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Student Support Spotlight, by Alissa Plaisance

Some skills really set the stage for student success. Executive functions (EF) are skills students needed for planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time. They sound like a big deal…because they are! For some students, these skills come naturally and seem easy. For others, they seem impossible. These children may have challenges with:

  • Planning projects
  • Comprehending how much time a project will take to complete
  • Telling stories (verbally or in writing), struggling to communicate details in an organized, sequential manner
  • Memorizing and retrieving information from memory
  • Initiating activities or tasks, or generating ideas independently
  • Retaining information while doing something with it.

There are many ways to help children with weaknesses in these areas. This year, students in grades 3-8 have a planner. Using a planner consistently is a great way to write out deadlines for weekly homework, daily reading, and bigger projects that need deadlines chunked into smaller bites. is an excellent resource with strategies and tools to help you maneuver through these challenges. Check it out!