Executive Function Skills & Academic Success

Learning Objectives

  • What are Executive Function skills and why do they matter?
  • Understand brain structure, maturity and control of Executive Function skills
  • Discover the connection between attention/focus and EF skills
  • Understand how contrasts in sensory data affect the brain and ability to focus
  • Master tips & techniques that will improve the ability of students to pay attention
  • Gain an understanding of the brain’s reaction to multi-tasking
  • Explore the Reticular Activating System (RAS) of the brain and how it affects attention
  • Discover the 10 ways to get through the RAS filter
  • Understand how words, relationships and environments affect Executive Function skills


Executive function skills help children remember and follow multi-step instructions, avoid distractions, control rash responses, adjust when rules change, persist at problem solving and manage long-term assignments. Some experts believe EF skills are a better indicator of academic success than IQ! The students in your classroom are most likely exhibiting vastly different levels of EF skills mastery and as you know, when these skills are lacking, your job is far more difficult.

In this program, presenter Bryan Harris, Ed.D. shares ways to help students develop and hone their EF skills. He defines and demonstrates how the brain works at EF skills and why some students have a more difficult time with mastery than others. Viewers will gain take-aways methods and practices to improve the Executive Function skills of all students providing a more manageable, achievement-oriented classroom.

About the Presenter

Bryan Harris, Ed.D. has served a classroom teacher, an elementary school principal, and a district level director. Currently, Dr. Harris works full time as a consultant, speaker, trainer and author. He has trained over 18,000 educators in powerful and effective strategies that increase student engagement and achievement and is known for engaging presentations and training that demonstrate relevant and practical strategies. Dr. Harris is the author of five books including the popular Battling Boredom. Dr. Harris earned his doctorate from Bethel University after studying factors impacting new teacher retention.

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