The Walking Classroom is a great addition to my classroom. In addition to the podcasts, I am able to incorporate lessons during our “debriefing” sessions. And . . . The Walking Classroom offers free teacher resources which correlate with each podcast.
For example, I recently taught a lesson on idioms in our Fifth grade EL Module 2; Unit 2 using The Most Wonderful Roof in the World by Katherine Lasky. My students had already learned about similes and metaphors, but this added figure of speech was new to them.
After listening to our podcast focused on idioms, we reviewed the “common” idioms we learned from our previous lesson. We discovered that using idioms in our writing or reading can enhance the text’s meaning and really allow us to visualize what the author is trying to say. My students were able to gain additional knowledge about the history of idioms and why it’s important to consider using a “few” in their writing.
At the conclusion of each lesson, students were paired with a partner to take a comprehension quiz provided by The Walking Classroom to determine mastery of content and subject. My students were very excited to share what they learned while justifying their answer choices with a peer and then as a whole class.
On Fridays, we have now started sharing our favorite podcast of the “year”. Students have logged what they’ve listened, and they can easily share which podcast has inspired them or maybe which one has taught them something new. We spend time recalling what we’ve listened to, learned, and discussed to continually add to our knowledge tree.
Most of their favorites are history and biography related. Many haven’t heard of some of the famous people in history. Our conversations lead them to further research time periods or major events in history. I love to hear, “Did you know…or guess what else I found out?” All of the additional extension activities provide provided by The Walking Classroom present opportunities for students to share what they have learned and add insight into our topics of discussions.
My favorite part of the program is that it lends to collaborative discussions and task completion. I love hearing students discuss the podcasts with each other. Their comments feed off of each other and build the discussion. This has enabled them to build empathy and respect towards their peers. Everyone is included and afforded the opportunity to share without interruption.