Princeton High Teacher Helps Language Impaired Students Succeed
The Executive Functioning and Emotional Regulation Program is one of 12 projects across the district that received a PEF Mini-Grant during the 2012 -2013 academic year.
For the past 10 years Janet Felton has worked as a speech-language specialist at Princeton High School. Last fall, after attending a workshop on executive functioning – the set of skills we use to plan, organize, initiate, and complete activities - she shared what she learned with her colleagues in the Princeton Public School District. The workshop was full of useful student-friendly tools to assist students in managing their emotions, their time, and their school assignments.
Executive functioning skills help us to sustain our attention and persist in the face of frustration. For many of Ms. Felton’s language impaired students, concepts regarding time, time management, and self-regulation need frequent reinforcement. It is important to provide easily remembered cues for students to use when expressing themselves, especially in writing assignments. With school budgets already in place, Ms. Felton turned to the Princeton Education Foundation’s Mini-Grant program to secure the funding needed to bring a variety of these tools into her classroom through the Executive Functioning and Emotional Regulation Program.
“What has been really exciting about introducing these materials to my students is learning which ones help build up the students’ confidence in expressing themselves. I have been discussing these tools with the District’s Student Services office and have made suggestions to incorporate a few of them at the elementary and middle school levels, so that students can get the benefit of these organizational tools earlier in their schooling,” said Felton. One especially helpful tool is a simple string of seven colored beads that helps students remember the important components of telling a story. Another “helps students organize their homework tasks by using SMART, a conceptual framework that stands for Sheets, Materials, Actions, Resources and Technology,” continued Felton, who works along side many teachers in the classroom to integrate these time management skills when the students participate in classes alongside their peers.
Felton received an $876 Mini-Grant from the Princeton Education Foundation to buy materials for she and four other teachers she is training. The Executive Functioning and Emotional Regulation Program is one of 12 projects across the district that received a PEF Mini-Grant during the 2012 -2013 academic year. PEF established the Mini-Grant program to help fund innovative classroom projects that teachers wish to try in their classes.
Among the many projects funded this year are elementary level reading initiatives, middle school applied science and technology projects and enhancement of a high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program with Mindstorm Robotics.
PEF was established in 1995 to serve as a bridge between our community and our public schools -- encouraging private philanthropy to enhance public education for students at all levels. Since its inception, the Princeton Education Foundation has contributed more than $1.2 Million to the district for capital improvements, educational programs and teacher support.