Executive Functioning: What it really means, and how to apply it in your classroom tomorrow!

The path to learning and a calm classroom, remote or in person, is a calm brain. The disruption of our students’ routines during COVID-19 has had a serious impact on their executive functioning skills – the core of SEL. As our students continue to learn online, or return to the classroom, it will be more important than ever to equip them with the skills to self-regulate, understand each other, and develop the brain functioning and social skills that will help them adapt and succeed.

Join our expert panel of teachers and neuroscientists in this virtual 2-day workshop about executive functioning in young adolescents. Explore the key science & research behind executive functioning – including the impact of trauma, autism, & ADHD. Uncover the most effective executive functioning strategies for students of all abilities and ages. And understand the myths and realities around executive functioning – including educator learning pearls, and practical strategies you can apply with your students tomorrow!

May 15-16, 2021, 10:00 AM -2:30 PM ET Each Day

See the “Schedule” tab for a detailed syllabus

Why learn about Executive Functioning?

Who should take this workshop?

Do you have students who continuously blurt out in class? Students who act out towards you or other students for what appears like no reason at all? Students who can never seem to remember their books or other materials? Students who consistently don’t turn in assignments? Students who are easily distracted or have a hard time sitting still? If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, then we hear you! This 2-day workshop is for you!

One surprising fact about the brain will explain a lot about your students!

Interestingly, it turns out the front part of the brain (which controls our impulses and tempers our emotions) does not fully form until age 21. There is a brain-based reason why your students literally cannot control their impulses fully, and in this workshop we will arm you with tools to better support all of your students in their executive functioning development.

Why do your students need specific instruction in Executive Functioning?

In a world with increasing distractions, sources of stress, and information to process, the brain needs a way to manage and organize the information. Executive functioning is a set of skills that enables us to manage multiple sources of information, develop plans, and stay focused. We are not born with this innate ability but develop it as we grow and learn. Without these crucial skills, your students cannot accomplish several crucial tasks including:

  • Controlling impulses
  • Complex problem solving
  • Developing and adjusting plans
  • Recognizing and remediating mistakes
  • Setting, monitoring and achieving goals
  • Emotional self-regulation and control

About Brain Power

AMLE has teamed up with Brain Power to offer this one-of-a-kind event for educators. The Brain Power team is composed of neuroscience PhDs, medical doctors, experienced teachers, world-class software engineers, managers, employees with autism, and an overall diverse and passionate team! Together, our team is driven to make education more equitable and ensure that every child has a chance to become who they want to be!

Registration Rates


  • AMLE member: $199.99
  • Non-member: $249.99

Team (up to 10):

  • AMLE member school: $549.99
  • Non-member team: $849.99

In addition to two full days of content, your registration also includes:

  • Your Executive Functioning Playbook
    • 20 Executive Functioning strategies to support your students in the classroom
    • 20 Executive Functioning strategies to support your students remotely
    • Printable resources for both you and your students
    • Resources to support parents at home
  • Additional research, articles, and recommended reading
  • Certificate for 10 hours of Professional Development

What can I expect?

In this exciting virtual conference, you will hear from the Brain Power team, Superintendents, Special Ed. Directors, child psychiatrists, and other experts in the field to explore the fascinating topic of Executive Function through different lenses. Each day will include a Learn, Discuss, Apply model where you will have the opportunity to digest valuable content, brainstorm and share your thoughts with other educators, and apply practical strategies that you can take away and use in your district and classroom the very next day! Below are some highlights you can expect from each day:

Day 1: The Brain Science of Executive Functioning & What it Means for You

  • Welcome
  • Session 1: What is Executive Functioning?: An Insider’s Guide (10:15 AM – 11:45 AM)
    Get an insider’s look into Executive Function with Brain Power founder and CEO, Dr. Ned Sahin, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh, MD. In this session, you will explore the Brain Science of Executive Function, as well as simple ways of measuring Executive Function.

    • Discussion (11:00 AM – 11:15 AM)
    • Practical Application Workshop (11:15 AM – 11:45 AM)
  • Keynote: Brad Brooks, Director of Special Ed – North Middlesex Regional School District (12:00 PM – 12:45 PM)
    Hear from North Middlesex Regional School District’s Director of Special Education as he speaks on the topic of supporting both new and veteran educators in their profession. Learn about real-life scenarios and take away strategies from Mr. Brook’s own personal experience in the MA school system over the last 28 years.

