When I think of EFC (or classification/organization), I always think of an Elementary aged student named Kimberly that I worked with early in my experience with SOI. At that time in my public education career, I was splitting my time between my duties as a Special Education Inclusion teacher and running the SOI Intervention Lab.
When I walked into Kimberly’s regular education classroom, I could always find her desk, even if she wasn’t in the classroom. The chair was never pushed in, there were papers and books and trash hanging out of every opening. The floor was cluttered with scraps of paper and loose pencils and crayons.
I love telling Kimberly’s story because I believe it is such a powerful example of how integrating the mind and the body truly can change everything!
What is EFC?
Before we go on, it’s important to understand what EFC is and how it affects learning. EFC, is the Evaluation of Figural (concrete objects) Classifications. In other words, the ability to take concrete objects and put them into groups.
For example, EFC is the cognitive ability that allows us to determine that, “This item of clothing belongs in this drawer and not on a hanger” or “This item belongs with the tools and not with the toys.” When applied to work concepts and categories, it is also the skill that helps us to file things under certain headings and be able to retrieve them at will.
In regards to reading, if this ability is underdeveloped a student learning to read will: have poor concept formation, low reading comprehension and difficulty determining similarities & differences in the meanings of words and ideas.
Students who desire to follow a career in the hard sciences, library science, appraising, estimating and similar endeavors, must have highly developed Classification and Evaluation abilities (EFC).
Fully developing this ability leads to organization and therefore greater efficiency academically, in the workplace, or even in the home.
In Kimberley’s case, her lack of organization was a red flag that this ability might not fully be developed. And, just as we suspected, after having her take the SOI assessment, we were able to confirm that EFC was indeed one of the abilities that she needed to work on in her personalized program.
The Physical Effects of Mental Organization
Getting back to Kimberly’s story, we had begun a new program that year called SOI/IPP (Structure of Intellect/Integrated Practice Protocol). SOI/IPP is a combination of sensory integration, visual skills and cognitive training of abilities such as EFC. We felt like this program would be a great fit for Kimberly so we began working with her in this program to help develop these abilities.
As we moved into the second semester of work with Kimberly, I walked into her classroom a little early expecting to see her desk in its usual state.
“Well,” I commented to her teacher, “Kimberly must be absent today.” There was no desk that I could identify with papers piled up or falling out, no trash, pencils or scraps surrounding any desk in the class.
“No, she’s here.” her teacher said, “There is her desk,” she said as she pointed out something I did NOT expect to see. Neatly stacked papers, nothing wadded up or hanging out of the desk, a clean floor and the chair pushed in.
“Now that is remarkable!” I exclaimed. “Yes, it is,” she agreed. “I don’t know what’s going on. All of a sudden she has it together!”
All of a sudden…
“All of a sudden” was actually months of working on exercises designed to help the brain and body integrate and work together. All of a sudden was months of modules designed to help Kimberly to be better able to understand how to classify and organize her thinking.
We have no exercises called, “how to get yourself together,” but that was what was happening with Kimberly. We had noticed that she seemed to be improving and beginning to move forward in her program, but the classroom organization took me by surprise.
I have since come to expect “the Kimberly affect” to take place with student. I now listen and look eagerly for comments regarding our students.
The physical effects of mental organization generally show themselves first.
Many of the abilities we develop at Synap2it! Learning Center have similar positive outcomes. As a result of more fully integrating the mind and body, we not only see improvements in academics, but many times we also see improvements in motivation, behavior, and (like Kimberly) organization.
We’d love to talk with you more about how we can partner with you and your student to help him/her succeed! Contact us to learn more and to schedule a free consultation.
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