I have been using The Walking Classroom for a few years now. It has provided my students a unique way to learn. Because each class is a bit different, the way I have implemented it has varied from year to year. Some years I’ve let the kids be the leaders of where we go, and other years I’ve been the leader. Sometimes we listen to each podcast two or three times, and sometimes we only listen once.
I use the podcasts to support what we are learning in class. We jump around to whichever podcast I feel best aligns with what we are already learning.
It has been a seamless way to integrate curriculum from across multiple standards. And, since I do not give health instruction the time it deserves in class, I love that each podcast teaches my students about a health topic too.
Perhaps one of my favorite features of the program is all the resources that The Walking Classroom provides for each podcast. I usually start out our lesson by showing one of the videos that are found on the Adopter Resources page. These are a great way to activate some background knowledge. Also, they give the students a glimpse of what they will be listening to that day.
After the video, we have a quick two to three minute discussion on what we saw. This is also a great time to go over any vocabulary with which the students may not be familiar. Then, we start to get ready to walk!
A tip that I would have for other program adopters is to have the kids all ready to go and in line before telling them the actual podcast number. That way, you can get everyone to start closer to the same time. I tell them the number to find. Then, when everyone has a moment to get to the correct podcast, I have them put their headphones on and push play.
I also have my students keep walking even if they finish before everyone else. Even though my number one job is keeping track of my students, I also make sure to listen to the podcast myself. This helps me have a talking point when we get back into the classroom to start a discussion.
Regardless of how I utilize the program, it is so fun to watch the kids be engaged in learning as we also get some exercise. We try to walk outside as often as we can. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, we walk different loops in our building. The Walking Classroom is just a great way to shake up our learning a little bit. And, we get to do something that doesn’t require sitting at a desk!
Fourth Grade Teacher