Walking Classroom Allows Students to Learn While Exercising

May 01, 2018 07:08 AM

A Minneapolis school is one of four in the entire state using new technology that combines learning with exercise.

Fourth-graders at Carondelet Catholic School are piloting the walking classroom.


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It's a 20-minute, kid-friendly podcast loaded with social studies, language arts, and science lessons.

"We're tying it into what we would normally do during the day," fourth-grade teacher Kristen Rafferty said.

Students listen, while moving, which generally means a short walk outside.

"My fourth-graders all year have just loved to move. We have standing desks, rocking chairs, bands that go around their desks because they just learn better while they are moving, and there is information out there that shows your brain processes information differently and better when you are moving," Rafferty said.

In the first three weeks of use, the walking classroom has been a hit.

"If you're very squirmy in the classroom, you like to get active and you can learn while your getting active," one student said.

"Everybody likes to get outside," another student added.

Students are also enjoying the lessons.

"Writing, it was about different audiences and writing," two young girls said.

"The best thing was how speaking differently affects different audiences," another student said..

"They are quiet and engaged when we are doing it and when we go back inside, they work on a presentation tool and I have them keep a listening journal of the podcasts we have listened to and what we have learned from each one," said Rafferty.

There are 105 podcasts to choose from, each with discussion questions, and you can speed up or slow down the audio to best suit your learning style.

Principal Sue Kerr said other classes already want to use them.

"So far, this pilot has been pretty successful and we may want to extend the program," Kerr said. 

The school paid $125 each for eight of the headsets, and 17 more were donated.

The school said the walking classroom helps them educate the whole child, which they strive to do.


Jessica Miles

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