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Balance and Read Exercise

A common interesting phenomenon for some children with a reading disorder is not to use phonics to decode words. If they stand on one foot and attempt to decode a word, they will usually lose their balance and the other foot will touch the floor.

This exercise was designed to address this. It simply involves standing on one foot to read. At first the reading material should be very easy and below grade level, below age level, and slightly below ability level. As the child gets better, the difficulty of the reading should get harder. This exercise is mastered when the child can decode a word or attempt to decode a word without losing their balance.

Step by Step Instructions: Balance and Read Exercise.

1. Stand on a flat surface (e.g., the floor, the ground). Make sure the participant can balance relatively well on one foot. If the participants cannot balance on one foot, have them practice every day until they can. Plan for safety issues in case the participant falls (e.g., make sure not sharp edges are around).

2. The participant stands on one foot (in most cases, it really does not matter which one), while the other foot is in the air.

3. The participant is given a relatively easy passage to read. The goal is to read the short passage out loud and to keep the foot in the air. After the short passage has been read, the exercise is complete for that day. Mastery is the ability to read the short passage on one foot smoothly without the other foot touching the ground or floor.

4. When mastery has been achieved, find the participant something to read that is at ability level. After the short passage has been read, the exercise is complete for that day. Mastery is the ability to read the short passage on one foot smoothly without the other foot touching the ground or floor.

5. When mastery has been achieved at the child's ability level, find the participant something to read that is at above ability level. After the short passage has been read, the exercise is complete for that day. Mastery is the ability to read the short passage on one foot smoothly without the other foot touching the ground or floor.

6. When mastery at this level is achieved, the participant should be a much better reader. Continue doing this exercise until the participant is able to read something at age level and does not need to drop a foot to regain balance.

Exercise:Balance and Read Exercise.

Time: about 2 to 5 minutes.

Recommended Frequency: one to two times daily, every day for 5 or 6 days a week.

Materials Needed: a paragraph or short story to read out loud.

Pretest Assessment: When standing on one foot, the participant can not sound out or decode difficult words without losing their balance. Usually they have adequate balance on words that they know.

Mastery: When standing on one foot, the participant can sound out difficult words without losing their balance.

Additional comments: This is a great exercise to do when you are very busy and away from home. The participant should keep working at it until they have mastered it. As mastery is being achieve, the length and the difficulty of what is to be read should increase. For faster development, other balance exercises should be performed in addition to this one.

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