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How to Teach a SOAR Workshop

May 9, 2021

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…

Study Skills Reduce High School Dropout Rates

April 25, 2021

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…

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

April 18, 2021

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…

Standardized Tests:
Two Proven Ways to Raise Test Scores

April 11, 2021

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 Challenge of Executive Function:
What’s the Antidote?

March 21, 2021

“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…

Free Curriculum Evaluation Tool

March 1, 2021

“Fall 2021” cannot come soon enough! On the other hand, it can wait… we all need a break from the past 12 months of physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion! As we all look forward to a fresh start, curriculum decisions for Fall 2021 are happening now, so I am writing to share my Curriculum Evaluation Chart; I…

How to Manage Your Time in Virtual (Self-Directed) Learning

October 22, 2020

 The landscape of virtual learning is radically different from in-person/seated instruction in a thousand ways, but nothing may be more significant than the expectations of students to manage their own time! With in-person/seated instruction, students had: A strict schedule, Lots of routines, and Lots of external cues, such as: bells, different classrooms, teachers, and…

How to Organize Your Digital Workspace

October 7, 2020

When Susan was working on our latest chapter, How to Organize Your Digital Workspace, living with her was like riding a roller coaster… One moment she’s had a breakthrough and really cruising! The next moment, she’s discovered a problem that negates all of her work. She’s back to ground zero.  The next moment she’s got…

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

October 5, 2020

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……

October Is “Shakedown” Month!

September 29, 2020

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…

Six Steps to
Conquer the Chaos

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