Helping Middle Schoolers Build Executive Functioning Skills

Helping Middle Schoolers Build Executive Functioning Skills

Brooklyn Letters IconBrooklyn Letters

1139 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn

4.9 56 reviews

  • Avatar Emily Matles ★★★★★ a week ago
    We would highly recommend Ally! Our son always asks about her, so very thankful to Brooklyn Letters for introducing us.
    ~ Emily, mom of Brooklyn 2 year old
  • Avatar Lil Amatore ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    Christina was absolutely wonderful. She went out of her way to win my son over and it worked. He looked forward to her visits and his speech improved so much under her care. She was super flexible and it’s clear she truly cares. We adore … More Christina and we’re going to miss her. Almost sad he improved so much! She’s simply amazing and we can’t say enough how great she is. I would recommend her services to anyone and everyone, without hesitation. Thank you so much for connecting us with her!
  • Avatar Natalie Levon ★★★★★ 4 months ago
    Nicole has been an amazing therapist!! She played a tremendous role in our daughter’s speech progress and overall development. She has come such a long way and we are so happy with the therapy she received!
  • Avatar Heather Liljengren ★★★★★ a year ago
    We cannot say enough good things about Effie, the ASL teacher, who was so engaged and effective with our 2 year old daughter from the very first session! Effie gladly included our whole family in the sessions! Her expertise and fantastic … More personality gave our daughter a way to communicate that she was so desperately seeking. The coordinators at Brooklyn Letters were so helpful and communicative…I would highly recommend their services!
  • Avatar T Ainsley ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    I cannot express how grateful and rewarding my experience with Brooklyn Letters has been. Her tutor Ms. Daria is so knowledgeable, amazing, kind and awesome. My daughter has made so much progress in Literacy and Math and it's all … More thanks to Ms. Daria. I know my daughter is sad that she can no longer work with Ms. Daria, as she looked forward to their sessions every week. Thank you again!
  • Avatar Chris duke Fields ★★★★★ a month ago
    The company is great with outstanding customer service. They keep my horses protected. I have recommended them to other horses trainers as well that are going to get service early next year. Very professional an honest too. Respectfully … More submitted Christopher
  • Avatar Jackie Vasquez ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    Excellent services, caring therapists.
  • Avatar Colin Peters ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    We could not be happier with the services Valerie provided! She is very thoughtful and knowledgeable and provided significant guidance to support our daughter's speech development outside of our scheduled sessions. She established … More a great working relationship with her, and she will definitely be missed! Your business model is amazing and it was an absolute pleasure working with Valerie. I've referred your organization and Valerie to the Executive Director of our daughter's school and friends/colleagues who are in need of speech therapy services.
  • Avatar Nikhil Jaisinghani ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    Ron and Ken did a fantastic job with our security system today. Installed everything very quick. Both of them were very polite and asked us throughout if the installation met our needs. Simply fantastic!
  • Avatar Linda Parsley ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    I called Cornerstone Protection to get a Security system at a relatives out of state property, within a week it was installed! The installers worked with the client to help understand her new system and she was happy! Our relative said … More they were courteous, professional and patient! I highly recommend Cornerstone Protection for all of your security needs!
  • Avatar Amanda Clay Mackin ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    Had blink cameras; Car was broken into multiple times so I called CornerStone & they were able to install multiple cameras very quickly & for a reasonable price. I am so happy with the app & getting alerts that are not superfluous, … More like they were with Blink. Highly recommend CornerStone & the tech Ronnie.
  • Avatar Pete Peters ★★★★★ 4 months ago
    Ron and Ken are great guys to work with.
    Both were very knowledgeable and got our system back up and running.
    Thanks to both for a job well done...
  • Avatar Brigid Bower ★★★★★ 11 months ago
    Samantha Dalmas was fantastic! We saw her for a feeding therapy evaluation and while she doesn’t think my daughter needs more feeding therapy sessions at this time, but she gave me lots of tips to try. If my daughter's doctors want … More to see more progress at her next appointment, I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to Samantha again.
  • Avatar Larry Barton ★★★★★ a year ago
    Amazing assistance provided by Shannon today on my security system. I’m so grateful for your prompt, efficient, professional, and courteous service. Put me down as a customer for life!
  • Avatar Megan Haller ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    One of the most painless experiences I've had. They came on time and was over the moon professional with still keeping a level of personability to it. The gentleman also went out of his way to say that my husband and Mines business … More was appreciated. Which is actually rare to be appreciated by such a great company. So thank you and we look forward to continuing services with this company.
  • Avatar Megan Magsam ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    I am so happy we decided to go with cornerstone. They were quick and efficient. Shannon and the installer we very friendly. We got a lot of equipment and it was still within our budget. 10/10 would definitely recommend! Thank you
  • Avatar Collins Youngblood ★★★★★ a year ago
    Love the customer service and Shanon and his team go above and beyond for my restaurant. Couldn't of asked for a better security system and level of service that his team provides.
  • Avatar kanu patel ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    I have been using Cornerstone Protection service for over 5 years and I'm really happy with the service and state-of-the-art equipments and it's futures are so much in advance and friendly, I highly recommend Cornerstone Protection … More Service any and all business that need a security protection days and nights specially after business hours(Cornerstone Protection is perfect solution for your business). Owner of Cornerstone Protection is proactive with their customers and their equipments. Good experienced with Cornerstone Protection!!!
    Kanu Patel
  • Avatar Liz Jones ★★★★ 2 years ago
    We had a very positive experience with Alissa as a tutor for our pod of 5th grade boys from January - June 2020. She cared a lot about the boys and worked hard to create meaningful activities for them. The pod experience was invaluable … More for all of our families during a difficult year and we were so grateful to have found this partnership! We also want to appreciate Craig for helping to match us with a tutor on very short notice after we had cycled through a few folks who were not able to see the commitment through. Thanks for sticking with us!
  • Avatar S CL ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Dusty was the exact person we needed to help our child finish out the school year. So grateful to him for the way he steadily encouraged her and helped her stay on track and organized. He is flexible, responsive to our needs/schedule as … More a family, and a delight to be with. We are also thankful that Craig at Themba Tutors really "gets it" and partnered us with such a wonderful tutor who was a great fit for our girl.
