a few minutes, a friendly student came to escort me to the classroom, where the students were nearly ready to walk.
The podcast Ms. Guzman had selected for the day was the one about Clara Barton (4-#14, STEM-#39, Combined-#94). She began with a preview of the quiz, reading the questions aloud. This way, the students would have a clear sense of those key words and phrases for which they should be listening.
The students were called by table to get their WalkKits. They formed an organized line, found the podcast, headed out the door, and pressed play. The campus was perfect for walking, and we easily navigated between buildings as we walked, listened, and learned!
Follow Up Fun
Once the podcast was over, we went back to the classroom, where students recapped the big ideas of the podcast. Next, Ms. Guzman administered the comprehension quiz, projecting it on the screen. Numbering papers from 1 through 10, students wrote down the answers. Then, it was time to check responses!
. . . and A Fond Farewell!
After the students reviewed the answers, I closed my visit to Moreno Elementary. I gave Ms. Guzman a drawstring backpack with some Walking Classroom goodies, including something special for the students – stickers she distributed to the students as they packed up and lined up for dismissal.
We then headed outside, where I chatted briefly with Ms. Guzman while the students waited for their rides home. Once the traffic cleared, I found my way to my car and hit the trail for my drive back to Palm Springs!