Reflection: Students with Disabilities Day Two of Plaid Pete and Friends Build A Model Ecosystem - Section 5: Reflection & Closure


Students with Executive Function Deficits

Every year I have a number of these students in my classrooms.  Sometimes they have a diagnosis such as ADHD, and they come with Special Education IEPs or a Section 504 Plan. In some cases, I have students who have been repeatedly referred to the Child Study Team, but just didn't qualify for additional services.  Yet, they demonstrate the kinds of difficulties with executive function that portend academic failure - especially as the grade levels progress and the academic requirements increase.  These students have a hard time organizing their materials, completing assignments, managing their time, and in any of the areas of academic activity that require planning and goal directed, problem solving behaviors.

These students need explicit instruction in executive function strategies to be successful in the classroom.  The sticky note strategy that I use here is one type of executive function strategy. These types of students will put away an assignment - and immediately forget that it is incomplete.  Often times, writing it down in a planner may not be effective at this grade level.  I have found the sticky note works because it is highly visual.  I call them "flags."  I will ask my students, "Do you have any flags that signal you have work to complete?"  

This article from Principal Leadership from the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Executive Skills:  The Hidden Curriculum has some good information on Executive Function Deficits and tiered support strategies.

  Nudging Towards Independence - Supporting Students with Executive Function Deficits
  Students with Disabilities: Nudging Towards Independence - Supporting Students with Executive Function Deficits
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Day Two of Plaid Pete and Friends Build A Model Ecosystem

Unit 2: Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters in Ecosystems
Lesson 18 of 20

Objective: SWBAT collaboratively construct a model ecosystem and create diagrammatic models to show transfers of matter and energy within that ecosystem.

Big Idea: What can be learned by observing a model ecosystem? Students collect data and use their physical models to examine matter and energy transfers within ecosystems.

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