Classrooms, learning skills, soi-ipp, The Basics

Getting to the Root of Learning Difficulties

IPP gets to the root of learning difficulties by addressing the issues that often cause poor academic performance.

The IPP program is successful because it addresses the cause(s) of the learning difficulty. It works to improve attention span, memory, comparison & contrast thinking, eye-hand coordination, systems reasoning, and other skills essential to the learning process. This helps students perform better in school and in life.

IPP HISTORY

Years of identifying and training cognitive dysfunctions have revealed the importance of underlying physiological processes, especially focusing skills and sensory integration functions.

SOI training will help even in the face of focusing skill and/or sensory integration dysfunctions, but, obviously, the prognosis would not be as good as if there were treatment for those functions that underlie cognitive processes. To address this need, SOI developed the IPP program to Continue reading “Getting to the Root of Learning Difficulties”

Classrooms, inspiration

The Missing Link to Learning

“I’M NOT DOING THIS ANYMORE! My head hurts, I keep losing my place, and I can’t remember what I read!”

These words assailed me as I walked into our fifteen year-old’s room. Her text book landed on the floor in front of her, just before her words landed on me. As a parent, these are not the words you want to hear from you son or daughter. Needless to say I was dismayed.

Aside from adolescence, what had changed this person from an enthusiastic student who claimed reading as her favorite subject, to the frustrated student sitting dejectedly on the floor of her room? I was an educator, a specialist no less! I was supposed to know what to do!

Little did I know, the next week Continue reading “The Missing Link to Learning”

Testing, training

SOI CFU: Filling in the Blanks

What’s the big deal about CFU? Ask Brian.

“Brian can’t tell the difference in a 5 and a 3 and he sure can’t begin to read! He’s severe! Good luck on that one!” That was my first introduction to a very “special” student as I began my career in education.

Brian had a problem with CFU. CFU is just one of six intellectual abilities that you have to have to be ready to read. What does that mean? And what does identifying a picture tell me about being able to read?

In the world of the Structure of Intellect, CFU stands for Cognition of Figural Units. It is the ability to look at a picture or representation of an object that has been partially erased and to be able to tell what that object is. In other words, it is the ability of your brain to fill in the blanks and make sense of what seems at first to be only random marks on the page. This skill, when applied to letters or symbols, makes up the gateway to reading.

Remember picture finding in your “Highlights for Children” magazines? It wasn’t just a fun activity, or a not so fun activity if you were unsuccessful. There was a reason for it! I now know that each of Brian’s eyes were seeing something different. That “dreamy” look he had when I looked at him now makes sense. How do you tell the difference in a 5 and a 3 when one eye places the right angle at one spot on the page and the other eye places it elsewhere? And, maybe it doesn’t place it in the same place the next Continue reading “SOI CFU: Filling in the Blanks”

Unique Issues

SOI Support for Dyslexia

I believe the best support for struggling students with dyslexic symptoms is the full spectrum of Structure of Intellect interventions. Most of the students at Positive Learning Solutions have some degree of dyslexic symptoms, and have made much reading progress with their program and are progressing in school.

First, identifying visual and auditory perceptual processing problems and remediating them is necessary for success in overcoming any learning problem, and dyslexia is no exception. SOI-IPP and specific SOI computer and paper modules provide that underlying support for visual, auditory, and spatial abilities.

Any referrals to Meeker Paradigm Area 3 health professionals are appropriate as well. Some visual symptoms – such as letters/numbers/words moving or distorting, or losing place frequently – that are found in dyslexia checklists from any source, are in recent years found to actually be Irlen Syndrome symptoms co-existing with dyslexia. Free questionnaires can help determine if an Irlen screening and specific colors can eliminate part of the barrier to reading and learning.

Particularly if starting a phonemic awareness/phonics-based dyslexia reading program, a student is at a clear disadvantage if the auditory processing/memory are not strengthened beforehand. The SOI Auditory Kit strengthens auditory discrimination, semantic sequences, and memory of units. The Auditory Kit and Memory Matrix (particularly the 3 auditory exercises) are used with most, if not all of my students with much success. Every area of a student’s memory ability needs to be strengthened before any dyslexia reading program is begun. Continue reading “SOI Support for Dyslexia”

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”

SOI News

SOI National Workshop Highlights 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed attending the SOI National Workshop in Lubbock in January 2016. Whenever or wherever I hear Diane Hochstein speak, I always hear little sayings or quotes that are amazing and sometimes life-changing. I used to attend workshops and listen intently without writing down these “gems.” I finally learned at this workshop to write these quotes down so I could remember them forever. This year we also had the privilege of learning from the experience of Dylan Fitzpatrick.

First, I want to share with you Dylan’s beliefs: there are no bad children; work with children because they are gifts; no act is wasted with a child because you made a connection, an ounce of action is worth a ton of theory; and a person has to be ready for success.

SOI gives an individual three things:

  • Autonomy: solve problems on our own without reward.
  • Mastery: fulfillment of “I did it!”
  • Purpose in our life: we have goals, and there is a realization that there is something bigger than ourselves.

To empower means to have the resources to draw on from their own personal experiences. There is no greater gift than to empower someone.

And here are the gems of wisdom from Diane: Continue reading “SOI National Workshop Highlights 2016”

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”