encoding/ decoding: does it sound right? does it look right? Chunking
(for children with executive function difficulties and those with ADHD type behaviours)
give clear simple instructions / provide visually where possible (e.g.whiteboard, post-it notes)
break down tasks into smaller tasks
give visual cues and demonstrations
ask student to repeat directions
prompt / warn e.g before question / before transitions
seating: away from distractions, near good role models. Choose groups before activity
build movement into lesson plan
During a recent learning support coffee morning with very busy specialist teachers we came up with this brief list of strategies and accommodations to help children with language and attention difficulties in a range of classroom settings.
The Elementary Learning Support Team put together a workshop for our colleagues to explore how executive function skills could impact learning. We wanted to help teacher’s to build knowledge about Executive Functioning (EF) Skills and enhance our repertoire of key EF strategies to strengthen differentiated practice in all classes.
We concentrated on the following areas of Executive Function:
Planning/Organization/ Time Management
These skills are critical for all learners. The first four areas above are areas that are often noticed by teachers and brought to the attention of learning support teachers. There a number of factors that determine an individual’s EF efficiency. These include genetics, traumatic brain injury and environmental factors. Teachers can affect the environment through their teaching style and through the physical environment of the learning space. They can help children to gain and improve EF skills by differentiated teaching and appropriate scaffolds.
Children diagnosed as on the autism spectrum or with attention deficit disorders (ADHD or ADD) may have challenges related to Executive Function.
At the end of the session teachers had a number of ‘tools in their toolbox’ to help them provide support for children within their teaching area through:
Environmental level modifications – such as classroom or teaching modifications
Student level modifications– explicitly teaching strategies and skills to students (at home/school/and in the community)
We found helpful resources at : http://www.ncld.org/