Walking And Learning

On Friday, I had the unexpected opportunity to join a kindergarten class on a walking trip to the library. The library is just under a kilometre away from our school, so this was about a 20 minute walk both ways, plus some time exploring the actual library. As I was walking with a group of kids, I couldn’t help but listen in on their conversations. At one point, I was tempted to take out my device and record them, but instead, I chose to focus on really listening closely. This post is inspired by what I heard.

During my prep at the end of the day, I wrote up a little quasi-learning story, where I captured and shared some of the conversations.

I could have added names or initials, but since the class is not my own and since I wanted to post what I heard, I decided to stick to anonymous quotes and more general descriptions.

Here’s what I kept returning to as I reflected on this experience: we are now at a point in the COVID pandemic where field trips are happening again. So many educators, children, and families are thrilled with this news. These experiences often help to develop schema for students, support community building, and address learning skills, but do they do more than this? As I was listening in on these four- and five-year olds, I saw so many oral language opportunities, reading and writing connections, vocabulary development, and an inquiry mindset at play. I wrote up this story not just for the purpose of this blog post or to share on social media, but because I wanted to also share it with the classroom educators.

  • What might they be able to extend back in the classroom or outside now?
  • What additional home connections might there be?
  • How can I support this learning in my role as a Reading Specialist?

We want to appreciate the fun moments of these special trips, whatever they might be, but in our remaining weeks of the school year, I wonder how some close listening, co-operative planning, and upcoming inquiries might also support something more. Whether at home or at school, listen closely to your children this week. What do you hear, and what might this mean for some academic learning in the coming month? Even a community walk has so much value!


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