Our minds are beautiful and mysterious sandboxes for life. A human brain is not very aesthetically pleasing, a dull gray seven-pound mass of matter, but what it can conceive is extraordinary and historic. Accent works with a variety of educators across the U.S. and beyond. Educators understand the power of the human mind and we understand our role in helping educators grow young minds.
What does it take to put into action what our brain thinks? We call those Executive Functions. Here is a simple definition of Executive Functions:
“A set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one’s resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically- based skills involving mental control and self-regulation.”
Think of how many steps it takes to fill a water bottle with ice water from your fridge. It may seem almost too easy to fill your water bottle. Where is your water bottle? Probably in one of your kitchen cabinets. How do you get your water bottle out of the cabinet? Open the door, grab the water bottle, and close the door. Then, you need to unscrew the top of your water bottle, select the ice button, and press in on the dispenser tab. And, there are a few more steps beyond that.
The point is, it takes more to complete a simple task than we might realize. Students who have executive function deficits may not fully comprehend all the steps it takes to complete basic everyday tasks.
Types of Executive Functions
There are eleven types of executive functions:
- Response Inhibition – The ability to evaluate a situation and how his or her behavior might affect;
- Working Memory – The ability to hold information in mind while performing complex tasks;
- Emotional Control – The ability to manage emotions in order to help regulate and guide our behavior;
- Flexibility – The ability to revise plans in the face of obstacles, setbacks, new information, or mistakes;
- Sustained Attention – The capacity to attend to a situation or task in spite of distractibility, fatigue or boredom;
- Task Initiation – The ability to begin a task without undue procrastination, in a timely fashion;
- Planning and Prioritizing – Being able to make decisions about what’s important to focus on and what’s not;
- Organization – The ability to create and maintain a system for arranging or keeping track of important things;
- Time Management – The ability to estimate how much time is available;
- Goal-Directed Persistence – The capacity to establish a goal and follow through on achieving it;
- Metacognition – The ability to self-monitor when performing a task.
Neuropsychological evidence suggests executive processing is intimately connected with the intact function of the frontal cortices. If a student has an executive function deficit, the deficit manifests itself in each area with a specific set of signs.
Types of Executive Functions
Brain-based strategies allow educators to help students overcome executive function deficits. Our Accent team partnered with a select group of educators to develop our Executive Function Planner. This amazing resource is designed to help students train and develop seven distinct executive functions:
- Working Memory
- Sustained Attention
- Task Initiation
- Planning and Prioritizing
- Time Management
- Goal-Directed Persistence
Why does this matter to Accent? We believe many students currently lack the life and soft skills necessary to thrive in today’s workforce. This is of no fault to their educators; it’s simply where many students are conditioned to be because of several culture and home environment influencers.
Our role as a 3PL (third-party logistics) provider is giving educators timely access to resources like the Executive Function Planner. It’s our job to safely deliver these resources to teachers in every imaginable education setting to help students overcome deficits. As a 3PL provider powered by printing, it’s our design team, print machines, and warehouse packaging that helps put the Executive Function Planners in the right hands. We believe our work is helping change tomorrow’s leaders by equipping educators today.
We created the Executive Function Planner to give our future generations a roadmap for developing a fuller, richer life. If you’re an educator or parent of a child with EF deficits, we invite you to read more about our personalized Executive Function Planners.