Executive Function Skills for Success in the Classroom: Recommended Resources

 The term ‘Executive Function’ is used to describe the skill set required for setting goals, carrying out organized steps, and modifying a plan to complete a task successfully, all of which are vital for academic and social success in elementary and middle school classrooms.  Strategies can be implemented in the classroom to improve the executive functioning of all students for task completion.  These strategies help students:
  • Increase their awareness and tune in to what is happening around them so they can understand how information, events and their actions will impact their goals and objectives, both now and in the near future.
  • Develop a memory for the future so that they can set personal goals and  use self-initiated organizational strategies to achieve those goals.
  • Improve self-awareness skills so they can “read a room” and use higher-order reasoning skills to “stop, think and create” an appropriate action plan with anticipated possible outcomes.
  • See and sense the passage of time so that they can accurately and effortlessly estimate how long tasks will take, change or maintain their pace, and carry out routines and tasks within allotted time frames.
  • Organize their homework space and personal belongings so they can create and use strategies to track and organize their materials.

 

Recommended Readings, Videos and Tools:

Smartbutscattered

Read a sample chapter by clicking HERE.

FallDown

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Poster

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Video Brief

Video for Kids

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Sarah Ward Resources:

Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP, is a practicing speech-language pathologist and national speaker on developing and supporting executive functioning skills. Sarah has facilitated multiple educator sessions and a parent session at Oakland Schools to provide practical, hands-on strategies to build executive function skills for success in the classroom. This web page is designed to connect educators and parents with resources that support the strategies Sarah has shared in our county.

 

To hear Sarah describe some of her strategies for supporting executive functioning in students, check out these short video clips:


Strategies for Students

Tools for Middle and High School Students

Parent Tips

Resources for Parents

 

Oakland Schools Consultant Contacts: 

 

FAQs About the Grade K-5 Units of Study

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the 3-5 units of study. If you have further questions, contact Michele Farah.

Reading

  1. I don’t do partnerships in Readers Workshop. Is that O.K.?

Partnerships are non-negotiable with Readers Workshop. During partnerships, students are held accountable for their independent reading work. Students prepare for their conversations during their independent reading time and come together with their partners to discuss their thinking. Partnership time is also a critical time to develop and meet the Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards.

  1.  My mini-lessons in reading are taking too long, what can I do?

Often mini-lessons grow into maxi-lessons for many reasons. One common reason a mini-lesson may grow is when student input is allowed during a mini-lesson. For example, sometimes teachers say things like, “who can tell me what we did yesterday?” or “who knows what strategies we have been working on?” A mini-lesson should be direct instruction with very little input from the student. This ensures that students hear the information we our teaching and eliminates the possibility for misinformation from student input. Another reason mini-lessons may be long is if teachers are not doing Read-Aloud with accountable talk outside of their reading workshop time. This is a separate block of time that sets students up for the work that they will be doing in reading workshop.

Writing

  1.  My students have low skills and are having difficulty just getting sounds down on the paper. Should I just wait to start teaching writing workshop until they have these concepts?

Beginning the writing workshop at the start of the year ensures that students begin to build a writing life, understand how to get started doing the work writers do and establishes routines and rituals. Having these routines in place allows teachers to utilize their small group work to support their struggling writers with shared and interactive writing.  A regularly scheduled interactive and shared writing time enables teachers to teach hearing and recording sounds, as well as concepts about print, process, craft and conventions.

  1.  How long should immersion last?

Depending on how much experience your students have had with the text type, immersion typically lasts 3-5 days. As students move up the grade levels, the level of work they do within the text type becomes more sophisticated. Therefore, immersing students at each grade level is very important. A new immersion packet has been added to the resource section of Atlas Rubicon and teachers will find many examples of possible immersion sessions.

Executive Function Skills for Success in the Classroom

Click here to REGISTER for the Multidisciplinary Educator All-Day Session!
Click here to REGISTER for the Parent Evening Session!
Grade Levels:  3-8
Description: 

Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP, is a practicing speech-language pathologist and national speaker on developing and supporting executive functioning skills.  Sarah led a session at Oakland Schools in March 2014 and will be back to facilitate a one-day multidisciplinary session that provides practical, hands-on strategies to build executive function skills for success in the classroom.  She will also present an evening session designed to support parents in working with their children on homework.

