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Climbing a rock wall may help students get excited about learning

New rock wall at Charles City High aims to not just get kids stay in shape and try something new and different, but also help in the classroom

Posted: Jan. 9, 2019 10:20 PM

CHARLES CITY, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Education recently named Charles City High School among 341 schools in the state that need improvement.

According to a recent school performance report, a few fields such as growth, achievement, and state assessment participation in reading and math are currently below state average. However, the district is committed to changing that by trying to get kids excited about learning through new opportunities.

One way is through a new rock wall that students took part in building, with the goal of getting them to not only improve physically, but also become better at problem solving.

Robert Pittman is a social studies teacher, and also heads an outdoor education class. He hopes that the wall could translate into success in the classroom.

"Every time a kid is excited like, 'Hey, I'm gonna go rock climbing today', then when they go to their next class they're gonna be like, 'you know what, I just did this. I'm gonna now try this a little bit harder, I might ask for help.' But the best part about rock climbing is the problem solving that allows kids to do."

And it's not just for the classroom, but also applicable in real life.

"It makes them think as they're doing something physical, and the more times they do that, then they can do that anytime, anywhere. And that I think is what's the beauty of it. It's a sport that's more of your mind than your body."

Pittman has also implement other ways to improve his students scores, including working more reading and writing into his social studies classes.

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