2 Day Skills Practice Workshop
Strengthening Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents
Presented by Peg Dawson, Ed.D., NCSP
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 – Thursday, October 31, 2019 | Ottawa, on
Executive skills are sometimes called “the hidden curriculum.” They are skills such as task initiation, sustained attention, working memory, planning, organization, and goal-directed persistence that are absolutely critical to school success, yet curriculum standards seldom if ever explicitly reference these skills. Neuroscientists now tell us that these skills take a minimum of 25 years to reach full maturation, and the course of that development is influenced by experience and exposure, by modelling, practice, and direct instruction. This workshop will provide participants with a framework for understanding these key skills, how they develop in diverse populations, and how to support executive skills by embedding them into classroom routines and lessons and by tailoring interventions to meet the needs of individual students and classrooms.
Many students struggle in school, not because they have problems acquiring academic skills but because they struggle with a key set of skills that underlie academic performance in a fundamental way. I’m referring to executive skills. Executive skills are critical to the acquisition of academic skills, but, more importantly, they are the skills students need to get things done. They are brain-based skills such as task initiation, sustained attention, working memory, planning, organization, and goal-directed persistence that are absolutely critical to school success. Some students seem to acquire them naturally, but many students don’t. This workshop, which offers intensive training in how to help these students, will provide a model for understanding what these skills are and how they develop. The primary focus of the workshop, though, will be to give participants the opportunity to practice an array of practical interventions that can be incorporated into the classroom or into clinical practice. If you have attended one of my 1-day trainings, this workshop will allow you to extend your learning by practicing strategies and applying those strategies to your setting and the students you work with. You will walk away with an understanding of interventions that you will be able to use the day after the workshop ends! Hope you will join me at the two-day skills training workshop!
Agenda & Learning Objectives
Overview of Executive Skills
- Underlying Theory
Executive Skill Development Across the Lifespan
- Normal executive skill development from infancy through adulthood
- Negative influences on executive skill development (birth issues, head injuries, and disorders such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder)
- Key brain processes that control executive skill development
Assessment of Executive Skills
- Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews
- Behaviour Rating Scales
- Formal/Informal Assessment
Modifying the Environment to Support Students with Weak Executive Skills
- Changing the Physical or Social Environment
- Modifying Tasks
- Changing the Way Adults Interact with Students
Audience activity: Brainstorm environmental modifications for each executive skill
Teaching Executive Skills by Embedding Them in Daily Routines
- Bedroom Cleaning
- Teaching Students to Make Homework Plans
- Teaching Students an Organizational System
- Teaching Students to Control Emotions
Audience activity: Design a home or classroom routine that incorporates one or more executive skills
Embedding Executive Skills into Classroom Content-Area Lessons
- Outline 3-step procedure for taking any classroom lesson or problem situation and identifying 1) key executive skills required to complete the task successfully; 2) the obstacles that prevent students from using those executive skills successfully; and 3) strategies students might use to overcome the obstacles.
- Provide several examples
- Complete one example based on audience suggestion
Audience activity: Practice the process individually or in small groups
Designing Student-Centered Interventions to Address Specific Contexts Impacted by Weak Executive Skills
- Outline step-by-step procedure for designing student-centered interventions
- Provide several examples
Audience activity: Using case examples provided or from the case load of participants practice designing student-centered interventions
Using Incentives to Encourage Practice
- The benefits of using incentives or rewards
- Simple incentives
- Elaborate incentives (more complicated incentive systems to encourage practice of new skills over a longer period of time). Specific examples provided
Classroom or Small Group Curricula for Teaching Executive Skills
- Incorporating all 3 strategies into whole-class routines
- Seminars for middle or high school students as a vehicle for teaching executive skills.
- Theoretical underpinnings of coaching (the research base supporting the practice)
- Coach job description
- Fundamentals of Coaching for Academic Success
- Coaching Students to Promote Positive Social Interactions\
- Coaching Examples
- To describe the brain processes involved in executive skill development both in typically developing children and those with executive dysfunction (such as ADHD).
- To identify how executive skills impact school performance and daily living.
- “Best practices” in assessing executive skills, including both formal and informal measures.
- To design interventions for improving executive skills in students, including 1) how to make environmental modifications to support weak executive skills, 2) how to develop protocols for teaching executive skills by embedding them in daily routines and classroom lessons, and 3) how to design student-centered interventions targeted to specific problem situations and executive skill challenges.
- The critical features of a coaching method geared to improving school performance through supporting executive skill development.
Continuing Education Credits
Dr. Peg Dawson: In over 40 years of clinical practice, Dr. Peg Dawson has worked with thousands of children who struggle at home and in school. At the center of their struggles are often weak executive skills. Along with her colleague, Dr. Richard Guare, she has written numerous books on this topic for educators, mental health professionals, and parents, among them Smart but Scattered, Smart but Scattered Teens, Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, and Coaching Students with Executive Skills Deficits. Peg is also a past president of the National Association of School Psychologists, and the International School Psychology Association, and is a recipient of NASP’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Great presenter with a realistic, positive approach, who drew capable on her experiences. I was certainly glad I attended today’s session!”
-Halifax, NS | June 5, 2014
“Wow! Thank you. I will use what I gained in the classroom and at home – with myself, my students, my colleagues and my family.”
-Jodie K. (Grade 1 Teacher) | Edmonton, AB | June 3, 2014
Who Should Attend
Education and Clinical Professionals: K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors/Psychologists, Learning Assistance/ Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers. All other professionals who support students including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers, and Early Childhood Educators.
Parents, Caregiver, Foster Parents, Grandparents, and Extended Family raising a child.
Holiday Inn – Ottawa East
1199 Joseph Cyr St., Ottawa, ON
To make a reservation please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the hotel directly at 613.744.1060
Rooms are a standard room with one or two queen beds for $139.00 plus tax
*please note, room reservations are subject to availability*
When booking hotel rooms, ask for the Jack Hirose and Associates corporate rate. To receive our corporate rate, rooms must be booked one month prior to the workshop date. Please keep in mind hotel rates may fluctuate.
Registration & Fees
|Registration||Early bird Fee||Regular Fee|
All fees are in Canadian Dollars ($CAD)
Fees do not include applicable taxes (13% HST).
Early bird cutoff date: October 16, 2019
To receive the early bird rate, registration and payment must be received by Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
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