Tuesday, January 27, 2009

K-12 Learning Center Activity - BDPQ Jumps

Learning to tell left from right on yourself is the visual spatial skill of laterality. Extending it into space is the visual spatial skill of directionality. Both are developmental skills that impact a student's ability to learn to read, write, and do gross motor activities. Here is an activity that is similar to one we use in the vision therapy context to assist patients to develop laterality & directionality. It is meant to be used as a K-2 Learning Center Activity.

Title: BDPQ Jumps

Learning-Related Visual Skills: This activity uses the visual spatial skills of laterality and directionality as well as saccadic eye movements, the small hops the eyes must make to go accurately from the end of one word or line of text to the next.

Academic Objective: This activity gives students practice reading and naming lower case b, d, p, and q.

Preparation: Create a chart with 5 rows and 5 columns. Do not put the gridlines in. Randomly arrange b, d, p, and q so that there are five letters on each line. A text size of 42 will be readable at 5-7 feet for most students. Post the chart on a bulletin board. On the floor in front of the bulletin board, use colored masking tape to create a pair of intersecting perpendicular lines 4 feet x 4 feet.

Directions: Show the students that the vertical tape line is analogous to the stick of each letter while the space left by the intersection is analogous to the letter's circle. So, the lower right space is B; the upper right space is P; the lower left space is D; and the upper left space is Q. Students are to work as pairs to jump into the space that matches the letter on the chart which they must read from left to right and from top to bottom as usual. The jumper must also say the name of the letter correctly. Partners observe each other while keeping track of where the jumper is on the chart and watching for mistakes. If a jumper makes 3 mistakes before finishing the entire chart, the roles change. The observer becomes the jumper. How many turns does it take for each partner to jump through the chart making fewer than 3 mistakes? Set a time limit of 10 minutes for each partnership to remain at this learning station.

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