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New Executive Function Classroom Resource for Teachers by Sandra Rief

Executive-Function-Sandra-RiefStudents who are routinely late to and/or disruptive in class, forget to turn in homework, and make many careless errors were once considered merely difficult, distractible, and disorganized. Some of these students were diagnosed with ADHD, but it is only in recent years that neuroscientists and educators have come to realize that many students with these types of symptoms have executive function deficits. Best-selling author Sandra Rief has written the laminated guides “Executive Function: Skill-Building and Support” (Elementary version and Grades 6-12) to help teachers understand executive function processes, the ways in which executive function (EF) impairments affect learning and behavior, and how teachers can help promote executive function skill building and support students with EF issues.

In a concise six-page laminated guide (one version for elementary teachers, another for teachers of students in grades 6-12), Rief offers dozens of specific strategies that elementary, middle or high school teachers can use to strengthen executive function skills in all students, as well as scaffolds and accommodations for students with executive function impairments. These are organized by category, with specific strategies and techniques provided for addressing the following areas of executive function difficulty:

  • Working memory
  • Inhibition and self-control
  • Organization and time management
  • Planning and prioritization 
  • Sustaining Focus and Attention
  • Activation and initiation
  • Shifting/flexibility
  • Self-Monitoring and metacognition
  • Emotional control 
  • Goal-directed persistence

These guides are now available for purchase online. For more information and to purchase the elementary guide, visit  For the 6-12 version, go to  Guides are $12.95 each, with bulk discounts for 11 or more copies. 

This is a reference teachers will relish having at their fingertips in the classroom. Other terrific resources for teachers can be found on author Sandra Rief’s website, In addition to downloadable charts and forms, Rief provides links to her Pinterest pages, featuring hundreds of ideas and materials for Teaching and Learning Strategies, Class and Behavior Management, ADHD, Class Organization & Time Management, PBIS (Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support), Brain Breaks & Classroom Games, Response to Intervention, Learning Activities and more.

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