Last year I attended a Boost-Up or SMART (Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training) training in Minneapolis. Wonderful training! If you get a chance to go or see it in action it is wonderful stuff! The training really focuses on the whole child! Above you see some of our kinders reading sight words, letters and sounds while balancing on stability balls. (We had the words a little too high but we've fixed that now!)
In this picture we are exercising our eyes and working on crossing our midline.
This activity works on our near/far focus.
As well as mid line, visual & balancing skills we also work on gross motor, fine motor & auditory skills. If you haven't heard of this training yet check it out. It's great for Early Childhood through 2nd grade students. Even some of your struggling 3rd-5th graders can benefit from these activities.
Here's an easy crossing the mid line activity to try with your students (We call it Soldier Walking): While walking in the halls to a special have them pat their legs using opposite hands (so right hand taps left leg, left hand taps right leg, etc.) VERY difficult for some kids to do but a great activity to promote crossing the midline. If you're like me you will be shocked how many kids can't do this at first. Make sure you aren't late for a special though because they do walk slower when they do this....also a great classroom management technique to slow kids down and quiet them in the halls (they are so busy thinking about their walking they don't talk!)
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