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Inhibition, a component of executive functioning, is the ability to suppress attention to irrelevant input and to focus on pertinent stimuli or information. Students use these skills to successfully attend to lessons in the classroom and to filter out irrelevant information when reading and integrating information in texts. Inhibition is essential for Self-Regulation, allowing students to monitor and suppress inappropriate tendencies and behaviors. By helping students control both their focus and their behavior, Inhibition can support language, Composition, and Reading Fluency.
Inhibition occurs at two levels:
While the executive functions Inhibition and Working Memory are very much related processes and show similar developmental trajectories in childhood, they become more distinct processes as the brain networks involved in these processes become more specialized during adolescence.
Physically acting out a text or enacting major themes from texts enhances reading comprehension, particularly as texts become more complex.
Advance graphic organizers link prior knowledge to upcoming learning to help students anticipate and understand the structure of new information.
When annotating, students engage deeply with a text and make their thinking visible while reading.
Audiobooks allow students to hear fluent reading and experience books above their reading skills.
Students practice making and finding meaning in texts through book discussions moderated by teachers to varying degrees.
Checklists and rubrics help students understand expectations as they navigate more complex tasks and assignments.
When peers are able to work together to plan, draft, edit, and revise during the Composition process, their writing quality improves.
When students express information visually, they are activating more cognitive processes while problem solving and increasing their experience with alternate texts.
As part of a varied curriculum, explicit instruction in reading comprehension strategies from teachers can help older students use strategies meaningfully and flexibly.
Seeing and using new words repeatedly and in many contexts is critical for Vocabulary acquisition.
Explicitly teaching strategies for planning, writing, and revising texts improves students' writing quality.
Interpreting and composing discipline-specific texts requires tailoring literacy strategies, like annotating or asking questions, to the disciplinary goals and practices.
Teaching students how to systematically evaluate sources prepares them to navigate in an increasingly complex, digital world.
Increasing how much and how frequently students write improves both their writing quality and content knowledge.
Providing constructive feedback supports students' writing development by letting them know how to improve their writing.
As students move through multimodal stations pertaining to a particular unit, the social and physical nature of the activity supports deeper understanding.
Adding gestures and motions to complement learning activates more cognitive processes for recall and understanding, particularly within content area instruction.
Setting overall goals with actionable steps for achievement can help students feel more confident in their skills and abilities.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthens their recall.
During guided inquiry, teachers foster student autonomy by designing lessons centered on meaningful questions in which students locate, analyze, and present relevant information on their own or in small groups.
Having private or semi-private spaces where students can go to support Self-regulation and individual deliberate practice.
As students work with and process information by discussing, organizing, and sharing it together, they deepen their understanding.
Through short but regular mindfulness activities, students develop their awareness and ability to focus.
Brain breaks that include movement allow learners to refresh their thinking and focus on learning new information.
Instruction in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills and Background Knowledge that are necessary to remember procedural and content information.
Connecting information to music and dance moves enhances Short-term and Long-term Memory by drawing on auditory processes and the cognitive benefits of physical activity.
When students provide constructive feedback on each other's work, they learn to give relevant suggestions, receive specific ways to improve their writing, and engage in Metacognition.
Having students teach their knowledge, skills, and understanding to their classmates strengthens learning and increases Motivation.
Maintaining consistent routines, structures, and supports ensures that students are able to trust and predict what will happen next.
Providing guiding prompts and questions for students to use when reading or participating in discussions deepens their understanding of texts and gives them space to question and grapple with issues of power, justice, and equity.
When teachers provide students with model texts for their writing, they learn to identify effective elements to incorporate into their own writing.
Reading aloud to adolescents models Reading Fluency as texts become more complex and disciplinary in nature and therefore, more difficult to understand.
Teachers can provide individualized support through one-on-one conferences to assess reading comprehension, understanding of content, and spark further interest in reading.
When students explain to others, they deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning.
Student reflection on learning, particularly when done collaboratively, is critical for moving knowledge of content and strategies into Long-term Memory.
When students monitor their comprehension, performance, and use of strategies when reading and writing, they build their Metacognition and actively participate in the reading process.
Sentence frames or stems provide language support for students' writing and participation in academic discussions.
Transforming written text into audio supports learning by activating different parts of a learner's brain for comprehension.
During reading, giving students the opportunity to explain their thinking process aloud allows them to recognize the strategies they use, solidify their comprehension, and move knowledge into their Long-term Memory.
Think-pair-share encourages meaningful student discussion by allowing for extra processing time and multiple shares.
Writing conferences allow students to fully immerse, share, reflect, and receive feedback during the writing process, promoting Motivation for continuing the sometimes lengthy revision process that occurs in the upper grades.
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