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Study Halls: Where They Go Wrong

November 3, 2019

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 Does the Brain Really Learn?

October 13, 2019

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…

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

September 15, 2019

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 4, 2019

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…

Study Skills Reduce High School Dropout Rates

August 25, 2019

I was a freshman in college when study skills radically changed my life. I went from struggling in K-12 to “straight As” in college. About six weeks after my first semester of college success, however, I was suddenly overcome with a deep, visceral ANGER. “Why didn’t someone teach me how to learn before!?” I was mentally…

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

July 21, 2019

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 Right Way to Teach with Student-Led Software

July 1, 2019

Teaching with student-led software raises many questions for teachers… Should I introduce the lesson before having the students jump into the software?  Or, should I let them explore the software, and then discuss the content with them? What if students want to progress farther ahead in the software on their own?  Should I let them?…

SOAR 2.0: Moving Forward After SOAR

June 23, 2019

One of the most commonly asked questions we get from the teachers who use SOAR is, “what’s next?!”  “Is there a SOAR 2.0?” “Is there more content to teach SOAR for a second year?” “Is there extra content, deeper content, advanced content for SOAR?” “I taught my 7th graders SOAR last year, what do I…

How to Teach a SOAR Workshop

May 27, 2019

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…

Lead with Joy: A Retiring Educator’s Legacy

May 20, 2019

Remember the children’s book, Ms. Nelson Is Missing? Ms. Nelson was not appreciated by her students until the stern Ms. Viola Swamp took her place for a while. Suddenly, students had a new appreciation for Ms. Nelson! I recently had a day that reminded me of Ms. Nelson and Ms. Viola Swamp. It involved conversations…

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