Teacher’s Gateway to Special Education

To read on Ontario Teacher’s Federation website, some teaching strategies and resources:

Executive Functioning


Students with executive functioning needs may have difficulty starting new tasks, planning the time to apply to tasks, developing goals or solutions to problems. They may not be able to curb their immediate impulses and focus on the task at hand. Working memory skills may be weak, along with time management. Behaviour issues may arise. A number of related areas of needs may be applicable (see list below).


An area of student need, involving challenges in prioritizing, organizing and completing tasks, especially when dealing with timelines, unexpected events, problems, and/or new challenges.

Visual Prompts

Teaching Strategies

• Pair oral with visual instructions.
• Repeat information/instructions and ask the student to repeat them back and explain.
• Chunk information/instructions.
• Use checklists and an agenda (including a personalized one, that differs from peers).
• Develop and support the student in maintaining an organizational system.
• Directly teach lessons in prioritization and strategies to stay on task.
• Reward efforts in organization, work completion and prioritization by specifically outlining the student’s positive actions/choices.
• Reduce the number of tasks assigned at once.
• Pre-teach new vocabulary.
• Conference frequently with the student to check on understanding of lengthy tasks.
• Role play situations to improve student response.
• Develop and teach a specific alternative programming expectation in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).
• Use computer and assistive technology.

• Use preferential seating to avoid distractions.
• Use a visual and auditory signal to get attention before speaking.
• Post rules, consequences and a schedule.

• Provide extra time for tests and assignments.
• Provide written copies of assignment instructions and rubrics.
• Develop study timelines.
• Chunk assignments and tests.
• Give breaks during tests.
• Allow for oral testing/scribe.
• Check for understanding of test questions.
• Allow the use of a computer for word processing.




A detailed outline of the various aspects of executive function development. From The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

For Purchase

Strategies for various student needs.



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