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Topic: executive functions

Education Trends: Smart Summer Reading for Teachers & Parents

June 26, 2017

With the summer in full swing, we hope you are relaxing and reflecting. In case you were busy working and parenting the last ten months, you might have missed some of the year’s most important K12 education trends. We identified our favorite reads by topic. We suggest printing them out now and putting them in your bag. Pull them out when you have some free time while sipping your morning coffee, relaxing on the beach, or enjoying an after-dinner glass of wine. 1. Focus, Organization & Planning, Oh My! Teachers and parents are realizing the need to become resident experts on the key executive functions of focusing, organizing and planning. A lack of these skills often explains why bright students underperform. Problems with these skills might… Read More

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A Parent’s Guide for Back to School Success

August 2, 2016

Before School Starts One or two weeks before the start of school, have some one-on-one time with each child. Discuss the upcoming year. Do a lot more listening than speaking– you want to hear their concerns and allay them. For younger students, parents might need to set expectations for homework time and grades. For teens, it might be time to let your child set realistic expectations about their classes, grades, and extra-curriculars. Then agree on a schedule or routine to make it happen that includes sufficient sleep, full meals, and time for relaxation. Week 1: Focus on a good adjustment. For younger kids, do they have the seat that will enable them to focus? Are they comfortable speaking to their teacher? Do they… Read More

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Kids Sports Success: Why Executive Function Skills Might Be the Key

July 6, 2016

Do you have an athletic kid that isn’t making the “A team”? Learn why some of the same hidden skills that can affect classroom performance also might be affecting your child’s playing and interfering with your kids sports success. Listening Does the coach need to call your kid’s name in the group to make sure she’s listening? If your child doesn’t actively listen to the coach, she’s probably not absorbing as much feedback as her teammates. And chances are, she’s making mistakes as a result. Why doesn’t she listen? The first thing to check is your child’s hearing. If she can hear you just fine, you might want to check if she is having difficulties with auditory processing, working memory, or attention. What can I do? … Read More

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Identify Learning Difficulties: Observation Checklist

June 28, 2016

Are you worried about your student’s grades or difficulties in school? The best way to help is to start with an accurate idea of what exactly is the problem. Use this checklist to identify it. Then click on the skill in parentheses to learn more. Once you know the underlying reason your child is struggling, use your Mindprint Toolbox to figure out exactly what to do next. Executive Functions Does she have trouble staying focused for longer tasks or those she has less interest? (attention) Is his work inconsistent or have random errors? (attention) Does he have trouble following directions? Completing multi-step tasks? (working memory) Does she have difficulty with planning? Staying organized? (working memory) Does he have over-react to transitions or unexpected… Read More

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2016: The Year of the Resolution Revival

December 30, 2015

by Mindprint Staff Is the New Year’s resolution just a foolhardy tradition? By most estimates, approximately 50% of us make them and less than 10% of us follow through on them. Or, in other words, half of us have reached the point of “why bother?” You may wonder why experts in child development would recommend that children keep up this New Year’s tradition when the most essential skills needed to make and keep resolutions (planning, impulse control, and self-awareness) are still maturing. If adults with a fully-developed prefrontal cortex don’t have the executive function skills to keep a resolution, why even consider suggesting our kids try? Because it is our responsibility as parents and educators to help our kids be the best they can be. New Year’s resolutions… Read More

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ADHD, It’s Not What You Think It Is

November 5, 2015

The term ADHD generally conjures an image of the boy in the classroom who gets into trouble and can’t keep his hands to himself. While there’s no denying that there are children with ADHD that fit the stereotype, many more do not. In fact, in recent years researchers now understand that ADHD is not a behavior problem. Rather, ADHD is a difficulty managing the complex systems of the brain that are needed to work and manage time efficiently. Common ADHD Symptoms in Children One consistent characteristic of students with ADHD is that they can’t effectively maintain attention for something they aren’t interested in. However, contrary to popular understanding, they can easily maintain lengthy interest in activities they enjoy. Dispelling stereotypes and recognizing ADHD symptoms in children are just two of the many topics… Read More

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Does Your Child Need an Executive Function Coach?

April 10, 2015

By Sarah Vander Schaaff “What parents see is a very bright and intelligent child who can’t pass the grade because they can’t get the homework turned in.” What the child needs, Joyce Kubik says, is to learn simple skills to fit into the linear world when they need to. Kubik is the president of the nonprofit ADHD Coaches Organization, (ACO) a group that serves ADHD coaches and families. As a coach, she brings another level of expertise to her work: she has ADHD, too. For a person with ADHD, Kubik says, “…their brain is wired to be the person who sees everything and reacts to things—they are the movers and shakers.” Still, in a world with linear expectations, such as following… Read More

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You’re Only Human: Drop the Multitasking

August 3, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff You’re probably good at multitasking. I’m with you. I can address 120 holiday envelops while watching Househunters International and check email while I dry my hair. I can even drive while I negotiate a temporary truce between siblings.  It’s task-switching, though, where I really shine. I’ve gone from downward dog to changing the laundry to returning a call and back again before you can say Tadasana. I can do these things, so I’ve never really understood the downside of multitasking.  But recently, my mother handed me a book called “Conquer CyberOverload” and I decided to put down my phone and read the 74-page book. The author, Joanne Cantor, Ph. D., a media professor with a background… Read More

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