In any given classroom, there are students whose backpacks seem like black holes, students who can never seem to remember their books or other materials, students who consistently don't turn in homework, and students who are easily distracted or have a hard time sitting still.
Many of these students end up being labeled as lazy or unmotivated, and eventually they might even come to describe themselves that way. What they don't know, and what even their teachers might not know, is that their supposed laziness and lack of motivation is most likely a symptom of weak executive function skills.
Luckily, executive function skills can be developed through explicit teaching and supportive structures at school and home. Explicitly teaching students how to learn prepares them to meet the challenges of the increasingly complex content and more demanding workloads that await them as they progress through their academic careers.
Ms. Hawe combines her skills as a classroom teacher and executive function coach to provide high quality, engaging, and interactive workshops to launch the teaching of executive function skills in your school. Browse the workshop options below and contact us today to discuss how executive function skill training can boost achievement for all of your students.
How would you like to launch student achievement to the next level?
Brain Based Strategies to Help All Students Get on Track, Get Things Done, and Achieve Success
Today’s world of hectic schedules, information overload, and high expectations demands that our students be masters at time management, organization, planning, and flexibility. Despite the importance of these executive function skills to academic, career, and life success, many of our students demonstrate deficiencies in multiple skill areas. This workshop will present teachers with an overview of executive function skills and explore classroom practices that promote their development. Teachers will have opportunities to apply and adapt ideas to their subject and grade level and set attainable goals for implementation. The workshop will conclude with a discussion of interventions for students with executive skill deficits.
Intervention Models for Students with Weak Executive Function Skills
This workshop is the perfect follow-up to the Brain Based Strategies workshop described above and is particularly useful to special education teachers and guidance counselors. We will delve deeper into an exploration of ways to help students demonstrating executive function skill deficits through targeted small group and individual strategy instruction. We will also explore ways to implement academic coaching and peer coaching models. Using a provided template, teachers will practice writing intervention plans for specific students that they can begin to implement immediately.
Executive Function Skills and Literacy
When students struggle with reading, we examine their decoding abilities, their fluency, and their overall comprehension, but we often don't consider their executive function skills. Both reading and writing demand high levels of multiple executive function skills, and many students may need support in developing those skills. For example, reading requires task initiation, sustained attention, working memory, metacognition, and goal-directed persistence, to name only a few. As a former English teacher, Ms. Hawe will demonstrate strategies teachers can use to help students with weak executive function skills excel in reading and writing.
How to Teach Study Skills as a Part of Your Curriculum
This workshop will provide teachers with a toolbox of study skills and learning strategies that they can then pass on to their students. Teachers will learn how to explicitly teach study skills within the context of their curriculum in order to create strategy rich classrooms. In turn, students will be empowered to independently select learning strategies and to then reflect on their effectiveness. Teachers will explore ideas for learning strategies portfolios and will have opportunities to plan how to implement study skills instruction in their curriculum.
Creating a Growth Mindset Classroom
Explore how Carol Dweck's research on motivation can fundamentally change the feedback you give to your students, and as a result, change how they see themselves. Simple shifts in how we praise students can boost confidence, develop intrinsic motivation, and teach resiliency in the face of challenges. This workshop will also include demonstrations of how to introduce the idea of growth mindset to your students so they begin to understand that their brain is like a muscle that they must exercise.
Executive Function Skills Curriculum
& Professional Development Package
If you are committed to boosting student achievement and making executive function skills an essential component of your school's culture, then this is the option for you. This package can be customized to meet the needs of elementary, middle, and high school teachers and students. Participating schools will receive:
An introductory workshop on executive function skills for faculty and staff.
Four curriculum units (one per quarter) focused on four essential executive function skills (selected in consultation with the school). Each unit contains eight easy to teach and engaging lesson plans that lead students towards mastery of the executive function skill of the quarter.
Four faculty workshops (one per quarter) to explore that quarter's executive function skill and its associated curriculum.
A workshop for guidance counselors, special education teachers and paraprofessionals focused on interventions for students with executive function skill deficits.
Executive function assessment materials, student portfolios, and other student handouts.
Parent newsletters highlighting the executive function skills being developed and tips for how parents can support this work at home.
Two to four parent workshops.
Ongoing support for teachers and administrators throughout the implementation of the curriculum.