Many of today’s struggling students are falling through the cracks of oureducationsystem and are at risk of dropping out of school. The increased expectations of today’s high standards force special education teachers to frequently seek effective research-based interventions to help these students to become successful. Bal-A-Vis-X is just one of such programs.
The program founder claims the brain integration – movement-based learning program will increase a student’s reading fluency, and comprehension by participating in the multi-level crossing of the midline exercises emphasizing on flow with rhythm. The basis of this research project is to validate the claim by incorporating the Bal-A-Vis-X program with students at Moore School in fourth, fifth and six-grade physical education class.
Bal-A-Vis-X was developed by ateacherin Wichita, Kansas named Bill Hubert. Bill Hubert uses cognitive exercises which encompass the integration of balance, auditory, and vision exercises using racquetballs, balance boards, hand-sized sandbags and various complexity of rhythmic exercises. The exercises focus on rhythm, patterning, balance and visual teaming. The combination of 300 various exercises increase in complexity as the student masters the fundamental skills.
The exercises can be reduced to accommodate the student with varying disabilities. The program is designed to help individuals who struggle with academics, post-traumaticstress, physical and social impairments. (Hubert, 2007)Bill Hubert suggest the lack of flow within a person can trigger the stressful occurrences which may cause the cognitive debilitation of an individual. (Hubert, 2007). He further explains what he believes are the series of physical and developmental movement which occur and how this movement contributes to the cognitive aspects of the individual to perform a required task.
The principals of the program are to introduce midline crossings in three dimensions which are designed to follow steady rhythm using the whole mind-body system creating the flow with in the student aligning the mind with the body. The idea is to listen to the rhythm of the sound of the balls bouncing or the sandbags being passed while simultaneously integrating patterned movement involving the whole body. The stress ofacademicperformance can cause struggling students to display undesirable behaviors.
When students struggle in school many behavior issues to avoid the task or to gain something to help them manage the task. This behavior coping mechanism is what inspired my research into the BAL-A-VIS-X program. Often special education teachers and interventionist are overwhelmed with the diversity of intervention programs offered to increase academic performance in students with learning disabilities and are struggling academically, developmentally, emotionally and socially.
This program interests me as it was originally introduced to me by the adaptive physical education teacher form Central Montana Learning Resource Center. She explained the concept of the program. From there my research developed. I researched the resources I needed in order to purchase the products needed to implement the program with my students. Once I organized the pricing of the product, my next step was to request the funding from my superintendent.
She was very interested in the program herself and has supported me in my quest. I obtained permission to teach the program to the select group in their weekly physical education class. This offered me the two fifteen-minute time slots to work with the students weekly for eighteen weeks. Our Learning Co-Op Center ‘s Adaptive Physical Education teacher shared she attended a training with a Resource teacher from Round Up Montana which was practicing using Bal-A-Vis-X with her students. She was fortunate enough to attend a training of the program from Bill Hubert, the founder of the program itself.
I proceeded forward by inviting her to come observe, to give me some additional ideas and skills to help me implement the program effectively. She explained to teach Bal-A-Vis-X it is optimal to teach one on one over a group setting. However, under my time restraints, she shared it would be alright to continue with my research as a group setting. The stress of academic performance can cause struggling students to display undesirable behaviors. When students struggle in school many behavioral issues are to avoid the task or to gain something to help them manage the task. This behavior coping mechanism is what inspired my research into the BAL-A-VIS-X program.
Currently, my professional peers use Brain Gym, Go Noodle or some form of conglomerating a self-designed movement curriculum in their classroom management techniques to diminish undesirable behaviors without addressing the underlying antecedent and trigger for the student’s actions. Often Special Education teachers and interventionist are overwhelmed with the diversity of intervention programs offered to increase academic performance in students with learning disabilities and are struggling cognitively, developmentally, emotionally and socially.
Trying to minimize which program is the most effective lies in the opinion of the teacher. In my personalobservationin Moore school it is just getting students up and moving is the goal. As a Special Education teacher myself, I rely on resources presented at professional development conventions, multiple online resources, and peer networking opportunities to share what is working with which types of students with disabilities. Disabilities are as diverse as the resources and interventions offered to increase performance in students with deficits.
Originally, this program was introduced to me by the adaptive physical education teacher form Central Montana Learning Resource Center. It piqued my interest as she explained the concept of the program. From there, my research developed. My main focus was not the scientific theory of the program, as in how and why the brain is functioning and operating through the implementation of the program, but my interest lies in merely, is it a highly effective intervention compared to similar kinesthetic based interventions.
Basically, why would I use this particular intervention program compared to other similar programs available? The go to for interventions for Special Education teachers is the website What Works Clearinghouse. The information presented on this website shares. As the program was developing with the students I did not truly notice any improvements in flow or coordination until the thirteenth week. As my research is to collect data for reading fluency and comprehension, it was just an observation of mine in this area of balance and coordination.