Occupational Therapy and Executive Function

You probably think Occupational Therapy works with fine and gross motor skills, helping you eat after a stroke or helping kids learn to crawl. But, oh, there is so much more. One of the areas of life occupational therapists address is that of executive function skills.  What are those? Check out this list:

Task Completion
Planning
Prioritizing                                      
Processing Speed
Self-Monitoring
Cognitive Flexibility
Foresight
Hindsight
Problem Solving
Persistence
Shift
     (and many more)
       Many people struggle in one or more of these areas.  They may find it hard to make a decision, to stay on track with an activity, or to plan and prioritize tasks in a project.  At Sophia Academy, we work to help students  overcome deficits in any of these areas. To that end, we have formed a relationship with the Occupational Therapy department at Temple University. Two graduate students from that program will complete their clinical requirements in our classrooms, helping us with everything from executive function deficits to social and emotional development to fine motor skills. Lauren and Michaela will be a part of our school one day a week until the end of their semester. Welcome, Temple OT!
    We have linked some of the executive function areas listed above to articles that provide activities to help grow in those areas. While much of it is written for younger children, any of the activities can be adjusted to meet the needs of any person from three to ninety-three.

Employment: Part-time Educational Aide

Sophia Academy @ ICHS is a Christian arts-based high school serving bright students with language-based learning differences. All classes are taught using our successful multi-sensory and personalized approach. We are searching for an exceptional part-time Educational Aide who will provide engaging, one-on-one instruction in reading and math.

Job Expectations

  • Cultivate a learning environment that encourages discovery, creativity, and student growth through a hands-on approach.
  • Offer positive feedback and coaching to promote student confidence and high academic outcomes.
  • Demonstrate awareness of student’s background, skills, proficiency levels, interests, learning style, and special needs in lesson planning, pacing, and presentation.
  • Employ innovative methods and adjust instructional strategies.
  • Promote positive professionalism in all communications involving students, parents, staff, and visitors.
  • Eagerly engage in professional development to learn more about teaching students with dyslexia or dyscalculia.
  • Other duties as assigned.

What qualifications are needed?

  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher
  • PA teaching certificate preferred but not required
  • Special Education coursework preferred but not required
  • Available to work Monday through Friday with part-time hours
  • Maintain compliance with state and federal laws; pass pre-employment background check.

If interested, call Sophia Academy at 267-595-4723. For an application, click here

 

DIG! A World Cultures Tradition

A tradition at Sophia Academy is for World Cultures students to learn the concept of culture by participating in an archeological dig while studying ancient history. Our 2017-18 DIG began in the beginning of the year as we learned to think like historians and archeologists. Next, we studied the concept of culture and seven key markers that reveal culture as we looked at the civilizations of the Ancient Near East. After that, we created our own cultures, including a Rosetta Stone that provided the key to our language. On one rainy day in early November, we buried our cultures and left them to be found by our fellow archeologists. When they were dug up, some of our artifacts had been destroyed by the ravages of time (3 days!) while others were in great shape. Each student had enough artifacts, however, to ably analyze and decipher the unknown culture.

Creating a Rosetta Stone and laying out our plots.

Pumpkin Carving Comes Early to Sophia Biology Class

Comparing water samples gathered from Lorimar Park, growing mold on jack-o-lanterns, checking out crystalline structures under a microscope: these are just a few ways students put feet and hands on their learning under the direction of Mrs. Gudz, Biology teacher at Sophia Academy. Mrs. Gudz comes to Sophia after years of teaching and working in the health professions. She loves making the world of science come alive to students (and vice versa), but she especially loves the opportunity to help young men and women grow in character, in wisdom, and in favor with God.

