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Susan Kruger Winter, M.Ed.

College and Career-Readiness for Special Education

July 13, 2023

“My students think they are ‘broken,’” lamented one special education teacher. “They don’t have dreams because they don’t think their dreams matter.” The truth is, our education system is not equipped to help any student explore their dreams and options beyond high school. But special education students have an even greater disadvantage; they don’t think…

Why Is Simplicity So Complicated?

July 9, 2023

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci We are naturally programmed to over-complicate matters. It actually takes effort to recognize simple solutions. In fact, most of the time I spend with clients is on the importance of keeping study and organizational strategies simple. I could tell you hundreds of stories, but one stands out, in particular. A few…

Student Organization: Why the SOAR® Binder Is Optimized for the Brain

July 4, 2023

I recently received an email from a mom, Beth R., concerned about organization for her middle school son. She believes in our streamlined system, but she’s concerned that her son won’t feel comfortable using our system. He won’t want to “stand out” amongst his peers. Beth’s concerns are fairly common for a student using the Binder…

The Learning Disability Circuit: How Learning Disabilities Work

June 4, 2023

The Learning Disability Circuit Video Transcription “Learning disability” is the term we use to describe a low power supply of brain chemicals in sections of the brain that process language or math. Common learning disabilities include: dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, language processing disorders, and more. For example, imagine this string of lights represents the neuron wires…

A Mother’s Day Tribute

May 7, 2023

As Mother’s Day approaches and “spring fever” is settling in, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the significant roles that mothers (and fathers) play in homework. As a young student, I had my share of homework arguments with my mom. As an adult, I have become more and more appreciative of the…

“A ‘Good’ Teacher is a ‘Self-Abuser’ Teacher!”

April 30, 2023

“I am convinced that a ‘good’ teacher is a ‘self-abuser’ teacher!!” My grad-school professor said this in class one day. He was lamenting that his wife, a kindergarten teacher, had been on leave for two years to have their two children (they lived in Canada, with generous maternity leave). He specialized in reading development and…

How to Teach a SOAR Workshop

April 20, 2023

It was almost-summer of 1998. I was wrapping-up my first year of teaching… at my alma mater. Just five years before, I was sitting in those desks. Now, my desk was at the front of the room. From this new vantage point, I could see that nearly all my 9th & 10th graders struggled with…

Standardized Tests:
Two Proven Ways to Raise Test Scores

April 9, 2023

Research consistently confirms there are two critical ways to raise test scores on standardized tests: Build “cognitive flexibility” with metacognitive strategies.1 If students don’t have problem-solving strategies for learning content, well… they won’t learn it! Obviously. Teach the curriculum, not “to the test.” Teaching “to the test” –also known as “item teaching”– actually lowers test scores; it…

The Motivation Circuit: How Motivation Works

March 12, 2023

The Motivation Circuit Video Transcription “Motivation” is the term we use to describe a power surge from the emotional region of the brain. When the emotional region of your brain is happy, comfortable, and engaged, it makes a lot of brain chemicals. This provides a hefty power boost the rest of the brain, making learning…

How to Help Your Child’s Test Anxiety

January 8, 2023

Test anxiety is very common.  However, I’ve come to realize that the more we, as parents, try to help our children alleviate that anxiety, we often add to it… accidentally, of course. Jim, a parent using SOAR, recently contacted us with a great question about how he can best help his child. I thought our conversation…

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