learning skills, soi-ipp, The Basics

SOI System’s Approach to Learning Problems

SOI Systems is a company with a 50 year history of addressing student learning problems. Our focus has been primarily on making sure that the student’s capacities for learning are matching the expectations of the teaching situation – whether that is in a school, a university, or less formal circumstances like home schooling.

When the student’s capacities for learning do not match the expectations of the learning situation, we take a clinical approach to the situation – isolate and identify the learning problem; make a preliminary diagnosis, test to find the probable cause; prescribe an intervention; and monitor to see if the intervention is effective.

This is not a one-size-fits-all approach – it is individualized for each student-client. On the other hand, as with any clinical practice, there are broad guidelines based on years of experience. These guidelines define three general areas.

INTELLECTUAL ABILITIES AND CONCEPTS

All learning situations are predicated on a set of expectations about the student’s cognitive abilities – acquisition of new data or concepts (cognition), recall of data acquired (memory), information Continue reading “SOI System’s Approach to Learning Problems”

certified learning

Practice Makes Progress!

“Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why, then, do we rush students through education when they haven’t always grasped the basics?”

Mastery based learning is a concept we embrace at Shady Oak Learning. Sal Kahn, who created the now famous Kahn Academy, recently illustrated this in a Ted Talk. Kahn created a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other  subjects. I get excited when I see well-known experts validate what we know to be true with our students in our school.

SOI Certified Learning modules help us provide a mastery based approach to helping young children acquire foundational learning skills. Each child progresses at his or her own level.

As Mr. Kahn explains in his talk, teaching for mastery and not for a grade, helps students take ownership of their own learning. When we initially test students with the Structure of Intellect test, we know their strengths and weaknesses, and how to improve their ability to master content.

Mastery learning, a concept researched and introduced by Benjamin Bloom in the 1970s, has been widely researched and proven to be effective to help students reach a high level of achievement, when students are given the necessary time and appropriate learning conditions.

Last year we had a group of students in Pre-K who observed their fellow K-2nd grade students have success mastering the Certified Learning modules. They couldn’t wait to get started on their workbook and computer modules when school started this year!

Our motto is “Practice Makes Progress”, and incremental progress with feedback motivates students to achieve.

written by: Pam Jarvis

Pam is an SOI Practitioner and the founder and Director of Shady Oak Learning, a private K-6 elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas.

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”

SOI News

SOI Certified Learning Annual Report: 2015-2016

Blog GraphCertified Learning teaches each student individually. It employs a tutorial model of instruction designed for classroom-size groups. It covers the basic curriculum – reading, math, and science concepts – for the primary grades.

It also teaches foundational abilities and skills that are necessary (but often lacking) for learning the content curriculum. The overall goal is to optimally prepare each student for the transition to the more advanced curriculum of the middle grades.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Out of every 100 lessons assigned, 98 were completed and mastered in the pass-fail tests. Only 2% of the assigned lessons were not mastered. The 98% that were mastered by all students represents an average of 75 lessons – the equivalent of a full year’s curriculum – for each of the participating students.

This is just a brief introduction of all that is included in this year’s report. Please view the full report for details on the 2015-2016 results. You will be amazed at what these students have accomplished!

SOI News

2016 Summer Workshop Review & Announcements

This summer’s Advanced and Associate workshop was full of information!

The Meeker Paradigm, auditory processing, vision issues, interpreting profiles, the ALA-PLA tests, Certified Learning, IPP, American education, and more were presented.

We are grateful to have been able to use the Diane Hochstein’s Up for Learning center for the training. The center has been in operation for one year and has had a positive effect in our community!

UPCOMING TRAININGS

If you have not yet been trained in SOI, Dr. Meeker and Jody Brooks will be hosting several Basic and Intermediate workshops this coming year. Both workshops will be held at our location in Springfield this October. Dates and details will be decided soon, so if there is a specific weekend that would work best for you, please let us know!

NEW PROGRAM LAUNCH

Our biggest project of 2016 will be released this September! The ALA and PLA tests will be going ONLINE – available to practitioners, teachers, and schools! This is going to be a wonderful way for people to be tested with SOI that otherwise wouldn’t be able to because of distance, time, expenses, etc. People will be able to take the SOI test at their own pace from the comfort of their own home. Some practitioners also plan to have clients take the test online in their clinic or learning center. Remember that the ALA and PLA are available in paper format, too! Continue reading “2016 Summer Workshop Review & Announcements”

SOI News

Public Education in the United States: From an A to a C- in 60 Years

HOW AND WHY IT HAPPENED. WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO REVERSE IT.

The Golden Age of U.S. Public Education

The “Golden Age” of public education culminated in the 1950s. It had steadily improved from one-room schools to become comprehensive, twelve-year systems. It was viewed as the primary means of upward social mobility.

  • U.S. schools consistently ranked among the top tier in International Assessments.
  • Schools were comfortably financed locally through property taxes.
  • School support was widespread, bolstered by local control.
  • The institutions of higher learning were generally satisfied with the high school graduates they were receiving.
  • The workforce had little difficulty absorbing those students who stopped their education at the secondary level.

In short, the system was fulfilling its mission of providing free education to all. As a social service enterprise, it deserved a grade of “A”.

The U.S. Public Education Today

In the past 60 years, public education has deteriorated on almost all counts.

  • U.S. schools are now in the middle group on International Assessments.
  • Schools are chronically underfunded to the degree that their programs are compromised.
  • School constituency support has waned, in large measure, because local control has been displaced by state and federal directives.
  • The institutions of higher learning are having to “educate” incoming students before they successfully enter a college curriculum.
  • The workforce now considers a large segment of high school graduates as “unemployable.”

The system has clearly slipped in meeting its mission. As a social service enterprise, it deserves a “C-” performance.

The Chronicle of Deterioration

This steady decline has has been documented in many ways. The first Continue reading “Public Education in the United States: From an A to a C- in 60 Years”

SOI News

A Look Back at 2015

Wow! What a year it’s been for us here at SOI! Last week we celebrated one year in our new office location. We love our new space, and are enjoying the convenience and functionality that have come along with it. If you haven’t been able to see it yet, we hope that you’re able to visit soon!

While our big move has been the highlight of our year, lots of other exciting things have happened Continue reading “A Look Back at 2015”