Categories
Cognitive Flexibility growth mindset Social-Emotional Learning

Thinking Flexibly to Start the New Year

When it comes to traditions, many people carry out the same tried-and-true ones year after year. To start off 2023, here’s a fresh idea—shift perspectives and try out a “new” New Year tradition from another country or region!

Global Citizenship

As the world grows more interconnected, students need to prepare for global citizenship. Helping students become aware of their own family traditions as well as different, international traditions can expand their knowledge of the world and help them take on a different perspective.

We all understand the world through the lens of our own cultural identity, experiences, and personal values. It is important for students to develop self-awareness of their own values and judgments. Equally important is equipping students with the skills to understand others’ perspectives. Students use metacognition and flexible thinking to develop the social awareness and relationship skills that are essential for connecting with others.

Perspectives + Projects

Most countries and regions around the world have unique and meaningful traditions to bid farewell to the closing year and usher in a new year. Invite your students to research different New Year’s traditions to explore multiple perspectives of a single tradition and expand their metacognitive and flexible thinking skills.

For example, students might be interested in learning about the following New Year’s traditions:

  • United States: Watching the ball drop
  • Spain: Eating 12 grapes
  • Haiti: Sharing soup joumou
  • Philippines: Serving 12 round fruits

Keep Exploring

For ideas of virtual trips around the country and around the world, check out these educational online field trips. Students can “travel” to explore different places and perspectives with the click of a button!

  • Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org

Categories
EF Conference growth mindset Social-Emotional Learning

Learning to Give Students Grace

This post is part of a series that highlights themes and takeaways from ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference: Executive Function & Social-Emotional Learning: Promoting Resilience, Stress Management, and Academic Success. 

Teachers play an important role in students’ lives. Teachers are expected to juggle delivering more content year after year, and they are also responsible for their students’ well-being. It is understandable why some teachers push back against additional social-emotional learning (SEL) lessons. Most teachers simply don’t have the time.

However, presenter after presenter at ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference made it clear that we are at a place where students cannot learn without explicit SEL lessons. As Rose Delorme Metayer, M.Ed., director of the McCarthy Institute at Boston Latin School, said on the SMARTS School Panel:

I think the biggest thing for me when doing this work is remembering that young people need a lot of grace.

As teachers, how can we give our students grace and the space to make mistakes? How can we teach them to grow from these mistakes while staying on learning goals for the year?

There is no easy solution, but pairing SEL and executive function strategies is a way to start. With explicit executive function strategies, students can learn how to learn more efficiently. They can self-monitor, stay on task, and learn how to reach and set their own goals.

As Ned Hallowell, M.D., child and adult psychiatrist and founder of the Hallowell ADHD Centers, stated,

Kids need hugs, and touch, and expressions of love, and reassurance and you just cannot say it enough. They need daily doses of reassurance.

A teacher can be one person in students’ lives to give them the daily dose of reassurance, the grace to learn, and the space to grow.

And, as teachers, we need to give ourselves grace and reassurance. By making time for ourselves and for reflection, we will be better able to offer our students the support they need to thrive.

  • Tziona Chernoff, SMARTS Intern

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org

The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org

Categories
College EF Conference Homeschool Social-Emotional Learning

37th Annual EF Conference Highlight: ResearchILD and SMARTS Specialists 

ResearchILD is excited to host a number of educational specialists, SMARTS experts, and teacher trainers at our 37th Annual Executive Function Conference on November 3 and 4. These speakers will share practical strategies that you can bring into your classroom on Monday morning.

These pre-recorded concurrent sessions will be available starting the week of October 24. Conference attendees will have unlimited access to all concurrent sessions and the recordings of the live plenary sessions through January 15, 2023.

Wearing Your Shoes: Teachers Collaborating with Parents to Promote Executive Function at School and at Home

Michael Greschler, M.Ed. & Mindy Scirri, Ph.D.

In this workshop, we will explore the impact of differing perspectives between teachers and parents/guardians, as well as practical strategies for collaborating with families to support students. Participants will learn strategies from the SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum, review strategy instruction materials developed to support EF at home and explore hands-on activities for bridging the gap between school and home.

