Building Teens’ “Executive Function”

During our first six days of Dragon Time the 7th graders spent a day talking about organization. That was just the tip of the massive iceberg that is “executive function.” As middle school students, our kids are almost by definition unorganized, inattentive, emotional wrecks. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with them; quite the opposite, they are perfectly normal in this regard! Middle school students are just beginning to experience the expectations of responsibility that us adults associate with everyday activity. As they move down this path toward adulthood and all of the weighty expectations and implications that come with that title, our students need to develop their executive function…and we need to help them. The attached article summary comes from a wonderful professional resource called the Marshall Memo. It is a summary of a wonderful article written by Rick Wormeli (you may recognize the name from Wednesday’s meeting on assessment.) In this summary, Kim Marshall, boils down the important points of Wormeli’s article and provides 15 actionable (and very realistic) items for educators to use in helping develop executive function in students. Have a look…how many do you use already? How many can you implement with little or no effort at all? Let me know what you think…

Originally published in SCIS MS Headlines on August 23, 2013

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