Great Philly Schools High School Fair Sept 15-16

Sophia Academy will staff a table at Great Philly Schools’ High School Fair on September 15-16, 2017. Eighth graders across the city will pour into the Pennsylvania Convention Center on those days to shop for high schools. None of them yet know of the gem of a school called Sophia Academy. Most won’t need us. Others will, but they won’t have heard that hope and success are close at hand. We will spend two days spreading the word about Sophia Academy–our arts-based high school for bright students with language-based learning differences. Our tag line is “multi-sensory education for learning differently.” We are convinced by both research and experience that multi-sensory education makes all the difference in the world for those who have struggled with reading or math or executive function or processing.  Send your friends our way!

Employment: Part-time Science

Sophia Academy @ ICHS is a Christian arts-based high school serving bright students with language-based learning differences. All classes are taught using our successful multi-sensory and personalized approach. We are searching for an exceptional part-time Science teacher (Biology 2017-18) who will provide individualized and engaging instruction.

Job Expectations

  • Cultivate a learning environment that encourages discovery, creativity, and student growth through a rigorous hand-on approach.
  • Offer positive feedback and coaching to promote student confidence and high academic outcomes
  • Demonstrate awareness of students’ backgrounds, skills, proficiency levels, interests, learning styles, and special needs in lesson planning, pacing, and presentation
  • Employ innovative instructional methods, and adjust instructional strategies based on assessment, standards, and goals to meet each student’s learning needs
  • Utilize a variety of formative and summative assessments that track student learning against course goals
  • Promote positive professionalism in all communications involving students, parents, staff, and visitors
  • Eagerly engage in professional development to learn more about teaching students with dyslexia or dyscalculia
  • Other duties may be assigned

What qualifications are needed?

  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher in subject matter
  • PA teaching certification preferred but not required.
  • Special Education coursework preferred
  • Available to work Monday through Friday with part-time hours
  • Maintain compliance with state and federal laws; pass pre-employment background check.

 

If interested, click here.

Open House

       Looking for hope and help in educating your child with language-based learning disabilities? Sophia Academy @ ICHS hosts an open house for prospective students and parents on NOVEMBER 6, 2017 FROM 9:00 AM TO 10:30 AM. 267-595-4723

Now Enrolling

Sophia Academy@ICHS, an arts-based high school for students with language-based learning differences is now enrolling for the 2017-2018 school year.  Students entering grades 9-11 are encouraged to apply.

     A hands-on, multi-sensory curricula that weaves visual and performing arts into standard subjects helps students with dyslexia and dyscalculia learn well. Contact us via this website or by calling 267-577-8020.

H.O.T.S. Are Hot

Students with language-based learning differences have strengths that enable them to soar. One notable strength is their love of meaning-based learning. They are good at manipulating ideas and thinking deep thoughts. At Sophia Academy, we teach to this strength by engaging higher order thinking skills (H.O.T.S.).  Students are taught to think and discuss effectively using the Touchstones program out of St. Johns College. On other days, they practice logic skills through puzzles, all the while using their skills to read and discuss Shakespeare.

And that’s just one small unit in one class at Sophia Academy.

 

 

Kinesthetic Lessons Aid Learning

What does it mean to be right-brained? How about creative? Sees in pictures? Expert in visual-spatial relations?

Here are other ways students who are right-brained learn:

  • They use feeling
  • They are ‘Big picture’ oriented
  • They understand symbols and images
  • They love Philosophy and religion
  • They easily grasp object function
  • They dream up possibilities
  • They will take risks

At Sophia Academy, we do our best to teach the way our students learn.  Want to know and understand the relative scale of the earth-moon size and distance?  We let others read about it in a book. We will “guess” which ball best represents the earth and the moon.   

Once we guess and discuss, we need to see if we are right. We use the math we learn in the morning to help us figure out the diameter of each ball from the circumference that we measured. Which two balls have the ratio closest to that of earth and moon? It turns out it was the basketball and the baseball.

Then we have to figure out how far apart they are. If the earth is a basketball and the moon is the baseball, what distance best represents their true distance? After class discussion, we decided 3-4 feet.  Were we right? Ask a Sophia Academy student for the answer.