  • Avatar Nicole May ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    My child worked with Gillian D virtually for math enrichment. She is an excellent teacher. She took time to understand my child's specific learning style and provided tools that would be engaging. She was kind and empathetic- really … More made it her goal to connect with my child and build trust and rapport. My child started the school year with confidence and without the typically "brain-drain" that occurs over the summer, thanks to Gillian.
  • Avatar Gillian Davidoff ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    I am going into my second year as a Themba tutor. I have met so many great individuals while working for this company. Craig and the rest of the Themba team do such an excellent job picking and choosing Themba tutors that suit each client's … More individual needs! I look forward to meeting new tutors and clients in the 2021-2022 school year!
  • Avatar carolina luttmann ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Our son started in a new high school, 100% remote, and was really struggling with Latin and Physics. I found Themba Tudors online and had an initial call with Craig, who was very knowledgeable, responsive, and found 2 amazing tutors for … More us. Both the Latin and the physics tutors were fantastic, connected with my son really well and helped him go from 'failing' grade to 'honors'! I will for sure continue using (and recommending!) Themba Tutors. Thank you, C, K, and W!
  • Avatar Eric Fingerman ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Brian is a fantastic executive functioning coach. Super helpful, flexible with hours, and tailored the experience to our needs.
  • Avatar Susan Wong ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Giulia Mercuri is a great Italian tutor! She was very responsive and accessible. Giulia put a ton of effort into preparing for each session and really helped our son with test preparation and projects. We are grateful that she was able … More to help, especially since our son did not receive any live teaching during COVID. We are happy that she was referred to us!
  • Avatar Christine Gennetti ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    As an adult student diagnosed with a learning disability during grad school, I knew I needed help dealing with my Master's program's demanding workload. I was seriously considering dropping out when I was referred to Themba Tutors. … More I was paired up with a wonderful tutor, Julie, who was a total lifesaver. I learned many techniques that I can utilize in the future as I embark on the next phase of my career.
    I can wholeheartedly say after working with Themba for two years that I would not have finished my program without this organization. And I am so thankful I selected them.
  • Avatar Fabiola FITZPATRICK ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    We were introduced to a wonderful tutor: Mcedwyn. He and our son, a freshman in college, worked well together. As a result, our son’s grades significantly improved. The tutor taught our son subject content and various methods to effectively … More study for quizzes and exams. Our son was also taught time management and organization. My son’s experience with the tutor made the first year of college a less intimidating experience.
  • Avatar Jude Eugene ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    We have been with our tutor, Cailin Schiller, for two years, from 5th - 7th grade. She started as an executive functioning tutor with my daughter. From the start, she demonstrated a depth of expertise and a selective use of techniques skillfully … More adapted to my daughter’s ADHD and Math disability. Cailin made Math accessible and understandable to her in a way that even her teachers had not been able to do. She differentiated reading, writing and math tasks and assignments to tailor them to my daughter’s unique learning differences. Not only did it have an effect on her grades and her work efficiency, but she finally could do her work with less anxiety. Even my daughter’s teachers used Cailin’s guidance to modify their work with her. But most importantly, she became my daughter’s favorite resource. I can’t say how invaluable Cailin has been to my daughter’s progress and well-being. I’d recommend her a million times over. She is a gem.
  • Avatar Janice Eidus ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    Victoria is a superb tutor. She helped my high school age daughter with her writing. Victoria's skills as a tutor, as well as her sense of humor and her engaging personality went a long way with my daughter.
  • A Google User ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    I'm so glad we were referred to Themba Tutors. After a great initial conversation to learn our needs, we were connected with an excellent tutor, Felicia, who is helping our high school daughter learn better organizational and executive … More skills. Highly recommended.
  • Avatar Fara Jones ★★★★★ 5 years ago
    Themba Tutors provided a leaning specialist that was a perfect fit for my daughter. I told them what we were looking for and they delivered. Our tutor is responsive and flexible and makes it easy for my daughter to reach out to her own … More her own, which gives her an added sense of responsibility over her learning. As a therapist myself, I now regularly recommend Themba to my patients. A much needed and well provided service to the community!!
  • Avatar Frances Simpson ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    The tutors at Themba are fantastic! Caitlyn McNeill helped our son academically, but also with getting organized in every subject, which he so desperately needed. She offered great advice and useful strategies that helped our son become … More a more successful student. We are using Themba tutors again this year for our daughter. We're so happy to have been referred to them!
  • Avatar Mary Jean Babic ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    I'm so glad we were referred to Themba Tutors. After a great initial conversation to learn our needs, we were connected with an excellent tutor, Felicia, who is helping our high school daughter learn better organizational and executive … More skills. Highly recommended.
  • Avatar Nina Herman ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    We had a wonderful experience with our tutor Micaela. She helped our son not only academically but at every level. We will be forever grateful to have her in our lives.
  • Avatar Frances ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    The tutors at Themba are fantastic! Caitlyn McNeill helped our son academically, but also with getting organized in every subject, which he so desperately needed. She offered great advice and useful strategies that helped our son become … More a more successful student. We are using Themba tutors again this year for our daughter. We're so happy to have been referred to them!
  • Avatar Michael Birnbaum ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    Paul Smith at Themba has been an exceptional tutor for my son, both in terms of teaching the subject matter and teaching how best to approach the process of learning math and executing assignments. We feel very fortunate to be working with … More Paul.
  • Avatar Monica Alzate ★★★★★ 5 years ago
    We were very lucky to have found Edwouine Swift, my son's therapist through Themba Tutors. Thomas is 12 years old, and it is extremely difficult to get him to write. Edwouine just works her magic with him, he adores her and is so … More eager to follow her guidance. I have no doubt she will be a positive driving force in his academic future.

