Grant Year: 2013-2014
Recipient: Jennifer C. Papasodoro, Franklin ECC and Horace Mann
“This grant has allowed me to show my students that practicing certain movement tasks over and over can help their brain to improve their focus and attention for school.”
–Jennifer C. Papasodoro, Occupational Therapist
A mini-grant funded the purchase of movement-based equipment that is being used daily with students at the ECC and Horace Mann. These materials have helped both teacher and students achieve goals related to learning, including in the area of visual scanning, self-control, attention, and focus. Balance boards are being used with elementary students to “reset” their gravitational sense and body awareness. It helps with motor planning and attention, as well as with the visual system for learning.
In addition, a figure 8/infinity marble board is helping elementary students with visual scanning and bilateral coordination. This activity is a huge hit with the students and works on integrating both sides of the brain to enhance learning and self-esteem.
The grant has enabled this educator to show her students that practicing certain movement tasks over and over can help their brain to improve focus and attention for school. And students are empowered to measure their own progress with both boards.
By having students do a simple functional task (e.g. a drawing or writing), before and after the movement based task, the educator has been able to monitor the positive effect that the movement activity has had on student performance.
“A few students always ask, ‘Can we do the balance boards today?’ And they help me come up with ideas to make them more challenging,” says Papasodoro. “Thank you so much again for the opportunity to have this equipment available to motivate and help my students’ learning.”