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:


Read a sample chapter by clicking HERE.


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 Recommended Reading


Video Brief

Video for Kids

Recommended Video

Recommended Video

ASHA Leader Article: Executive Function Difficulties an Issue for Teens Learning Virtually 

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 Supporting Executive Functioning

Parent Tips

STOP and Read the Room for Online Classes

To view archived professional learning content, access:

Tri-State Webinar Series: Executive Functioning: “STOP and Read the Room” Situation Awareness and Independent Executive Function Skills

Tri-State Webinar Series: Executive Functioning: “Job Talk” Developing Independent Executive Function Skills

Oakland Schools Consultant Contacts: