Sensory Pathway opening in the Elementary School

Occupational & Physical Therapy

The occupational and physical therapists at Hoosic Valley Schools have compiled a list of home activities. These activities are broken down into fine motor (dexterity, hand strengthening, grasping and visual-motor activities) and gross motor (jumping, balancing, running and ball games). These activities are meant to compliment any therapies that your child may be receiving in school and to further progress your child toward their therapy goals. For those children not receiving OT or PT, the list can be used for suggestions for activities in the home to refine your child’s fine and gross motor skills. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding your child’s therapies, please contact OT or PT at Hoosic Valley Elementary School at (518)753-4458.

Fine Motor Skills

Gross Motor Skills

Sensory Pathway opening in the Elementary School

The Sensory Pathways (The Superhero Pathway and The Positive Pathway) are newly installed on the walls and hallway in two spots in the Elementary School.  Sensory Paths are designed for students to move, release stress and increase their availability to learn. It is a Sensory Motor Experience. When using the pathway students receive vestibular (movement), Proprioceptive (feedback through muscles and joints giving their bodies a sense of where their body is in space), and visual input. The pathway demands attention and present moment awareness while engaging the senses. Balance, Coordination and core strength are all worked on while negotiating and exploring the challenges of the sensory pathway.


We have experienced many students over the years that have benefited from movement activities to help them focus on academic work. There was a time that students were told to sit still, walk single file and stay quiet. Now we as educators know that kids need movement incorporated throughout their day to improve their learning. 


Recent research by Dr. Susan Holzman from the Baltimore's Child stated:


“Increasing physical activity during the school day may boost students’ interest, motivation, reading fluency, and mathematics skills. Time to move about can refocus young brains when attention starts to wander and may also help children who struggle to regulate impulsive behavior."


Teachers have been given instruction on how to use the pathways with students , and they have been encouraged to utilize them with students as they see fit. There is no "right way" to use the pathways. There are always options to modify and make the sensory pathway experience as successful and fun as possible for the students. e.g. if you can't reach a wall decal, jump up to touch or point and follow the wall decal with your finger and eyes, if hopping is a challenge, invite students to jump with both feet.


Many students have already noticed the pathways, and have taken it upon themselves to do parts of the paths. They do not need to complete the whole pathway to benefit from it. 


Thank you to the Occupational Therapy Department and some of our teachers who have helped us throughout the process of design and development. 


Ref: Dr. Susan Holzman

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