Knowing How Your Brain Works Can Make a Big Difference in School Performance
(from SOS4Students Director Beth Samuelson)
When I was in high school, no one ever explained how my brain worked. And I could’ve used a guide when I was a teenager. For example, I wondered:
- Why did I zone out in certain classes and struggle to remember the information, even if I took notes?
- What made me better able to understand new and complex information later in the day vs. early in the morning, when I was groggy and unable to process information effectively?
- Highlighting seemed to be useless but annotating worked well for storing information. Was there a note taking strategy that could consistently work for me to recall information quickly and reduce my pre-test panic?
- Why did anxiety and stress render me temporarily unable to see the way forward and to get started and complete work I had to do for school?
Like many teens, I struggled with getting up in the morning, remembering to prepare for tests (no cell phones and reminder notifications in the old days!), and procrastination. I had no understanding of cognitive development nor was executive functioning discussed in any of my education classes in graduate school.
I have long wanted to make sure today’s students have greater clarity about what makes them tick so they can get a head start on developing strategies at an earlier age to boost their executive brains.
Fast forward to 2021 and this summer, for the first time, SOS4Students is excited to present a course for students in grades 10 to 12 called the Executive Brain Bootcamp! In it, we explain how the teen brain works and what impacts it.
Students gain a newfound appreciation for their prefrontal cortex (attention, memory, planning, prioritization) and a toolbox of skills and techniques to maximize its effectiveness both in school and at home.
In the bootcamp, high school students learn/take away:
- What executive function skills are and how improving them increases school performance and quality of life
- Introduction to a personalized approach to time management, planning, and prioritizing, including planner use and project planning to help develop systems that work best for them
- Tried and true strategies for improving memory, attention, and processing, including effective reading and note taking
- Research based approaches to self-regulation and goal setting to help students keep on track all year long.
Learn more about how Executive Brain Bootcamp can give your student the inside scoop needed to have a leg up this year for the transition back to full-time school on campus! (I wish I’d had this amazing class when I was in high school!)