inspiration · learning skills

To Teach and To Learn: A Separate Experience

I simply never tire of watching students strengthen their learning abilities through using the SOI modules (learning booklets) in the area of Cognition, Memory, Evaluation, Problem-solving, and Creativity. I remember leaving meetings focused on our daughter’s challenges in school feeling discouraged and frightened. We were told she had low comprehension.

A parent does not stop by the bookstore and buy a book on comprehension that would solve the problems being experienced in the classroom. Fortunately, SOI came into our lives when our daughter was nine and SOI knew how to teach comprehension! In her case, we learned it was visual comprehension that was the roadblock in learning how to read as revealed when she took the SOI Assessment of Learning Ability.

When I became trained in SOI and opened my own learning center in 1989, I became fascinated with the SOI process of assessment and development of individual learning abilities.  In my first year of serving students, my confidence increased dramatically. I was not tutoring students in curriculum; I was using the SOI materials to develop and strengthen the ability to learn curriculum. Continue reading “To Teach and To Learn: A Separate Experience”

learning skills · Testing · training

This Child Just Can’t Remember!

When I hear this statement from a parent or educator, my mind switches into a questioning mode.

What kinds of things don’t they remember?  Can you give me an example of what they can’t remember?  Is it just one thing? Is it multiple things?  Is it situational?  What’s happening when they can’t remember?  Is the information they don’t remember visual or auditory?  Is the difficulty in remembering information or numbers?

No, I don’t badger the witness; I just wonder.  The good news is that I don’t have to wonder long.

Fortunately, with the SOI assessment, we have the answers to many of these questions. Even better, Continue reading “This Child Just Can’t Remember!”

learning skills · Testing

The Door Opener to the Vision System

The SOI assessments provide information about an individual’s ability to process visual information.  Over the years, I have actually become more impressed with how hard the eyes have to work in order to actively engage the mind in the learning process, in remembering visual information, and in correctly solving problems with that information.

This is perhaps the most misunderstood group of sub-tests in the SOI Model.  Vision is thought of as eyesight, visual acuity, and the health of the eyes.  We are often told that an individual is concerned about his/her poor reading ability, lack of comprehension, and misreading words, and yet eyes are 20/20 and healthy.  It is not uncommon to have Ophthalmologists and Optometrists deny the SOI information that relates to low visual skills because the evidence is not showing in an examination.  The question then remains, “What is the reason for such poor reading ability and what can be done to improve reading ability and reading comprehension?”

The answer commonly lies in a lack of visual stamina.  When the eyes tire, Continue reading “The Door Opener to the Vision System”

inspiration · learning skills

Innovations in the Human Learning Process

Energia Wellbeing, located in India, was founded in 2011 as a private limited company to provide services, which were based on the scientific applications of preventive, developmental, and positive psychology. Within three years of its opening, the first branch office in the city of Pune was started.

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE

Energia firmly believes in your ability to achieve success in your chosen field, which can lead to self-actualization. We give you insight to broaden your horizons and bring about a self-transformation. Our programs help create insights across academic, behavioral, emotional and social aspects of your life.

The future/career of an individual is defined by their unique strengths. We can help by identifying and bridging the gap for any weak abilities. Research proves that this method gives more solution-based productivity and enhanced performance to the individual. Continue reading “Innovations in the Human Learning Process”

learning skills · Testing · The Basics · training

Those Darn Potholes

I agree.  My topic and thoughts today sound odd.  I stand accused of thinking too much about educational challenges, even when sitting in a long line of cars out at the coast of Oregon.  A large section of Highway 101 was being repaired for potholes.  In the section I was at, it is only a two lane road and the wait ended up to be about 15 minutes going and coming.  I was not driving, so I looked up how much potholes cost the American people – billions of dollars.  AAA reports the cost of automobile damage resulting from potholes to be 6.5 billion dollars a year.

