• Glossary & Resources


Free Worksheets & Executive Function Resources

Download the free time management worksheet by Effective Students to improve time management skills. The My Available Time exercise by Effective Students is perfect for students, teachers, and parents. In the download you’ll get a time management worksheet template,  an example worksheet and a lesson plan.

Effective Students Academic Glossary

Grit is the ability to persevere when things get difficult.  Academic Grit is the ability to persevere with academic tasks when they are difficult.

Popularized by Angela Duckworth’s Ted Talk, the concept of youth developing grit is a key indicator of an individual’s long term success.  A person’s ability to respond to challenges, setbacks and problem solve to overcome them is a marker of a growth mindset and one worth developing in our children.

Students who struggle in school may have a negative perspective on academics. They often benefit from an academic coach to re-engage with academics to put them on the path to develop academic grit.  While it may be easy to say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” but in reality, when aspects of academics are difficult, it can be a turn off to even the brightest students.

Good academic coaches help students build academic grit by equipping them with the skills to problem solve, encouragement to persevere and the curiosity to self reflect.

When a student knows how to set academic goals, identify obstacles and evaluate their resources to improve outcomes.   A student who is academically independent is willing to evaluate areas of difficulty, strategize, ask for help and put in the work.

An acronym for one of the most common neurological disorders diagnosed among young children, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; symptoms include difficulty focusing, daydreaming, fidgeting, lack of impulse control and an overall inability to concentrate.

Example: Marie is struggling to complete her homework without getting distracted due to having ADHD.

Related reading: ADHD & Executive Functioning

The first step on the path to being alone.

Example: While parents can often see what their children are/aren’t doing and how it impacts them, the trouble with ‘being right’ can alienate teens and make it difficult for them to take suggestions.   Telling my student how to be successful (since I was right) was always my priority as a parent — that changed when I started listening to my child about their struggles in school. 

Describes circumstances in a person when two conditions appear simultaneously. In context with ADHD, this term is sometimes used to refer to an individual who also experiences learning differences and/or struggles with executive functioning. At Effective Students, we typically refer to overlapping conditions as those that “walk together”.

Example: Examples of learning differences that are frequently comorbid include Dyslexia and ADHD, ADHD and Executive Functioning, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder to name a few.  Comorbidity can occur but is not always the rule. 

Being polite, kind, and respectful.

Example: The courtesy my teachers have displayed toward me throughout my learning challenges has helped me appreciate them as members of my learning team.

The act of judgment; leads to division and disengagement and ultimately giving up.

Example: When Shelby is criticized for things that are challenging for her, she loses the motivation to keep trying and wants to give up. 

Responding to information in proportion.  For example: big problem big response, little problem little response or even better, big problem controlled response.

Example: Kaitlin demonstrated emotional control when she learned she was not able to sleep over at her friend’s house and calmly asked her mom if she could just go for dinner.

The ability to regulate both your own emotions and perceive the emotions of others around you.

Example: Calvin demonstrates a high level of emotional intelligence in his ability to manage his disappointment related to his low test score. 

Believing in someone and telling them.

Example:  Thanks to the encouragement I received from my academic coach, I am willing to tackle the tasks that are difficult for me because I know that with practice, I can get better.

Failure is an event where the outcome does not meet expectations.   Each failure is a learning opportunity.  Failure can take us one a step closer to success.  When we don’t learn from failure, we get another opportunity.

Being able to make changes comfortably, even in your thoughts. (opposite of rigid).

Example: Flexible thinking allows students to adjust their approach to learning or solving a problem without feeling overwhelmed or ‘stuck’. 

The process of looking ahead to see what is coming your way; time must be set aside to forecast and plan; leaders make their own lists.

Example: Calvin was able to set aside enough time to study for his test because he learned how to forecast, plan and prioritize through Effective Students.

Goal setting entails developing an action plan around designed to encourage and guide a person or group toward a specified outcome. Goals are considered more deliberate versus desires and intentions. Therefore, goal setting refers to a person who has devoted thought, emotion, and behavior towards attaining a specific outcome.

Example: By goal setting with her Academic Coach, Alexa resolved to first concentrate on improving her grade in math class, the subject she described as being the most challenging.

Perspective that everyone is learning with strengths and weaknesses; to develop a growth mindset one must consider that setbacks and failures that are critical components of  success.

Example: Developing a ‘growth mindset’ finally helped me have the courage to look at what I was not doing well.   Being willing to learn from my mistakes helped me keep trying.  I have since stopped comparing myself to others and concentrate on where I need to focus my efforts. 

A parent who constantly shadows their child and frequently inserts themselves in tasks the child needs to complete on their own or with some coaching to develop independence.

Example: Tanya’s teacher has seen signs her mother is a helicopter parent because she is packing her backpack for her on a regular basis. 

This term refers to behavior of acting before thinking, usually getting the person who does it into a bit of hot water.  Also known as – blurt, ready-fire-aim, squirrel, hey – watch this…

Example: Sunny struggles with impulse control and often shouts out the answer in class before raising his hand.

The practice of forgetting that everyone else is usually doing the best they can; it’s a lack of perspective of oneself and the divider of relationships.

Example: Marshall’s father used to rush to judgment when he came home with a bad grade — now he understands how divisive this was to their relationship.

