Brain Dance Exercises Page 2


Reading Activity Helps

Suggested Activities to Improve Reading Fluency, Decoding and Comprehension: Session One Handout



  • Listen to a book on tape while you      follow along with the book.       Libraries have these in teen sections/children’s sections/adult      sections.


  • Read aloud into a tape recorder and      listen to your voice reading.


  • Listen to audio books on tape/CD while      driving or settling down before sleep.       Castle Rock Library now offers audiobooks on MP3 as well.


  • Web site   offers free downloadable novels and      classic literature for MP3 files.


  • Obtain Language Roots game at a local      bookstore.  Understanding the Greek      and Latin roots for words assists in the decoding of words.  For example, understanding meanings of      prefix/suffix’ such as “un” and “ed” will assist you in      spelling/comprehension/phonics.


  • When overwhelmed by text on the computer      screen, you can click “tools” and then under that click on      “autosummarize”.  This will give you      several options such as a) summarize the article, b) highlight the key      parts in yellow, c)etc.


  • PHONEMIC AWARE-NESS Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about and work with the individual sounds in spoken words. The first level in pho-nemic awareness is hearing and recognizing rhyming words. Nurs-ery rhymes are a fun way for the younger kids to achieve this and reading and composing rhyming poetry will build this skill for the older kids. Have fun and keep on reading!


  • Before taking a test on reading material, read through the material several times.  The first time through after lecture, highlight the information you did not remember in a light color like yellow.  The second time through, highlight the information you did not recall THIS time in a slightly darker color, and so on and so on.  Lastly, just focus on what is only highlighted.  In this way, you will activate your visual memory with color, repetition and so forth.


  • The goal is to enjoy reading so let them read anything:  Magazines ; series on a favorite topic (Ask librarians for ideas); book club as a family; books on tape on family trips


Jaynee Hodgkins Brain Integration Specialist Effective February, 2011

Brain Dance Exercises Page 1

Math Helps for Right Brained Learner and Beyond

Math Helps for the Right Brained Learner and Beyond…

  • Use graph paper to assist with visual spatial issues
  • Use kinesthetic teaching methods (movement while learning) such as:  stress balls; exercise balls; allow students to stand; throw a ball or other movement while learning new concepts or repetitive info such as math facts
  • Allow gum chewing especially during testing to enhance emotional grounding (stimulates the sphenoid nerve bundle at the roof of the mouth)
  • Cover all but the problem the student is working on.  Right brained students tend to see the big picture (every problem on the page) and therefore become overwhelmed and shut down into fight/flight mode.  By only allowing them to see one problem at a time you will help them chunk down the work
  • Give the why and how.  Right brained students need to see emotional relevance to self in order to retain information.  They like to know WHY they need to know the information and HOW they will use it in the future.  Also utilizing other senses is a great way for them to recall long term. Example, teach fractions by cooking.
  • Repetition.  Right brained learners require repetition in learning especially in the subject of math. Out of sight out of mind for them so keep recalling information until it is automatic and reflexive.
  • Calm down the fight/flight Vagus nerve response that right brain students tend to go into during testing or concepts that are hard to grasp.  While in this “fear brain” they will react somatically (physically) rather than think responsively.  This can be done be doing exercises before testing or class instruction.  When you see a student begin to “shut down”, physical movement is the quickest way to “re boot” their computer and get them back up into the rational brain.
  • Consider the student’s Dominant Learning Profile (Dr. Carla Hannaford).  For example, a left eye dominant student will read from right to left rather left to right which can make reading English a challenge.  It also results in transversals and reversals of numbers.  The hand / eye exercises will assist with that issue as well.



Jaynee Hodgkins Brain Integration Specialist Effective October, 2010

Activities to Encourage Focus

  •  Structure and predictability in routine
  • Preferential seating (according to dominance profile and distractibility)
  • Office “cubby” made of folders etc. to reduce visual distraction for those easily distracted by visual stimuli
  • Head phones or trial period of using iPod or calming music/nature sounds for independent work
  • Standing to learn at higher desk or table or podium at back of room
  • Use of gum, tic tacs or dry pasta to chew on throughout the day
  • Allowing opportunities to take a walk to get water and physical movement
  • Use of water bottle
  • Trial of weighted exercise ball or t stool for class work (students with focus issues are moving in order to stimulate the inner ear/vestibular to pay attention)
  • Balance cushion on chair seat or on the floor when seated
  • Velcro under desk for tactile student
  • Squeezy ball
  • Allowing kinesthetic movement during memorization such as math facts or spelling words (ie. Playing catch)
  • Handwriting issues:  use of graph paper for visual spatial issues.  Use of ball and or gum will improve emotional grounding and calmness during writing activities.

Other OT recommended ideas:

  • Theraband around desk legs
  • Weighted vest or something similar 20-30 minutes per day during teacher instruction
  • Changing color of handouts from teacher
  • Highlighting boxes in math workbook
  • Use of drawer system (plastic from discount store) instead of desk.  Organize by subject in the order they occur during the day and last drawer for personal items (library books, glue etc.)
  • Pacing line at the back of the classroom.
  • Sensory box full of construction type activities that are earned as a reward (clay, knex)

 Jaynee Hodgkins Brain Integration Specialist Effective October, 2010