This post is part of this year’s Walk This Way series, designed to share The Walking Classroom experiences of teachers and students across the United States. It provides a glimpse into Caitlin Watson’s class.
I have noticed a trend over the years I have been teaching. Many of the teachers I talk to have seen the same thing — an uptick in ADD/ADHD symptoms in students.
I think part of it has to do with the long periods of testing that force students to sit at their desks for hours. Part of it has to do with the lack of recess and cuts to physical education, and part of it has to do with nutritional gaps that aren’t being filled in my student’s diets (Takis, Takis everywhere!)
But the good news is that we have The Walking Classroom to help with all of those things! At my school, in the month of December, we tested every single day literally. It was so nice to have The Walking Classroom. With it, I could get my students moving and grooving after days of sitting at their desks.
For those teachers forced to cut out recess because they don’t have the time to teach and get their students moving at the same time, The Walking Classroom comes to the rescue. With The Walking Classroom, you don’t have to choose between learning and physical activity! The topics addressed in the podcasts meet my curriculum standards. They also allow my students to get out and move without having to make any compromises to the quality of my instruction.
Health Messages — An Added Bonus
Last, but not least, the podcasts teach my students about their bodies. They learn how their bodies work best when fueled with water, fresh fruits and vegetables, and exercise! Whenever we get back to class and we talk about the podcast, the health message is always one of the conversations we end up having.
The kids love learning about their bodies and the podcasts have led to bigger lessons on how to read a nutrition label and what proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are. I have even had students stop eating their beloved Takis. After reading the label, they decided they didn’t want to eat them anymore (a true Christmas miracle!).
Teachable Moments Galore
You would be surprised at just how many directions The Walking Classroom can take you and how many teachable moments can come out of the health message at the beginning. I hope that The Walking Classroom brings just as many teachable moments to your classroom in the new year and that you find the increased focus that I have seen in my room!
Happy Holidays and Happy Trails in 2020!
Fourth Grade Teacher
Diamond View Elementary