Executive Function 101: Materials
This is the second post in a five-part series about Executive Function. Each post includes downloadable templates to use at home and in the classroom. The first article is about managing time, the third addresses managing information, the fourth achieving independence, and the fifth finding balance between school and extra-curricular activities.
Managing the countless print and digital materials for school and work can be overwhelming, but a simple process and plan will help.
Setting up systems to manage paper materials (binders, dividers, reserve folders, portfolios, etc.) and electronic materials (naming and storing files and folders, submitting work through course management platforms such as Google Classroom and CANVAS) are skills that should be taught in ALL subject areas to help students tackle academic and extracurricular responsibilities and to learn productively. Not all students can figure this out on their own, so it's important to take the time to teach these habits and reinforce them in all courses.
"We use cueing and guiding to get students to use the tools at their disposal. For example, I might say, ‘Based on our agenda, what materials will we need for class today?’ Relying on Landmark’s Teaching Principles™, we model effective strategies across all academic subjects and provide opportunities for our students to practice skills until they become automatic—second nature." —Deirdre Mulligan, Elementary Science/Social Studies Department Head/Elementary•Middle School Training Coordinator
- Set up binders, tabs, and pockets for each class.
- Write down key words in an assignment notebook, and mark off tasks. Use a clip to identify current day/week.
- Build time into the day to “clean and sort” these materials.
- Use color coding.
- Make daily and weekly checklists and review them throughout the day/week/month.