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Happy students are thrilled to explore Sanfordville Elementary’s new Sensory Path Hallway

on November 22, 2019

students in the sensory path hallway Sanfordville Elementary School’s Sensory Path Hallway is officially open, to the delight of students of all grade levels who may not even realize how using the new pathway is helping to improve their focus in class.

The sensory pathway, located in the school’s Berry Patch Hallway, is a colorful, creative and playful way for students to strengthen the connections in their brains that help them tackle lessons or tasks.  

“Movement is so important for our young learners,” Principal Johnna Maraia said. “Movement breaks that are scattered throughout the school day will help students maintain their focus, integrate learning across both of the brain’s hemispheres, enter information into memory and avoid feeling overwhelmed or information overload.”

Staff worked together to install the vinyl decals, made possible through a grant from the Stewart’s Foundation (Stewart’s Shops are a chain of convenience stores located primarily in eastern upstate New York and southwestern Vermont) and Walmart. 

students in the sensory path hallwayThe Sensory Path was created by Holly Barker Clay, a Mississippi special education teacher. The path encourages walking, skipping and leap-frogging through a series of   physical activities in a school hallway with the goal of giving proprioceptive — or movement of the body — sensory input to help kids stay calm and regulate their bodies.

For example, the idea behind students using the daisy with numbers on the petals is to help with foot-to-eye coordination. The path isn’t based on how fast one goes, but how focused a child can be at a simple task. students in the sensory path hallway

And, again, taking one’s time, the use of the lily pads, as another example, is to give the legs and body a good stretch in addition to further coordination development.  

Other areas for students to explore are the ladybug pathway, a side step/push wall, logs to jump over and squat on and an “ABC” hopscotch path.    

The sensory pathway has concurrent uses for all students.

man installing vinyl decals The younger students can use the pathway to further refine their knowledge of alphabet letters and sounds. Older students can use alphabet letters as a springboard for reciting sight words beginning with that alphabet letter.     

Students can sharpen their math skills with counting the ladybugs and their spots. They can even “tippy toe” or “heel walk” as they identify the colors of the flowers. 

Mrs. Maraia thanked staff for their involvement to install the brightly colored decals.

“With our new sensory path, we are confident our students will become even more successful in making connections which enable them to complete complex, multi-stage tasks,” she added. “It’s much more than simply refining motor skills like balance, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness.   The refocusing nature of many of these exercises are a great ‘brain break’ during the school day. And, we see our students are loving this.” 

See more photos on the district’s Facebook page. 

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