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Advice from Dad: The Original “Soft Skills”

June 9, 2019

When I was in middle and high school, my dad was home to greet us after school every day. He and I would often drift into long conversations while enjoying a snack together (usually saltine crackers with butter). Looking back, those “cracker conversations” with Dad were my personal “Soft Skills University.” It was during those…

How to Teach a SOAR Workshop

May 27, 2019

It was almost-summer of 1998. I was wrapping-up my first year of teaching… at my alma mater. Just five years before, I was sitting in those desks. Now, my desk was at the front of the room. From this new vantage point, I could see that nearly all my 9th & 10th graders struggled with…

Boys and Their Shortcuts: A Lesson from Henry Ford

April 24, 2019

I hear one complaint often; it usually comes from moms and female teachers who are frustrated over how much “effort” boys will put into written assignments. It goes something like this: “He knows so much about the material, but he will only write a couple of things… he always wants to take the shortcut!” I often ask,…

How Does the Brain Really Learn?

September 23, 2018

One of the biggest problems with education is most educators are not taught how their students actually learn. You’ve probably heard about “left vs right brain” learning, or “visual, auditory and kinesthetic” learning. But, today we are going to peel that all back and go a layer deeper… into something far more universal that applies…

Student Motivation: How to Get Students in the “Green Zone”

August 12, 2018

It’s second hour in Mr. K’s class. The bell has just rung.  Mr. K is ready to get started with his lesson. But, here’s what Mr. K doesn’t know is lurking under the surface: Susie was just dumped by her boyfriend because of an untrue rumor posted on social media last night. Jimmy’s coach stopped him…

THE Right Way to Teach with Student-Led Software

July 16, 2018

Teaching with student-led software raises many questions for teachers… Should I introduce the lesson before having the students jump in to the software?  Or, should I let them explore the software, and then discuss the content with them? What if students want to progress farther ahead in the software on their own?  Should I let…

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…

Study Halls: Where They Go Wrong

March 26, 2018

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:…

The “New Initiative” Bandwagon:
The One Fatal Flaw of Every Education Initiative

February 18, 2018

Why Do You Have to Work So Hard to Make Students Learn? You work harder and harder, but clearly feel a drag. You are tasked with more things to do, document, and correlate every day. Your extended efforts never seem to be enough. Students become more apathetic. Many people are quick to blame technology. But,…

How Students Should Set Goals

January 14, 2018

There are three steps to setting goals: deciding, believing, and focusing. Decide. Will you decide to sit down with your class and set goals together? Will you decide to get a pen and a piece of paper and dream? If you don’t decide to fit it in your schedule, think of the repercussions. Think of that…

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