Executive Functioning GOAL group in Fifth Grade
All Lower School Wildcats are taking part in GOAL (Growth Opportunities for All Learners) groups this year. Yesterday was the final group meeting for the First Grade group that Nancy Lamb and I were privileged to facilitate, and we were very proud of our group members for their listening skills and improvement in following directions the first time a teacher gives them. Throughout our time with the students, we used games and activities to help them practice, practice, practice their listening skills. The next round of GOAL groups will begin in the coming weeks.
Fifth Graders have begun their second round of GOAL, and I am again privileged to facilitate a group. I have eight eager Fifth Graders ready to work on their executive functioning skills. We’ll gather in my room for approximately 12 meetings before spring break. Tuesday’s initial meeting was honest, fun, and eye-opening. The students filled out a self-assessment in their workbooks, and they discussed their strengths and weaknesses related to writing in their agendas/planning books. One student reported, “I don’t have to write anything down because my mom remembers everything for me.” Although students agreed that it’s nice for parents to help children remember which days are soccer practices and when big projects are due, they admitted that it’s time for them to be responsible and take ownership of their schedule. They need to plan out their long-term projects. They need to keep track of extracurricular commitments. They need to keep their classroom cubbies organized. They need to quickly prioritize assignments. Sixth grade teachers — and future employers — will not accept the “my mom forgot to tell me to do it” excuse.
Executive Functioning is a GOAL group that teaches specific organization and management skills for success at school. Throughout the sessions, students will learn about effective materials management, time management and planning, study strategies, goal setting, decision making and problem solving, and how to use their own learning strengths as an advantage in school. Our objective for this group is to build a firm foundation of the particular systems and behaviors that are the building blocks for success in school and in life.