Sandusky, OH: Sensory space "provides needed mental breaks for students"

Oct 9, 2017, Sandusky (OH) Register: Huron Tiger cubs train bodies and minds in new facility A new space at Woodlands Intermediate provides needed mental breaks for students.... Since late January, the den has provided all students with 15 stimulating activities to strengthen hand-eye coordination, attention spans, motor skills, among other attributes used in the classroom and everyday life. For instance, one station requires students to stand on a balance board while touching a hanging tennis ball with a pencil. By looking up and down often, the exercise can simulate note-taking and reading, said intervention specialist Jesselyn VanBarg, who helped create the space. Among the other activities available: striking yoga and superman poses on a floor mat to work on core strength, jumping on a trampoline, and walking on foam bricks for balance. Grouped into pairs, students rotate to a new station every 30 seconds and typically use the training den for 5-10 minutes at a time. As many as 30 students can fit into the room at once. … “As a special education teacher, you want sensory activities,” she said. With help from district staff and local medical professionals, VanBarg spent a year researching and planning the space to accommodate all students.