Ward Elementary’s ‘sensory path’ sparks student success

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Ward Elementary School kids are hopping, wiggling and pushing their way through a new path designed to help motor skills.  

“For the ability to allow their brains to relax and focus, we have to put the movement in,” Ward Elementary School teacher Kristi Newton said.  

Newton says more and more kids are developing bad posture and lacking hand-eye coordination.  

“We’re seeing kids come into school without the muscle development to hold their pencil, and they are anchoring on their desk because their pushing really hard on their paper to feel their joints,” she said.  

That’s where the sensory path comes in.  

“When they are jumping back and forth, they’re using…their tact system is feeling the weight of their body on the floor. Their vestibular system is feeling the slush when they move their head back and forth,” she said.  

But depending on who you ask, it’s just plain fun.  

“This is amazing because this is all my favorite stuff to do,” student Grace Flaherty said.  

With all this moving around, it’d be easy to confuse this with just more play time.  

“The difference between a sensory path and a recess time is that the sensory path is more structured to target specific systems in the body,” Newton said.  

Newton says she wants parents to see this less as a brain break, but instead as a brain snack.  

“We’re not getting the wiggles out, were putting the wiggles in. So were feeding the body so the brain can learn,” she said.  

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