This post, part of our Walk This Way series, shares The Walking Classroom experiences of teachers and students across the United States. It provides a glimpse into Walking Classroom Ambassador Toni Lehman’s class.
Last week was a short week with lots of stress. We sure could have used the walk. We had middle of year assessments, fire and lock down drills, and it rained on our day to walk!
A Week without a Walk
Our grade level shares a set of WalkKits. Normally it is not a big deal, but this week, we had no opportunity to walk. I’m not sure who was more disappointed – the kids or me? It made me realize how much we all look forward to our chance to get away and take that much anticipated walk.
. . . and a Week with a Walk!
Fast forward to this week — another short week, but on Tuesday, our day, the sun was shining and the day was beckoning. I selected the Firsthand vs. Secondhand Accounts (4-#46, Complete-#21) podcast.
I chose this one because we are heading into a new unit on historical fiction. I also knew the ideas and perspective would be helpful down the road. The more I thought about it though, I realized that we needed the perspective to talk about our daily drama on the playground.
With the language of “bias”, and “perspective”, and thinking about whether something really happened to us, or we were merely spectators, eyes began to open and students stopped to reflect. It helped that the day’s recess had been great for everyone — it was a beautiful day.
With no real issue in front of us, students could connect how their interactions with others could be perceived. We had one of our best class conversations about how our class community supports and helps one another.
Afterwards we asked the kids to jot down what they gained from our weekly Walking Classroom walks. Here are a few responses:
- “I like going outside because the sun gives us more vitamins!” – Tomi
- “It’s a time to be calm.” – Lincoln
- “I like Walking Classroom because it gives us ‘me time’ during the day.” – Bella
Watch for those hidden connections (and benefits!) in your classroom. Until next time!
Fourth Grade Teacher
Denise Johnson says
One of the greatest benefits of the Walking Classroom is the way it integrates movement into the learning process. Students are able to get outside and get some fresh air and exercise, which has been shown to improve both physical and mental health. At the same time, they are able to learn important content in a unique and memorable way, which helps to improve retention and understanding. I truly enjoy the discoveries that are made with this program.