A Sample Lesson Plan

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Contributors: Julie Sanford
Subject: English-Language Arts
Grade Level: 6
This lesson could also be used for the following grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Additional Subjects: Health, 
Instructional Setting: Whole Class
Student Population: Special Education 
General Description of Lesson:
Developing executive functioning skills for students who have difficulties in this area.

1. The lesson begins with a short lesson on executive function skills.

2. The students will check off a list and answer 8 questions.

3. The teacher will also perform a part of the check off list.

4. Together as a class we will go over the check off list and questions.

5. Class discussion about the different aspects of executive functioning skills and how they affect our life.

6. Finally each student will make a plan of how to increase their executive functioning
skills.

Content Standards Strand/Domain: Listening and Speaking

Listening and Speaking - 1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies - 1.1   Relate the speaker's verbal communication (e.g., word choice, pitch, feeling, tone) to the nonverbal message (e.g., posture, gesture).

Objective(s) of lesson:  The goal is to teach executive functioning skills, by having the student involved in the process there is a better chance of increasing their buy-in and level of skill in this area. 
Software Applications: Word Processor, Spreadsheet
Computer Equipment: Computer, Printer
Video Equipment: None
Teacher Technology Competency Level (CTAP2 Rubric):
  • General Computer Skills: Intermediate
  • Word Processing: Introductory
  • Spreadsheets: Introductory
Procedure:
Time Required: 4 class period(s) of 40 minutes.
Materials and Resources used by teachers and students:
Plain white paper for notes, journal and reflection. No. 2 pencil. Websters Dictionary.
Preparation for Teacher:
Develop and print questionnaire.
Step by Step Teacher Procedure:
The lesson:

1. Teach the definition of Executive Functioning:

The word executive, as defined by Webster, refers to a person who controls or directs an organization, one who holds a position of administrative or managerial responsibilities. Therefore “executive functioning” refers to how a person controls their emotions and behaviors and how they organize their life.

Another very important part of executive functioning is not only the desire to accomplish things but the ability to get them done.

2. Give the student a couple of definitions found online:

* Executive Functioning refers to a person's ability to manage or regulate a collection of basic cognitive and emotional processes. This includes planning, initiation, organization, and execution of tasks as well as the ability to cope with transitions or regulate emotional responses. A person lacking effective executive functioning skills tends to be less productive or successful in school or in life.

Executive Functioning skills involve:
• ability to stay focused on tasks
• ability to plan and anticipate
• organization of thoughts and materials
• ability to follow-through and complete tasks
• ability to cope with unstructured situations
• ability to cope with changes in routine
• ability to regulate emotions

Students experiencing general executive functioning difficulties often struggle academically with work completion, organization, and motivation for any task, which is perceived as difficult, frustrating, or simply unappealing.

3. Talk about “How do we increase these skills?”

Intervention for executive dysfunction: Students with executive functioning issues tend to respond well to increased structure, routine, and predictability in their lives. The use of lists and schedules can help a great deal. The important thing to remember is that you are trying to help the student develop better executive functioning skills. A common pitfall occurs when parents or teachers simply perform the executive functioning tasks for the student rather than helping him learn to perform the tasks for himself. While it may be necessary and appropriate to initially help to develop lists, schedules, routines, and other structures to “get the job done,” when parents or teachers do too much for too long, the student's dysfunction actually becomes more significant and unmanageable.

4. Talk to the kids about, as kids gets older they can do more of these things independently. 

This is a normal part of childhood development. Just as every child does not grow at the same speed, they also do not develop executive functions skills at the same speed. There are some children and young adults on into adulthood who have a hard time with these skills. At times we can point to the reason, at other times we have no idea why. Sometimes it is because of FASD, attachment disorder, childhood traumas, ADHD, and many other diagnoses. It can also be part of adolescents.

5. Transition the conversation into looking at the questionnaire.

We're going to take a realistic look at ourselves, as realistically as we can.   We will answer a questionnaire and 8 follow-up questions.

6. Make a Plan:  At the end of the lesson we will work to create a plan for improvement.

1. Acknowledge that there is a problem. If you can’t admit that there is a problem you can’t find a solution.

2. Come to an agreement with the facilitator about which five skills to target.

3. Develop strategies for each target skill.

4. Strategies need to focus expanding the level of each skill and should include multiple types of support, such as visual, auditory, touch, and movement.

5. A designated time should be set aside, at least once a week, to discuss the progress that is being made on each skill and make revisions as necessary.


Assessment Type(s): Demonstrations, Observations, Teacher-made Test, Self Assessment


Assessment Plan:
The student will complete the given survey and will answer eight follow-up questions. The survey will also be taken by the teacher and will be used as a comparison to the students. The class will discuss as a group the way in which we see ourselves compared to those around us.

Finally, the student will be asked to acknowledge that there is a problem. If the student can admit that there is a problem then we can work to find a solution. A plan will be developed from the acknowledgment.

Questionnaire:


Questions:
Web Resources: