Rowland Unified School District

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Yorbita Students Learn With New "Walking Classroom"

La Puente students learn with new Walking Classroom

Yorbita Teacher Ms. Julie Rust with her students as they experience The Walking Classroom.Courtesy photo by Gina Ward

To really know someone, they say you should walk a mile in their shoes. So students at Yorbita Elementary walked a mile with Shakespeare last Monday in La Puente, then took a midmorning stroll with Thomas Edison on Wednesday.

It’s part of the new Walking Classroom that the fifth-graders joined this year — all thanks to teacher Julie Sosa-Rust, who applied for a grant from the innovative program.

“I read about it on a teacher’s blog, which said it worked well with her class,” the fifth-grade instructor said. “It’s built around the Common Core, so I thought I would see if we could get it.”

Here’s how The Walking Classroom works. Each student receives an MP3 loaded with nearly 100 subjects. Then they walk, while it talks about a subject.

Granted it takes a little coordination, but the Rowland Unified students were getting quite good at it. Of course, you can’t stop to take notes while walking, so they really have to concentrate on the subject at hand.

The La Puente kids know they’ll discuss it afterward with the rest of the class. And it’s hard to talk about something you don’t know anything about.

“The first thing they do back in our classroom is write down all the facts they can recall,” Sosa-Rust said. “It surprised me how much they remember from the audio file.”

Soon, the room at Yorbita was abuzz with interesting tidbits about Thomas A. Edison. Did you know he had scarlet fever when he was young and almost died?

Of course, you would probably have to explain what scarlet fever is to these high-tech kids. And they didn’t quite grasp what a phonograph was, but they appreciated that Edison found a way to record music.

“I think a phonograph is a big, flat CD,” one fifth-grader volunteered.

Thank goodness, Principal Sylvia Cadena didn’t tell them about 78, 45 and 33 rpm records.

The kids were concerned that Edison only had three months of schooling because teachers thought he was stupid. Albert Einstein would have appreciated that, but he’s next on the list so we’ll leave it at that.

“The Walking Classroom is pretty good. They make the subjects interesting,” said Keith Hankins. The 10-year-old also enjoyed the walk with Shakespeare, “who built his own theater in England and wrote plays.” Click HERE for entire story!

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