Executive Function Situational Awareness Observation Tool John, an 8th grader, is dismissed from class and leisurely walks towards his locker while, at the same time, the peers around him are moving quickly towards their own lockers. He tries to catch the attention of his peers, but many just give a quick dismissive smile and hurry to ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2014
Executive Function Situational Awareness Observation Tool
Author Notes
  • Disclosures: Financial: Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen have no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Disclosures: Financial: Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen have no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen have no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen have no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2014
Executive Function Situational Awareness Observation Tool
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, December 2014, Vol. 15, 164-173. doi:10.1044/sbi15.4.164
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, December 2014, Vol. 15, 164-173. doi:10.1044/sbi15.4.164

John, an 8th grader, is dismissed from class and leisurely walks towards his locker while, at the same time, the peers around him are moving quickly towards their own lockers. He tries to catch the attention of his peers, but many just give a quick dismissive smile and hurry to gather their belongings before the bell rings. Once at his locker, John starts to talk eagerly to the boy next to him, but he does not initiate gathering his class materials. The boy is quickly exchanging one set of binders for another and gives John a few head nods that are clearly sending nonverbal signals that he does not want to talk right now because he is focused on arriving to class on time. Regardless, John keeps talking and then the bell rings. He seems almost startled by the bell and shoves one book in his locker before absentmindedly grabbing another book and spiral notebook. With an unhurried pace, he heads to his next class and is the last to arrive. All of the other students have out on their desks a textbook, pencil and composition notebook. John walks to the back of the class, flips through the newest science magazine on the teacher's desk, then sits down and drops his books to the floor. Upon being prompted by the teacher to take out his book, he suddenly realizes he does not have the right book with him.

Class ends at 9:50. At 9:45, students are told they need to get ready to leave class. Sam stays focused on his worksheet and does not notice his classmates getting up and moving about in the class. Peers start putting away laptops and books in the computer cabinet and class locker and begin packing up their personal belongings. Sam did not appear to notice these subtle changes in the pace and movement of the class, and instead, stays focused on his worksheet. The teacher then announces to the class, “2 minute warning to save, finish up and store your materials. Then, take out your grade sheets.” Sam still does not respond. At this point, all the other students are packed up and ready to go and have blue cardstock grade sheets out for the teacher to write on. The teacher cues Sam, “Sam. Pack up please.” Sam still does not respond. The teacher approaches his desk and says, “Sam you are running out of time.” Sam replies, “UhHuh.” However, he does not change his behavior but remains focused on the worksheet, although he is not actually writing on it. All of the students have left the classroom when Sam finally stops working, leaves his worksheet on the desk and walks out of the classroom.

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