Classrooms, inspiration

SOI Success In My Classroom

I’ve had the pleasure of being the SOI/IPP teacher at Southcrest Christian School in Lubbock, Texas for four years. In those four years I’ve learned more about people and education than I ever did in college, and I know there is so much more to learn!

I think the thing that gives me the most pleasure in working my students is the self-confidence and happiness I see develop in them. I have so many success stories to share, but I will just give some snapshots of a few of them.

One particular student began to ride his scooter and bike all over the block after working in the IPP lab; he couldn’t do that before! Another student went to Disneyland with his family and was so much more confident; he skipped and danced with the Chipmunks in front of a room full of people. His mom sent me a picture of this proud moment!

My own son Continue reading “SOI Success In My Classroom”

Classrooms, Testing

Using the SOI Creativity Short Form Test

SOME KINDS OF INTELLECTUAL GIFTEDNESS RELATE STRONGLY TO ACADEMICS, OTHERS TO LEADERSHIP, AND STILL OTHERS TO THE CREATIVE ARTS & WRITING.

The Creativity Short Form profiles the creativity areas in which the student is gifted, near-gifted, above average, average, or below average. This test is often used by schools for highly capable programs, as well as gifted and talented programs.

CREATIVITY SHORT FORM SUBTESTS

DFU: CREATIVITY USING FIGURAL UNITS
Academic Skill: creativity with things
Curricular Area: spatial/graphic arts
Strength if well-developed: good fluency and confidence with ideas
Consequences if not well-developed: will be inhibited in tasks without explicit instructions

DMU: CREATIVITY USING SEMANTIC UNITS
Academic Skill: creativity with words and ideas
Curricular Area: creative writing
Strength if well-developed: ability to produce ideas and put them together
Consequences if not well-developed: will be slow and/or vague in writing; probably poor in composition

DSR: CREATIVITY WITH RELATIONAL SYMBOLS
Academic Skill: creativity with math and symbols
Curricular Area: mathematics
Strength if well-developed: confidence and willingness to explore new math concepts
Consequences if not well-developed: difficulty understanding new math concepts; timid in exploring solutions

After reviewing the test results, if a student just misses your cut-off criteria, Continue reading “Using the SOI Creativity Short Form Test”

Classrooms, The Basics

The Brain. Did You Know?

  • Did you know an ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain?
  • Did you know that even though your brain weighs 2% of your total body weight, it uses 25% of all oxygen you breathe and 15% of your body’s blood supply?
  • Did you know the average human brain contains around 78% water?
  • Did you know that when recognizing a persons’ face you use the right side of your brain?

Brain BlogOur brains are so intricate and interesting! Let’s look at the CEREBRUM which is the largest part of our brain; it is divided into four sections or lobes.

The FRONTAL lobe is used for expressive language, reasoning, cognition, and motor skills. Any damage to this lobe can result in changes in socialization, attention, and behavior.*

Tactile senses like pain, pressure, and touch are processed in the PARIETAL lobe. Any damage to it can cause problems with language, ability of controlling eye gaze, and verbal memory.*

The duty of the OCCIPITAL lobe is to interpret the information gathered from the eyes. If this area is damaged, the visual ability becomes so impaired that the person is unable to recognize words, colors, or objects.*

The TEMPORAL lob is responsible for our memories and processing sounds recorded by our ears. If damaged, our language skills, speech perception, and memory is affected.*

SOI is frequently asked the question, “Can you help?” The answer is definite yes!

We have used the IPP program and memory training in brain damaged and trauma victims, but scientific research and documentation has not been established.  We do know that the process is long and often times painfully frustrating to the client based on personal reports we have received, but results have happened.

WHY? BECAUSE SOI TRAINS THE BRAIN!

If you are working with a trauma victim using the SOI theory, we would love to get your input and results to share with others.

To learn more about SOI online testing, click here!

written by: Jody Brooks, SOI Systems general manager

*www.enkivillage.com/parts-of-the-brain-and-their-functions.html

Classrooms, soi-ipp

Alternate Schools – Alternate Programs

There is a very strong case to support the existence of alternate programs. Most people are aware of alternate programs that are geared to students who are at risk socially or who struggle academically. Many students can be guided to become successful, productive members of the community with the right kind of intervention.

What you may be less likely to know about is that there is a profile for the “Gifted with Learning Problems” student. These are the ones we refer to as having mountains and valleys.

These students’ potential may be completely derailed as their needs go unmet. They may be brilliant in math with visual or auditory issues that impede reading success. Or they may excel in reading and composition but struggle with algebra.

Teachers are often aghast when their most brilliant students choose to pass on higher education. I’m always amazed at how many truly intelligent people are unaware of their gifts. Or they know they have potential but cannot face the education system with their problems and, for them, so many doors close. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Dr. Robert Meeker has pointed out that most learning problems are not profound. They are for the most part undiagnosed and untreated. In our school system, the focus is usually on teaching the child with problems to “cope.”

