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”

Classrooms

Using SOI with the Learning Disabled

Learning disabilities are defined as the absence of learning abilities.

SOI testing can be used to identify students at risk for school success.

The SOI is a broad-spectrum test measuring multiple different abilities to help you gain information about which learning abilities are developed and which are undeveloped.

TESTING MEASURES

There are many types of learning disabilities; the learning disabled do not all have the same profile. It is essential to any academic placement program to know which specific abilities have not yet been developed. This is the specific information that SOI testing provides.

SOI IS DIFFERENT

SOI training materials are designed specifically to teach one learning ability at a time to optimize learning and Continue reading “Using SOI with the Learning Disabled”

SOI News

Announcement: New Online Learning Abilities Tests

In 2010, Dr. Robert Meeker upgraded and integrated 50 years of experience into two new SOI tests. The ALA (Advanced Learning Abilities) and PLA (Primary Learning Abilities) tests were originally designed for our colleagues in other countries, but the need for an online version of SOI testing was another driving force behind the project. The ALA and PLA tests are currently in paper-pencil format and will be available online in September 2016.

To jump straight to our website for details on online testing, click here!

GENERAL INFORMATION

The addition of Critical Thinking subtests within the ALA adds value for the career-oriented client.

SOI continues to offer paper-pencil versions of both tests as a means of observing the student taking the test. Group testing is often more practical using the written forms, as well.

Students who struggle with concentration or anxiety issues find that the computer versions of the tests have allowed them to focus and relax during the test-taking process.

The ALA and PLA continue to Continue reading “Announcement: New Online Learning Abilities Tests”

Classrooms

How to Take Education Out of the Land of Oz

Step 1: Find Some Courage

Become a lion! Education needs a paradigm shift and it takes courage to initiate improved methods when the present system is an ineffective one for students.

Step 2: Find Some Patience

It takes lots of patience to wait for the results of this investment. Use the courage and patience you have today to learn the SOI way of teaching those intellectual abilities that underlie learning curriculum. Though they may not pay off as a return on your investment until students have left the school, you will see improved academics within six months.

Step 3: Get Some Facts

It is necessary to have student scores on the twenty-six abilities required for mastery of curriculum. You will also need to know the student’s best intellectual learning style for teaching. A student’s learning style is his yellow brick road, i.e., what kind of information does he handle most easily? Is he or she a figural, symbolic, or semantic learner?

Step 4

A.  Identify needs and strengths of the group and then program accordingly.
B.  Identify needs and strengths of each individual and then program accordingly.

Step 5 

Demand students’ rights to have scheduled lessons that include teaching of abilities for developing their intelligence. Continue reading “How to Take Education Out of the Land of Oz”

The Basics

The Least of These: A Conversation

Twenty five years ago I stood in front of the storage closet in my special education classroom. It was the second semester of my first year of public school teaching. The bloom was off the rose.

Tired and depleted, I had spent money that I didn’t have to supply and equip my classroom with items that were truly needed, but not in the budget. I sighed and closed the door, wishing I could go home, but knowing there was still much to do to prepare for the next week.

My resolve and enthusiasm was giving way to the harsh reality of the system. I had determined as I began my career in Special Education that no student would endure what my nephew had experienced, even at the hands of well-meaning educators.

But now the demands of high expectation and increasingly low hope had taken its toll as I experienced too many students with too many problems, too little time, and too few resources. There is nothing new under the sun.

“I won’t be doing this next year,” I assured myself. “This is certainly not what I expected when I signed on to this ‘noble profession.’ I am an intelligent, educated person. I can do something else. At least in another profession, I could physically and emotionally have something left at the end of the day to give to my family.”

I shut the closet door, plotting my exit, and was startled to hear these words, inaudibly, yet unmistakably, invade my consciousness, “Inasmuch as you did it unto the least of these, you did it unto me.”

“The least of these?” I stopped, I stared, and I sighed, having recognized these words. Continue reading “The Least of These: A Conversation”

inspiration

Brian’s Story

I had been warned about Brian. “Low, low,” they said. “In fact, so low that he can’t tell the difference between a 4 and a 6! Good luck with this one. There’s only so much you can do. And frankly, you can’t save them all.” Thus began my first special education teaching assignment in public education.

They were right. This amiable first grader was a challenge to teach. Print of any kind was a huge obstacle. In fact, he didn’t recognize his letters or his numbers. Since I was also trained as an art teacher and had subbed a lot in special education classrooms, I had been hired to teach in this resource room because of my ability to do hands on activities to promote the learning of these highly challenged youngsters.Space Shuttle

Story time was Brian’s favorite. He especially liked the activity time after the story when I would set out a variety of papers, glue, scissors, markers, and random collected items with instructions to make, draw, or design a way to tell me about what we had just read. That became a glorious time of day when this challenged little boy became a skilled designer of three dimensional space shuttles, haunted houses, and pilgrim villages.

The reading table was a different story. Brian’s desire to read and learn and please his teacher was impressive. But the outcome was much less magnificent.

As I sat across from him and watched him struggle, always willing to try, but plodding and strained, it struck me, “It’s the eyes! Wow, look at those eyes! No wonder he can’t recognize letters and numbers, let alone put several together! But wait, he’s been screened by the school nurse! Everything is 20/20! Still, if I could just get behind those eyes and see what he is seeing, I think I could help.” Continue reading “Brian’s Story”

Testing, The Basics, training

Missing Intellectual Abilities Identified in Failing Pilots

World War II. Pilots. Planes.

What do these things have to do with learning? You might be surprised!

Check out this short video to find out.

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