PBS NOVA’s School of the Future examines the leading innovations in American schooling. The leading idea presented in Early Childhood education is a focus on the development of “executive functioning”. Young children must develop their capacity to control their impulses, access their memory, control their thoughts, plan, and work toward goals.
One lesson I use to help students develop their executive functioning is a slow-race. I read the students the book, “Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth”, by Eric Carle- a story about a slow but content sloth. After reading the story, students are instructed to see who can be the slowest child to complete a task, such as washing their hands or setting-up their napping place.
Controlling their impulse to hurry is a lesson the children enjoy, and a lesson with life-long benefits.