This interactive PowerPoint bundle includes an mini introduction lesson on executive functions, a full lesson on planning, and a full lesson on organizing. I've also included a version that includes all three combined in one PowerPoint. This is the first in my series on executive functioning.
Since many of you already have systems for organizing and routines in place in your classrooms, I tried to make this broad and general enough to fit all elementary students and classrooms. I provide tools and ideas for helping with planning and organizing, and then leave some of the specifics to you so it can fit your classroom. This PowerPoint goes over routines, checklists, calendars, breaking apart tasks into manageable portions, and making sure everything has a “place” to help with organizing.
Overview of Intro to Executive Functions :
• Introduces executive functions and explains how the functions all work together to help students accomplish goals and "get things done"
• Through visuals, students are shown that everyone has some weaknesses and some strengths in their executive functions.
• Students are taught that they can overcome this by working to strengthen their weak area and also by working to strengthen all the areas around it. Even if they still have a weak area, they can become stronger over all.
Overview of Organizing PowerPoint :
• Explains that when things are disorganized, most of your brain power is distracted and little attention is available for learning.
• Through a story of an unorganized child, students learn tips to become more organized including: making sure everything has a place, using routines and checklists, and creating a homework system.
• Ends with an interactive portion where students learn how routines can help tasks become easier.
Overview of Planning PowerPoint :
• This PowerPoint focuses on the importance of using a planner, to-do lists, breaking apart large projects into manageable tasks, and using a calendar.
• Students practice using a to-do list by crossing off items and moving any unfinished tasks to another day.
• Ends with interactive portion where students help a child break apart a large project into small tasks and fill out upcoming events on calendar.
Children with weak executive functioning skills especially have trouble with planning and organizing, however children are rarely taught explicitly about what executive functions are and how to improve them. When kids understand the whys of something, they are MUCH more likely to care about the hows and whats.
The main goal of this is to help students understand why being organized is important and to get them interested in and excited about improving in this area. The PowerPoint is designed to spark some interest in learning organizational skills while also providing tips and resources to get started. However, to be successful, each student will need support from home and each system will need to be catered to the specific child. These skills develop slowly over time, and elementary students especially will need continued guidance and support from teachers and parents to see improvement. This PowerPoint can be a powerful reference and reminder to motivate them as they practice and develop these skills.
I have included a printable organizers for a weekly to-do list, a long-term project planner, a daily homework planner, an example desk-cleaning checklist, and a blank checklist.