Executive Functioning consists of the essential self-regulation skills needed to successfully participate and function in a classroom setting – and in life! Poor executive functioning shows up as an inability to prioritize tasks, maintain focus and cooperate with others. Problems with executive skills often go hand-in-hand with learning disabilities and attention problems, which are both on the rise!
Elementary Areas of Focus:
1) Transition Plan
Transitioning can be hard sometimes for students. Developing a plan to move the students BODY and BRAIN to the next task. When working on transitioning between activities students might need visual reminders to help them understand what is coming next.
I find this tool to be the most successful with students that struggle transitioning.
First –> Then Visual Board
2) Following Directions
Learning to follow directions is the foundation of learning and difficulties in this area can impact a student’s ability to take notes, follow a sequence of steps, as well as show their knowledge on written assignments and even multiple choice tests. Completing a Task Checklist is a great visual way to follow directions. The student checks off the box once he/she completes the tasks in order.
3) Focus/Sustain Attention
Young elementary students are expected to know how to focus on a task and control their impulses so that they can take on academic tasks of learning to read, write and do math. Creating “to do” lists helps the student to focus on what all needs to be completed.
4) Manage Emotions/Challenges
Helping students manage their own emotions gives them a real advantage in school and in relationships. If a student cannot manage emotions properly, it is very difficult for him or her to focus on learning. Often these students create conflicts and act out in unhealthy and potentially harmful ways.Sometimes a visual aide is the best thing to get a student to calm down and listen to what he/she is supposed to be doing.
Elementary Supports & Interventions:
In order for students to reach their full potential in school and life, I have designed numerous tools to use when teaching students social and emotional skills.
1) Visuals for “Good Choices” and “Bad Choices”
2) Break Cards with emotions
3) Think Sheet / Think It Over Sheet
4) Taking Charge of My Feelings AM/PM Tasks Board
5) Individual Behavior Reflection for Activities
6) Calming Cards
I designed two Google Doc organizational tools to help students keep track of information and materials.
This Google Docs is a homework organizational tool for the assignment notebook. This is a self-rating tool that allows the student and teacher to daily track their organization skills. This homework organizational tool requires the student to keep track of turning in homework, writing down assignments, managing materials in their take home binder. The student reflects on daily organization skills in these areas and be held accountable for each area.
I designed an Assignment Notebook Tracker using Google Docs to improve the student’s understanding and awareness of tracking homework. This is a self-rating assessment that is filled out daily with the teacher and student. This daily tracking system analyzes the trends in writing down homework assignments, understanding the assignments, creating a plan to get help with assignments, and prioritizing tests, quizzes and projects.