1st Edition

Building Executive Function The Missing Link to Student Achievement

By Nancy Sulla Copyright 2018
    194 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    194 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    194 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    Educators clamor to provide top-notch lessons and resources for students, but if students lack executive function, even the best materials won't produce the desired results. If students haven’t developed the brain-based skills to focus, catch and correct errors, identify cause-and-effect relationships, and more, they can't make sense of lessons. Executive function is the missing link to student achievement. But how can you develop this in the classroom?

    In this new book, bestselling author Nancy Sulla has the answers. She explains how building executive function requires a combination of activities, structures, and teacher facilitation strategies aimed at six increasingly complex life skills that should be the goal of any school: conscious control, engagement, collaboration, empowerment, efficacy, and leadership. She also offers a variety of examples, activities, and structures fit for every grade level and subject area. With the book’s practical strategies and tools, you will be inspired, armed, and ready to establish a clear framework for building executive function in all your students.


    Chapter 1: The Power, Promise, and Pitfalls of Executive Function

    Chapter 2: Attaining Conscious Control (#EF_ConsciousControl)

    Chapter 3: Moving From Compliance to Engagement (#EF_Engagement)

    Chapter 4: Mastering the Art of Collaboration (#EF_Collaboration)

    Chapter 5: Embracing Empowerment (#EF_Empowerment)

    Chapter 6: Developing Efficacy (#EF_Efficacy)

    Chapter 7: Demonstrating Leadership (#EF_Leadership)

    Chapter 8: Building Executive Function Through Teacher Facilitation

    Chapter 9: Not a Course, But a Culture

    Continuing the Conversation

    Appendix A

    Appendix B

    Appendix C

    Appendix D

    Appendix E

    Appendix F

    Appendix G

    Appendix H

    Appendix I

    Appendix J

    Appendix K


    Nancy Sulla is the founder and President of IDE Corp. (Innovative Designs for Education), a consulting company specializing in instructional and organizational design.

    "Dr. Sulla’s latest publication is a critically important resource for all educators who are committed to enhancing the well-being and academic success of all learners, and eliminating long-standing and pervasive achievement gaps. This new resource provides instructional leaders and PreK-12 teachers an improved understanding of the complexity of brain functioning and student learning, and most importantly, effective classroom practices that we know will unlock untapped student potential. This book provides a myriad of proven instructional strategies gleaned from brain research that are easily integrated into daily lesson planning. It offers optimism and hope that we as committed educators, if focused on development of these critical executive skills, can make a significant positive difference in the academic and life trajectory of each and every one of our students regardless of race, class or disability."—Robert L. Jarvis, PhD, Director of K-12 Outreach and Equity Leadership Initiatives, Penn Center for Educational Leadership, University of Pennsylvania


    "Building Executive Function is a must read for every educator who is serious about making a positive difference in student learning. Dr. Sulla effectively breaks down executive function skills into understandable components that educators need to develop in their students. Through a series of practical examples, teachers now have specific strategies in which to engage students. It is a perfect complement to Students Taking Charge: Inside the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom."—Roy Montesano, EdD, Superintendent, Bronxville Union Free School District, NY


    "Where has this book been my entire career? I cherished every second reading Building Executive Function and came away with immediate plans to make meaningful changes in my classroom! Nancy has broken down the processes by which students plan, think, and behave into specific, identifiable skills. If teachers coach their students on these skills throughout the year, I believe that student achievement will improve, their knowledge and abilities will transfer to new situations, and our students will be more likely to become successful, independent thinkers. Every educator, from novice to veteran, would benefit immensely from reading and implementing the ideas within Building Executive Function. I know I'll be referring back to it over and over again!"—Paul Solarz, 5th grade teacher and author of Learn Like a PIRATE


     "In Building Executive Function, Nancy Sulla uses real-life examples, scientific explanation, and relevant activities. Additionally, the material can be easily adapted to fit a wide variety of educational levels, contents, and needs. This book will help me scaffold executive function in my students--and have concrete examples to offer my colleagues when they discuss the functional needs of their students!"—Catherine Stanley-Davis, 6th Grade ELA/SS Teacher, Gravelly Hill Middle School, NC