As summer approaches, it’s important to take some simple steps to prepare your Walking Classroom program materials (and you!) for action come fall! For those of you adopters implementing the program in a classroom setting, here are some suggestions to help you as you are packing up and planning for next year.
Bid Adieu to Your Batteries … at Least for Now!
Your batteries don’t want to spend the summer sizzling away in your WalkKits. Pop them out or you’ll be face to face with corroded batteries come August. This step can be easily accomplished with a little help from your students. After returning from your last walk of the school year, simply ask them to remove the batteries. Not only will this student support save you time, it will also guarantee that you won’t come back to messy and damaged WalkKits!
Storing your WalkKits in a cool and dry environment is important. This step will help to ensure that nothing happens to the devices while they are idle over the summer. Even your WalkKits can enjoy a break of their own!
It is equally important to store the WalkKits in a safe place! Many school buildings are still used in some capacity over the summer — for summer programs and the like — and you definitely don’t want any WalkKits wandering off while you’re gone!
Take a Little Time to Plan!
After these steps, do a bit of planning! Whether you are teaching the same grade and/or content area or you will experience a slight shift in the new school year, take some time to revisit that list of podcasts. Determine which podcasts you might incorporate in which teaching unit, or build a content area or thematic unit around several podcasts. Putting some fresh eyes on the options can be refreshing for you … and your teaching!
It’s easy to build a two to four-week unit around several podcasts. Pick one of the following themes and have a go at it!
- Poets and Poetry
- Writing Skills
- Colonial America and Revolutionary War
- The Civil War
- Earth Science
Or get creative, and build a unit around “innovators”– select from podcasts about artists, inventors, and other innovative folks!
Let us Know Who’s Who!
Finally, while this last step isn’t device-related, it’s nonetheless important! On the year-end survey, several folks have noted that there is a possibility of a job change for them. As former educators ourselves, we are well aware that a change in school, position, and/or grade level is a common occurrence. Keep us in the loop!
If you find yourself transitioning to a different location or placement for the next school year, please take a moment to let us know as soon as possible. Not only does this guarantee that our records are kept current, but it also ensures that any new adopters are fully prepared and supported.
If you are handing over your devices to a teaching peer, please pass his/her name and email along so that we can send the link for free online training, share information on adopter resources (and how to access them!), and provide the support for which we are known!