The Executive Function Guidebook
Strategies to Help All Students Achieve Success
- Roberta Strosnider - Professor Emerita in Special Education, Towson University, and Educational Consultant
- Valerie Saxton Sharpe - Educational Consultant
Learning & the Brain | Specific Learning Difficulties | Teaching At-Risk Students
Teach some of the most important skills your students will ever need!
“Please, try harder.” “Please, pay attention.” “Please, behave.” Most students want to do what it takes to succeed, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Executive function skills such as self-regulation, focus, planning, and time management must be taught, and they take practice. When you work on them in class, you give students the tools they need to not only learn but also monitor themselves.
Teaching executive function skills in your classroom doesn’t have to be difficult. This unique guidebook—designed with busy teachers in mind—introduces a flexible seven-step model that incorporates Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and the use of metacognition. Features include
- Descriptions of each skill and its impact on learning
- Examples of instructional steps to assist students as they set goals and work to achieve success.
- Strategies coded by competency and age/grade level
- Authentic snapshots and “think about” sections
- Templates for personalized goal-setting, data collection, and success plans
- Accompanying strategy cards
Whether you teach kindergarten, high school, or anything in between, you can make executive function training part of your teaching. As students’ proficiencies improve, you will see their confidence and capability increase—setting the stage for their success in school and in life.
"As an administrator who works with students who have a variety of emotional and behavioral issues, understanding executive functioning is an important part of reaching some of my toughest students. We cannot always assume that the inside and outside of a student are working in sync. This book offers a lot of insight to students’ difficulties with day-to-day tasks and provides easy-to-implement strategies."
"The Executive Function Guidebook addresses specific tasks that are problematic for students and that often lead to behaviors, frustrations, meltdowns, and a sense of failure. The authors offer practical steps and tips for general and special educators and provide curricular tools such as strategy cards, illustrations, and data collection forms (to name just a few), making this book a complete package that will encourage teachers to address the needs of their students."
“The authors have designed a clear, multi-step approach for teaching executive function skills that is based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), so that educators can integrate the strategies into their typical instruction with ease. The inclusion of case studies and checklists provides a roadmap for effective implementation.”
"I struggle with helping my students be successful in class. There are always students who lack focus, don’t turn in their homework, or have trouble writing. They shut down, and it becomes a struggle to get them to move toward success. The Executive Function Guidebook destroys those barriers, making struggles manageable. and allowing for success for each individual learner. Students will learn to focus through clear strategies and metacognition. Homework will be completed and turned in because students will be given the tools they need to be successful. They will be in charge of their learning and success."