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How to support executive functioning skills in the classroom

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

Hello, edumagicians,

We're back with another interview-style episode of the Edumagic Podcast. I'm joined by Rebecca Bouchard, an English teacher at a senior high school. In addition to reading and drinking coffee, Rebecca loves traveling to new places. Becca discusses executive functioning skills - what they are and how we can support students in the classroom.

What is executive functioning?

It is located in the frontal lobe, the last part of our brains to develop; it is responsible for our ability to control our actions.

What are the three main areas of executive functioning?

  • working memory - ability to collect and manipulate information

  • inhibitory control - being able to control distractions and control reactions to stimuli

  • cognitive flexibility - being able to shift from one task to another.

What can we do as teachers to help our students with executive functioning?

  • Reflection is the power of understanding what works and what doesn't. Please look at how you expected a lesson to land versus how it did. You can then work backward by design to determine what you can improve upon during the lesson.

  • Model for students - organize items and content for students. Have consistency like labels, dates, and consistency of materials, resources, and expectations.

  • Checklists can help support students.

  • Agendas and schedules for students

  • Countdown clock

  • Spicy or icy gum

  • Visual schedule

  • Advance notice if there is a change in schedule

  • Make connections between class and activities.

  • Daily physical activity

  • Consistency is key

  • Chunk tasks

Share on social your strategies to help students with executive functioning skills!
Connect with Becca

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