Think of that tricky student sitting in your class.  The one who always forgets his work.  The one who cannot seem to remember the math strategy from day one to day two.  The student who has NO impulse control, or who melts down for the smallest reason.  The student who has difficulty getting started on a task, or completing it.

Sound familiar?  Read on about Executive Functions.

Executive functions (also known as cognitive control and supervisory attentional system) is an umbrella term for the management (regulation, control) of cognitive processes, including working memory, reasoning, task flexibility, and problem solving as well as planning and execution.

Executive Functions are skills for life and learning.

  • EF begins as we are toddlers, navigating our world, learning to share and take turns.
  • EF can be taught.
  • EF bridge academic success.
  • EF  are needed to maintain a job, have relationships/marriage, live in civil society.
  • EF deficits can be hereditary.


EF 101: information, checklists, categories, examples

Behavioral Categories:  Impulse Control, Emotional Control, Planning/Prioritizing, Flexibility, Working Memory, Self Monitoring, Task Initiation, Organization

A video that describes EF


How do I help my students build their EF skills?

Resources here:


Harvard University


Ideas for Parents