HELPING MIDDLE SCHOOLERS BUILD EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING SKILLS

Helping Middle Schoolers Build Executive Functioning Skills

You know that feeling when juggling a million things at once and struggling to keep all the balls in the air? For middle schoolers, that feeling is a daily reality. During tremendous growth and change, kids are learning to manage complex schedules, heavy workloads, and increased responsibilities while coping with a whirlwind of physical and emotional changes. This age group needs help building their executive functioning skills, the mental processes that help us make plans, focus our attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. The good news is there are simple and effective strategies you can use to help the middle schoolers in your life strengthen these crucial skills and build their ability to navigate this challenging developmental stage with confidence.

What are Executive Functioning Skills and Why Do They Matter?

Executive functioning skills are the mental processes that help us plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks. They’re crucial for success in middle school and beyond.

  • Planning and prioritizing. Students need to figure out what needs to get done and in what order. Help them break big assignments into steps and estimate how long each will take.
  • Focusing attention. Distractions are everywhere, so students must learn to avoid diversions and stay on task. Encourage them to turn off device notifications and take short breaks when focus wanes.
  • Remembering instructions. Listening to and retaining key details and directions is essential. Have students restate instructions in their own words to reinforce them. Provide checklists and visual reminders too.
  • Task initiation. Getting started is often the hardest part, so teach strategies to overcome procrastination, like diving in for 15 minutes to build momentum. Offer support and accountability to keep motivation high.
  • Organization. Keeping track of schedules, assignments, notes, and materials requires organization and planning. Help students develop consistent systems for managing timelines, to-do lists, files, etc. Review and reinforce them regularly.
  • Time management. Learning to budget time, meet deadlines, and avoid rushing through work are lifelong skills. Have students estimate how long tasks will take, build in buffer time, and break work into chunks. Check-in to make sure they’re progressing as expected.

With practice and support, middle schoolers can strengthen these executive functioning skills to thrive in and outside the classroom. Help set them up for success by teaching strategies and providing opportunities to apply them.

