This post is part of our Walk This Way series, designed to share The Walking Classroom experiences of teachers and students across the United States. It provides a glimpse into Lisa McDowell’s classroom.
Increasing Health Knowledge
During our discussions following a Walking Classroom podcast, students often comment on the health lesson or topic addressed at the start of the podcast. Students retain this information and are able to make connections to other health topics mentioned in later podcasts.
Additionally, students often comment on how much they simply enjoy being able to go for a walk outdoors. They enjoy the time to move and be active during the school day.
Though not ideal, if we get a particularly cold week (or more often a very rainy week where I live here in North Carolina!), we still use The Walking Classroom.
Students absolutely prefer walking outdoors, but walking the hallway inside the school is better than missing out on a Walking Classroom podcast! It still gets kids out of their usual classroom setting and students still get to experience the content through a podcast. All of the benefits minus the fresh air!
Extending the Curriculum
One of my favorite things to do with podcasts from The Walking Classroom is to build them into the “mini units” that I teach in my STEM Enhancement Classroom. I have the STEM Walk-Its and use The Walking Classroom with my third and fourth grade students.
Third grade does a “mini unit” on Benjamin Banneker, so I read the book Tick, Tock, Banneker’s Clock to my students and then the following day we listen to the Benjamin Banneker podcast (5-#28, STEM-#7, Complete-#153). During the month of April, third grade also does a “mini unit” on Rachel Carson. I read the book, Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World and then follow up with the STEM Podcast on Rachel Carson (5-#8, STEM-#37, Complete-#157).
In my STEM classroom I love to highlight literacy and media, and The Walking Classroom STEM podcasts are a great addition to the way students receive STEM content!
Kelly Woodward says
It is almost spring here in Maine, but that means that mud season comes too! Our outdoor route might be pretty muddy, so we might be using our backup plan- inside. I love your extension ideas about reading books about the biography podcasts as well!
Kristi Price says
I love your post! My classroom is quite similar. We are in Colorado and the weather is like a roller coaster! The school consists of two levels that are square. In inclement weather we walk the lower level square and then the upper level square. You are right, the kids really prefer to go outside and soak in the sunshine!