Category: Resources for Educators

Preschool Promise Measures Executive Function

The Preschool Promise program, a nonprofit serving Dayton, OH area preschoolers and their families, is closing the achievement gap through school readiness, equity, and resources. The program concentrates on a prominent issue experienced not only in the Dayton community but across a number of US communities: that far too many African-American and Appalachian preschoolers do…

Language and Executive Function

Language and executive function skills are both critical to a child’s development. But did you know they are related to each other in important ways? Language development and executive function (EF) skills have a reciprocal relationship, meaning each relies on the other for optimal growth. EF skills represent a set of cognitive processes that underlie…

Childhood Brain Rhythm + Executive Function

Research agrees that there are prominent changes in brain rhythm (repeated patterns of brain wave activity across different areas of the scalp) from early to middle childhood. Currently, researchers are investigating if – and how – these changes are related to key developmental outcomes such as Executive Function (EF). EF is an umbrella term that…

Routines and Executive Function

The hustle and bustle of everyday routines may seem like a lot to keep track of. Whether you are shuttling your child from soccer practice to music lesson or coordinating the daily task of getting the family ready for dinner, our lives are filled with routines and activities. Although some research has suggested that too…

Cohort Effects on Delay of Gratification

The Marshmallow Test is conceivably one of the most prominent developmental research studies on delay of gratification. In the late 1960s to early 70s, American Psychologist and Stanford University Professor, Dr. Walter Mischel, and his team sat children down at a table and placed a marshmallow (or other treat chosen by the child) in front of…

Think Small Video Testimonial

Dianne Haulcy, Think Small‘s Senior Vice President for Family Engagement, talks briefly about Think Small’s experience with the Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS) App. “We looked at several different tools and we landed on the MEFS for a couple different reasons: one, because it was very easy to administer, and two, because as we really…

National Effort: Improve Student Outcomes

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) are teaming up in a national effort: improve student outcomes through research and development. Yesterday (May 8, 2018), the two nonprofits announced that they are extending a public Request for Information (RFI) about innovative ways to facilitate, accelerate, and improve the academic and non-academic outcomes that…

Imagination and Brain Development

“Executive function refers to the brain skills that allow us to control our thoughts, actions, and emotions. These skills include cognitive flexibility (thinking about something in multiple ways and shifting gears, for example, transitioning smoothly from snack time to center time), working memory (holding information in mind and working with it, such as reminding yourself…

Mindfulness, Reflection, and Executive Function

Earlier this week, Frontiers in Psychology published an article on mindfulness, reflection, and executive function. The study, “Mindfulness Plus Reflection Training: Effects on Executive Function in Early Childhood” was conducted by Dr. Phil Zelazo, Dr. Ann Masten, and Dr. Stephanie Carlson of the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development and Jessie Forston of Learning Tree Yoga,…

Integrating Social and Emotional Development with Academic Learning

Integrating social, emotional, and academic development is crucial for schools targeting the success of the whole student, according to the Aspen Institute’s National Commission. In today’s world, a growing number of school systems are shifting focus from teaching ABC’s and 123’s to teaching their students to acquire and effectively apply complex social and emotional processes.…