Academically-Focused Movement Activities: More Engagement and More Time Learning (South Carolina)
Doby’s Mill Elementary is a public school in Kershaw County, South Carolina, and serves roughly 600 students from Pre-K to 5th grade.
Mary Catoe is a first grade teacher in Kershaw County, SC, with 21 years of instructional experience.
“The truth is, anybody who actually does it regularly doesn’t stop. [It’s] meaningful and productive and useful and engaging for the kids… if you can attach Walkabouts to your long-range plans, then it becomes part of your curriculum, and then it’s used throughout the year.”
– Mary Catoe
Several years ago, Mary Catoe was looking for additional tools to add to her teacher toolbox with a goal of student engagement. At the same time, her students’ need for activity breaks was top-of-mind. Catoe tried various strategies and programs to help students have fun and incorporate physical activity into her classroom. However, she found that because the content of these other activities was not always focused on academics, her students struggled with the transition back to instruction.
When searching for an alternative, Catoe found the Walkabouts platform and easily implemented the activities and accompanying Walksheets in her classroom. She found that because Walkabouts’ active learning activities are correlated to state academic standards, her students were moving while practicing the skills they were being taught. And, her students transitioned from Walkabouts back to learning in a timely manner because the learning never stopped!
The academic vocabulary embedded in the Walkabouts activities combined with the clear instructions on the accompanying Walksheets means that Catoe can use Walkabouts for previewing content, direct instruction, and formative and summative assessments. Perhaps best of all, Catoe’s students are creating community. “I felt like Walkabouts was a safe activity. There was never a Walkabout where everyone did it perfectly, so it was OK to make a mistake... Everyone wanted to try, and if they messed up, they were able to laugh, and they saw other kids messing up too!” Catoe’s students are smiling at each other, laughing together through mistakes, encouraging one another, and finding joy in their learning.