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Hoagies' Blog Hop: Executive Function (EF)

Executive Function (EF) Skills. We all want 'em, but who's got 'em? How did we grow them? And how can we shared them with our organizationally challenged gifted kids?? Join the Hoagies' Gifted Blog Hop team for lots of great ideas, whether your gifted child is a preschooler or a post-schooler (a.k.a. adult). You can always improve Executive Function Skills!

Don't miss our previous Blog Hops on related topics, including Anxiety and Gifted social issues.

If you'd like to read all our past Blog Hops or join our next Blog Hop, visit Blog Hops for all our past and future topics.  Special thanks to Pamela S. Ryan for our striking Blog Hop graphics!

Executive Functioning - The Struggle is Real by Covington Latin School
Because it is a learned and acquired skill, students who struggle with EF skills can get on track with strategies that make sense to them. The caveat is that it is not a one size fits all approach. From my years in education, I know that kids learn differently, and what works for one won't work for all. My advice is to first figure out what kind of learning style the student has. Is he or she a visual learner? Auditory learner? Kinesthetic learner? All of these influences can affect which strategy you employ...
 
Executive Functioning Activities for Young Children by Colleen on Raising Lifelong Learners
What is Executive Function? The official definition of executive functions is that they are a set of processes that have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation.

To help your child develop proper executive function skills you must be willing to allow your child to fail...
 
How to Engage Strong Executive Skills in Gifted Learners by The Grayson School
The good news for gifted students battling attention, mood, or impulse issues — which can be governed by EF— is that it is possible to manage and ameliorate EF weaknesses. Research shows that we can improve the area of the brain responsible for executive functioning with early interventions and strategies. Even by practicing breathing exercises and balancing games, it’s possible to develop these cognitive abilities and apply them to all aspects of your life.

Begin By...
 
Closing Doors and Other Executive Difficulties by Heather, The Fringy Bit
Our gifted children experience asynchronistic development. Certain habits and skills may lag behind as other skills develop. The 501 thoughts rushing through a gifted child’s mind can interfere with what we’d think would be common sense thoughts or behaviors. These thoughts can distract our gifted kids. Their imaginational intensity can create internal fantasy worlds that are far more brilliant and amazing than daily life and their creativity can interfere with day to day functioning. They might get so caught up in the internal stories they are telling that they forget to bring their flute to a band lesson or their script to a rehearsal or shut the door.

So, what to do?...
 
Where Do I Even Begin? by Aurora Remember
But how do you stay motivated when there seem to be so many things in the world that need to be fixed?
Especially when, as intense individuals, you may be easily overwhelmed. If you are a big picture thinker, it may be a challenge to channel the executive skills involved in prioritizing, planning and executing the little details that are required to make lasting change.

Here are some things I have found helpful...
 
Why Do We All Need To Know More About Executive Functions? by Gift-Ed Connections
The relationship between giftedness and executive functioning is an interesting one. Some studies have shown that math abilities correlate significantly with executive functioning with some variances. Other studies find a correlation between executive functioning and achievement. In gifted education we know that cognitive abilities do not guarantee academic achievement and underachieving gifted students-could this be related to struggles with executive functions in some cases? Joseph Renzulli speaks to the necessity of talent and cognitive development going hand in hand with what he calls the "character strengths" of executive functions. These are developed through addressing novel situations that require children to draw on and develop these skills for success. But what does this look like in practice?
 
Executive Function & Academic Achievement by Linda Wallin, Living with Geniuses
“Executive Function” is a relatively new term in educational psychology, finding its origin in studies in the 1980s concerning attention, cognitive control, and regulation/ or management of cognitive and emotional processes.

How does it develop? It is thought that...
 
Executive Skills and How They Translate to Professional Strengths by Nicole LaChance,  Institute for Educational Advancement
Executive skills are those cognitive abilities and habits that allow us to be organized, to plan and implement action. They are essential to being productive and to completing goals and projects. We learn these very early on, from rote (A-B- C’s and colors) helping us to strengthen our memory, to learning to play well with others in the proverbial sandbox. But what do these skills have to do with our success later in life?
 
Agency: A Foundation for Executive Function by Jessie, CounterNarration
Few of us are fortunate enough to "do what we love" as a full-time job, as many privileged people unthinkingly advise. Someone's got to do the not-so-fun work! But to the extent that we as children or adults can fit meaningful projects, freely chosen, into our lives, it can help us get our executive muscles into shape. If we rarely have the freedom to pursue things that truly motivate us to excel—if we lack agency—then it's no wonder that the executive skills that enable excellence begin to wear away...
 
I’m afraid of becoming a hoarder by Jen Campbell, repurposed genealogy
I know that I struggle with executive functioning skills. The Cerebral Executive Officer that runs my brain can be pretty incompetent. Her job is to put order to chaos, prioritize my competing priorities, and make sure that stuff gets done… especially the jobs that no one wants to do like cleaning my bathroom...
 
Why Don't Smart Kids Act Smart? by Planet Smarty Pants
I've spent many hours volunteering in my daughter school and saw that many bright kids are not exactly bored, but they are certainly "scattered". They have problems with planning their time and initiating tasks, sustaining attention and persisting with difficult tasks. So can we do something to help our children develop their executive skills?

 
If you'd like to read all our past Blog Hops or join our next Blog Hop, visit Blog Hops for our past and future topics.  Special thanks to Pamela S. Ryan for our striking Blog Hop graphics!

Updated March 26, 2019


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