Executive Functioning: Helping Students with Planning Time Management and Organization

Posted by Erica Warren on

Executive functioning is a cognitive process that has gained recognition in schools over the past decade and accommodating students that struggle in this area is often neglected. Inappropriate labels such as “careless” and “lazy” are often placed on this population. Instead of compassion and strategies, they are often intimidated, harassed and mishandled with discipline and inconsistent methods that result in poor grades. For these students anger, frustration, poor motivation and feelings of learned helplessness are common. More and more students are being described with this label and students need to learn strategies for success. 
Students around a table brainstorming

Capable and intelligent learners can sabotage their grades by:

  • losing materials
  • forgetting to turn in assignments
  • leaving things to the last minute
  • miscalculating or underestimating the amount of time it will take to complete a task
  • failing to record homework in an agenda or planner
  • leaving needed materials at school
  • leaving needed materials at home
  • failing to prepare for tests
  • failing to plan and break down long-term assignments into manageable tasks or goals
  • neglecting to plan for midterms or finals
  • missing assignments
  • forgetting details
  • losing focus and missing important notes or directions
  • losing mental stamina and failing to complete a task
  • misplacing important materials
  • rushing through work

Executive Functioning Coaching

So what can be done to assist these students?

You can help these students:

  1. create a structure daily routine.
  2. set priorities.
  3. establish a homework plan.
  4. break large assignments into manageable chunks.
  5. make to do checklists.
  6. improve their study skills. 
  7. learn note-taking skills.
  8. embrace time management skills.
  9. develop test taking skills.
  10. learn memory strategies.
  11. develop motivation by offering incentives and positive reinforcement.


Here is a free downloadable PowerPoint on the topic: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Helping-Students-that-Struggle-with-Executive-Functioning
memory resources
Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning. She is also the director of Learning to Learn, and Learning Specialist Courses.
· Blog: https://goodsensorylearning.com/blogs/news
· YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/warrenerica1
· Executive Function Podcast: https://goodsensorylearning.com/pages/the-personal-brain-trainer-podcast-with-dr-erica-warren
· Store: http://www.Goodsensorylearning.com/ 
· Courses: http://www.learningspecialistcourses.com/

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