Support materials (nuggets of gold)

An eclectic mix of various resources I have found helpful.

Procrastination

One of the biggest areas I deal with in my executive functioning work is procrastination or task initiation as we often refer to it. A resource I truly love is Tim Urbans tedtalk entitled Inside the mind of a master procrastinator as well as his blog page waitbutwhy.com
Externalizing the problem of procrastination by using interesting simile’s and metaphors is a great way to visualize the challenge of procrastination and give language to an area of executive functioning that is notoriously difficult to manage.

procrastination at school

Executive functioning

Pomodoro timer

The pomodoro technique is a simple but incredibly useful technique adopted by over 2 million people around the world and hailed by productivity experts as one of the go-to approaches. The idea is that we substitute minutes with…Pomodoro’s (Italian for tomato) one pomodoro is 25minutes. During this time the rule is: You have to work flat out with no distractions (no email, instagram, whatsapp, phone, food, toilet breaks (unless you’re desperate). After the pomodoro you can take a 5 minute break. After every 4 pomodoros you can take an extended 30-45min break. Its useful to have a pomodoro timer going so check out the link below for a free windows/mac timer or browse the appstore or Google play stores for pomodoro timers. There are plenty of free options out there. I prefer the windows app as it doesn’t drain your phone battery and the screen stays on throughout the study/work session.


Pomotroid pomodoro timer download

 

Visual Timer

Visual timers are a really great resource that can assist students manage time and transition between tasks. In doing so it helps encourage self-management. There are a number of free (and paid for) apps available on both IOS and Android but the best option is having it on the PC because it’s always visible. (See picture below). In the link below (Visual Timer windows) I have shared a folder with access to a free opensource version. Just click the green link below, download the zipped folder, extract and install via the .exe file and presto you’re good to go. Once It is installed I recommend using the floating time option which can be found under the Timer tab. This way it’s always visible even when you’re working on a document for example in Microsoft Word. 

Visual Timer Windows download

Executive Functioning Toolkit

The “my toolkit for academic success” comes highly recommended. Designed by learning support specialist,  Mandy Turner this is a must for all learners who need some guidance in the areas of time management, study skills, note making ect.  

Content of the toolkit:  

  • Workbook & Guide (Key Topics Addressed:  Time Management Organisation & Planning Skills; Study Skills and Exam Technique; Project Skills; Oral Presentation Skills; Parent Guidance)  • Diary & Planner 2020 (monthly planners; weekly work planners; term goals; end of term reflection; daily reflection / revision of work; checklists; page-a-day)   • Pack of Photocopiable Notes (checklists; reflection questionnaires; error analysis & report analysis summary sheets; study note templates)  • Working File (flip file to organise task instruction sheets, rubrics and resources)

Aims of the toolkit:

  • To equip learners with the necessary academic / cognitive skills for coping with subject content. 
    • To encourage independent learning, a positive work ethic and a growth mindset 
    • To promote reflection and self-knowledge 
    • To develop self-monitoring and metacognitive skills Target Market:  Grade 4 – 9 learners (though will benefit all learners from Grade 4 – 12)  

Click the pdf below for more information:

My toolkit information flyer

Mindfulness

There are plenty of apps, books and videos available online to help strengthen the practice of mindfulness-based meditation. Here are a few of my favourites.

Headspace is perhaps one of the most well known apps available for both android & IOS. While it is a paid for app it provides limited free access to foundational meditations. Click on the image above to navigate to their webpage.


Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world is a fantastic book for those new to mindfulness plus It comes with a free audio cd.

Career Guidance

Having a conversation about careers in the family can be a serious challenge. Download this free resource to help spark the conversation

Family career conversation.pdf

Podcasts

Slow processing speed – Often slow processing speeds are seen as a lack of intelligence but this is simply not the case. According to Malcom Gladwell there needs to space for both tortoises and hares. Listen to this two part podcast from Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History for more information. 

Episode 1:  Puzzle Rush
Episode 2:  The tortoise and the Hare