Students in Sue Crawford’s Content Link class at Treasure Mountain Junior High starts its daily class routine with a dose of instruction of executive function strategies, or skills for success.
She helps students identify their strengths and challenges in this area and offers tools and strategies in both academic and social, emotional areas. Students learn time-management and self-advocacy skills, as well as dealing with emotions, taking other perspectives, and recognizing impulsivity.
According to Crawford, the cornerstone of this instruction is giving students a voice to communicate effectively with their peers and the adults they interact with daily. She does this through daily mini-lessons and teachable moments. She has also found success using circles where students have a safe and supportive opportunity to help each other problem solve and find solutions to challenges they are personally experiencing in the executive function areas.
Crawford has implemented this instructional practice with her students for several years as a secondary Special Education teacher. She has seen first-hand the increase in confidence and motivation when students are given tools and strategies that they can use to find success.