My students need a variety of engaging games they can play with their families to develop their executive functioning skills.
Our classroom is similar to a shared home. Each morning we come together, share breakfast, and talk with each other about how we're doing and what our hopes are for our day. Throughout the day, we engage in rigorous learning, taking big risks and encouraging each other to bravely take on new learning.
Simultaneously, we are learning how to work together, solve problems, be kind, and take care of each other and our community.
We are a diverse group of individuals who make up a wonderful community of eager learners who love to play and learn together!
Executive functioning skills are essential in allowing students to be ready to learn at school and engage with their peers in positive ways. Games like board games and card games provide engaging opportunities for students to practice these skills in fun ways. When students follow multi-step directions in a game, they can strengthen their working memory. When students control their impulses, maintain their attention, or control their emotions while playing, they're developing their impulse and self-control. When students make plans and revisions to their strategies while playing, they're strengthening their cognitive and mental flexibility.
"Children aren’t born with these skills—they are born with the potential to develop them." (Executive Functioning & Self-Regulation, 2018)
Many of our students might not have the opportunity or access to these types of games in their homes. This project aims to provide students with the opportunity to take a game home each week in a tote bag and play them at home with their family. This "homework" opportunity goes way beyond what traditional worksheets and workbooks do for kids. Playings games at home with their families strengthens family relations and builds executive functioning skills. Students strengthen their working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control. As students play and talk with their families, their oral language skills expand. As they read different cards, directions, and pictures, their early literacy skills grow. Additionally, as students roll dice and count out spaces, their numeracy skills improve.
"If you look at what predicts how well children will do later in school, more and more evidence is showing that executive functions — working memory and inhibition — actually predict success better than IQ tests" (Diamond, 2012). Sharing the critical importance of developing these skills with families and providing the tools to allow students to practice is fundamental in helping these students grow as learners!
Expand the "Where your donation goes" section below to see exactly what Ms. Dean is requesting.See our finances
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