Classroom Interventions for Executive Functions
After identifying which executive functions need to be addressed, interventions are often applied by changing the environment, in-class interactions and specific skill teaching. Supports are faded over time as the student is able to succeed independently.
Changes in the environment
- Change the physical or social environment by:
- Changing the level of background noise.
- Changing the level of visual stimulation.
- Changing the physical restrictions (walls, room size etc.).
- Using lists or visual reminders.
- Changing the amount of organizational structures.
- Change the task.
- Change the cues or change the ways they are provided.
Changes in interactions
- Change the way that adults interact with the student.
- Provide an organizational structure by:
- Giving specific directions
- Monitoring performance
- Encouraging, motivating and giving feedback
- Problem solving when something doesn't work well
- Determining when the task is finished.
- Use the Big 5
- When to start.
- How much to do.
- How to do it.
- What finished looks like.
- What to do next.
Specific skill teaching
- Teaching through coaching:
- Set goals.
- Hold daily coaching sessions using Goal, Plan, Predict, Do, Review.
- Check on student's goals.
- Check on student's plan for accomplishing tasks.
- Predict task outcome, account for obstacles.
- Do the task.
- Review to see how the plan worked for the student.
- Check on completion of planned tasks.
- Check on application of time and effort to the task.
- Student responsibility for today's plan.
- Check on long-term projects.
Classroom wide interventions
- Use routines to help provide organizational structure.
- Beginning of day routine.
- End of day routine.
- Routines for lunch, etc.
- Provide small-group coaching.
- Ask group to set individual goals.
- Ask group to plan how they will accomplish goals.
- Ask group to work on individual goals.
- Review progress and adjust plan as needed.
- Explicitly teach the skill needed in an applied setting.
- Fade support as soon as the student is able to accomplish the skills.
- Use external reinforcements only as necessary.
- To assist in generalization of skills, explicitly teach the skill needed in other settings.
- Guide practice of skill through group coaching or mentoring.
- Fade guidance as skill becomes internalized and guidance is no longer needed.