Executive functioning plays a crucial role in a child's academic life. It consists of the self-regulation and cognitive skills needed to plan, focus attention, remember, and complete tasks successfully. These skills help children of all ages to plan, set goals, shift between situations or thoughts, control emotions and impulsivity, and overcome challenges. The equation is simple: Dream Big + Set Goals +Take Action = SUCCESS!
As part of our PCSD Wellness Plan, we want to help families develop their children's executive functioning skills through various strategies. One of the most effective methods is through goal setting. Having clearly defined goals provides a roadmap for children to follow and helps them stay focused and motivated. It's also a great way to build their problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Importance of "I Can" Statements
"I Can" statements are powerful tools in education. These are learning targets that are clearly understood by students and everyone else involved in their education. They give a clear picture of what the student is expected to learn and provide a sense of accomplishment when the goal is achieved.
Here are some examples of "I Can" statements at different grade levels:
- Pre-K: I can manage my own belongings as well as start and complete tasks.
- K-2: I can plan ahead, stay organized, and focus my attention to complete my tasks and adjust my behavior to fit different situations.
- 3-5: I can manage my time effectively, prioritize tasks, adapt to changes, and reflect on my own learning and growth.
- 6-8: I can manage my behaviors and communications with others because I understand how thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are connected.
- 9-12: I can reflect on my strengths and challenges with executive functioning and seek to improve my outcomes using strategies and resources.
Understanding and Managing Emotions
Students do better in school when they can understand and manage their emotions. Emotional intelligence is a vital aspect of executive functioning. It helps students to recognize their emotions, understand why they are feeling a certain way, and respond appropriately. This understanding leads to better decision-making and problem-solving skills, improved relationships with peers and adults, and overall better academic performance.
A Wealth of Resources
For more in-depth understanding of executive functioning and how it relates to child development, you can visit the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University website. They offer a wide range of resources and articles that provide valuable insights into the subject. Here is a link to one of their articles:
Remember, it's never too late or too early to start working on your child's executive functioning skills. Every step you take now will pay off in their future success. So, start today and help your child dream big, set goals, and take action towards success!