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Educators

Why We Can’t See Our Own (Writing) Mistakes

September 24, 2023

Just a few weeks ago, we ordered some new return address labels. See anything wrong?  About 100 went out before we caught the mistake. Oops! And, every so often, we publish an email or blog post with a typo or two. Oops! In our company, we all live and breathe the content we publish. Every single…

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…

“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…

SOAR 2.0: Moving Forward After SOAR

February 12, 2023

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 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…

80/20 in the Classroom: How to Change the Way You Work

April 17, 2022

There is a universal rule that governs our lives behind the scenes. It works silently, only observed by those aware of its existence. The people who understand its power spend more of their time living happier lives.   They use this principle to accomplish more in less time. We can see it at work in…

Six Steps to
Conquer the Chaos

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