Executive Function Executive Function... "What is this anyway?" Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, M.S. Executive functions are crucial for school success! Published in CHADD's ATTENTION Magazine, February 2008; updated in 2011. Five years ago, most parents and teachers of students with ADHD didn't have a clue that a child's academic success was contingent upon strong executive skills. Impact of ADHD and Executive Function Deficits on Learning and Behavior. Before we understood the role of executive functions, parents and teachers were often baffled when students, especially those who were intellectually gifted, teetered on the brink of school failure. Executive Functions Defined. Additional Research on Executive Functions. According to Dr. Real World Impact. Components of Executive Function Based upon material from Barkley, Brown, and Gioia I have outlined eight general components of executive function that impact school performance: Poor Working Memory and Recall Favorite School Success Strategies
Interventions for Dysgraphia Jones, S. 2e Newsletter May/June 2011 In this article, Susan Jones provides advice on how to accommodate for the needs of students with dysgraphia. Adapted from Dysgraphia Accommodations and Modifications by Susan Jones (1999) Two students can labor over the same assignment. One may labor with organizing the concepts and expressing them, learning a lot from the “ordeal.” When the writing task is the primary barrier to learning or demonstrating knowledge, then accommodations, modifications, and remediation for these problems may be in order. Accommodate Reduce the impact writing has on learning or expressing knowledge without substantially changing the process/ product by changing the following: The rate of producing written work Allow more time for written tasks, including notetaking, copying, and tests. The volume of the work to be produced Instead of having the student write a complete set of notes, provide a partial outline to fill in. Modify Remediate A Model of Written Work
Why Children Fail in School: Top Ten Reasons Students Struggle & Strategies to Help Them Succeed | Suite101.com Do you have a child who is struggling academically? See if your child fits under any of these ten categories. The good news: there are solutions and strategies for each of these causes. Lack of Parental Involvement and Absenteeism The impact parents have on the academic success of their children is immeasurable. Poor Organization Students need to develop individual organizational skills. Poor Study Skills Often students have no idea how to study. Memorizing facts is an important first step in learning a new concept, but children must also analyze and apply the information. Lack of Motivation The cause of low motivation is often nebulous. Unfortunately, if motivation stays low for too long, you must press for answers, look for signs of depression, bullying, sex, drug use, or video game and/or computer addiction (see Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence). Poor Reading Comprehension Poor reading comprehension leads to academic failure in many subjects, not only English.
The Importance of Teaching Handwriting After a long period of neglect in education, attention to teaching handwriting in the primary grades may finally be returning. This attention can benefit many youngsters, including those with learning disabilities (LDs) involving handwriting, which may accompany reading disabilities, writing disabilities, nonverbal learning disabilities, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although word-processing programs and assistive technology are undeniably boons to children with writing problems, technological advances do not eliminate the need for explicit teaching of handwriting. Furthermore, very modest amounts of instructional time in the earliest grades — kindergarten and grade one — may help to prevent later writing difficulties for many children. Why handwriting is important Contrary to the view that handwriting is a trivial skill, handwriting actually is important for a number of reasons. Manuscript or cursive? Assessment of handwriting skills Instruction in handwriting
Misunderstood Minds . Math Difficulties What Can Stand in the Way of a Student's Mathematical Development? Math disabilities can arise at nearly any stage of a child's scholastic development. While very little is known about the neurobiological or environmental causes of these problems, many experts attribute them to deficits in one or more of five different skill types. These deficits can exist independently of one another or can occur in combination. All can impact a child's ability to progress in mathematics. Incomplete Mastery of Number Facts Number facts are the basic computations (9 + 3 = 12 or 2 x 4 = 8) students are required to memorize in the earliest grades of elementary school. Try it yourself. Computational Weakness Many students, despite a good understanding of mathematical concepts, are inconsistent at computing. Difficulty Transferring Knowledge One fairly common difficulty experienced by people with math problems is the inability to easily connect the abstract or conceptual aspects of math with reality.
