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Executive Functions for Every Classroom, Grades 3-12

Executive Functions for Every Classroom, Grades 3-12
Creating Safe and Predictable Learning Environments

Foreword by Patrice Bain

May 2024 | 216 pages | Corwin

Empower the next generation with the executive function skills they need to succeed

Every educator wants to know: What has the greatest impact on student success? The answer: executive function skills. They are crucial for students' academic success and personal growth, yet many of our students lack the skills required to engage in learning, such as organization, planning, time management, and self-regulation.

This book shows how educators can create a more engaging and effective learning experience while addressing the epidemic of disengagement and executive dysfunction. With practical guidance to make the skills "stick" for students, this vital resource also provides:

  • Three keys to teaching executive functions: Clarity, Modeling, and Routine
  • An explanation of the specific executive functioning skills essential for student success
  • Strategies for students to practice executive functions within the context of what they are learning
  • Practical guidance for establishing a consistent and safe learning environment
  • Guidance on how to expose all students to this universal MTSS/RTI Tier 1 intervention

Educators can empower students to take more risks, improve their academic performance, and prepare them for the future with the help of this innovative resource.

Lost in the Wilderness

Navigating With Executive Functioning Skills

The Two Challenges With Teaching Executive Functions

Why Predictable Learning Routines?

Three Keys to Teaching Executive Functions

Chapter 1. Executive Dysfunction and Disengagement
Struggling With "Studentness"

We Can't Afford Executive Dysfunction Any Longer

Chapter 1 Reflection Questions

Chapter 2. Teaching Executive Functions
What are Executive Functioning Skills?

The Benefits

Clarity, Routine, & Modeling

Self-Regulation Through a Daily Routine


Chapter 2 Reflection Questions

Chapter 3. Working Memory: Beginning Routine
Designing a Beginning Routine

Why the Old Beginning Routine Doesn't Work

Strategies to Make Your Beginning Routine Better

Beginning Routine Example

Adjustments and Considerations

Self-Regulation Through the Beginning Routine


Chapter 3 Reflection Questions

Chapter 4. Working Memory: The Concluding Routine
How to Receive Authentic Feedback

Designing Your Concluding Routine

Why the Old Concluding Routine Doesn't Work

Strategies to Make Your Concluding Routine Better

Concluding Routine Example

Adjustments and Considerations

I Dare You to Try It

Self-Regulation Through the Concluding Routine


Chapter 4 Reflection Questions

Chapter 5. Time & Task Management: The Agenda
Developing Time & Task Management Skills

Why the Old Agenda Doesn’t Work

Strategies to Make Your Agenda Better

Agenda Template

Adjustments and Considerations

Self-Regulation Through Agendas


Chapter 5 Reflection Questions

Chapter 6. Organization: Tables of Contents and Academic Toolkits
What is a Table of Contents?

Why the Old Table of Contents Doesn’t Work

Strategies to Make Your Table of Contents Better

Table of Contents Example

Adjustments and Considerations

Academic Toolkits

Academic Toolkit Example

Self-Regulation Through Tables of Contents and Academic Toolkits


Chapter 6 Reflection Questions

Chapter 7. Accountability: Portfolio Checks
Accountability Starts With Expectations

Accountability Through Portfolio Checks

Designing Your Portfolio Check

Portfolio Check Example

Adjustments and Considerations

Self-Regulation Through Portfolio Checks


Chapter 7 Reflection Questions

Chapter 8. Goal Setting
Why the Old Goal Setting Doesn’t Work

Strategies to Make Goal Setting Better

Goal Setting Example

Adjustments and Considerations

Self-Regulation Through Goal-Setting


Chapter 8 Reflection Questions

Chapter 9. Conclusion

Self-Efficacy and Internal Motivation

Tenacity (Formerly Known as Grit)

Executive Functions as Transferable Skills

Content Area Gains

Family Engagement

Signing Off

Appendix: Effect Size

“Classroom teachers know they are teaching content and do it well. Yet more importantly, they are teaching their students how to learn and that takes executive functioning. Weathers’ book provides research-backed, immediately applicable strategies to support the development of executive functioning in one’s classroom. It’s beyond helpful, whether you finish feeling validated, get good reminders, or new learning. It’s worth the read.”

