Executive Function Strategies: Optimizing Student Performance and Reducing Stress

Friday, April 12, 2019 - 8:30am to 3:30pm

In April, 2019, Springer School and Center partnered with Cincinnati Children's in presenting the Distinguished Speaker Program featuring Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D., and Donna Kincaid, M.Ed.

This professional development workshop was designed for educators and clinicians who work with students with learning disabilities and ADHD.

In our technologically-oriented society, academic success is dependent on students’ self-understanding, as well as their ability to set goals, plan time, organize and prioritize ideas, shift approaches flexibly, and monitor progress. These executive function processes affect students’ performance in most academic areas and in particular, reading comprehension, writing, math problem-solving, studying, and test-taking. Stress and anxiety can significantly impact students’ ability to “execute tasks.”

Dr. Meltzer provided an overview of the important role of executive function processes in academic performance across grade levels and content areas. Practical approaches were discussed for promoting metacognitive awareness, flexible thinking, and executive function strategies as part of the classroom curriculum. Discussion addressed the cyclical relationship that connects students’ use of executive function strategies with their self-concept, effort and persistence, all attributes that build resilience and life success.

Ms. Kincaid discussed the interrelation between executive function and anxiety, as well as concrete strategies that support children’s learning. In addition, she provided practical and efficient strategies for teaching students how to study and how to learn from their mistakes. These hands-on sessions emphasized strategies that are directly applicable for middle and high school students, and can be used in modified form for elementary students.

Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D., is the Director of the Institutes for Learning and Development (ResearchILD & ILD) in Lexington, MA. She is a Fellow and Past-President of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities. She is the Founder and Program Chair of the Annual Learning Differences Conference which she has chaired for the past 34 years. Her 40 years of clinical work, research, publications, and presentations have focused on understanding the complexity of learning and attention problems.

Donna Kincaid, M.Ed., is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Learning and Development (ILD) and the Director of Outreach and Training for ILD and ResearchILD in Lexington, MA. She is an Educational Specialist and senior instructor for the Master your Mind the SMARTS Way, executive function courses for high school and college age students. Donna is a contributing author to a ResearchILD book entitled, Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom (Guilford Press, 2010).

For more information about ResearchILD >>

For more information about SMARTS >>

Course Objectives

  • Participants will recognize the impact of Executive Function processes on academic success across the curriculum.
  • Participants will explain how knowledge of EF processes helps students to build resilience to support academic and life success.
  • Participants will discuss the interrelationship between EF and anxiety.
  • Participants will list practical EF strategies that support student academic success.

Specific Audience

Educators, Counselors, Mental Health Professionals, Psychologists, Speech-Language Pathologists and Social Workers.

Psychologists: Cincinnati Children's is approved by the Ohio Psychological Association-MCE Program to offer continuing education for psychologists. Cincinnati Children's (provider #310833936) maintains responsibility for the program. Approval is pending for 6 hours of MCE credit.

Social Workers: Cincinnati Children's is an approved provider of  counselor continuing education by the State of Ohio Counselor and Social Worker Board (RCX071002). Approval is pending for 6 hours in Special Populations.

School Personnel: A certificate of attendance will be awarded acknowledging 6 contact hours.

Speech and Language: Click here for ASHA CEU Disclosure Information          Click here for ASHA detailed course overview