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Students in Colorado get the Blood Flowing While Learning

Caitlin Cobb is a Communications Consultant for Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit and a regular contributor to the Thriving Schools blog.
caitlin.cobb@kp.org

Podcasts help students to stay active throughout the school dayTWC-logo-420px

“Walking while learning” is a new strategy being put into practice in schools across the greater Denver area. With the help of WalkKits, and podcast lessons provided for free by the Walking Classroom Institute, students can get their blood pumping while they learn.

“It was a way to get their bodies moving, so they’re not just sitting and learning,” said Christina Steele, teacher at B.F. Kitchen Elementary School. “Research shows that movement helps you learn more.”

A recent article in the Loveland Reporter-Herald highlighted Steel’s innovative use of WalkKits to support a more “kinesthetic” form of learning. In January, Steele started using WalkKits to teach language arts while her students took walks around the school track or in the hallways. The WalkKits are preloaded with more than 85 language arts podcasts that are aligned with the state standards and include a teacher’s guide and lesson plans. Each podcast lasts about 15 minutes, and once finished, the students went back to the classroom to discuss what they learned.

While research is still being gathered on the subject, many educational experts agree that there are different ways that students learn and absorb information. Employing kinesthetic learning methods, like the use of walking while learning, appears to support greater retention of information by students. Of course, it also helps support them in getting physical activity through the school day.

Taking 15 minutes out of the day to get kids walking is a good way to increase physical activity and break up the day. Promoting a new and active way to study makes kids excited to learn, and gives them something to look forward to.

The Walking Classroom Institute is an educational nonprofit based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. With the help of a grant from Kaiser Permanente Colorado, the Walking Classroom Institute provided more than 350 audio devices last school year to 13 classes of fourth and fifth grade students in the greater Denver area.

To learn more, or apply for WalkKits to use in your own classroom, visit TheWalkingClassroom.org.

Read Shelley Widhalm’s article in the Loveland Reporter-Herald, “Loveland students walk to learn.”

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