Executive Function Skills in the Classroom

Overcoming Barriers, Building Strategies

Laurie Faith, Carol-Anne Bush, and Peg Dawson
Foreword by Adele Diamond

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
March 23, 2022
ISBN 9781462548934
Price: $85.00
222 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
March 23, 2022
ISBN 9781462548927
Price: $35.00
222 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
January 11, 2022
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $35.00
222 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $70.00 $38.50
222 Pages

With insight and humor, this motivating guide shows how to bring executive functions (EF) to the forefront in K–8 classrooms—without adopting a new curriculum or scripted program. Ideal for professional development, the book includes flexible, practical, research-based ideas for implementation in a variety of classroom contexts. It shares stories from dozens of expert teachers who are integrating explicit EF support across the school day. Provided is a clear approach for talking about EF barriers and strategies as part of instruction, and working as a class to problem-solve, explore, and apply the strategies that feel right for each student. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print several reproducible tools in a convenient 8½“ x 11” size.

This title is part of The Guilford Practical Intervention in the Schools Series, edited by Sandra M. Chafouleas.

“Faith, Bush, and Dawson fully understand that EF deficits are best dealt with by incorporating accommodations and supports into the natural flow of instruction, rather than by using pull-out training methods that have no hope of generalizing back to the classroom. Strengthening EF helps children 'show what they know' where it matters most—in real life. Congratulations to the authors for giving us this very practical guide that will be of great value to school psychologists, educators, and others who support children with EF deficits in school settings.”

—Russell A. Barkley, PhD, ABPP, ABCN, Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

“If I were to describe this book in one word, it would be 'ingenious'! It is conversational and informative, and provides multiple low-cost strategies honoring the needs of both educators and students. The book is thorough and well explained, while acknowledging an educator’s ability to use the ideas provided and create your own twist. I love the holistic approach and creative suggestions for using the book based on the time and energy you have. The ideas in this book can be used immediately in your class and will encourage students to reflect, model, and practice learning EF strategies from one another. I’m excited to reread sections and be inspired each time!”

—Rachael Ramsey, EdD, sixth-grade educator, McKelvie Intermediate School, Bedford, New Hampshire

“Life is loaded with EF challenges that we navigate every day without realizing it. This book offers a way for teachers the world over to understand and tap into the power of using EF to improve learning and engagement. It is creative, collaborative, and strengths based—exactly what teachers are looking for! The authors provide an adaptable treasure trove of strategies and ideas for engaging students and running a stress-free, effective, and efficient classroom. Whether you are time strapped, like a free-flowing approach, or work in a high-stress environment, there is something for everyone. If you are interested in strengthening your relationship with the students in your classroom and empowering them to be the architects of their own success, run to the store and grab a copy of this book.”

—Bettina Hohnen, PhD, DClinPsy, Lecturer, Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom

“Instead of a packaged program, this book provides a way of thinking and doing that allows teachers and students to collaboratively overcome EF challenges. The authors' approach builds a safe and inclusive learning environment where students feel they matter and belong, and are motivated to problem-solve and find shared solutions. The book helps educators develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to remove barriers to student learning and well-being. Teachers, administrators, and other school personnel should pick up a copy, read it, and implement it!”

—Sue Ball, PhD, CPsych, Chief Psychologist, York Region District School Board, Canada

Table of Contents

1. Executive Functions and Learning sample

2. Laying the Foundation: Building Whole-Class EF Literacy

3. How EF Literacy Can Improve Instruction: A Simple and Versatile Approach

4. How EF Literacy Can Improve Observation

5. How EF Literacy Can Improve Feedback

6. How EF Literacy Can Improve Summative Assessment

7. How EF-Literate Teaching Supports Other Educational Priorities

8. History and Reflections: Our Work with Teachers

Appendix A. Strategy Teaching Interventions for Executive Functions

Appendix B. EF Basics: A Series of 11 Mini-Lessons to Build Whole-Class EF Literacy

Appendix C. Mentor Texts for Teaching About Executive Functions

Appendix D. Index of EF Barriers and Strategies



About the Authors

Laurie Faith, PhD, works at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, Canada, where she teaches courses in special education and executive functions and coordinates a research center. Dr. Faith is the creator of Activated Learning, a self-regulated learning intervention that she continues to refine alongside a growing community of researchers, trainers, and teachers. She provides professional learning and training for individual teachers and school boards across Ontario, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Dr. Faith taught in special and general education classrooms for 17 years. Her website is activatedlearning.org.

Carol-Anne Bush, MA, is an executive function coach in the San Francisco Bay area. Ms. Bush's experience in K–12 education spans three continents and over three decades. After a long teaching career in the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, she served in various leadership roles, including multiple assistant headships. Ms. Bush’s expertise includes student, teacher, and parent mentorship; stakeholder communication; curriculum design; and whole-school strategy and steering. She is a certified Level III trainer in the Activated Learning approach, and is an ADHD-Certified Educator through the Professional Education Systems Institute. Her website is www.mulberrycoaching.com.

Peg Dawson, EdD, is a psychologist on the staff of the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She also does professional development training on executive skills for schools and organizations nationally and internationally. Dr. Dawson is a past president of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the International School Psychology Association, and is a recipient of NASP's Lifetime Achievement Award. She is coauthor of bestselling books for general readers, including Smart but Scattered, Smart but Scattered Teens, Smart but Scattered—and Stalled(with a focus on emerging adults), and The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success (with a focus on adults). Dr. Dawson is also coauthor of The Work-Smart Academic Planner, Revised Edition, and books for professionals including Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, Third Edition.


School psychologists, administrators, special educators, classroom teachers, and speech–language pathologists working with children ages 5–13 (grades K–8).

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses.