We use The Walking Classroom at Dixon Elementary, in a tiny town of 900 people in rural northern New Mexico. We first learned about The Walking Classroom at the ESEA Conference in New Orleans last year, where our school was recognized for two consecutive years of academic achievement.
Our interest was piqued when we read about The Walking Classroom in the conference brochure. Three of our staff members attended a presentation where they heard about how The Walking Classroom works. They also had the opportunity to go on a walk while listening to a podcast about Hot Springs and Geysers (4-#73, STEM-#18, Complete-#137)!
After returning from the conference, I excitedly share this concept with my students. Within a week we began walking in the New Mexico sunshine with our Chrome Books, listening to the podcasts and getting our bodies out in the fresh air while learning. Despite the unwieldy Chrome Books, I saw my students energized — amazed at the ability to be outside on a walk as part of their learning time. As a special education teacher, I loved being able to give their bodies what they needed while at the same time engaging their minds.
We eventually received a grant that allowed all of our third through sixth graders to participate in The Walking Classroom. In order for students to get two listens in per week, we engaged our librarian to get the kids moving for the first listen each week. Then they listened to the podcast again either during ELA, science or social studies time (depending on the content).
The Walking Classroom has been a great addition to our school. And, the supplemental learning resources really take the learning that happens through moving and listening to an even higher level.
Thank you so much to The Walking Classroom team for all you do! Happy Trails!
Christine Kane and Alice Gonzales
Special Education Teachers
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