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Is Your Focus on Common Core?

The Common Crap… Er, Common Core, Is NOT the Enemy!

If you’re like many teachers working with the Common Core, you’d probably like to refer to it as “The Common Crap.”

As teachers, we’re already operating in a pressure cooker! We’re up against high expectations set by No Child Left Behind; now we’re being told exactly what to teach and how to teach it!  

We’ve been stripped of our creativity in the classroom! Our professionalism is not respected. And, frankly, we’re frustrated (and bored) with a “one-size-fits-all” approach to content that students could care less about!

We are struggling to find any reason to support the Common Core with enthusiasm.

Common Core is NOT the enemy! The enemy is how the Common Core has been interpreted and implemented.

Common Core is NOT the enemy! The enemy is how the Common Core has been interpreted and implemented.

We want to hate the Common Core, but…

What if Common Core Could Be the Best Thing to Happen to Education in the Last Century?

WHAT?!?!

That’s crazy speak, right?!

Well, please hear me out. Doing so may completely flip your perspective and your outlook… in a good way, I promise!

First, let’s come to terms with the reality of the current state of education…

The Numbers Don’t Lie

50% of high school “honors” students fall behind in college. 2/3 of state-funded merit scholarships are lost due to “ineligible grades” in students’ first year of college.1 Students arrive at university totally unprepared, unable to study properly.

The results in the workplace are even more dismal! Princeton-based Educational Testing Services (ETS)2 found that the Millennials in the United States performs at the bottom of all countries in the skills most needed by employers: literacy (including the ability to follow instructions), practical numeracy, and “problem-solving in technology-rich environments.”

Even Millennials with the most education –those in the 90th percentile– “scored lower than their counterparts in 15 countries… and only scored higher than their peers in Spain,” according to the ETS report.

This crisis is further supported by PISA scores. The United States continues to rank at the bottom of all industrialized countries according to the Program for International Student Assessment,3 that assesses functional reading, math, and science skills of the world’s 15 year-olds.

Will the Real Enemy, Please Stand Up?!

It’s easy to look at this data and wonder, “Who’s the genius that created one common curriculum for every student, in every grade, in every school, by every teacher? Aren’t we creating an army of mindless drones that will solidify these results into eternity?”

BUT, neither the Common Core –nor the “genius” behind the Common Core– is the enemy. The real “enemy” is HOW the Common Core is being implemented at state, regional, and district levels.

How to Instantly Simplify the Common Core

We can instantly relieve the pressure from Common Core and help our students grow and thrive, simply by teaching the Common Core Anchor Standards first.

The Anchor Standards were created as the “outcomes” for graduating 12th graders.  The Anchor Standards represent the culminating skills that all graduating Seniors should aspire to achieve to be “college and career ready.”

But the Common Core Anchor Standards are actually “study skills.”  They are the skills to be organized, manage time, communicate, and solve problems.

We should be teaching the Anchor Standards as study skills before weighing students down with curriculum! The Anchor Standards as “study skills” are a massive leverage point, sitting right at the top of the Common Core.

By teaching these skills first, we teach students how to access and process content. We can completely remove the friction between students and learning new content. This can be done in individual classrooms, within an entire school, or across an entire district.

Or, we can keep flooding students with content, hoping they’ll develop these skills on their own by the time they graduate.

Does that really sound like a good plan to you? I doubt it.

Instead, We Can Invert the Pyramid and Teach These Skills, FIRST!

Imagine… students are trained with a set of skills (as early as upper elementary) to be efficient learners and effective problem-solvers. They have a set of skills that they use, refine, and master throughout their education.

Future K-12 graduates can be skilled thinkers, self-directed learners, and master problem-solvers… just by teaching them these valuable skills FIRST!

“Sounds great. But, where do I get started?”


Don’t Worry… We’ve Got You Covered!

There is one –and only one – complete solution available. 

That solution…

The Solution is the SOAR® Soft Skills Curriculum, where students learn how to effectively:

  • Identify students' strengths & “SuperPowers” (according to Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences)
  • Set goals
  • Establish priorities
  • Manage time
  • Organize papers, desks, lockers, & other space
  • Speak & listen effectively
  • Work with teachers & peers
  • Read and understand textbooks
  • Take notes
  • Study for tests
  • Write research papers
  • Prepare for presentations
  • Track long-term goals

The SOAR® curriculum is used in thousands of schools. SOAR® has been THE best-selling study skills book, in the world, since 2007!


Is Your Focus Also On…?

Elementary School?

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SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills Curriculum

The SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills curriculum includes our award-winning student workbook, student app, and popular Multi-Media Teacher's Guide. Explore the curriculum below...

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Student App

Click here to access a video preview of the SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills Student App.

Multi-Media Teacher's Guide

Click here to access a video preview of the SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills Multi-Media Teacher's Guide.

Schedule Options for Teaching SOAR® 

Wondering what the best way to structure your study skills class is? Click here for ideas.

Interested in Training?

SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills offers a variety of training options to meet your needs. Click here to learn more.

Teacher Survey

Do the teachers at your school think “study skills” can help your students? Print this survey and find out.

What Grade Levels Benefit from SOAR®?

To see a continuum matching age-appropriate skills to grades 4-12, click here.

We Offer a 100% Money-Back Guarantee

guarantee-transpSOAR® Is Guaranteed to Provide:

  • a 0.5% GPA increase across your student body.
  • a 20% improvement in student confidence and attitude, as measured by the pre and post Study Skills Scorecard.
  • a 30% reduction in missing assignments.

…or we will issue a full refund, as part of our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Pricing and Order Information

Click here to access updated pricing and ordering information.

Contact Us

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Fill out the form to the right to receive a preview of our award-winning SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills student book, student app, and Multi-Media Teacher's Guide.

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The SOAR® Curriculum

The most critical learning, organizing, and communication skills needed for school. Learn more here.

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