Executive Functioning

What it is

An area of student need, involving challenges in prioritizing, organizing and completing tasks, especially when dealing with timelines, unexpected events, problems, and/or new challenges.

Teaching Strategies

• Pair oral with visual instructions.
• Repeat information/instructions and ask the student to repeat them back and explain.
• Chunk information/instructions.
• Use checklists and an agenda (including a personalized one, that differs from peers).
• Develop and support the student in maintaining an organizational system.


• Use preferential seating to avoid distractions.
• Use a visual and auditory signal to get attention before speaking.
• Post rules, consequences and a schedule.


• Provide extra time for tests and assignments.
• Provide written copies of assignment instructions and rubrics.
• Develop study timelines.
• Chunk assignments and tests.
• Give breaks during tests.
• Allow for oral testing/scribe.
• Check for understanding of test questions.
• Allow the use of a computer for word processing.


A detailed outline of the various aspects of executive function development. From The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

For Purchase

Strategies for various student needs.