LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
Other Physical Skills That May Help Reading
Jumping Rope - My experience has been that once children begin to jump rope individually with an established beat and a "double hop," their reading fluency often begins to improve in two weeks time. They appear to have more confidence also and both effort and participation increase.
Balancing - Balancing on a balance beam activates the vestibular system, one of the entryways to the brain. There is evidence which suggests that learning is improved when this system is activated.
Dribbling - Dribbling each hand individually, maintaining control of the ball while standing still, also may improve reading. Who knew? Well, once again - brain researchers did! And now - so do YOU!
Of the struggling readers with whom I worked in Title I, over half were cross dominant. This means that their dominant eye was opposite from their dominant hand. This might not seem like a big deal, but it really is. It's a very BIG deal.
Children who are cross dominant often have difficulty reading.
Physical coordination work - balancing, skipping, jumping rope, and dribbling - and activities crossing the midline are all very helpful strategies in treating these difficulties, but how do you identify them?
Hand dominance is relatively easy to establish - the hand they write with is their dominant hand. But what about the eye?
The easiest and best way I have discovered to check eye dominance, especially with first and second graders, is to use a kaleidoscope. I first introduce the word, write it on a card, and add it to one of our word walls. Then I let them each look into it, carefully noting which eye they use.
After they have each had a couple of turns, I generally have a good idea of which is their dominant eye.
There are other ways to test for eye dominance, but this is the one that works the best for me.
Spinning May Improve Memory!
It's true! It is actually possible to centrificate cells into the outer regions of the brain where memory is stored. This may be done by spinning in the direction of the dominant hand. Read more at Memory Improvement Exercises