Sometimes referred to as ‘learning disabilities’, learning differences is considered a more affable term to describe a common condition where students may have challenges comprehending core subject areas such as math, reading, and other related fields; sometimes referred to as “learning challenges”.

Example: Lindy’s learning difference means she has to learn the material in a different way but is not a reflection of how smart she is.  When this is not understood it can hinder her ability to show her intelligence.

Refers to the process of recovering lost education after a gap or major disruption occurs with traditional academics.

Example: Remote learning was very challenging for Breonna. Now, she’s considering enrolling in a class over the summer to improve her grade and make sure she masters the material. 

Related reading: Learning Recovery and the Role of Executive Functions

The method of interacting with another; showing respect and presumed competence; creates a safe space for learning and self-awareness.

Example: The loving kindness Tina receives from her parents gave her the encouragement she needed to keep trying.  She has since learned to overcome her learning challenges with academic coaching.

In the context of executive functioning, mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Example: In order to be more aware of what’s happening in class, Alex is practicing mindfulness.

The enemy of learning; refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.

Example: Struggling with perfectionism, Toby has difficulty finishing papers, projects and tests. As a result, he often misses deadlines.

Looking ahead to see your responsibilities/fun, choosing to complete tasks in an efficient order to achieve success.

Example: Planning & prioritizing helped Diego see his responsibilities, complete his homework and still have enough time to play video games before dinner.

According to the American Psychological Association Dictionary, Practice Effect is when: “any change or improvement that results from practice or repetition of task items or activities.”  Have you ever heard a sports coach or music teacher say, “how you practice is how you will play”?  Well, practice effect is actually a thing! More importantly, we can use this tool to teach students how to test themselves before they go into take a test in class as part of Study Actions.

The process of doing something more than once.  Repetition improves retention of material, particularly if a student is retrieving information according to Make it Stick: the science of successful learning by Peter C BrownHenry L. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel.  We help students make it fun by measuring their improvement with each try.

Presumed competence and dignity of self and another person(s) and their choices.

Example: Students and parents are able to achieve more together when there is a level of respect on either side.

The beginning of learning; cannot be developed in the presence of criticism behind which is judgment.

Example: Students are inhibited from developing self awareness when they are criticized because they expend their efforts defending themselves instead of learning from their mistakes.

Self care is comprised of the steps we take to take care of ourselves.  Adults and children alike encounter daily stressors.  Self care is what we do to make sure our tanks are full, we take time to rest and recharge to strike balance of work and play in our lives.   Self care is an important value to teach kids, especially those who have to work harder to focus or overcome a learning difference.

“Self-leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objective/s” (Bryant and Kazan 2012, Self Leadership – How to Become a More Effective, and Efficient Leader from the Inside Out).

Related: Our Effective Student Athletes training program will develop self-leadership skills critical to succeed at the next level.

Being aware of yourself, your emotions and performance.

Example: Benjamin doesn’t realize when his mind starts to wander.  His academic coach is helping him become aware of his own thinking so he can self-monitor and skillfully choose to direct his thinking. 

A parent who is prone to removing obstacles that are perceived to impede their child’s success, often as it applies to academics but can also be applied to sports or fine arts. Parents may deem any person or any thing as a potential obstacle that needs to be removed.

Example: Tanya’s  mom was referred to as a snowplow parent because she requested a transfer following her daughter’s conflict with the teacher.

The process through which the learner applies the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals. SEL is also used as a means to experience and display empathy for others, foster and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and compassionate decisions.

A multisensory activity, using repetition to demonstrate knowledge on an assessment; the difference between learning and reviewing — reading is not a Study Action™.

Example: Effective Students trains students to use Study Actions™ to improve retention of key academic concepts so they can prepare for and performance well on assessments.

Starting a task, often in relation to school or assignment.

Example: Robert has learned to initiate easy tasks first and has significantly reduced the number of late assignments.

Sometimes abbreviated as ‘2e’, this term is used to describe a gifted student who also has some form of learning disability or difference. Twice exceptional students are often highly intelligent and creative, while also exhibiting a learning disability.

Example: Although Simon has ADHD, he has the most creative ideas and a fantastic sense of humor; his teachers consider him a twice exceptional student.

In the context of executive functioning, working memory holding information in your brain while adding more information, combining the two parts to solve a problem.

Example: Mom told her Benny to go upstairs to get ready for bed, brush his teeth and pick out his clothes for tomorrow.  Benny went upstairs and saw his brother (squirrel) and did not remember the rest of what his mom asked of him.  His working memory was being taxed so the next day, his mom gave him a sticky note with a list and he was able to look at his note and follow through.



Available upon request


Available upon request


Available upon request


Counseling Practices

Summer Camps

Social Skills Groups


Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved 1st Edition

by Russell A. Barkley (Author)

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential

by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

For Younger Children

The Executive Function Series by Julia Cook

Planning Isn’t My Priority

Study Skilled…NOT!!!

I Can’t Find My Whatchamacallit

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: A Growth Mindset Book for Kids to Stretch and Shape Their Brains by: JoAnn Deak, PhD.

Are you interested in learning more about how The Effective Student™ Method can help you or your student?