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Motor Skills Lab Lets Kids Get Physical & Leads to Better Test S - KOAM TV 7

Motor Skills Lab Lets Kids Get Physical & Leads to Better Test Scores

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Elementary students in Carthage are living proof that a sound body does equal a sound mind and even a smarter one.

Kid get physical in a motor planning lab and it’s making a difference for student achievement.

It’s the ready bodies learning minds motor lab.

Students like first grader Iraida Barrios get physical with tactile activities like rolling belly first on a big ball or jumping on mini trampolines. Students say it’s a break from the classroom that makes it better when they go back.

Cassandra Pichardo, a fourth grader said it helps with, "My concentrating on my paper and the teacher."

Iraida said, "It makes your brain smarter. Because when we do a spelling test, I do good. And I sit down right."

Caleb Son, another fourth grader added, "We usually play with stuff get all our energy out so we're not very active in our class and can focus in our work."

It’s  not just about expending energy, for some its hand eye coordination skills that are usually  developed when kids are infants or toddlers.

 Principal Bryan Shallenburger said, "When students don't crawl as much as they need to as a baby, some of those reflexes don't get integrated. When that happens and they come to school trying to learn, it’s more difficult for them."

So they crawl here and spend a minute at stations like one for reflexes called popcorn where students lay on their backs in a ball and spring their legs out, and also  pushups and planks for the core which impacts students posture and sitting up in class.

Physical education teacher Jacob Endicott said,  "There's a writing station  where we work on how they control their hands,  how to control how they use their writing utensils."

The science behind it is the motor learning triangle with academics at the top but building from the bottom with reflexes first.

 Para-professional Bobbi Castor said, "We need our reflexes, our visual, our auditory, motor planning muscles, joints, you get information from all of that. And if that’s not developing correctly, that can affect your academic learning." 

And the motor lab is getting results.

First grade teacher Sara Meyer said, "We go daily. Every day with our students and the amazing increase we've seen with our scores, math and reading, and everything, it’s just mind blowing."

      The PE teacher gives extra attention to small groups sent to the motor lab by teachers.

     Other schools in the district are working to develop motor labs including the middle school.

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