Executive Function Strategies Blog

Annabel Furber

Annabel Furber

Annabel Furber is a Senior Level Executive Function coach and Supervisor with Beyond BookSmart. She also works as a college instructor and has a background in special education, psychology and neuroscience. She has experience in both educational practices and educational research. Annabel earned a Master’s degree in the field of Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Annabel believes in Neurodiversity—that each mind is as unique as a thumb print and no single approach to teaching is useful for all—and that learning challenges often accompany unique skills and talents that require an understanding of the impact of context, motivation, and personal goals. In addition to Executive Function coaching and supervising other coaches, Annabel conducts research and development for Beyond BookSmart. Annabel also serves as an instructor for CAST (Center for Applied Special Technologies) through the Mass Focus program, a graduate course aimed to instruct teachers on how to Universally Design for Learning (UDL).

Recent Posts by Annabel Furber:

Metacognition: The Power Behind Problem Solving

Meta is a Greek word indicating something that is beyond or after. Cognition is the act of thinking and comprehending. Together, the word connotes a complex experience whereby we can think about our thinking. It is a more conscious act than passively daydreaming, and more active than simply reflecting.  

Can Electronic Media Impact Your Teenager's Brain?


NPR’s Fresh Air featured an article and interview with neuroscientist Dr. Frances Jensen a while back entitled “Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains”. Within this discussion, we learn that while the frontal lobe brain structures in teens are “built”, they are far from fully-formed.  These structures are the parts of the brain that control executive function skills such as decision-making, organization, planning, prioritizing, and self-regulation, to name a few of the key functions.  The NPR article considers the impact of electronic media on teenagers and why it matters.

Academic Coaching in Action: Transforming Disorganized Students

As academic coaches, our goal is to teach students how to study and to provide them with tools, strategies and Executive Function support. This particular story is not necessarily one that happens with every student, but it demonstrates the power of coaching combined with a student who is open and willing to learning new ways to manage to their academic demands. As the old proverb goes..."Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."  We like to put our own spin on that saying as it relates to academic coaching: "Give a student a tutor and his homework is done for a day. Coach students to manage their work and themselves, and they will be effective for a lifetime."