Dear Walking Classroom,
My students wrote their thank you letters right away and several times I have wanted to send off the package and remembered that I hadn’t written my letter. I am not sure why it has taken me so long to write you! The Walking Classroom has changed how I teach. I have always known that movement is good for the body, mind, and soul. Why is it that we lose focus of that basic idea and let tests take over what we know is best practice?
After being awarded the 5th grade version, I started looking into other ways to get movement into my students’ day. I wrote a grant to get exercise balls for all my students. These started to change my kids right away. I noticed it more in the afternoon when they used to get all tired and droopy. And here they were in a hot, 90 degree portable classroom, bouncing and reading with smiles on their faces.
If I missed a day with The Walking Classroom, they would riot! This year I am in a small district where people aren’t as open-minded. The parents all think that my class is a breath of fresh air. The Walking Classroom has been a turning point for a majority of my kids. They can’t miss out on a single thing.
We have taken part of the SBA (state test) and several of my kids smiled and said,“Hey, Mrs. Criste, this is one of those idioms from our WalkKit.” Those connections they made are not because we sat in the room and memorized idioms. We walked and listened and laughed right along with you in the podcasts. I feel sad for those who don’t experience alternative ways to teach and enrich our students’ lives.
You are amazing. I hope you get to hear that often. I want to say thank you for the opportunity to enrich my students with not only the lessons we learn on the podcasts but the way you have changed our lives. There aren’t enough words to help me explain what I see and feel when I am out with my kids and they remember something from one of the podcasts, and they stop whomever they meet and tell them about “macaroni and feathers in his hat, Yankee Doodle…” and so much more.
Your face would light up when you see some of my biggest strugglers start to feel like they are the smartest ones in the school. How walking and listening helps them remember the lessons, and one simple sound song reminds them of something so they can outwit the smartest ones! I am a believer! Sorry this is so late, but thank you isn’t even a big enough start in what you do for our kids!
5th grade teacher