Language Therapist Bevin Daly and Occupational Therapists Diane Lupow and Anjali Patel are combining forces to create a brand new Healthy Choices class called X-Factor, which gets students learning executive functioning skills while moving, building community, and having fun.
The eight-class series includes units on
Defining Executive Function (task initiation; planning; time management; organization; self-control; working memory; attention; flexibility; and perseverance)
Setting Goals (Be a “Future Thinker” and mind mime the steps you need to take a task)
Flexible Thinking (“If . . . . Then”)
Organization of Materials and Time (Use “feature blocking” to “see the done.”)
Memory Strategies (like acronyms, cartoons, crazy phrases, visualization and storytelling
Classroom instruction is followed by fun time in the gym with a motor lab, where the students exercise their minds and their bodies with games and stations that draw on the skills discussed in class. For instance, there is scooter board activity that works on memorizing a grocery list and filling up a lunch box; building an obstacle course to work on team building and goal setting; balancing while using metacognition (talking about tips for organizing); working on being flexible by following the Permission to Pause yoga sequence; as well as completing a puzzle with missing part. All this while quickly shifting between stations and bringing awareness to time management.
The goal of the program is for students to use what they learned in the eight classes to be more organized, more flexible, and more focused—both in school and at home.