Monday, February 22, 2010

You Can Succeed in Middle School

Spring is almost here, and that means that it is almost time to send our 5th grade students on to middle school. To prepare our 5th grade students for this journey, I begin with a middle school study skills curriculum during the month of February. We are using a curriculum from Sunburst called You Can Succeed in Middle School. It includes a video about the changes that 5th graders will experience in middle school, and teaches the students organizational skills that they can use to stay on top of their homework and activity schedule when they get to middle school.

In our guidance unit we are focusing on the organization skills, so that we can continue to practice things such as making a monthly calendar, using your assignment planner throughout the rest of the school year. In 5th grade the students begin to have more long term projects due in their science and social studies classes, so this is a great time for them to begin to settle into a organizational style while they still have the support of their elementary teacher.

The video also addresses changes that will happen socially, such as making new friends and joining after school activities. The 5th graders are really excited to start middle school next year, and this curriculum will hopefully give them the preparation they need to be successful academically and socially as they start this new chapter in their lives!

Another great place to look for information on how to prepare students for middle school is on the "I Can" website, sponsored by the Iowa College Access Network. The "I Can" website focuses on preparing students to go to college, but the middle school section has some great advice on preparing students for the work load in middle school as well. Plus, it's a great way to begin introducing college into the conversation and connecting how the skills they learn now will help them in middle school, high school, and beyond!

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