Lincoln-Gavin Students Embrace Sensory Pathway Benefits
Utilizing funds supplied through a grant from the CHSD170 Education Foundation Lincoln-Gavin School K-1 Special Education teacher Patti Corcoran has created a sensory pathway for use by the students of the school.
According to Corcoran, the focus on technology in students' lives creates a sensory stimulus overload, and the sensory pathway will provide students with an opportunity to "unplug" for a time and return to the classroom better able to concentrate on the learning process.
The sensory pathway provides space, activities, experiences, and physical/cognitive and fine/gross motor engagement and allows students to jump, bounce, bend, and push. During these activities, the sensory buildup can be released and best utilized during the cognitive process.
"I first saw a sensory pathway being used by students on social media," Corcoran explained.
"The idea intrigued me, and I immediately researched what a sensory pathway would include and the benefits of a sensory pathway for all our students."
"Once I had that information, I knew I wanted the students at Lincoln School to benefit from that experience."
The pathway, located in the school's hallway, is an actual trail of activities incorporating physical acts such as skipping from number to number on a designated path, following colored footprints leading to a push/side-step activity following number and letter clues, and an alphabet skip, jump and bounce sequence.
Cara Pastere, the Principal at Lincoln-Gavin School, has been incredibly supportive of the activity.
"I am excited about the introduction of the sensory pathway for many reasons," she said.
"The students will benefit greatly from the sensory stimulation, and the positive effects of the sensory activities will enhance the students' potential for academic, cognitive, social and emotional growth."
The implementation of the pathway adheres to analyses that underscore the importance of sensory activity in a child's development.
Numerous studies have shown that children and even adults learn best and retain more information when the senses are engaged. In providing opportunities for the students to actively use their senses (sight, touch, hear, taste, and smell) through a series of activities is crucial to learning development. The activities enhance a student's ability to complete more complex learning tasks and support cognitive growth, language development, gross motor skills, social interaction, memory development, and problem-solving skills.
"I was thrilled to learn of the introduction of the sensory pathway activities at Lincoln-Gavin School," said Mary Kay Entsminger, CHSD170's Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.
"Many experts have underscored the importance of sensory development as a key component of student success, and the introduction of the sensory pathway and its concomitant activities will be a superb enhancement to the students' traditional learning paradigm."