Executive Function and Social-Emotional Learning: Strategies for Perspective Taking, Self-Understanding, and Self-Management

Shelly Levy, M.Ed. M.S. & Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed.

In this session, we will discuss the relationship between emotion and executive function, as well as ways of teaching EF strategies to promote emotional regulation. We will address strategies for developing perspective taking, self-understanding, and self-management. Attendees will develop a more nuanced appreciation for the impact of negative emotions on students’ performance. They will also learn how to teach executive function strategies in ways that promote engagement and motivation and empower students to become more independent and successful.

Beyond Jokes and Riddles: Cognitive Flexibility Across the Grades and Content Areas

Donna Kincaid, M.Ed.

This session will focus on practical strategies for improving students’ cognitive flexibility in academic and social situations. We will model a number of effective and easy-to-teach strategies and discuss their application across academic domains.

Transition to College: Promoting Students’ Self-Understanding and Executive Function Strategy Use

Joan Steinberg, M.Ed.

During this session, we will discuss the importance of self-advocacy as students initiate adult relationships with professors, medication providers, therapists, and executive function coaches. Our students will talk about the differences in academic demands between high school and college, and the need to shift mindsets and develop new habits for these changing demands. In addition, we will discuss a variety of planning and time-management strategies that have been used by our students and customized for different learning profiles.

Learn More

To hear from these presenters and more, we invite you to attend ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference on November 3 and 4, 2022.

  • Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org

The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org

Categories
EF Conference Mental Health Social-Emotional Learning

Maximizing Mindfulness in Schools 

Over the past two decades, school-based mindfulness programs have risen in popularity to help address the stress, anxiety, and dysregulation students are facing in their daily lives. What does research tell us about the efficacy of mindfulness programs in schools and best practices for program implementation?

Mindfulness: Research to Practice

ResearchILD is fortunate to host Rebecca Baelen, Ph.D., at our 37th Annual Executive Function Conference, where she will offer a pre-recorded concurrent presentation on “School-Based Mindfulness Programs: Research and Practical Implications,” drawing from her expertise as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois Chicago where she studies the effects and implementation of social and emotional learning and mindfulness-based programs for teachers and students(link opens in new tab/window).

Dr. Baelen’s presentation will cover:

  • Research on school-based mindfulness programs
  • Factors that affect implementation in the school and classroom setting
  • Practical tools for successfully implementing mindfulness programs into school and classroom settings

Mindfulness in Action

In addition to Dr. Baelen’s focus on the research behind school-based mindfulness programs, we are excited to have two educators share their experience fostering students’ executive function and social-emotional learning skills.

Suellen Inwood, M.S., director and co-founder of the Easton Country Day School, and her former student, Tessa Zimmerman, B.S., founder and executive director of Upstream Education(link opens in new tab/window), will speak on “Addressing Social and Emotional Learning and Enhancing Mindfulness” in their pre-recorded concurrent presentation at ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference.

Participants will walk away from this session with concrete tools for helping students reduce their anxiety, build resilience, and enhance overall well-being.

Learn More

Has your school already implemented a mindfulness program to support students? What questions do you have about the research around best practices for mindfulness in schools? To learn more, we invite you to attend ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference on November 3 and 4, 2022, to hear from these presenters and more.

  • Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org

The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org

Categories
EF Conference Recommendations Social-Emotional Learning

Creating Sanctuary Classrooms

At ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference this November, we are thrilled to feature George Scott, Ed.S., LMFT, who will share ways educators can create nurturing classrooms for students facing developmental trauma and toxic stressors in his presentation titled, “Creating Sanctuary Classrooms: The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Learners.”

About Mr. Scott

In addition to practicing as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) at the Center of Counseling Services LLC in New Jersey, Mr. Scott is certified in Post Traumatic Stress Management (PTSM) and serves as a state-wide Resource Coordinator for the Traumatic Loss Coalition for Youth Program and Rutgers University Behavior Health Care (UBHC). Mr. Scott’s accolades also include his roles as Adjunct Professor at the Counselor Education Department at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and Senior Presenter for his affiliate business practice Minding Our Children↗(link opens in new tab/window), which focuses on fostering understanding in adults regarding how to raise healthy and resilient children.

