Hopping Along Kaegebein's New Kangaroo Motor Course
Little do the students know that the new Kangaroo Motor Course at Kaegebein is helping them become better students. All they know is that it's fun, gets them up moving and provides a physical challenge to offset the mental challenges of schoolwork.
Two teachers, Jennifer Marsala and Valerie Parillo, developed the gross motor course to enhance locomotor and fine motor skills while reinforcing motor planning, balance, and coordination. The course was designed to include several key gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are important to enable students to perform everyday tasks like walking, jumping, skipping and self-care skills like dressing and being able to stand on one leg. These skills directly impact a child's endurance to cope with a full day of school where they sit upright at a desk, move between classrooms and carry a heavy backpack.
The layout of the course is specific and each pattern of movement facilitates a multi-sensory output. When students’ brains are engaged in dynamic movement, thought processing is enhanced. This enhancement not only benefits academica but a multi-sport approach. This course positively impacts a student's full potential by incorporating a fine motor element. Fine motor skills are targeted through the use of cup-stacking. Cup-stacking reinforces concentration and stimulates both the left and right sides of the brain simultaneously. Strengthening fine motor skills through ambidexterity which develops both dominant and non-dominant sides of the body and visual processing skills students will ultimately develop greater success in the areas writing and reading. The course was designed with progression in mind so the skill set will be ever changing. Changing the course lends itself to continued success and enthusiasm among the students.