Recording of Sarah Ward: New! New! New! Practical Strategies using Literature to Develop Executive Function Skills

Recording of Sarah Ward: New! New! New! Practical Strategies using Literature to Develop Executive Function Skills

  • $45.00

Recording of Practical Strategies using Literature to Develop Executive Function Skills. 

Presented by Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC/SLP

Please note: This is a per person fee. 


This is a per person fee for those who intend to watch this recording that will be available for one month.  After purchasing, you will receive an email with the subject line "your downloads are ready." This contains the important information you need to complete your final registration step.

Please note: After purchasing this webinar, you will receive an email which will contain an important digital PDF that you need to download. This PDF contains the link to this recorded webinar


A NEW Understanding of What Executive Function Skills are!

"The webinar was extremely informative, and it provided things I can use with my students from the first day of school. Sarah Ward never disappoints. She is easy to understand, knowledgeable, and has easy to implement activities to use to help students improve and succeed.  Karen Durant, Attendee of the Live Webinar 

Even if you have heard Sarah before - she has NEW content and entirely NEW ways to use literature!

You knew that students needed good executive function skills for strong reading comprehension but did you know you can use reading to strengthen a student’s executive function skills?! Yes, you can!! Sit back, listen and learn many new ways to use books to develop independent executive function skills! Whether you are a reading teacher, special educator, general educator, SLP, or a parent, and regardless of whether you work with  high school, pre school or any age/grade in between, in this practical strategies webinar you will learn how to use any level of  literature as a powerful tool to develop the underlying cognitive skills for effectively executing tasks.  Many examples and specific recommendations of books will be provided!

There are 3 stages of the executive function process: planning, self monitoring and problem solving.  When planning we envision the future and the sequence, and then we prioritize and organize the steps to achieve a future plan.  Essentially we do what is a called a "mental dress rehearsal."  Actors perform a dress rehearsal the day before the live performance and wear their costumes, move on the stage and speak their lines to pre-experience the action and make sure the transition between scenes are smooth. They make sure the costume and movements are comfortable and this pre-experience helps them to problem solve any possible glitches.  We can provide important practice for this type of experience as an executive function strategy for our students, while reading books.

Termed “Mimetic Processing,” individuals with strong executive function skills mentally MIME the future and use nonverbal working memory or mental imagery to see the future goal. This helps them visualize what they and what the task will look like. They are pre experiencing how they are moving through space and time to achieve this future goal.  For example, if the goal is to leave the house at 4:00 for soccer practice, students with good executive function skills, while still at the kitchen table, will do a mental dress rehearsal (or  be a MIND MIME). They envision themselves walking upstairs, going into their bedroom and taking out their soccer uniform from the 3rd drawer of the dresser, and their long soccer socks from the top drawer. Then they imagine  going to their closet to get their soccer bag and checking that their shin guards are inside before  walking back downstairs to the kitchen to fill up a water bottle.  Pre experiencing this allows a student to mentally work out any glitches and to be a beat ahead so that the minute they are upstairs and enter their room they go right to the dresser (instead of stopping to play Leggos!). This mental dress rehearsal of  achieving the goal, "ready for soccer in 10 minutes time," enables the student to avoid distractions and to stay on task and pace. If students struggle with forethought they often rely on a parent or teacher to repeatedly talk them through the steps and this results in reduced self-monitoring or meta-cognition during task execution.  

Non verbal working memory is an important component of these skills as it allows a student to ‘hold’ in mind the  mental imagery of a task to guide how they "see" themselves completing a task within a given time frame and in what content/space  they would achieve a goal or finish a task.  Verbal working memory presents in the form of inner self speech as the students talk himself or herself through the steps of the task. Visualizing and using gestures are  important strategies that we use while envisioning the steps of the process to be completed. Walk away from this webinar with these, plus many new strategies for use in conjunction with literature, to help build executive function skills in your students.


Sarah has over 25 years of experience in diagnostic evaluations and treatment of executive dysfunction. Ms. Ward holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Sarah is an internationally recognized expert on executive function and presents seminars and workshops on the programs and strategies she has developed with her Co- Director Kristen Jacobsen. Their 360 Thinking Executive Function Program received the Innovative Promising Practices Award from the National Organization CHADD.  

CREDITS: This training offers 2.5 cont. ed. hours for all, and Certificate Maintenance Hours (CMHs) for Speech Language Pathologists. ASHA accepts CMHs towards the 30 hours needed for re-certification. 


PLEASE NOTE: The information provided in this hot topic webinar may not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of Reading with TLC.  

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