We received The Walking Classroom last fall. My students were SO excited about this program. After just a few walks, they could not get enough of the program. They literally begged me to go on walks every week! It was so fun to see their energy and excitement for the program.
The topics in the podcasts connect perfectly to our curriculum. The variety of podcast topics allows us to extend our learning to topics that are not included in our curriculum but are of high interest to students.
We are a STEM classroom, so we have used a couple of topics as the background information for some of our upcoming STEM challenges. We listened to Native American Mound Builders (4-#72, Complete-#96) during our study of the Olmec culture. Once we returned to the school building, students created their own mounds based on existing mounds in our state using air dry clay. The students were then able to do more research and write about their mounds as well.
Providing this connection between the podcasts, STEM challenges, writing, and research makes the curriculum so much more memorable to students. They are still talking about and referring to the information they learned from that podcast!
We have a poster in our classroom that tells the upcoming topic and number for our next Walking Classroom podcast. The kids get so excited seeing the next topic! They often do a little early research on their own to find out a little about the topic before we begin. Their excitement for the program is contagious! I think I am just as excited as they are for the next Walking Classroom session! Our next podcast will be on The Maya (4-#69, Complete-#57). We are studying the Maya next in our social studies curriculum.
We have also enjoyed getting to know the neighbors who live in the houses around our school building. On one of our walks around the neighborhood surrounding our school, a neighbor came out to say hello to us. She offered to give us a huge stuffed snowman for our school building. We carried the snowman back to the school building, and it is now standing in our main office area. The students look forward to seeing the different neighbors who wave to us as we walk through the neighborhood.
We are grateful to the donors who provided this amazing program to our classroom, and we can’t wait to go on even more walks and hear even more podcasts!
Fifth Grade Teacher
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