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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…

The Challenge of Executive Function:
What’s the Antidote?

April 8, 2018

“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…

How to Solve Our National Motivation Crisis

March 15, 2018

The United States’ Motivation Crisis is so pervasive; we look right through it. A fish is the last one to know he swims in water. Likewise, the solution is so simple, you might miss its full power. How to Solve the Motivation Crisis We simply need to “change the conversation!” We need to stop focusing on deficiencies…

Student Motivation Is a National Crisis…
and NO ONE Is Talking About It!

March 11, 2018

Student motivation is a national crisis! Across every boundary: gender, racial, geographic, academic, and socioeconomic… students simply don’t care. Everyone knows our education system is in turmoil. It’s critically disconnected from the real-world. People attempt to improve education with STEM or STEAM programs. Or, they try to build “critical thinking skills.” But no one is talking about the…

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