The term ‘Executive Function’ is used to describe the skill set required for setting goals, carrying out organized steps, and modifying a plan to complete a task successfully, all of which are vital for academic and social success in elementary and middle school classrooms.  Sarah’s multidisciplinary session will focus on strategies that help students:

  • Increase their awareness and tune in to what is happening around them so they can understand how information, events and their actions will impact their goals and objectives, both now and in the near future.
  • Develop a memory for the future so that they can set personal goals and  use self-initiated organizational strategies to achieve those goals.
  • Improve self-awareness skills so they can “read a room” and use higher-order reasoning skills to “stop, think and create” an appropriate action plan with anticipated possible outcomes.
  • See and sense the passage of time so that they can accurately and effortlessly estimate how long tasks will take, change or maintain their pace, and carry out routines and tasks within allotted time frames.
  • Organize their homework space and personal belongings so they can create and use strategies to track and organize their materials.

Sarah’s parent session will focus on simple techniques that parents can use to help their students:

  • Close the homework circle by supporting students in recording, bringing home, completing and returning assignments.
  • Create a positive and productive environment for homework completion.
  • Learn to organize and process information for assignments, long term projects and study skills.
Dates and Times:

Multidisciplinary Session for Educators: January 19, 2016  (9:00 am – 3:30 pm)

Parent Session: January 20, 2016  (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)

Intended Audience: 

Multidisciplinary Session for Educators:

3rd- 8th Grade: General Education Teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists, School Psychologists, School Counselors, School Social Workers, and Special Education Teachers

Parent Session: 

Parents of students in Grades 3-8 who struggle to complete homework

Consultant Contacts: Michele Farah Ph.D. , Literacy Consultant, Oakland Schools and Diane Katakowski, Speech-Language Pathologist Consultant, Oakland Schools

Event Contact:
Angela Emig, angela.emig@oakland.k12.mi.us, (248) 209.2351

To hear Sarah describe some of her strategies, check out her short video clips:

  Strategies for Middle School StudentsSara Ward YouTube

  Tools for Middle and High School Students

  Resources for Parents

  Parent Tips

“One of the best presentations I have attended through Oakland Schools!  I appreciated the practical tips for use with a wide age range of students.  Please bring Sarah back- this information would be so helpful for classroom teachers!” – Past Participant at Oakland Schools

 

 

Readers Workshop K-5

Grade Levels: K-1, 2-3 and 4-5

Workshop Description

readers workshop 2This series will highlight the development of children as readers, as well as the development of teachers as instructors and coaches in reading.  Teachers should bring their own copy of “The Art of Teaching Reading” by Lucy Calkins.  Additional teacher resources will be recommended on the first day of class.  This series will help teachers understand the structures of Readers Workshop. It will focus on preparing teachers to teach and coach young learners in the reading skills and strategies necessary to promote lifelong reading.

Teachers will learn how to develop mini-lessons, explore ways to balance small group differentiated instruction with guided reading and strategy lessons, sharpen their use of one-on-one and partner conferring, along with assessing student reading to plan and modify lessons based on student needs.

This series will also focus on developing units of study, which organize the content of the reading workshop.  The developed units of study will help teachers plan for their teaching in a way that moves an entire reading community along while supporting individual learners.

Additional emphasis will be placed on organization of the environment, useful materials, analyzing student use of strategies and the importance of read aloud thinking and accountable talk.

SCECHs: Pending

Intended Audience: This series is divided into three grade levels and is designed for teachers of K-1, Grades 2-3 , and Grades 4-5.

Dates of Event: 5 sessions August, 2016 – January, 2017
Presenters: Michele Farah Ph.D. , Literacy Consultant, Oakland Schools and Shawna Hackstock, Independent Consultant

Event Contact:  Deb Delowery, deb.delowery@oakland.k12.mi.us (248) 209-2003

REGISTER NOW!

Grades K-1

Grades 2-3

Grades 4-5