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Sensory Pathways/Sensory Hallways

  • 1.  Sensory Pathways/Sensory Hallways

    Posted 06-27-2019 10:53 PM
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    Hello All!
    I was recently interviewed by a reporter from Newsday for background about Sensory Pathways installed in a local school. Here is the link to the article: https://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/sensory-path-special-education-william-floyd-learning-center-1.32585668

    I am currently writing an e-book about Sensory Pathways for teachers and parents.  Have you had any experience with Sensory Pathways/Hallways?  Do you have one at your school?  Do you have questions about Sensory Pathways/Hallways?

    Thanks, your input is appreciated!

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    Dr. Nicole Schiffmacher, PT, DPT, MS, PCS
    Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist, Physical Therapist
    Lecturer: Infant/Toddler Master's in Special Education Program
    St. Joseph's College, Long Island, New York
    Founder, TriumphInMotion.com
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  • 2.  RE: Sensory Pathways/Sensory Hallways

    Posted 06-28-2019 11:27 AM
    Hi Nicole,

    My school does not have one of these. I think they are beautiful, but I would be afraid to use this because several of my students are very active and may slip and fall as they are hopping and moving. I do think it is great for gross motor and a nice way to expend extra energy though.

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    Jennifer United States
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  • 3.  RE: Sensory Pathways/Sensory Hallways

    Posted 06-29-2019 06:42 AM
    Jennifer--when I was a teacher I was too cautious.  Now as a consultant I urge teachers to allow more risk-taking.  If children fall they'll get up again, giving them the opportunity for increased resiliency and the skill-building along with the sensory input.  My question is for those who have used these for a full year.  Do children become bored with the pathways once they've used them many times?  Is there a way to create variety?  They're very cool and I wish they had them on city sidewalks.


    Jennifer wrote:  My school does not have one of these. I think they are beautiful, but I would be afraid to use this because several of my students are very active and may slip and fall as they are hopping and moving. I do think it is great for gross motor and a nice way to expend extra energy though.

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    Aren Stone
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    she/her
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  • 4.  RE: Sensory Pathways/Sensory Hallways

    Posted 06-30-2019 03:33 PM
    I love it! More elementary schools should adopt this concept and bring more joy to the school environment. Because it is 2 dimensional, there is limited risk in these movements.

    I'm curious to know that if this pathway is used on the way to particular places, or if it's just used for the sake of using it during unstructured time?

    As a preschool teacher, I've done many temporary 3 dimensional obstacle courses outside. They are usually very popular and inspire child to add on or create their own obstacles to  maneuver through.

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    Erica Piper
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  • 5.  RE: Sensory Pathways/Sensory Hallways

    Posted 07-01-2019 10:04 PM
    Hi Erica!
     The sensory hallway/pathway concept is one tool that can have multiple uses:
    1.  Students can use the pathway while "passing through." My oldest son has one in his school and he tells me he uses it each morning on the way to his classroom.
    2.  It can be used as a structured "brain break" to help students get into the right level of attention or arousal for the next academic or focused activity.
    3.  It can be used as a kinesthetic teaching tool - having children count their jumps, steps, etc to reinforce number sense, teaching direcions and prepositions, etc, with movement to use a multimodal method of teaching.
    4.  It can be used by individual students who have sensory needs (ASD, ADD, ADHD, or other) to provide "heavy work" to calm or energize them as a preparatory activity or to prevent "meltdowns" from happening.

    As for risk, the permanently installed decals featured in this story are non-slip, and the movements are those that children should be typically able to perform at their age.  I like your term, that they are "2-dimensional" obstacle courses.

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    Dr. Nicole Schiffmacher, PT, DPT, MS
    Pediatric Physical Therapist
    Lecturer: Infant/Toddler Master's in Special Education Program
    St. Joseph's College, Long Island
    New York
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Sensory Pathways/Sensory Hallways

    Posted 07-03-2019 07:59 AM
    Good day to all!
    As a trainer for ECD (Early Childhood Development) knowing how sensory motor development is often overlooked for other activities - as if you can exclude it from a child's natural development - I recommend the following as a sensory pathway to show how sensory motor activities are always part and parcel of the child's daily activities and can be presented right through the day and can be integrated in all the learning areas such as math, language development etc. 
    1. To experience shapes and sizes through the body. To learn about position - first, second, third. Also first, middle and last.
    Paint the basic shapes - circle, triangle etc. only outside lines, in threes on the stoop/veranda/a stretch of concrete. The largest one +/- 60 cm in diameter/height, the next one smaller and the last one smallest. Children use blocks to pack out along these outside lines, they " paint" the whole shape with water, they follow the lines with a little vehicle on hands and knees, they follow the lines on foot with a brm-brm (handle with a steering wheel). 
    2. To experience emergent writing through direction and shapes that later on form part of letter forming.
    Paint pre-writing scribbles such as zig-zag lines, curved lines, block lines also in three sizes. First one +/- 20 cm wide, second one next to this one +/- 30 cm and the last one about 40 cm wide. This can also be followed with a vehicle (we want them to crawl), laying shoe laces on the lines (the curved one's), "painted" with water, packed out with blocks.
    3. Experiencing sensory and tactile feelings through the feet (we neglect these often).
    Use an area on the playground that are usually dormant. It can be a bare piece of soil where no grass wants to grow or where water runs off when it rains. Cover this with at least 8 cm of concrete - (let an artisan do it for you). Then before the concrete is dry, push in the following articles: large, round pebbles, smaller pebbles, pieces of smooth poles - lying flat in the concrete, bottle lids, a section can be covered with course gravel and use stepping stones for gardens with interesting surfaces. Articles must lay at least halfway in the concrete. Children are encouraged to walk bare feet on this pathway.

    In all of the above cases, let the children express their experiences in language and help them find the right words.
    Hope this can add to the idea of sensory pathways.
    Sophie





  • 7.  RE: Sensory Pathways/Sensory Hallways

    Posted 07-04-2019 08:12 AM
    Sophie:
    What great ideas that are easy to adapt to different settings.  Thank you for sharing them.

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    Aren Stone
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    she/her
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  • 8.  RE: Sensory Pathways/Sensory Hallways

    Posted 07-01-2019 10:08 AM
    I love this idea. Would like to incorporate into our preschool.

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    Vicky Kuehnel
    Director
    St Paul's Early Childhood Program
    Houston TX
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