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Susan Kruger Winter, M.Ed.

How I Almost Forgot the Meaning of Thanksgiving…

November 20, 2022

I sent this out Thanksgiving of 2019, in the midst of a lot of chaos. We received so many wonderful comments, I thought it would be worth sharing again. Although I’m very blessed to be hosting family members at my home for Thanksgiving, I almost forgot to be thankful… The plan was to move my husband,…

Processing Emotions: Why Facing Tough Stuff Hurts and Helps

October 30, 2022

This website is primarily dedicated to optimizing the process of learning. However, learning has no greater roadblock than negative emotions. For that reason, I am planning a series of articles on “emotional intelligence.” Frankly, I’m long overdue to address this topic. But as they say, “hindsight is 20/20.” Several recent situations keep bringing this topic…

Happy Halloween!
My Grandma’s Eternal Halloween Departure

October 24, 2022

Happy Halloween! On this peculiar holiday that celebrates death, I thought I would share a very crazy, but 100% true story about my Grandma’s Eternal Halloween Departure. Hey, I’m not the one who invented this holiday! So, if it sounds a little weird to celebrate this story, well… it is. But, death is a natural part of…

How to Study for a Math Test

October 9, 2022

When I was a student and teachers would say, “Study for your math test!” I would think, “How do I study for a math test?” I now realize that study is the wrong verb. You really need to ‘practice’ for a math test. You not only need to KNOW material for a math test. You…

How Does the Brain Really Learn?

October 9, 2022

One of the biggest problems with education is most educators are not taught how their students actually learn. You’ve probably heard about “left vs right brain” learning, or “visual, auditory and kinesthetic” learning. But, today we are going to peel that all back and go a layer deeper… into something far more universal that applies…

October Is “Shakedown” Month!

October 2, 2022

October Is the Most Difficult Month… Are things getting a little “intense” in your classroom? Are your kids stressed out at home? Several years ago, my daughter’s 1st grade teacher, Robert, sent an email update: This week was something of a challenge. Tears and arguments cropped up on several occasions. By Thursday, I was fairly exhausted. Then…

How to Use a Digital (or Paper) Planner

September 25, 2022

When it comes to using a planner, you really should go “back to the future.” We get lots of questions from our clients about how to use a digital planner. To be successful with a digital planner, it’s critical to employ the basics of a paper planner. Paper vs Digital Planners We still stand by…

How to Build an “Anxiety-Free” Environment in Your Classroom

September 18, 2022

Previously, I wrote about How to Help Your Students Manage Anxiety. If you haven’t read that article yet, I suggest you start with it, here. It explains what causes anxiety, which is key to understanding how to manage it. Today, I want to share some strategies for building an “anxiety-free” environment in your classroom. Obviously,…

How to Help Students Manage Anxiety

September 11, 2022

The key to helping students manage anxiety is to understand what’s happening in their brain. “Emotions are the on/off switch to learning,” says Priscilla Vail, author of Smart Kids with School Problems. You and I both know this is true. We know from our own experience that it’s pretty hard to learn geometry theorems when…

The Challenge of Executive Function:
What’s the Antidote?

September 5, 2022

“Students Greatest Need Is Executive Function!” This year, in the SOAR® Learning Laboratories, we challenged ourselves to discover “What do students in special education need the most?” We interviewed special education educators from across the country, expecting to make a “top ten” list we could narrow down to the “top three things” students need. However, we were stunned when one response came…

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