Creating Healing Classrooms

Mr. Scott has over 50 years of experience working in the field of special education and sharing his expertise in youth mental health with educators and administrators across the country. His philosophy that “all adults have the power within them to improve the lives of children” drives his belief in the power of educators to be effective and transformative “minders(link opens in new tab/window)”↗ of student well-being.

With decades of experience partnering with schools, Mr. Scott knows educators face intense demands in numerous aspects of their jobs. In his presentation at the 37th Annual Executive Function Conference, Mr. Scott will share with attendees practical ways educators can provide children spaces to heal and thrive.

Learn More

You can learn more about George Scott and his work:

  • Visit his personal webpage(link opens in new tab/window) and Minding Our Children’s website↗(link opens in new tab/window).
  • Watch his interview(link opens in new tab/window) with the New Jersey School Boards Association on the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on students.
  • Attend ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference to hear Mr. Scott speak about “Creating Sanctuary Classrooms: The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Learners.”

Looking to build your executive function toolkit? Join us for the Executive Function Summer Summit (July 26, July 28, August 2, and August 4) and the SMARTS Executive Function Summer Workshop (August 9, August 11). All summer professional development opportunities are available online via Zoom and through recorded sessions.

  • Taylor McKenna, M.A., M.Ed., SMARTS Associate

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org

The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org

Categories
ADHD EF Conference Social-Emotional Learning

Smart but Stuck: Executive Function, Attention, and Emotion

At ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference this November, we are honored to feature a session on “Smart but Stuck: Executive Function, Attention, and Emotion” from Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D., Director of Brown Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders in Manhattan Beach, California, and Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of California Riverside School of Medicine.

About Dr. Brown

Dr. Brown is a clinical psychologist who received his Ph.D. from Yale University. He specializes in assessment and treatment of high-IQ children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD and related problems. He opened the Brown Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders in Manhattan Beach, California, in June of 2017. In addition to presenting lectures and workshops, Dr. Brown has published more than 30 scientific articles in professional journals and is the author of the Brown Executive Function/Attention Rating Scales. He is also the author and editor of many books.

Emotions and ADHD

What role do emotions play in students with ADHD? Many students who are affected by ADHD-related executive function impairments enjoy a number of activities or hobbies where they do not display the same difficulty exercising certain executive function processes. Positive and negative emotions deeply affect a person’s ability to initiate tasks, sustain their attention, shift their interest, and engage their working memory processes.

At the 37th Annual Executive Function Conference, Dr. Brown will describe the critical role of emotions in ADHD and will provide information about assessment and interventions to help teachers and parents understand and effectively address these difficulties in students of all ages. 

Learn More

You can learn more about Dr. Brown and his work:

Looking to build your executive function toolkit? Join us for the Executive Function Summer Summit (July 26, July 28, August 2, and August 4) and the SMARTS Executive Function Summer Workshop (August 9, August 11). All summer professional development opportunities are available online via Zoom and through recorded sessions.

  • Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org

The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org

Categories
Cognitive Flexibility EF Conference Social-Emotional Learning

Harnessing the Power of Micromoments

At ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference this November, we are honored to feature a session on “The Power of Micromoments in Our Lives and the Lives of Our Students” from Robert Brooks, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, faculty member of Harvard Medical School (part-time), and former Director of the Department of Psychology at McLean Hospital.

About Dr. Brooks

In addition to the appointments listed above, Dr. Brooks has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about motivation, resilience across the lifespan, psychotherapy, education, parenting, and a positive school and work environment. He is the author or co-author of 19 books including Raising Resilient Children, Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Understanding and Managing Children’s Classroom Behavior: Creating Sustainable, Resilient Classrooms, and more.

The Magic of Micromoments

Over the years, Dr. Brooks has examined the importance of empathy as an essential element necessary to form positive interpersonal relationships. More recently, Dr. Brooks has investigated the impact that micromoments(link opens in new tab/window)↗ (microaffirmations and microaggressions), especially between teachers and students, can have on students’ well-being and the emotional culture of a classroom or school.

