As the Gifted Resource Teacher, I work with all students in my Title I school. I knew The Walking Classroom would be perfect for my gifted cluster classrooms. These classes include students identified as gifted and talented as well as students of a variety of skill abilities within the age group. I am a firm believer that this generation needs to spend more time outdoors and engaging their bodies in learning, regardless of their academic achievement.
I introduced The Walking Classroom back in the fall of this 2022 – 2023 school year. Teachers were eager to have something to supplement their students’ learning with physical activity. Students were excited to try something new. We immediately saw increased engagement. Students who usually had trouble staying focused could sustain their attention for longer after a walk. Discipline referrals decreased and students did not need to be sent out of the classroom as frequently for brain breaks or attitude resets. One particularly interesting piece of data was that on days when a class did a Walking Classroom session, no students needed to visit the Unwind Zone with the guidance counselor or their Calm Down Corner.
The students’ ability to remember the material from the podcast also impressed me. We used the GoogleForm quizzes for each session and students never scored below 70%. Additionally, it was reported they would share the nutrition and health information with their PE teachers and in interactions with school administrators.
My cluster classrooms use the WalkKits for whole group sessions. They also use them as rewards, small group options, and calm down incentives. Within a month of starting the program, teachers I don’t normally work with began reaching out to me to ask if they too, could be a Walking Classroom.
At Parkway, we talk about having #parkwayfever as a way of building a positive school culture and promoting school spirit. The Walking Classroom has certainly become a part of that. Without TWC, our school year would not have been as positive or successful. You have impacted these students in ways that will continue for years to come.
Gifted Resource Teacher
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