With standardized testing becoming such an integral part of our educational system, it can be really tough to gauge what the right “work and play” balance is for STUDENTS. The rigid structure of our classrooms can create an environment that makes it tough for every child to remain in their seat & focused over hours of time. So it’s no wonder one teacher’s ingenious sensory path is going viral.
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One teacher at Bramlett Elementary School in Oxford, MS knows that some students just need a brief break from the rigidity of a full day of learning. And her viral video is garnering massive social media attention after her student sensory path was featured on HER FACEBOOK ACCOUNT.
Special education teacher Holly Barker Clay created an colorful & engaging sensory path in a school hallway that features a bright array of foot decals, “lily pads” to hop on, and an assortment of physical activities for students to utilize when they feel the need.
Ok I finally was able to get around to filming our sensory path in action! It has been used several times throughout the school day when a kid needs a break, or just needs to be a kid when he can’t keep his wiggles still! I recommend every elementary school in America install one of these! With all the technology push their little bodies build up so much sensory stimulus and they need to unplug so their brain can process information better! Just by jumping, bouncing, bending, pushing, and finally breathing, the sensory build-up is able to release and then all that built up energy can be best utilized by their brain!***This sensory path was designed, digitized, drafted and installed for this particular space and is patent pending, For more information please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org***visit our new website for future ordering information www.thesensorypath.com**Youtube link: https://youtu.be/Md_R27lgzGY**DMCA Copyright 9/3/2018 -Holly Holly Barker Clay ***
Posted by Holly Barker Clay on Monday, September 3, 2018
The video has already earned over 12 million views since being posted on Monday, & Clay’s explanation for it is a key reason why it’s so popular.
The Sensory Path Gives Kids A Break
The path was created, according to Ms. Clay’s post description, for when any child “needs a break, or just needs to be a kid when he can’t keep his wiggles still.” It’s ideal for students with sensory processing issues, autism, and attention deficit disorder (both ADD and ADHD). But what’s noteworthy is that it’s not JUST for students that deal with those issues. The path is also for students who:
just need to be a kid when he (She) can’t keep his wiggles still.
To be a kid- her words raise a powerful question. What does that mean in terms of our educational system? How long is “too long” for a student to be expected to sit still and focus? Are there alternatives in terms of creating a classroom atmosphere that allows for more movement & flexibility?
The video is a great reminder to us that a traditionally rigid classroom environment can be challenging for a wide array of kids, not just those with diagnosed SENSORY ISSUES. Sitting at a desk for hours on end can be difficult for many kids, and seemingly impossible for others. Clay’s sensory path offers a brief, welcome respite for kids who need it.
In her own words, she explains that,
these children need this type of outlet so that their behaviors go down, their cognitive abilities go up, and they become the best student that they can possibly be.
Clay points out that physical activity can be key in assisting children to gain a better sense of focus. After sitting at their desk for long periods of time, students can greatly benefit from taking a break to be active:
Just by jumping, bouncing, bending, pushing, and finally breathing, the sensory build-up is able to release and then all that built up energy can be best utilized by their brain!
Her reasoning for creating the path is simple and heartfelt; according to a follow-up Facebook video she filmed,
“I did it to change the lives of my kids.”
“MY kids”. Now, that’s the LOVING HEART OF A TEACHER, embracing her students as her own.
Her original intent in sharing the sensory path on video was just that- to SHARE it. She hopes to spread the idea to as many schools as possible. Clay urges viewers to share the video, and offers for fellow educators to contact her for assistance in creating a sensory path in their own school.
And 12 million views later, it’s clear that Ms. Clay’s efforts are being not just recognized, but championed. She’s already received a deluge of requests for custom sensory paths from teachers, so it’s clear that her approach to giving students much-needed “mini breaks” is a successful one.