Sharing emotions and perspective taking are at the heart of receiving and offering expressions of empathy. At the 37th Annual Executive Function Conference, Dr. Brooks will discuss how brief moments in our everyday lives can communicate empathy and have a lifelong impact.

Learn More

You can learn more about Dr. Brooks and his work:

Looking to build your executive function toolkit? Join us for the Executive Function Summer Summit (July 26, July 28, August 2, and August 4) and the SMARTS Executive Function Summer Workshop (August 9, August 11). All summer professional development opportunities are available online via Zoom and through recorded sessions.

  • Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org

The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org

Categories
EF Conference Metacognition Social-Emotional Learning

The Stories Students Tell: Narrative Building to Shape Neural Networks

At ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference this November, we are honored to feature a session on “Building Meaning Builds Students’ Brains: Implications for Re-inventing Schools” from Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Ed.D, Professor of Education, Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Southern California and Director of the USC Center for Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning and Education (CANDLE).

About Dr. Immordino-Yang

Dr. Immordino-Yang studies the psychological and neurobiological development of emotion and self-awareness, and connections to social, cognitive and moral development in educational settings. She uses cross-cultural, interdisciplinary studies of narratives and feelings to uncover experience-dependent neural mechanisms contributing to identity, intrinsic motivation, deep learning, and generative, creative and abstract thought. Her work has a special focus on adolescents from low-SES communities, and she involves youths from these communities as junior scientists in her work.

Narratives that Shape Neural Networks

Dr. Immordino-Yang and her colleagues are investigating how patterns of thinking and feeling influence the growth of students’ brain networks(link opens in new tab/window). Analyzing students’ narratives reveals their dispositions of mind. When students effortfully deliberate on their internal narratives and engage in deep thinking for themselves, their patterns of brain activity demonstrate developmental effects over time. These changes in their brain networks were driven by students making meaning of their lives in both concrete (here-and-now) and abstract (big picture, systems level) ways.

How can we recognize, model, and promote deep thinking? It is important to focus more on the way that students think instead of focusing on what they know as well as to empower adolescents to build strong relationships with their peers and teachers. At the 37th Annual Executive Function Conference, Dr. Immordino-Yang will discuss these concepts and how we can reinvent schools by redefining what is relevant to our students.

Learn More

You can learn more about Dr. Immordino-Yang and her work:

Looking to build your executive function toolkit? Join us for the Executive Function Summer Summit (July 26, July 28, August 2, and August 4) and the SMARTS Executive Function Summer Workshop (August 9, August 11). All summer professional development opportunities are available online via Zoom and through recorded sessions.

  • Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org

The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org

Categories
Recommendations Social-Emotional Learning

Parent Perspective: Why Our Kids Say “Can’t”

As a student with ADHD and dyslexia, my daughter started hearing about all the ways she was “bad” at a very young age. She was told she can’t sit still, can’t be quiet, can’t read, can’t write, can’t complete worksheets, can’t do grade-level work, and more. Every day in the classroom, she took in these negative messages and her reaction was expectedly negative. She developed anxiety and depression, and then was told she can’t control her emotions. 

She was punished and excluded at school. She was put in the corner, in isolation, in the hallway, in pull-out classes, and even suspended once in fourth grade. The message was clear: she can’t be included. 

Now in high school, it is difficult for her to have a growth mindset, and she is shamed for feeling pessimistic. She’s told she just shouldn’t say “I can’t”; she should say “I’ll keep trying!” Although most people can’t see it, she is trying, and trying really hard

Like my daughter, many students with learning differences have had negative experiences in school that have shaped their beliefs and attitudes about themselves and school. To undo this requires complicated, long-term hard work. She needs more than sound bites about grit and growth mindset; she needs real support for her differences, including her emotional differences.  

It’s been a challenging year for everyone. Modeling resilience for students can help them feel hopeful and like they “can.” 

  • Parent of LD High School Student

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org

The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org