SUPPORTS FOR LEARNING

SUPPORTS FOR LEARNING
(Please note:  This narrative exits for parents of children who had these supports in the past.  
These supports are no longer available through BES.)

Learning styles, multiple intelligences, learning preferences, personality, and career/vocational issues are important discussions points for students.  At BES, we focussed a search on well-tested instruments that provide the student, parent, and teacher with a written report explaining the results, build insight and awareness, and provide an avenue for improved learning.  After much review, including consultation with the other OESU school counselors and administration, a grant was written to purchase assessments for the elementary schools in the district.  They include:

Learning Styles Inventory:  The LSI is a self-report computerized questionnaire that students may answer either in an individual or whole class session.  When completed, the LSI provides a listing of the following learning styles and preferences: sound, lighting, temperature, mobility, design, structure, time of day, responsibility, motivation, persistence, individual v. group activity, authority, input (eating/drinking), visual learning, auditory learning, kinesthetic learning, influence of teachers, and influence of parents.

The LSI is given to fourth grade students.  There are no right or wrong answers.  The results simply reflect a student's score by an arrow within one of three columns.  The arrow indicates their degree of preference.  The center column reflects a flexible learning ability.  This is usually most desirable.  If a child has a preference to the right or left of center it simply means that this could impact their learning ability.  For instance:

    A child who prefers dim light who is seated under bright fluorescent lights facing a window
    with snow glare will likely be distracted from their lessons.  
    or,
    A child who has a high visual and low auditory preference will not be adequately served by a
    teacher who primarily lectures.  This child would benefit from the teacher writing things on
    the board, using visual tools (power point, posters, graphs, etc.) or providing advance outlines
    for the student to follow visually.

Following the columns that summarize all the preferences, the LSI provides an interpretation of each individual preference and suggestions for the students to manage strong preferences.  This helps to create insight, awareness, and promote self-advocacy.  

Personality Styles:   Fifth graders are social creatures.  OESU now has access to several brief self-report personality inventories that provide a Myers-Briggs style analysis of current personality.  The results indicate whether a student tends towards introvert or extrovert, sensate or intuitive, feeler or thinker, and judger or perceiver.  The school counselor interprets the results in a class session so that students can appreciate how each preference impacts them.  As with all other self-reports with a developing child, it is important to remember that this is simply a snap-shot of their current self and is subject to change.  BES hopes to help students gain the following with this inventory:
    1.   personal awareness of preferences
    2.   awareness of how their preferences potentially impact their relations with others
    3.   awareness of how their preferences impact their learning 

Multiple Intelligences:   People learn in many different ways.  In fifth grade students take a computerized assessment of how they learn best.  Forms of intelligence that are measured include:  bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical/mathematical, musical/rhythmic, verbal/linguistic, visual/spatial, naturalist, and existential.  Each student receives their personalized report which identifies their top three intelligences and describes ways to incorporate them into more effective learning activities.  Beyond this, the report lists their next two intelligences.  The school counselor meets with the class to interpret the results for the students.  Links to additional resources on how to make the most of multiple intelligences are on the RESOURCES page to the left of this section.  Please utilize them to honor and strengthen students' preferences.

CareerScope:  The CareerScope is a computerized vocational assessment that measures both interests and aptitudes and matches them to professions. It begins with over a hundred questions asking if the child would like to do a particular task (e.g. would like to cook meals for large groups) or not (e.g.  like, not sure, dislike).  There are no correct answers to these questions, it is simply a matter of interest.  The interest inventory is reported according to twelve domains:  artistic, accommodating, industrial, plants/animals, lead/influence, selling, mechanical, scientific, humanitarian, business detail, protective, and physical performing.  

Following the interest inventory are seven timed aptitude tests.  These tests range in duration from 1 to 7 minutes.  The results are grouped and reported in the following aptitude domains:  general learning ability, verbal aptitude, numerical aptitude, spatial aptitude, form perception, and clerical perception. 

Results are cross-walked with Department of Education career clusters.  Results indicate which clusters the child meets, which skills may need strengthening for careers of interest, how many years of math and language are required for each career, how many years of apprenticeship are required prior to doing the work independently, and Dictionary of Occupational Title career codes for matches.  

BES has several goals in providing this assessment to sixth graders:
    1.    connect learning to career possibilities
    2.    provide awareness of how the individual child's skills compare with their peers
    3.    expand the child's potential career options, bringing to light professions they may have
           been completely unaware of
    4.    recognize that certain subjects that may not be interesting to the child are essential for
           success in their desired career, thereby igniting renewed focus on that subject

CareerScope assessments for sixth graders were completed during September of this year.  The school counselor is interpreting the results with each student individually.  During Parent-Teacher Conference week, or any other time, parents may schedule to meet with her to go over the results.   

* * * * *

Once assessments have been administered, the school counselor prints a copy of the report for the student and their parents.  The counselor interprets the report either in individual or whole class discussion, depending on how detailed the information is.  It is important to remember that these assessments are simply snap shots of the moment in which they were taken that can be used by the student, parent, and teacher to strengthen academics.  They are self-reports and are subject to the effort the student put into answering the questions.  Their results may change over time since children are still developing.  Please review your child's assessment with them and contact the school counselor should you have any questions.


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