Jennifer Abrams
Author of Stretching Your Learning Edges: Growing (Up) at Work and Having Hard Conversations

"I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is a must read for every single teacher on the planet! Weathers provides actionable, yet realistic steps, for teachers to take to consistently create more predictable learning spaces for all students. This work has a profound impact on all students, but chaos navigators, in particular, benefit. Chaos Navigators are our young people who are giving everything they have just to survive the lack of predictability they experience every movement outside of school. When teachers commit to the strategies outlined in this book they create havens for students, moments in their day that are safer, and that makes all the difference. Our chaos navigators are more likely to lean into their education and take the risks inherent to learning if they are in classrooms like those described in this book. Thank you for this absolute gift, Mitch!"

Jaz Ampaw-Farr
Human-First CEO, Keynote Speaker and Resilience Ninja, Be Human First Ltd.

"In Executive Functions for Every Classroom, Mitch Weathers makes the case for universal classroom routines that free up students' mental bandwidth to focus on learning. Rather than struggle through the day trying to navigate different expectations in every classroom, students can rely on predictable structures for starting and ending every class, organizing their work, and keeping track of their progress. 

Today's students are struggling with motivation and self-discipline. Ignoring fads and hype, this book outlines simple processes every school can put in place to get students to believe in themselves and develop the habits they'll need for success in school and in life. Executive Functions for Every Classroom will become an instant classic and will transform the learning and trajectory of generations of students." 

Justin Baeder
PhD, Director of the Principal Center

"This book is a masterclass on how to create a predictable learning routine that guarantees your students' success. Mitch is my go-to executive functions expert and he's shared what works with you here."

Danny Bauer
Founder of Better Leaders Better Schools  

“This text would be an outstanding start for a staff-wide book study. Systemic change geared towards altering a school culture where every student is empowered to succeed is the goal of this book. It all begins with a caring teacher providing students tools that promote executive function skills.”

D. Allan Bruner
Science/Math Teacher, Retired, Colton High School, OR, 2006 Oregon Teacher of the Year

"Full of simple, doable actions and clear, engaging examples to bring ideas to life, this book is an essential friend to bring clarity and organisation into your classroom."

Becky Carlzon
Author of "Powering up Children" and designer of Learning Pioneers and PressPlay  

"Executive functions are the invisible gears that we all need to be successful. When we neglect to teach them explicitly and with modeling, our students suffer in disengagement and inequity. This book is the essential guide for teachers hoping to make learning more equitable, engaging, and enlightening!" 

Ariel Curry
Author of "Hungry Authors: A Simple Guide to Planning, Creating, and Publishing a Nonfiction Book" (forthcoming)

"We often hear about goals to foster students who are lifelong learners and Weathers has outlined a systematic, logical, and easy to implement structure for maximizing students' executive function. His Daily Routine teaches students how to be organized, avoids overtaxing on their cognitive loads and reduces the time and effort required for teachers to plan. Every educator who wants their students to be actively engaged in the process of learning, focus their attention on academic goals, and have the skills to be successful should read Executive Functions for Every Classroom."

Connie Hamilton
Author, Educator, Speaker, Presenter

"Mitch’s book is the perfect combination of school-site anecdotes, research-based practices, and personal reflections. As an author of time management books for teachers (and the mom of four kids myself!), I was quite literally riveted learning about the differences between agendas and planners, and I found myself reconsidering some of my former teaching routines. This text is a valuable resource of ideas, activities and templates you can put into practice the very next day."

Maia Heyck-Merlin
Author of "The Together Teacher," "The Together Leader," and "The Together Teammate," CEO and Founder of The Together Group

"Executive Functioning has been shown to be one of the characteristics that helps young people grow into great leaders, and this world needs more effective leaders in every arena. Through clear language, and powerful stories, Mitch shares strategies and simple solutions to help teach this critical skill in every classroom." 

Jethro Jones
Founder, How to be a Transformative Principal

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ISBN: 9781071919453