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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…

The New Landscape of Time-Management in Virtual Learning

September 22, 2020

Exactly one year ago this month, we started an adventure that would become the STEEPEST learning curve of our lives… We launched a hybrid secondary school.  Prophetically, eight months before the world would be flipped upside down, we flipped ourselves upside down! In February, 2020, we finally paused for a moment to catch our breath…

Study Halls: Where They Go Wrong

July 26, 2020

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:…

True Colors: The Personality of Education

May 25, 2020

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…

A Salute on Teacher Appreciation Week 2020

May 5, 2020

It’s May, 2020. Teacher Appreciation Week is upon us… Where are the words?? During this global pandemic, you shifted on the turn-of-a-dime. There simply is not a way to properly express “appreciation” for what you’ve done for our students. My daughter’s teacher happened to made a social media post last night, expressing a sense of…

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

April 19, 2020

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 5, 2020

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…

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