    • Q&A/Discussion (12:45 PM – 1:00 PM)
    • Practical Application Workshop (1:00 PM – 1:15 PM)
  • Session 2: What should Executive Functioning Look Like in Your Classroom? (1:15 PM – 1:45 PM)
    Veteran educator, Rebecca Berry, and Brain Power’s Michelle Donahue invite you to explore some of the most common myths related to Executive Function in the classroom. Additionally, you will learn about Executive Function specifically in relation to YOUR students! What should Executive Function look like for the students in your classroom?

    • Discussion (1:45 PM – 2:00 PM)
    • Practical Application Workshop (2:00 PM – 2:30 PM)

Day 2: Practical Executive Functioning Strategies for your Classroom

  • Session 1: Challenged Students: Executive Functioning in the Neurodiverse (10:00 AM – 10:30 AM)
    Brain Power founder and CEO, Dr. Ned Sahin, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh, MD, will explain the damaging effects that trauma can have on students’ executive functioning capabilities. Additionally, you will learn about executive functioning deficits in neurodiverse students, specifically those with Autism and ADHD.

    • Discussion and Practical Application Workshop (10:30 AM – 11:00 AM)
  • Session 2: Challenging Moments in the Classroom (11:00 AM – 11:30 AM)
    Hear from educator, Rebecca Berry, on the topic of classroom behavior. Are your students simply acting out, or is there an underlying cause related to executive functioning? Additionally, Rebecca will share some teaching points from her years of experience working with special education students and inclusive classrooms.

    • Discussion and Practical Application Workshop (11:30 AM – 12:00 PM)
  • Session 3: Deep Dive into Executive Functioning in the Classroom (12:30 PM – 1:15 PM)
    Our workshop will end with a deep dive into some of the proven tools and strategies to support your students in their executive function development in both the classroom and remote learning environments. Take away time-saving strategies that you can apply with your students tomorrow! What Really Works: Proven Strategies for your Students.

    • Discussion and Practical Application Workshop (1:15 PM – 2:00 PM)
  • Conference Wrap Up (2:00 PM – 2:30 PM)
    Attendees will hear from Dr. Ned Sahin and the Brain Power team on some highlights from the weekend. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to share their thoughts of the weekend, and will receive a preview of the Executive Function Playbook and Certificate of Completion (both to be sent to participants after the workshop).

Your Weekend Presenters

Dr. Ned T. Sahin, PhD
Harvard and MIT Neuroscientist; CEO of Brain Power, LLC

Dr. Sahin was trained in neuroscience at Harvard, MIT and Oxford. His academic work has been published in journals such as Science and Nature Neuroscience, and his PhD dissertation won the prize for the best dissertation across all departments at Harvard that year. At MIT, he won several teaching prizes. Dr. Sahin founded Brain Power, LLC to bring neuroscience ideas and technological innovations to people with special challenges who can directly benefit from them the most.

Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh, MD
Brain Power Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Vahabzadeh is a Harvard Medical School based physician, trained in both medicine and psychiatry. He is the former Chair of the Council on Communications of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and a consultant to Khan Academy, Neurolaunch, and Anthem. Dr. Vahabzadeh has published extensively in clinical neuroscience and neurobiology, and has over 20 awards, including from the APA and the American Medical Association, Chief Medical Officer.

Michelle Donahue, M.Ed.
Brain Power VP of Education and Online Learning

Michelle brings to Brain Power over 10 years of inclusion-model classroom experience in Massachusetts public schools. She has extensive experience with curriculum design (Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the Common Core) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). For the past two decades, Michelle has worked with children in some capacity, and now combines her passion for helping students succeed with her enthusiasm for EdTech innovation.

Brad Brooks
Director of Special Education, North Middlesex Regional School District

Brad Brooks has worked his entire 28 year special education career in Massachusetts in a variety of roles including paraprofessional and teacher at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown and later in a special education collaborative setting as a teacher, lead teacher and building principal. He transitioned to a public school special education administrator in 2012.

Brad’s goal of the NMRSD special education department is to meet the unique needs of our students with disabilities through the delivery of high quality special education services, for the district to be transparent and informative with parents/guardians on the special education process and to be responsive and accessible should issues arise.

Rebecca Berry
Special Education Liaison, North Middlesex Regional School District

Rebecca is a graduate of Fitchburg State College (University), and has 25+ years of experience as a Special Education Educator. She has co-taught as an Inclusion Teacher in the middle school setting. Rebecca was instrumental in inception and creation of the Comprehensive Learning Classroom at Nissitissit Middle School. The Comprehensive Learning Classroom is a sub-separate program designed to meet the intensive needs of students with various disabilities specifically, with deficits in working memory, processing speed and executive functioning skills. Additionally, Rebecca has served on School Council Advisory Committees, was part of a Social Emotional Learning- COVID Reentry Focus Group, and is currently undergoing an Administrative Internship.