OVPA Integration Station Keeps Students Moving

OVPA Integration Station Keeps Students Moving
Posted on 01/18/2019
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A new Integration Station at our HSSD OVPA provides a much needed brain break for students, via a colorful path prompting a series of physical, fine, and gross motor activities. Activities - including a bear and crab crawl, hop scotch, twirling, an ABC hop, climbing a ladder, walking backwards, and more  - create intentional sensory stimulation for participants of all ages. Completing any portion of the station helps students to recharge and refocus between classes, between lessons, in preparing for tests, or during student pull-out sessions. By making them use both the left and right side of their brains, and remain active in a series of unique movements, it helps our students to stay calm, and more effectively focus for classroom time.

Picture for a moment what a pathway looks like filled with colorful lily pads, sea and forest creatures, tools like ladders and stones, and creative prompts to suggest the placement of hands and feet. The station involves a path that traces steps on the floor and up the hallway walls. Corners and optional areas are included with differing complexities of movement and stretching. Students can complete the series of movements slowly or quickly, in a group of other students or on their own, holding a teacher’s hand or independently. Participants are prompted to take large and small steps, hop and crawl, place their hands/feet in certain locations, and push against the wall. They can also identify colors or letters out loud as they move. This series of activities is meant to target balance, bilateral coordination, motor planning, and visual/spatial skills, which are movements and skills that children need in order to be successful in the classroom.

“We all need a brain break, sometimes many times in one day. The Integration Station is based on work by educators and therapists taking place across the U.S. pointing to the need for sensory activities and movement during the daily educational experiences of our students,” says OVPA Principal Mr. Selig. “This station is for all students, and all classrooms to use at anytime. We hope it offers a strategic way to keep our kids focused by letting them engage in active play, and a convenient solution for our teachers to prepare students for learning.”

The Integration Station is made entirely of stickers carefully cut out via a Cricut by HSSD Arts Director Kerry Deardorff. Mrs. Deardorff points out that this same design and method could be replicated at any HSSD school or classroom. Parents could also tour the station and replicate sections at their homes with stickers or chalk on sidewalks.

To all of our HSSD community, we challenge you to view the Integration Station in action the next time you visit OVPA. As students complete the series of movements, they provide feedback such as “That was so much fun,” “I feel so much better,” and “That makes me happy!” Teachers, support staff, and therapists report that students request to complete the station almost every day. Students in the hallway for a trip to the water fountain or another classroom or event will wonder from their usual path to complete a small section of the station. Giggles, and laughing accompany the student groups as they participate in any part of the activities offered.

Staff and parents can contact Mrs. Deardorff with questions and ideas at [email protected].  Learn more about our #HSSD OVPA Magnet School, here.

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