Learning may still look different these days, which means some changes. Educators are handling this “new normal” with creativity, resourcefulness, and a fair amount of extra patience. Some schools plan on in-school instruction with physical distancing. Others may incorporate either fully remote or hybrid learning approaches. No matter which “trail” you’re on this year, know that The Walking Classroom is here to support you.
In-School Instruction with Physical Distancing
With modified seating and the use of physical barriers, tape, signage, or verbal cues (airplane arms, anyone?) to ensure proper distancing, in-school instruction will definitely present some challenges. The need for proper spacing may limit class sizes and necessitate staggered scheduling. However, it may encourage more outdoor learning — especially outdoor learning which engages students individually. This is a situation for which The Walking Classroom is perfectly suited.
The Walking Classroom has really allowed us to utilize time outside and “mask breaks” this year, as we have been in-person all school year. Anytime we can get outside and walk is refreshing for both students and teachers.
– Brittany Pierce, Illinois
Being able to utilize The Walking Classroom was a blessing! We walked the perimeter of the playground, socially distanced. The kids were so engaged!
– Susie Hoard, California
Our students have been in-person for the majority of the year, with lots of precautions and protocols in place, of course. As the weather has gotten nicer here in Colorado, we have utilized The Walking Classroom as it was intended, but within the boundaries of our school grounds. Nonetheless, the students have thoroughly enjoyed having a somewhat normal experience in their days.
– Chrystal Hamilton, Colorado
The Walking Classroom is great for distanced mask breaks to continue our daily learning!
– Kristin Kelly, North Carolina
Some Tips on Sharing
Using devices in school? If you are sharing devices, it will be especially important to integrate the following practices into your (and your students’) routine.
- Label or number devices and assign them to students by number.
- Ensure that each student has his/her own earbuds. Keeping these in individually labeled Ziploc bags would be helpful.
- Clean and disinfect devices after each use. Lysol, Clorox, or other disinfecting wipes are fine. It may be helpful to individually wrap the devices in plastic wrap (still allowing for manipulation of the buttons) for easier cleaning and disinfecting.
- Additionally, limit device use to one group for an extended period, rather than swapping between groups over the course of a week. Afterward, clean and disinfect the devices before giving to the next group.
Know That We Are Here for You!
With all the changes, these are challenging times. As former classroom educators, we know that makes your job more difficult. Keep us aware of any challenges you encounter, and we will do what we can to keep you and your students on Happy Trails!
And, for more ideas on how The Walking Classroom can support you amid all the changes, check out our recorded webinar, Using the Walking Classroom in Hybrid and Remote Learning Environments.