Here are some examples of executive functioning skills for grades 6-8:

  • Initiate tasks and perform assignments independently and on time.
  • Maintain focus on tasks in the face of distractions and interruptions, particularly technological distractions.
  • Use metacognitive skills to monitor, appraise, and alter learning and problem-solving processes.
  • Complete and submit assignments on time every time, displaying strong organization and time management abilities.
  • Demonstrate enhanced self-advocacy, effectively conveying personal learning necessities and advocating for appropriate resources and supports.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to resist the use of distracting technology while remaining focused on academic tasks.

To help middle schoolers build strong executive functioning skills, try these simple strategies:

  • Teach them organizational techniques like creating to-do lists, schedules, and routines. Have them break down big tasks into smaller steps. Start with a basic schedule for getting ready in the morning or after school and build from there.
  • Help them improve working memory by giving them verbal instructions with multiple steps to follow. Have them repeat the steps back to you. Play games like Simon Says that require them to remember sequences.
  • Assist them in developing better emotional regulation and impulse control. Explain how to identify emotions and triggers. Give them strategies to stay calm, like taking deep breaths, counting to 10, or walking away from the situation. Praise them when they can control emotional outbursts or think before acting.
  • Enhance their planning and prioritizing skills by discussing how to break down projects into steps and estimate the time required for each task. Help them create schedules, timelines, and checklists to keep them on track. Review how to determine what’s important to focus first based on deadlines and needs.
  • Model the behaviors and thinking processes you want to see. Talk through how you organize, schedule and plan your days. Discuss strategies you use to juggle multiple responsibilities and priorities. Let them see you following schedules and checklists.

Simple Strategies for Helping Middle Schoolers Build Executive Functioning Skills

Helping Middle Schoolers Build Executive Functioning Skills

FAQs: Executive Functioning Skills and Your Middle Schooler

What exactly are executive functioning skills?

Executive functioning skills refer to the mental processes that enable us to successfully plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks. These skills are controlled by a part of our brain called the prefrontal cortex and include things like planning, organizing, making strategies, focusing our attention and remembering details, and managing time and space.

Why are these skills important for middle schoolers?

Developing good executive functioning skills in middle school is crucial for your child’s success. These skills affect their ability to manage assignments, prepare for tests, organize materials, and learn good studying habits. Strong executive functioning also helps with impulse control and social skills – both important for navigating middle school.

How can I help build these skills at home?

There are several ways you can help build your middle schooler’s executive functioning skills at home:

  • Help them develop routines and stick to schedules for things like homework, chores, and bedtime. Routines and consistency are key.
  • Teach planning and organization strategies like keeping an agenda, making to-do lists, using a calendar, and breaking big tasks into smaller steps.
  • Play games that require focus, memory, and problem-solving, like card games, puzzles, sudoku, and strategy board games.
  • Give your child opportunities to make choices and decisions on their own. Help guide them through the decision-making process.
  • Set clear rules and limits while also allowing for flexibility. Help your child understand why certain rules are in place and how their choices affect outcomes.

You can help your middle school student strengthen these important life skills with patience and practice. While it may be frustrating, developing good executive functioning during these formative years will benefit them for life.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Helping middle schoolers build executive functioning skills will serve them well for years. While it may seem like more work on the front end for you as the teacher, the payoff will be huge. Your students will become more independent, organized, and motivated learners. They’ll develop stronger time management skills and the ability to plan and prioritize effectively. With your guidance and support in building these skills, you’ll set them up for success in high school, college, and beyond. Though middle school is often an awkward and challenging time, focusing on executive functioning skills will help make the experience smoother and more rewarding for your students. Keep at it – the difference you can make is life-changing.

Looking for an executive functioning coach?

Chat with Themba Tutors today.
Our executive functioning coaches travel to your home.

FREE CONSULTATION!!!

Call: (917) 382-8641, Text: (833) 565-2370 

Email: [email protected]

(we respond to email right away!).

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Meet Craig Selinger, the passionate owner behind Themba Tutors, a renowned practice specializing in executive function coaching and tutoring. Together with his team of multidisciplinary professionals, they bring their extensive knowledge to numerous locations: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as well as offering remote services. As a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of NY, executive functioning coach, and educational specialist with an impressive track record spanning over two decades, Craig has professionally assisted thousands of families. Craig's proficiency encompasses a wide spectrum of areas, including language-related learning challenges such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. He is also well-versed in executive functioning, ADHD/ADD, and various learning disabilities. What truly distinguishes Craig and his team is their unwavering commitment to delivering comprehensive support. By actively collaborating with the most esteemed professionals within the NYC metropolitan region – from neuropsychologists to mental health therapists and allied health experts – they create a network of expertise.
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