What Is Dysgraphia? | Writing Disability Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. Dysgraphia makes the act of writing difficult. It can lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting and putting thoughts on paper. People with dysgraphia can have trouble organizing letters, numbers and words on a line or page. This can result partly from: Visual-spatial difficulties: trouble processing what the eye seesLanguage processing difficulty: trouble processing and making sense of what the ear hears As with all learning disabilities (LD), dysgraphia is a lifelong challenge, although how it manifests may change over time. What Are the Warning Signs of Dysgraphia? Just having bad handwriting doesn’t mean a person has dysgraphia. Dysgraphia: Warning Signs By Age What Strategies Can Help? There are many ways to help a person with dysgraphia achieve success. Each type of strategy should be considered when planning instruction and support. Early Writers
Three Brain-based Teaching Strategies to Build Executive Function in Students Updated 01/2014 For young brains to retain information, they need to apply it. Information learned by rote memorization will not enter the sturdy long-term neural networks in the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) unless students have the opportunity to actively recognize relationships to their prior knowledge and/or apply new learning to new situations. Here are some teaching strategies to help build executive function in your students. 1) Provide Opportunities to Apply Learning When you provide students with opportunities to apply learning -- especially through authentic, personally meaningful activities -- and then provide formative assessments and feedback throughout a unit, facts move from rote memory to become part of the memory bank. These opportunities activate the isolated small neural networks of facts or procedures, which then undergo the cellular changes of neuroplasticity that link them into larger neural circuits of related information. 3) Model Higher Thinking Skills Judgment
Strategies for Dealing with Dysgraphia By: Regina G. Richards A common teaching technique is to have the students write information to reinforce the material. For example, spelling programs often encourage students to write each spelling word five times or 20 times. For many students, the kinesthetic process of writing reinforces what is to be learned. Educators expect students to learn from the process of writing, yet these students find that the process of writing actually interferes with learning. Why does this occur? Dysgraphia is a problem with the writing process. Students with dysgraphia need to develop both compensations and remediation strategies. The astute teacher or parent must first determine the point at which the student becomes confused or begins to struggle. Remedial strategies It is critical that students do not totally avoid the process of writing, no matter how severe their dysgraphia. Young students should receive remediation in letter form, automaticity, and fluency. Shake hands fast, but not violently.
Creative Organization for Disorganized People Feel guilty about it? Do you tend to pile things everywhere? Relax. It's nothing to be worried about. There are basically two types of people in the world - Filers and Pilers. It is fruitless and a tremendous waste of time to try to become a Filer when you are naturally a Piler. It's an internal thing - our minds simply process information differently than the minds of Filers. It is not a problem that you are a Piler: The only real problems are: The messy appearance it gives you and your space The time spent wasted looking for things The resultant guilt and stress The Pilers SystemTM solves all three problems, while not requiring you to 'rewire' your brain. Embrace Your Piles! Use the links on the left to find tips on organizing, and to see how we can help!
Strategies for the Reluctant Writer By: Regina G. Richards (2002) There are many reasons why students may be reluctant to write. Some reasons include dysgraphia, boredom, poor knowledge of the necessary subskills, and/or lack of interest in the topic. There are many subskills involved in the writing task and it is important for students to be able to use each of these as automatically as possible. Students who struggle with writing generally dislike practicing writing; however, this is exactly what they need. The subskills for writing The process of writing is a complex activity and requires juggling a great many components. A process approach Writing should be approached as a process. Preplanning and organizing Writing the draft Proofing (looking for errors) and rewriting Editing (elaborate and enhancing the content) and rewriting Writing the final At each level, students need substantial explicit instruction and modeling, followed by a great deal of practice before the step will become automatic. Preplanning and organizing
Cooperative Learning Guinevere Palmer, Rachel Peters, Rebecca Streetman Department of Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology, University of Georgia Review of Cooperative Learning Introduction Scenario Mrs. Mrs. She has tried a number of teaching methodologies. She also decided to try to make her classroom more student-centered by turning to a computer-based curriculum. As a last resort, Mrs. Mrs. Definition and Background Cooperative learning is defined as students working together to "attain group goals that cannot be obtained by working alone or competitively" (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1986). Cooperative learning is a methodology that employs a variety of learning activities to improve students' understanding of a subject by using a structured approach which involves a series of steps, requiring students to create, analyze and apply concepts (Kagan, 1990). Theoretical Framework for Cooperative Learning Collaborative vs. A climate such as that created by cooperative learning will help Mrs.
Dysgraphia Accommodations and Modifications By: Susan Jones (1999) Many students struggle to produce neat, expressive written work, whether or not they have accompanying physical or cognitive difficulties. They may learn much less from an assignment because they must focus on writing mechanics instead of content. After spending more time on an assignment than their peers, these students understand the material less. There are sound academic reasons for students to write extensively. How can a teacher determine when and what accommodations are merited? Signs of dysgraphia What to do Accommodate -- reduce the impact that writing has on learning or expressing knowledge -- without substantially changing the process or the product. Accommodations When considering accommodating or modifying expectations to deal with dysgraphia, consider changes in The rate of producing written work The volume of the work to be produced The complexity of the writing task The tools used to produce the written product The format of the product Change the tools