GRAHAM, N.C. — Kim Barger’s classroom at South Graham Elementary doesn’t look like the school’s other rooms. There are no desks, or tables and chairs.
Instead there are activities to keep young students physically active. It’s a sensory path room, designed to help students work out pent up energy so they can concentrate and learn.
“So they’re able to come in and they hop and they tiptoe and they just use all their senses,” Barger said. “They can do things on the wall with their hands. Some of the boys really like the long jump, so they run and they jump as far as they can and set goals for themselves, but it just gives them a chance to move and wiggle.”
Getting that energy out has really helped the students in many ways. They are able to concentrate better, and they and their teachers can recognize when they need to take a “break” before they act out which can get them into trouble.
“Used to be that a kid would be in trouble when they called me,” Barger said. “So we’ve worked a way, gotten away from that. So they call now and say ‘Hey. can you come give so-and-so a break. They’re not in trouble, I can just tell they need a break.’ And so they head up and come up to see me and they take some breaks.”
Some students get points for good behavior and can use the room as a reward, while others use it as a way to work out energy and reset their minds.