SOAR 2.0: Moving Forward After SOAR
One of the most commonly asked questions we get from the teachers who use SOAR is, “What’s next?!”
- “Is there a SOAR 2.0?”
- “Is there more content to teach SOAR for a second year?”
- “Is there extra content, deeper content, advanced content for SOAR?”
- “I taught my 7th graders SOAR last year, what do I teach them now that they’re in 8th grade?”
While there is no “SOAR 2.0” book that we sell, continuing the teaching of study skills/soft skills is a fantastic idea!
Study skills are really what we call “soft skills” in the workplace. They’re essential to developing a high quality, problem solving, workforce. The problem is schools rarely teach them, or only cover them briefly. The fact that you are considering a second round of study skills makes you a pioneer in education! Well done!
In our humble opinion, study skills can’t be covered enough. Teaching study skills is different than teaching any other subject. In science, for instance, we teach that water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. That is strictly content. So, once you’ve taught it, there’s not much else to do with it.
Study skills, however, are “skills” that can and should be reinforced and practiced. Much the way a sports team practices skills to refine them and become better, study skills should be practiced too. Aaron Rodgers (quarterback of the Greenbay Packers) has already learned how to throw a football. He probably did when he was 8 years old. But, he is still practicing it today. As a result, he gets better with each throw.
We want our students to sharpen all of these skills. So, we came up with some of the best ways you can help your kids master the skills. This will increase the odds of proper implementation in school and long-term career success.
Suggestions for “SOAR 2.0”
Our first suggestion is to actually go through the curriculum again. But, this time you can speed some parts up. Treat some lessons as review and slow-down and dive deeper into other parts.
For example, one of the most powerful strategies in the SOAR program is the Textbook Reading Strategy. If the students have another class (like American History) where they all have the same textbook, take the whole class through Textbook Reading Strategy. Have them practice it as a class or in a small group discussion format. This approach will be very powerful for the students in both the short and long term.
There are also tons of links to additional content in both our App and Multi-Media Teacher’s Guide. If you did not have a chance to go through all of them in ‘Round One’, check them out in ‘Round Two’.
3-D Writing Organizer
Another great project to dive deeper into is the 3-D Writing Organizer. Have the students create the writing folders we describe in Chapter/Lesson 13 and use it to write a paper for another class.
This will be beneficial for multiple reasons.
Your students will get to spend some of their day doing something hands on. Cutting, gluing, and all of that fun stuff. As “kindergarten” as it sounds, you would be surprised how much students and adults enjoy it. In fact, Susan Kruger (our author/CEO) taught this same writing process to executives at a professional writing seminar and they loved it!
Also, you can monitor and make sure your students are fully understanding one of the most beneficial study skills. Your understanding and advice can only help your students. Being available to answer questions will ensure correct implementation.
Most importantly, your students will be happy to get some of their work done in school, and have less to do at home. More time for ‘fun stuff’ is a win-win.
While we don’t really like the term “study hall”, this would also be a great opportunity for your students to bring work from other classes and practice “applying” their study skills under your supervision.
You can monitor their binder and planner use, help them prepare for presentations, write papers, refine note taking processes, etc. We truly think this could be a class that your students will remember well into college and beyond. We all seem to remember the teacher/classes that had the greatest impact on our future success. We can’t think of anything having more impact than solid study skills.
Have you heard about the “Exit Presentation” within the Multi-Media Teacher’s Guide? The Exit Presentation is a portfolio that students build/create as they are going through SOAR Program.
Students produce “evidence” of how they are applying their study skills from each section of the book (Setting Goals, Organizing, Asking Questions, etc.) You can determine the scope of the project by setting the required number of pieces of evidence. Typically, anywhere from 1-3 pieces of evidence per section.
Students assemble this evidence into a binder, Powerpoint, video, or any other means. Then, deliver their presentation at the end of the class (almost like a final exam). Some schools actually use this as a graduation requirement from middle school or high school.
Whether you are a SOAR veteran or starting SOAR for the first time, you can check out your curriculum options here.