ANACONDA- Elementary schools around the country are implementing new techniques to improve student behavior and skills.

Right here in the Treasure State, Lincoln Primary School in Anaconda has a new hallway that works on improving students' motor skills.

This school year, staff came together to create a rainbow/weather themed hallway which doubles as a sensory path or sensory hallway. Experts say it's a fun and colorful way for students to develop important motor skills early on.

Addie Hall is an occupational therapist for the Anaconda School District and she created the sensory hallway using permanent vinyl and wax. Students go through the obstacle-like course each day. Hall said students even received a lesson at the beginning of the school year on how to properly use the hallway.

"There is research that shows that physical activity helps improve behavior and focus and it increase academic performance," Hall said.

Hall said the goal is to get students working on their sensory motor processing to improve focus in the classroom.

School counselor Rose Kellegher said they've trained teachers to better recognize student behavior through conscious discipline as well.

"We've looked at, how can we change what we're doing to meet the needs of our students and we've seen a huge decrease in office referrals since that time," Kellegher said.

As behavior improves at Lincoln Primary and students hop, skip and jump their way into the classroom, staff hope other schools in the state will implement similar sensory hallways.

"Based on the response that we've seen I think it would be beneficial for other schools in Anaconda and across the state of Montana would benefit from it," Hall said.

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