Lower Division Goal Setting
Developmentally, Lower Division students move from an egocentric view of the world to a growing awareness of the opportunities that surround them. With this newfound awareness, children begin to identify interests and are attracted to preferred activities. Parents play a role, providing opportunities for students to develop interests through home-based and afterschool activities. In Lower Division, this is where the goal setting begins as students identify affinities, the areas of interest that they enjoy.
The affinity goal project is introduced early in the year. Students select an activity of interest, referred to as a student affinity, and set a goal for improvement. Affinity projects have included a range of interests, from climbing to cooking to robotics. A mentor is selected to offer expertise in meeting the goal. The mentor can be a family member, coach, or adult friend. Homeroom advisors guide students in the selection of an affinity and partner with parents in supporting students in meeting their goals. In term 4, students present affinity projects to classmates, reflecting on the process of setting and working toward a goal.
As students move through the division, the focus on goal setting continues with the affinity project in each class and, in fifth-grade, moves to identifying school challenges and associated goal setting for improvement. This process begins mid-year and is guided by homeroom advisors, who work with students to set attainable goals and identify strategies for attainment of those goals. Regular meetings with advisors support students in developing awareness of progress toward their goals and determining the effectiveness of a chosen strategies to meet goals. As students move to Middle Division, a foundation for the goal setting process has been established.
Author: Miriam Skapik, Head of Lower Division