Monday, February 27, 2012

Strengthening the Executive Skill of Monitoring

Dear Friends,

     In this post we will be exploring the executive skill of “Monitoring.”  In monitoring, we want our students to be observers of their work, their process of learning and the efforts they are putting forth.  In monitoring students become more aware  of what they are doing as well as how they are behaving. 

    Some strategies for strengthening monitoring and/or self-monitoring include parents and teachers talking with students about what the teachers observe.  It also helps to give students to do some self-reflection about their own work and how they are doing.  Students can do some self-reflection by journaling or talking about how things are going.  We want them to objectively observe themselves (which is not easy) and we also want to make sure they are not overly judging themselves.  As students are able to monitor their efforts, they can begin to make small adjustments to achieve greater success.

Best wishes for a great day!
Kimberly Borin
Learning Specialist

Monday, February 20, 2012

Strengthening the Executive Skill of Shifting and Flexibility

Dear Friends,

     In this post we will be exploring the executive skill of “Shifting and Flexibility.”  In this executive skill we draw on the resources of resiliency as we help student shift gears, think outside the box and be willing to compromise and adapt.   These skills are of course helpful for life but also for school projects and school work as students have to adapt to changing expectations and their own changing needs.

     Some strategies for strengthening Shifting and Flexibility include first noticing how a student is handling moments where change and flexibility are required of them.   It will be important to first address the emotional reaction of students before helping them to think of the many different options available to them.  Some students may need help with brainstorming new ways of doing things – and may have to work through this by talking, writing, drawing or being shown what options they have.  This skill takes practice.  The ability to let go of something that is not working and move in a new direction is not easy.

Wishing you the ability to think outside of the box!
Kimberly Borin
Learning Specialist

Monday, February 13, 2012

Strengthening the Executive Skill of Time Management

Dear Friends,

In this post we will be exploring the executive skill of “Organization (of materials).” The definition of organization is the ability to keep track of personal items. Some strategies for strengthening organization of materials are:

· Use of a planner – to write down homework and assignments

· Use of checklists – example – listing of what items need to be taken home to complete homework that night.

· Establish a study space (see earlier blog about what items should be at a study space).

· Set up an organizational system for school materials (color coded binders with dividers or accordion system) - careful with folders – must clean out regularly.

· Within the binders – include a 3-ring binder hole punch – so papers can immediately be placed into the correct section.

· Do a weekly check of backpack, locker and binders to make sure all is in the correct place.

· At night – prepare the next day’s materials - practice, practice, practice.

Have an organized day!

Kim Turse, Ed.M

Monday, February 6, 2012

Strengthening the Executive Skill of Planning / Organization

Dear Friends,

In this post we will be exploring the executive skill(s) of “Planning and Organization (time).” The definition of time management is the ability to determine the amount of time needed to complete a task. The definition of planning is the ability to create a plan in order to finish a task. Planning includes goal setting and determining how best to meet that goal. Some strategies for strengthening planning and time management are:

· Put away electronics (cell phone, I-pod, Facebook, etc) these are distractions which will interfere with the management of your time – save these as a reward for when you complete the task(s).

· Use of a calendar (daily, weekly, and/or monthly)

· Dry erase calendar for students to keep track of events, due dates, assessments, etc.

· Learn to tell time

· Wear a watch

· Break down a long term assignment or exam into mini due dates and write them into calendar

· Practice estimating the amount of time it takes to complete a task – as you practice you will become better at knowing a time allotment for an activity

· Set up routines

· Prioritize your assignments – try to get the longest or most difficult out of the way first

· Use down time wisely (example – car rides – listen to your novel on audio book)

· Get a good night’s sleep – your brain needs time to recover from the events of the day and only can perform at peak performance when well rested

· Do a daily review of your notes

· Be organized with your materials and work space – if you need to continually get up for missing items- you are ultimately wasting valuable time

· Set your clock a bit earlier – to trick yourself into having more time to complete tasks

Dartmouth has a great wealth of information and videos to assist with time management. The link is

Remember practice makes perfect…keep trying.

Kim Turse, M.Ed.