Frustrated with lost pencils, messy desks, and missing assignments?


You’re not alone!  Some children respond quickly to established classroom routines, while others struggle.  For students who find it difficult to see tasks through to completion, it may have more to do with poor executive function skills than lack of effort.  Task completion requires many skills including planning, organization, time management, and problem solving.  These issues are often most challenging for students with ADHD and learning disabilities.

Children who struggle with executive function issues often have incomplete and late assignments, messy desks and book bags, and difficulty transitioning from one activity to the next. While it’s easy to spot these problems, helping students overcome them isn’t always so easy.

According to Seth Perler, an education coach, consultant and advocate, “Executive Function is the most important concept we must understand in order to help struggling students succeed.”  He attributes EF problems to a wide range of issues including unclear expectations, shame, fear, and sensory overload, to name just a few.

The words Time to Organize on a white clock to communicate now is the moment to get things in order, coordinate a mess, create a process or system to keep things tidy, clean and neat

Better executive function skills help students succeed!

But more importantly, Perler offers hope and solutions. His free Systems Checklist explains the importance of executive functions, what hinders these skills, and a step-by-step guide to help students. His suggestions include establishing child-specific routines, chunking assignments, and using timers. With compassionate support students can learn new skills and become more successful in both school and life. To learn more, check out Seth Perler’s Free Cheat Sheet here.

Back-to-School Pencil Topper

Want something quick and easy to welcome students back at the beginning of a new school year?  Check out the free download of these colorful pencil toppers.  One side has a cute poem, and the other side says, “WELCOME BACK!”

These toppers can be printed on 1″ X 4″ labels and wrapped around the pencil.  Or, do what I did.  Use plain paper, cut out the rectangles, and then use clear tape to keep the pencil topper in place.

pencil topper with logoI found this versatile idea on Pinterest.  This same design could be used to welcome students back to school after New Year’s Day.  Or, using PowerPoint you could create your own design and personalize the message to include your name– Welcome Back to Mrs. Smith’s Class!

Has anyone else made pencil toppers?  I’d love to see your designs!