Using The Walking Classroom with the restrictions in place during the 2020-2021 school year presented some challenges. However, having the program definitely helped! I ended up checking out units to students at home to use. That way, when the small group of in-person students participated, the remote students could as well.
After walking, we got back together and spoke about the lesson through a hybrid meeting in the Google Meets platform. Since we could go outside, this afforded us the ability to have a mask down break while walking. Because of this, the students requested to walk more.
Lessons worked cohesively together with the Georgia Standards of Excellence. The Walking Classroom’s podcasts cover almost every ELA-focused standard! The Walking Classroom also provides program users LOADS of supplemental resources easily accessible on their website.
In addition, my school uses the Second Step Curriculum for Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The Walking Classroom’s character value lessons worked great with them as well. Learning about perseverance, responsibility, and overcoming struggles is critical for students of all ages if we want them to become productive citizens.
My students’ favorite element of the program (BY FAR!) were all the different ways health and physical fitness were incorporated into learning. After hearing the abundance of information in the media about COVID and other illnesses, my students loved learning about positive ways to give your body what it needs.
At the end of the year, every checked-out unit came back to the school and most students gifted new batteries to next year’s class as a way of paying it forward! Having the Walking Classroom as part of our activities helped bond our remote students with our in-person students and has created a bridge to next year’s group. I look forward to seeing where our feet take us next!
Happy Trails to you!