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

May 5, 2019

“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…

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

April 14, 2019

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 our…

How to Do Online Research & Verify Sources

March 12, 2019

Your students have more information available to them than ever before. The plus side is they can never say they can’t find information on a topic, or that the book was checked out from the library.  But, as you may know, it is very easy for students to find information that is unreliable. Lots of…

Why Is Simplicity So Complicated?

March 11, 2019

“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…

Standardized Tests:
Two Proven Ways to Raise Test Scores

February 24, 2019

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…

October Is “Shakedown” Month!

October 1, 2018

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…

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

July 22, 2018

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…

MUST SEE: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

July 9, 2018

If you don’t yet know what all of the fuss is over, stop what you are doing right now and go see the movie, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? The film is not riveting. Yet, it is COMPLETELY riveting. Whether you were a fan of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as a child or not, Fred Rogers…

Building “Critical Thinking” & “Problem-Solving” Skills… with Google

June 17, 2018

“We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist; using technologies that don’t yet exist, to solve problems that we don’t know are problems yet!”  – Karl Fisch, educator “Critical thinking” and “problem-solving” skills are cited by employers as their “greatest need” in the workplace. But, national and state curriculum standards are loaded so…

True Colors: The Personality of Education

April 29, 2018

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…

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