School Schedule Options
“How Do I Fit SOAR® into Our Schedule?”
Working SOAR into your schedule is likely the greatest roadblock to overcome. On this page, we explore:
Who Will Get This Instruction?
Your options typically fall into three categories:
The Whole School
Creating a culture of “strategic learning” with study skills will yield amazing results! To ensure success, a careful implementation plan must be developed to ensure the majority of your team members will be properly prepared to support the initiative. SOAR Curriculum Consultants are available to provide customized 1-1 consultations to help you match your goals, objectives, and special parameters of your school.
A Whole Grade Level
Some examples of whole-grade implementation include “first-year” students entering middle or high school. SOAR is an ideal component for a “middle school seminar” or “freshman academy” class.
One Class or a Specialized Group
SOAR is commonly taught in the following specialized classes: electives, special education, academic probation, gifted & talented (Yes, they are often most in need of study skills!), and after-school tutoring club/enrichment programs.
SOAR can be implemented in the following formats:
- Full-Year Class
- Semester/Trimester/Quarter Class
- Core Subject Class: (embedded into the curriculum)
- Before or After-School Program/Workshop
- Independent Study
See details below…
SOAR as a Full-Year Class
This option is usually selected when schools offer a year-round course of some kind. It might be a class that meets daily or weekly, such as: homeroom, “middle school academy,” “freshman seminar.”
Examples of full-year classes:
- Hurst Middle School, a public school just outside of New Orleans, built “SOAR Time” into the last twenty minutes of their day by shaving a few minutes from each class period. (“SOAR Time” more than made up for those few minutes when students showed up to class with all of their assignments neatly organized every day!) For SOAR Time, students met in small groups with their designated SOAR teacher. The teacher helped them get organized at the end of the day, reviewing assignments, checking binders and book bags, and doing a general status check with each student in their group. Yes, this sometimes became a counseling session, but that’s just as important! The point is, no student left the school without some quality 1-1 interaction with a teacher (the small groups were made possible by enlisting the help of ALL staff members).
- Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville, IN, added SOAR® to their daily “Kairos” time. Kairos time is a daily time set aside for students to collect their thoughts, connect with teachers 1-1, reflect, worship, and yes, learn study skills. For freshmen, 1-2 Kairos sessions each week are dedicated to teaching and coaching students in study skills.
- Maeser Prep Academy, a public charter school just outside of Salt Lake City, UT, made study skills a full year course, required for all incoming 6th graders. Led by the 2013 SOAR®Teacher of the Year, Marlene Goodrich, all 6th graders have support in implementing strategies throughout the whole year.
SOAR as a Semester, Trimester, or Quarter Class
These classes are typically dedicated study skills classes. Usually, schools make this a “required” course for entering middle or high school students.
Examples of semester/trimester/quarter classes:
- Replacing an elective credit.
- Offering as an elective. Here’s an important tip: If you make this class an elective, do NOT call it study skills. Call it “Better Grades in Less Time,” or you won’t get many students signing up, at least not initially. Once the class is rolling, students love it! But, when it is an optional elective, you have to get a group through the doors, first.
- Academic probation/at-risk classes.
- Special education classes, small groups, or 1-1 support.
Core Subject Class: SOAR Embedded Into the Curriculum
If this option is under consideration, you have a secondary question to consider: will the content be delivered explicitly by specific teachers (for example, all English teachers will be expected to teach study skills content) OR will you simply train teachers and have them teach the concepts and strategies as needed. (The latter option has some pit-falls. If this option is necessary, call us to help you work through them.)
Example of SOAR Embedded Into the Curriculum:
- Lake Orion High School, a public high school outside of Detroit, MI, (where my husband,Brian, taught for ten years) combined study skills with the required freshman English class. Teachers worked their way through the study skills and English curriculum over the course of a full year.
SOAR As a “Before” or “After School” Program
This is how SOAR was born. I first taught SOAR® as an after-school program when I was a high school classroom teacher. The upside to this option is that it is the most flexible. It is not as optimal as other options, however, since fewer students typically attend these classes and the strategies do not become part of the school culture.
SOAR As an “Independent Study” Program
The SOAR App is an ideal tool to use for an independent study program. The app covers the entire SOAR Learning & Soft Skills workbook, presented as a self-guided course. With narrations on every slide, how-to videos, interactive content, and assessments, students can learn the SOAR curriculum at their own pace with little or no support from the teacher.
Educators: Implementation Tools
More information is available on the following pages:
- Planning for Implementation
- Schedule Options
- Curriculum Materials Needed
- Additional Supplies Needed
- How to Pace Instruction
- How to Get Students Engaged
- How to Get Parents & Other Teachers On Board
- Grade-Level Expectations (4-12th grade)
- Educators: Getting Started With SOAR
If you have additional questions, please contact us.
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