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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 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…

The Challenges of “D-I-Y” Study Skills Programs

June 29, 2022

Trying to Piece Your Own Study Skills Program Together? It’s “back to school” season, which means I’ve been talking to a LOT of educators in the past few months. That’s normal for this time of year. However, something is different this year. I’m hearing something I’ve heard a lot over the past 20 years, but…

The “New Initiative” Bandwagon:
The One Fatal Flaw of Every Education Initiative

June 25, 2022

Why Do You Have to Work So Hard to Make Students Learn? You work harder and harder, but clearly feel a drag. You are tasked with more things to do, document, and correlate every day. Your extended efforts never seem to be enough. Students become more apathetic. Many people are quick to blame technology. But,…

True Colors: The Personality of Education

May 23, 2022

By now, you’ve heard me mention Ginelle, SOAR®’s Operations Manager. Ginelle is a certified teacher; she was actually my son’s (favorite) teacher. She is very kind and easily wins respect from her students. But, she holds everyone accountable. I believe she is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and am…

Study Halls: Where They Go Wrong

May 23, 2022

Study hall… Students hate it…. Teachers hate it more… (Okay, a couple of you like it… but most of you don’t.) Why? Because most study halls don’t work! Recently, we’ve had conversations with several schools about “Study Hall.” All of them expressed frustration over lack of results. From these conversations, two common themes have emerged:…

How to Organize: Papers + Digital Files + Email for Virtual Learning

May 22, 2022

Dozens of Problems… One Solution Ever have a set of horizontal blinds go all wonky… tilting sideways, individual slats facing every different direction?  Yet, with one careful tug on a string, they all conform and neatly snap right back into place… Satisfying feeling, isn’t it? That’s what we do with learning, organization, and soft skills……

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