Hit the Submit Button Already!

Took a brave leap & submitted my Fulbright inquiry project for peer review. 📕
My hope is that this research will in some way help students with special education needs & inform the education organizations that serve them🧩

When students with special education needs graduate from high school, taking the next steps towards college & career might be uncharted territory. It doesn’t have to be scary 💥
Opportunities await. Figure out what your gifts are & start moving forward towards a bright future.
Reach out if you have any questions about how to develop a plan. 👍🏼It’s all about the IEP transition page‼️

“Help! My child is so disorganized”

Whether your child’s bedroom is in a constant state of upheaval, they can’t find important items in their backpack, or they can’t seem to remember multi-step directions, the underlaying issue may weak Executive Functioning skills.

What Are Executive Functioning Skills

Executive Functioning is a broad term for a set of mental abilities that are essential for thinking through, organizing and completing tasks. They are the skills that allow our brains to plan and manage our time effectively. Although individuals with learning disabilities, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often struggle with executive functioning, many children and adults without a diagnosed learning disability have formidable challenges with the skill of organization. Some examples of these skills include a person’s ability to:

…shift focus from one task to another when necessary

…complete tasks, to include homework, on time

…to effectively plan for an assignment in the future

…keep track of school supplies

…maintain appropriate self-control

Of course this is not an exhaustive list and you may be able to add to it given your experience with a child that is disorganized.

What Do Symptoms of Executive Functioning Disorder Look Like?

You may be well aware of issues your child is having at home, at school or in social situations. A child may have an executive functioning disorder (EFD) if you consistently note they have

…difficulty working from memory

…poor impulse control

…an inability to follow two step directions

…difficulty prioritizing and completing tasks at home and school

…difficulty focusing

…unrealistic timelines for event planning

…difficulty with self control (even when reminded)

6 Ways to Help In the Development of Your Child’s Organizational Skills

Helping a child develop organization skills does not have to be a huge undertaking. In fact, there are simple activities you can do at home to help instill order, predicability, and a sense of control all while helping to develop organization skills. To get started, try these 6 easy activities:

  1. Start using a kid friendly calendar. Together with your child, schedule the daily events on the calendar to provide a visual representation of activities that take up time. Let them record special events in pen or add stickers to mark special days! Hang it in a central location and refer to it often. I use a month at a glance with my children.
  2. The night before busy days or events, have them lay out their clothes. Make time to discus clothing options and encourage them to put their outfits together before bedtime. This allows for planning and discussion ahead of time.
  3. Put your child in charge of organizing a cabinet, drawer, or space in the house. The kitchen is a great place to start. Organizing cutlery, pots and pans, or even plastic containers with lids can be a starting point. Don’t want them in the kitchen, how about sorting socks?
  4. Encourage them to formulate a To-Do list. Provide blank paper and have them list all the activities or things they need to accomplish in a specific time period. I typically start with one day for younger children, a week for older children, and longer periods of time for young adults. I suggest children try and list at least 10 activities so they are breaking down larger tasks into smaller ones. Encourage them to check off each item after they complete it. Positive reinforcement is always appreciated.
  5. Enlist your child to help create a shopping list, and bring them along to use it. Make them responsible for retrieving several items on the list. This is a great activity to start conversations about price, size, and value. For an extra exercise, have them check to make sure the list is complete before checking out.
  6. Use a timer or clock to help your child understand time. Have them set a timer before beginning homework, or playing a video game. You can set limits, but it is important that children understand what 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes feels like. We know that when we are engaged in something we enjoy, time races. The converse is true when doing activities we dislike. After several ‘timings’ have them estimate how long an activity will take them to complete.

These are just a few suggestions for activities to help bolster organization skills with your child. While maturation does play a part in strengthening executive functioning skills, it is never too early to help develop winning strategies for organization.

Want more information or assistance on Executive Functioning skills and training. Reach out to Dr. Christine Powell at Dr.ccpowell@gmail.com

1. Mind Gym Brain Builder

Try this quick activity to strengthen your Cognitive Flexibility (also known as flexible thinking)

What is Cognitive flexibility? The ability to think about something in more than one way.

Can you look at this picture with a Flexible brain?
Ask yourself..What else is there to see beyond my initial thought?

Can you see it?

#farmanimal #bovine #ccpowell #mindgym

It’s a 🐄

Podcast – The future of education and online learning

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with host, Jacob Morris, from DreamJobs.fm – A podcast that explores careers, the lives of digital nomads, remote work, cool companies, emerging trends, and everything in between that helps people find what they’re called to do and their journey to get there.

https://podcast.dreamjobs.fm/

Check out the episode where we talk about the future of education and online learning.

https://podcast.dreamjobs.fm/

Just Breathe- A strategy to calm your thoughts & body

Christine Powell, Ed. D

I wanted to share a mindfulness strategy!

A super easy way to help regulate your breathe and quiet any racing thoughts – especially when processing information or feelings that evoke an emotional response.

I’ve used this strategy for years in my teaching practice to help students with special education needs regulate their emotions. Interesting, lately I’ve been using this strategy to help me process and create awareness around the incredible upheavals in society at this time.

Trace the picture w/ the tip of your finger while Focusing on your breathing – Count to 3 breathing in thru your nose…exhale for a count of 3 thru your mouth. Then SMILE because you have given yourself permission to just BREATHE!

Let me know if you try it & if it works! #ccpowell #executivefunctioning #braingym

Practical Strategies for Cultivating Personal Sustainability-

Super excited to have been interviewed by Joanne Lozar Glenn for NBEA Business Education Forum on the Practical Strategies for
Cultivating Personal
Sustainability. Self-care and wellness challenges are emerging themes in the business educator community.

Business Education Forum May 2020

Whose Farming and Feeding Americans During Coronavirus?

On a small farm in Northern California the workers are putting in long days. 12 hour shifts are the new normal as the staff at Hikari Farms is making sure it’s San Francisco Bay Area clients get the organic Japanese vegetables they need.

The farm, owned by a nonagenarian Japanese couple and managed by their daughter, is certified organic and the team continue to farm by hand. The array of vegetables is typically sold to specialty shops and restaurants in San Francisco.

On Hakari Farms the crops are under large greenhouse tents where the rooms are climate controlled and feel “like your in a womb.” That’s how it was explained to me by my daughter, a farmer & employee at the farm. In this video she takes us around the greenhouses on a tour of her job. Enjoy! 🌱

youtu.be/WnZeAL2OhSI

Hikari Farms-

Career Education & Training for Students with Special Education (Lessons from Singapore)

Dr. Christine Powell

In partial fulfillment of the Fulbright Distinguished Award In Teaching

Education research focused on Students with Special Education Needs (SEN) in Singapore provides examples of organizational supports that underpin student achievement. Recommendations for state and district education leadership to draw on when designing career training programs or upgrading ones are highlighted. These 5 recommendations help build organizational capacity by supporting students with SNE.