If I could sum up the Walking Classroom in one word it would be GREAT! It really has been a wonderful and fun addition to my curriculum. I was lucky enough to receive a grant for the program (which you can apply for here) but if I had purchased it, honestly I can say that it would be worth every penny spent.
* My students LOVE LOVE LOVE it. They ask me daily (literally) if we are going to be going for a walk. Then, when we are out there walking, they are focused and serious and learning.
* The lessons are things I would be teaching in my classroom anyway. There are lessons on idioms, personification, and Christopher Columbus. We even did a lesson on money when talking about our classroom economy and keeping track of what we had!
|The kids also loved counting their steps with these!|
* The lessons are short. In 12-15 minutes, the kids get outside, walk off some of their energy, and still get the standards they were needing. Plus, with them being short, if we needed to listen again on a different day, the kids still had an attention span for it.
* The kids love it.
* It manages to tackle those kinesthetic learners who are dying just sitting down in a quiet classroom all day (and my class is uber quiet) The kids get to move and then talk afterwards...so they are in heaven.
|Laura sent us this when a few WalkKits stopped working!|
* Did I mention the kids love it?
* Batteries. I seem to be changing batteries at the beginning of every walk now. I mean, there are 27 WalkKits, and I am not changing the same ones each time...but batteries is something to factor into it all. (and Laura actually sent me a whole bunch of replacement batteries!!)
* Time. I still find it hard to get the kids outside as much as I (and they) would like. This is totally a *me* problem though....not really a Walking Classroom problem ;)
Overall, I can not recommend this program highly enough. My students felt empowered as they walked around our track with the WalkKits on. It made them feel important and special....all while learning. And what's more, TWC made a difference with in the health of the students. My students finished the 5th grade mile run faster than any class before. I had NONE of the walking laggers that I had in years past. Everyone was finished in 15 minutes or less (and I know that isn't amazing as far as time goes, but you should have seem my classes in years past!)
OK...so those are my final thoughts on it. I am so excited to have the kits to use at the beginning of next year. And I promise to work on my time management with them ;)
Does anyone else use the program? What are your thoughts?
And...one final thing....4th grade is slated for the 2013/2014 school year!!!!!!!!!!!!