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Executive Function 101: Information

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Wednesday, April 11, 2018

This is the third 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 second addresses managing materials, the fourth achieving independence, and the fifth finding balance between school and extra-curricular activities.

Teaching students how to organize class content and assignments will help them manage their workload, reduce stress, and achieve academic success.

executive function information download tearoffs
Download these templates.

Managing the flow of incoming and outgoing information is at the root of why study skills are so valuable and effective. Students benefit immensely when teachers show students how to:

  • Pre-read using headings and subheadings in textbooks, write two-column notes to identify the main idea or topic, and take time to include supporting details.
  • Actively read by highlighting, using sticky notes, and jotting notes in the margins.
  • Learn to write a summary and follow a structured template for the five-step writing process. (Download the template.)
  • Predict test questions and employ a variety of test-taking strategies to teach students how to manage the large volume of information related to their academics.

Two-Column Note-taking

Two-column notes are a way for students to extract the main ideas from the supporting details of a selection or lesson. Students are often asked to fold their piece of paper in half down the length of the sheet to create a useable format for note-taking. When done correctly, these notes are helpful in studying for tests and writing papers.



“In all of our classes we teach content but never without first teaching the skills necessary to access this content.” — Robin Day-Laporte, Director of the Landmark High School Study Skills Department


  • Use two-column notetaking.
  • Utilize templates.
  • Pre-read text to become familiar with the content.
  • Set up well-marked electronic and paper filing systems.
  • Clean and sort files and folders regularly.


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Tags:  active reading Anxiety and test taking education Executive Function learning main idea organization organization and structure parents students summarizing technology template two-column notes writing

Executive Function 101: Materials

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Materials for school

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 takePrepared for class 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.
Ready for school checklist
Download the Ready-for-School Checklist and Reminder List.



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Tags:  education Executive Function Executive Functioning organization students
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