Popular Lecture, Workshop and Seminar Topics
Awarded the Innovative Promising Practices Award by the National Organization CHADD our 360 Thinking Program combines concepts that are at the core of EF: situational and intention awareness, visual future thinking, time awareness and task visualization to promote efficient and accurate completion of tasks. The 360 Thinking program facilitates the development of 6 key skills for students: initiation, transition, planning, time management, self-regulation and meta-cognition. As the steps of a task are envisioned, potential obstacles can be anticipated for students to problem solve and achieve independence.
360 Thinking webinars and trainings can be a full-day, half-day or several hour workshop. Known for the practicality of our workshops we spend less time on theory and the majority of the time on strategies and tools that can easily be implemented the next day into the classroom, therapeutic setting, home or community. Presentations are geared for professionals from multiple disciplines who work with students to support the development of the executive function skills (teachers, therapists, SLPs, OTs, mental health providers, administrators, etc...). Additionally, we offer seminars for parents. Workshops can be designed according to your professional education development requirements, using any combination of topics below.
Introduction to Executive Function Skills
A Functional Understanding - Moving past the text book definition: A functional explanation of the executive function skills will be presented such that professionals can quickly identify behaviors associated with the various component/s of the executive system. Understand the development of the executive control skills. What skills can be expected at what age? How do we define ‘Executive Dysfunction’?
Thinking and Planning Ahead
Self-Regulation Skills include: goal directed behaviors, devising plans to achieve goals, using self-talk, knowing the rules, and controlling impulses and emotions to complete a task successfully. Practical strategies for teaching children forethought, awareness skills, to "know the goal", to initiate tasks, to inhibit impulses and complete tasks.
Time Management Skills
Teaching children how to see and sense the passage of time, to accurately estimate how long tasks will take, to change and maintain their pace, plan ahead and carry out routines and tasks within allotted timeframes. Concrete strategies to help students self-initiate on tasks and to also stop performing a task when they need to move on to the next task of higher priority.
Thinking in an Organized Way
A common feature of weak executive function skills are reduced organization skills and as students move from elementary to middle to high school, the ability to think in an organized way or to use these "higher order thinking skills" becomes more and more important. You will learn many practical strategies to teach students how to identify the big picture, to integrate information, to make inferences, to improve their speed of processing and to problem solve.
The Organized Classroom
How to set up and organize a classroom and locker/cubby spaces to create an environment that fosters the development of executive function skills. Ideas on how to help students stay organized , manage materials in the classroom, record homework and access resources when they are ‘stuck’ or need help initiating.
Closing the Homework Circle
Concrete strategies to help student’s to manage their time and materials to successfully record and complete nightly homework assignments, long term projects and to prepare for tests. Practical strategies will be given to help with the initiation of difficult assignments and to ensure work is returned in a timely manner. Learn how to support students in knowing how to evaluate their work and use their prior performances to create goals and make changes on future academic assignments. The homework space: learn tricks for supporting students and their families in creating a positive and productive environment for homework
Writing is the ultimate executive function skill as it requires massive amounts of simultaneous “online” processing. Learn how to infuse executive function based instruction into your existing writing curriculum to support students in developing executive control for the writing process, to increase the quality and volume of their thought retrieval, to expand on their ideas and to use metacognition to evaluate the quality of their writing and to be sure their written expression meets task requirements.
Often students with weak executive control skills struggle to keep their materials neat and organized and then quickly become overwhelmed by the process of cleaning and maintaining systems of organization. Learn functional strategies to help students think in an organized way about systems and then self-initiate to manage their clothes, backpack, papers, personal belongings and personal and shared spaces.
Many technology resources are available to support the academic skills, homework, time management and study skills, but which ones will work for your student? Many practical strategies to support the development of the executive function skills and student engagement with remote instruction.
From Play to Planning
Strategies to Shape the Development of
Executive Function Skills in Young Learners
We have adapted our 360 Thinking Executive Function Method to the early childhood classroom to support the development of the early building blocks of the executive function skills. Acquiring these fundamental capacities in early learning environments is critical to developing the ability to focus, hold, and work with information in mind, filter distractions and flexibly shift to be ready to succeed in the school setting. This practical strategies presentation will introduce our (“STOP and PLAY”) program with a multitude of EF strategies to infuse into dramatic play, therapy and classroom activities to develop the executive skills of situational intelligence, mental imagination, working memory, visual future thinking, time awareness and task visualization, self-regulation and meta-cognition.
Processing Speed and Executive Function
Increase processing speed. Executive function challenges, processing speed and behavior deﬁcits often go hand-in-hand. Processing speed difficulties can limit productivity and executive function skills to complete routines; follow instructions; finish homework; listen/read and take notes/summarize; integrate and encode information; write assignments that require complex thoughts; transition between tasks; acquire new material; and reason under time demands. Slow PS can bog students down in the details and they can’t distinguish relevant from minor details and see the big picture. Learn practical strategies to improve processing speed to increase the automaticity with which students can follow routines and directions, complete tasks, and manage complex assignments.
Many programs begin with goal setting. However, our 360 Thinking program begins with this first stage of executive functioning: situational awareness (SA). SA allows you to “stop and read the room”. This SA of one's environment is processed and updated on an ongoing basis to guide one through planning, selfmonitoring and completing goals. The features of SA include: spatial, temporal, object, and social information. When teaching students, we refer to the acronym 'S.T.O.P." that represents Space, Time, Objects & People. As ‘reading the room’ is an ‘online’ skill that happens literally ‘in the blink of an eye’ (Vermeulen 2015), it is critical to teach students to transition from this ‘static’ SA to reading context in ‘real time’ and guiding students outwards from the “detail” level towards rapid, flexible, “big-picture” thinking. Rapidly drawing together situational information and spontaneously using this context helps students to develop independent self-regulation and to go from “now” to “ Next”. Students need to read a room to decipher information that guides them to knowing what is expected and unexpected in a situation, to be aware of time, task and pace, to know the objects required of them and their given role and the roles of others. In this seminar we show you how to teach students to read the room, be situationally aware and utilize this situational intelligence for effective task execution.
How can paraprofessionals set students on a path to true independent learning and avoid learned helplessness? One way is to purposefully yet gradually release responsibility for learning from teacher to student. To make this transfer of responsibility, we must give students supports that they can hold on to and internalize as they take the lead—not just help them in the moment and hope they find their way. We must transfer responsibility for learning to our students gradually—and offer support at every step. In this practical strategies training paraprofessionals will become familiar with the four phases of the Gradual release of responsibility framework: Focused Instruction (“I do it”); Guided Instruction (“We do it”); Collaborative Learning (“You do it together”); and Independent Leaning (“You do it alone”). Learn what the executive function skills are and how students carry out these skills in the classroom to understand what exactly students are supposed to be doing to self-regulate and complete assigned tasks. Specific techniques for how to implement each phase of the gradual release of responsibility framework for organizing materials, seeing and sensing the passage of time, making transitions, and breaking down and completing classwork.