ADHD/Executive Function and Literacy: Roots, Effects & Strategies, Tracht, Summer 2019 (St. Johnsbury)

Course Number: EDU 6710 CFS3 (Graduate) EDU 4710 CFS29 (Undergraduate)
Instructor: Debbie Tracht, MA, Literacy; CAGS
Location: St. Johnsbury School, St. Johnsbury, VT
Dates and Times: August 5-9, 2019 from 8:30-4:30 with the remaining 5 hours of the course online.
Credits: 3 graduate or undergraduate credits
Tuition: $975

Note: Course payment of $975 by check or purchase order, payable to Castleton University, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form and the purchase order can be uploaded to the registration form. If paying by check, please mail the check to: Financial & Registration Services, Castleton University, 62 Alumni Drive, Castleton, VT 05735. To help us ensure that your payment is applied to the correct course, PLEASE WRITE “CFS” IN THE CHECK MEMO LINE. Thank you.

Course Description

In the past few years, there has been an increase in the diagnosis of ADHD and a frequent use of the term ‘Executive Function.’ There is a great deal of overlap between the terms, ADHD being primarily a disability of executive functioning, and both are poorly understood. Concurrently, our schools have increasingly adopted an inclusion model, creating classrooms with a wide range of skills. Many students in our schools have executive function challenges, but may or may not fall into any categories for which they would receive special services. This leaves classroom teachers with the responsibility of recognizing skill deficits related to executive functions that may be causing some students to fall behind or struggle in literacy, specifically reading and writing.


ADHD and Executive Function in Literacy, a 3-credit graduate course, was designed to provide an understanding of Executive Functions and ADHD and the important role they play in literacy skills.  These skills, including planning, focusing attention, managing frustrations, processing speed and working memory impact academic tasks such as reading and listening comprehension as well as writing. Behaviors caused by ADHD and/or EF challenges may look like laziness or defiance, particularly when work becomes so overwhelming that students ‘spiral out of control’, sometimes shutting down completely. The goal for this course is to develop an understanding of these challenges, thereby providing a new lens through which to view these students. You will learn simple strategies that will allow students to access content and demonstrate understanding.

Course Goals & Objectives

  1. To identify and describe core characteristics of ADHD and Executive Functions
  2. To demonstrate understanding of the impact of gender, stress, trauma and poverty on Executive Functions
  3. To demonstrate understanding of the impact of Executive Functioning on reading, including decoding and comprehension
  4. To demonstrate understanding of the complexity of Executive Function skills required for the task of writing
  5. To learn and apply strategies to increase reading and writing success for students with weakness in executive functioning
  6. To demonstrate understanding of the impact of processing speed and working memory on reading and writing

Required Texts

Costs for required texts, if any, are not included in the course tuition.

 Executive Function in the Classroom: Practical Strategies for Improving Performance and Enhancing Skills for All Students, 1st      Edition by Christopher Kaufman Ph.D.

Getting Ahead of ADHD, by Joel Nigg, Ph.D

Assorted articles that will be available online

For additional course information

Debbie Tracht
(802) 349-7222

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!