The Walking Classroom: Our First Walk

There are SO many things I am required to teach my students.  Between math, reading, writing, science, social studies, art, character education, and everything else, PE seems to be the last thing on my list.  Giving up precious "core" content time to go outside just never seems to work for me.  I try to get out, and somehow manage to get my time in, but really....it is a stretch.











But about a month ago, I heard about this really neat program called The Walking Classroom.  This non-profit program, designed by a 5th grade teacher, really jumped out to me because it is unlike anything I had ever seen before.  It is a way to combine those essential content areas with exercise and movement.  The basic idea of the program is that students are given these little WalkKits, which are little iPodish things preloaded with podcasts, and the students head outside to listen to them.  I knew I had to apply for a grant to get these into my room as soon as possible.








Now, you are probably thinking, how on Earth is this going to help you keep all the core?  Well, the podcasts are all of these engaging lessons that are based on the Common Core.  They are lessons on idioms, similies, parts of speech, explorers, westward expansion, conservation, healthy living, and much much more.  The students listen to these podcasts, basically getting the lesson I would teach, AND they are walking for 10 - 15 minutes.










We went out for our first walk (and I can not tell you just HOW EXCITED my kids were) the other day and the students and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!  They were completely engaged the entire time.  The kids kept walking.....*I* kept walking....and when it was done, they took out their earbuds and continued walking while discussing what they heard.  It really was a fabulous feeling to be out there learning in a new and different way.

Now, this was only our first walk, but I have to say I am super excited and hopeful about this program.  I will keep you updated on it as we get into more heavy lessons and as the "novelty" of it all wears off.  But as for now, we are digging it!

If you would like more information about getting this program into your school, or even to apply to receive a grant for this program, you can visit the website here




  

21 comments

  1. WOW! That sounds incredible!! I am off to check out the site, thanks Steph!

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  2. That sounds like a really great idea! Just out of curiosity, did I understand from your post that you are responsible for your classroom PE? At my school we have PE 45 minutes every day and have a PE teacher. It's really interesting to see how different states and school systems organize things like that.
    Farrah

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    1. We do teach our own PE time. We are lucky to have a psychomotor program that comes once every two weeks for 45 minutes...so that is good. But otherwise, I am the PE teacher.

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  3. Oh my goodness! How cool is that?? Putting this on my "must look into this" list!!!
    Elizabeth

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  4. Oh Steph - how awesome!!! Can't wait to hear more about these learning "journeys". Wish someone in Canada could come up with something like this.

    Jen
    Runde's Room

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  5. Great idea! I'm trying to tie podcasts into my teaching practice this year, and am all for the idea of learning & movement combined in meaningful ways! I'll be following you for more information, Stephanie

    Tammy @ Teaching FSL

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  6. As always the ideas you have are INCREDIBLE!!! Thanks so much for sharing, Stephanie!!! I am totally going to be on my couch reading up on this website all night!


    YoungTeacherLove 5th Grade Blog

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  7. Wow! This is an awesime idea! I will have to see what I can do to try something like this. I have thought of having quick mini lessons on way to lunch and specials. A quick review. This may come in handy!!! Thank you for sharing!

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  8. Brilliant idea. Applying for a grant tomorrow!

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  9. I am in love with this program! Could you tell me what grant you applied for to get this program in you classroom? I work in an independent school, so I'm not eligible for Donors Choose. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Now that's a neat concept! Cool technology + standards + physical activity = Can't go wrong! :)

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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  11. I teach 3rd grade and have iPads for all of my students. I am so intrigued. IPads are much larger and makes me nervous, but I think I am going to try this out this week. Get the kids out of the classroom and walking while listening to educational information is #1 on my list. Thanks. I'll let you know how it works.

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  12. I just posted the previous comment and I had to do it as Anonymous. What is the process to post using different profiles? Can someone help me out selecting a different profile so I can use my name?

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  13. This is such a fabulous idea! I'm going to check this out!

    Dee
    Mrs. B's Nook

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  14. I wish they did this in Canada! I would be very interested in trying them out with my class!

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  15. I have been missing your posts! Thanks to Chandler's Newsletter, I read about your first experience and I loved it. One question...how did everyone get a device?
    Hope you're having a great year; I finally got hired at a new school!

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  16. Sorry if I missed the answer to this question. Are you still using the Walking Classroom? If so, how were you funded for this program?

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    1. I am still using it! Almost 4 years now, and still going strong! :) I was funded through a grant on their site. You can apply on the Walking Classroom site, but I hear funds are limited now. I know of another teacher who was funded through Donors Choose.

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