Most learning problems can be helped – poor auditory processing included – if you understand what’s needed and have the tools to deal with it. Likewise, most problems with math can also be corrected.

Continue reading “Alternate Schools – Alternate Programs”

Classrooms

Earthly Good

“This is so frustrating!”

“It’s too hard!”

“I can’t do it anymore!” 

“Why are you making us learn this?”

One would think those statements are coming from students in the classroom, but they are actually coming from the teachers.

Have you heard the saying, “They are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good”? How sad that this nation has become so fixated on “racing to the top” of the education mountain that we are blinded to the fact that we have caused anxiety, heartache, and disillusionment in our teachers.

At what point do we make the change back to the basics in education? How long before school district superintendents say “enough” and operate their district based upon the children’s needs?

Yes, we understand that funds are always the issue. Money is tight, classrooms are large, new curriculum is mandatory, and the only way to meet the budget is to cooperate with the powers that be. But with all these barriers, the policy makers say our children’s ability to score high on the standardized tests is the benchmark of how well a teacher performs his or her duties. Really!?

Personally, I know of teachers who identify learning issues in students Continue reading “Earthly Good”

Classrooms

My SOI Journey So Far!

In August 2013, I was hired as an assistant activity leader for the Kid Zone Enrichment Program. Six months later, I was promoted to activity leader and put in charge of the kindergarten and first grade club room. My supervisor, Dylan Fitzpatrick, told me I was perfect for SOI and that I would love it. With learning the exercises, asking questions, and watching Dylan work with my kiddos, I finally got the hang of it! Dylan continued to support me, answer my questions, guide me every step of the way, and teach me as I thirsted for more.

At first I was extremely frustrated because I wanted the results to be instantaneous. This is a process that takes time because you can’t skip steps. With the correct training, plenty of patience, guidance, support, and plenty of question asking, I started to understand why I was told I was perfect for this program. It was amazing to watch the kids who used to complain every day change and gain so much self-control, strength, and confidence! The way they controlled themselves, interacted with each other, and interacted with me was becoming more consistent and evident to others. Over time and with hard work, these kids were finally able to stand in a line or queue without wiggling around or touching the person in front of them. Playing with their friends, interacting with staff, or even waiting in a queue or line was becoming more consistent, and I wasn’t the only one seeing the change.

The next school year brought more SOI training, new and returning kids, a new manager, a new supervisor, and greater challenge. I was far more confident with SOI; my club room was doing SOI four times per week every week. For 15-20 minutes at the beginning of every day, it became routine. After two months, the kids were able to do the arm exercises and form a line and queue without me being the leader. We set goals and created competitions. The kids would go Continue reading “My SOI Journey So Far!”

Classrooms, learning skills

Boyhood

Fall temperatures have finally arrived in Texas after a very long, hot summer. This weekend, I had the opportunity to take three of my grandsons to the Botanic Garden here in Fort Worth. We meandered through the gardens, having a picnic by the fountain pond, counting turtles by the bridge, throwing sticks in the water, exploring “mysterious forest paths,” and climbing on rocks. The boys led the expedition, and huffing and puffing, I followed.

These three grandsons also attend our school, Shady Oak Learning. Major, age 4, is currently in his “junior fireman” stage after crawling on a firetruck last week on one of our field trips. I consider our outing a victory because he did not fall in the pond. Deacon, age 6, whose favorite color is green and is obsessed with trains, showed his excitement by flapping his arms while looking at all the turtles. Wyatt, age 8, an extraordinary reader, read all the signs to us about the plants, and was so absorbed in the sights and sounds that he ran ahead, totally tuning out my voice calling his name to slow down, since my sore knees could not keep up with him.

This “Grammy Field Trip,” as I decided to name it, inspired me both as a mom/grandmother and as a teacher who is passionate about educational reform. As I observed my grandsons, I noticed how engaged and curious they were. The beauty and complexity of nature gave them endless moments to engage their thinking and wonderings. The boys led the expedition, and even though I feared that they might stumble while claiming a high rock, fall in the water, or go ahead of me and get lost, we made it safely with no harm done. I think that they will remember this for a long time – I know I will!

BOYS ARE AT RISK

Boyhood, in the way God created it to be experienced, is seriously at risk. Boys spend fewer hours moving and playing, and have become “feminized” by our culture’s obsession with safety at the expense of exploration and free play. Our educational system has boys sitting and confined to desks and high expectations and abstract thinking standards have been pushed down to inappropriate ages. Many developmental problems can be traced to a child’s lack of movement during early years.

HOW CAN WE CREATE JOY IN BOYHOOD?

We expect boys to sit in desks at age 5 and be able to read by the end of kindergarten as well as write complete thoughts going into first grade. Last week after giving the SOI Form L (K-2nd ) assessment to a beginning first grader, I lamented the fact that his private school thought he was behind in writing. His NFU score was above expected range, he wrote Continue reading “Boyhood”