For learners in our educational system, the learning continuum has many potholes.  Learning numbers is easy, but letters and letter sounds is not.  Having a great story to write in our thoughts is never expressed in a timely fashion due to struggles with handwriting, spelling, or grammar.  Algebra comes more easily than geometry or the other way around.  Time spent studying for a test is met with low scores due to poor memory.  The history teacher is interesting to listen to, but reading from the history text is a painful experience of reading and rereading to comprehend the unfamiliar information and numerous facts.  The potholes in learning are as numerous as in our roads after a hard freeze.  Billions of dollars are spent in education on students who struggle to successfully navigate their way through education.

What does this failure to navigate successfully do to the self-esteem and motivation of our students?  What poor decisions are made by students out of frustration and repeated failure?  How many students turn off the main road and travel roads that lead to negative consequences?  How do you start the engine of motivation to learn when on empty?

The SOI (Structure of Intellect) Assessment of Learning Ability is the GPS system in learning.  We Continue reading “Those Darn Potholes”

learning skills

Empowering Students to be Successful: SOI Paradigm

Working with children with learning challenges and concerns for the past twenty years has given a meaningful direction and purpose to my life. I have traveled extensively from New Delhi, India to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; and Sacramento, California in my journey as a student and a facilitator for the children with learning issues and their families.

I started my career as a remedial education teacher at Educare, New Delhi, where I learned the basics of the Orton Gillingham approach of teaching phonics and reading skills under Dr. Sunita Sodhi. This was a very fulfilling experience of understanding the concepts of learning disabilities and helped me to do my PHD in the area of learning disabilities in math (dyscalulia) among the elementary grades.

I landed in Pittsburgh in the summer of 2003 with my family and worked as a volunteer with the Learning Disabilities Association of America for almost two years and simultaneously joined the 32 Degree Masonic Learning Center to do my certificate course in remedial education therapy under IMSLEC (International Multi-Sensory Language Education Council). This gave me an opportunity to study and gain insight into the details of the language teaching process and improve my style of teaching along with the correct pronunciation.

I enjoyed working with students and could observe the significant changes with the remedial education but always wondered for how long to provide these interventions to the students. School systems have been giving modifications to students with learning issues within the regular classrooms such as extra time to finish the assignments, assessing the student on multiple choice questions, or using the scribe to write the answers for them. These accommodations and benefits are available in the United States as well as in India.

This does help the students stay in the mainstream schools in an inclusive environment, but I always failed to understand that what happens to the child when he/she steps out of the school environment and interacts with the community at large. This system and the accommodations/modifications do not equip the students to apply problem solving skills, use their memory skills, or build comprehension abilities.

Our present education systems both in the United States and India are helping the students to do well in schools by modifying the environment but not giving them the essential learning skills and abilities to become independent learners.

My family and I moved to Denver in 2008 and I started working with a local school district as a substitute special education teacher. I started Continue reading “Empowering Students to be Successful: SOI Paradigm”

inspiration · learning skills · Testing · training

The Actions You See – The Words You Never Hear

SAM, AGE 8

“Oh no, we’re going to read out loud again? I wish I could just disappear. She’s handing out the books. I can’t, I just can’t read out loud again and have the guys laugh when I stumble over the words. I don’t get why they can read without stumbling and I read like a K student. When we go out to recess, someone always says something dumb to me and I just shrug my shoulders. My parents and teacher hate when I do that. Think… I’m good at making people laugh, especially the girl next to me. Maybe it will work again and the teacher will have me sit outside the room. She’s tired of me she says. Oh man, now I’m in for it. How am I going to explain to my parents why I was sent to the office? I hate school.”

  • SOI Assessment showed extreme visual issues that were corrected with Developmental Optometry.
  • Sam did SOI paper/pencil modules at my learning center for the school year.
  • Was at grade level in reading by the next year.
  • Sam is soon to graduate from medical school as a pediatric surgeon.
  • He still makes people laugh and has the most caring nature.
  • In his chosen field, his personality will be a gift to many families.

JOHN, AGE 16

“Not one single person can give me a good reason why I have to Continue reading “The Actions You See – The Words You Never Hear”