Preparing students for middle school can be a challenge, but it does not have to be.
Check out these middle school prep tips to help students with the transition from elementary school to middle school. These tips are for elementary teachers, middle school teachers and families. It takes a village to raise a child!
- Teach students how to use a proper combination lock. I have met too many students who do not know how to use their locker lock. Have students practice this at home and at school.
- Teach students how to open and close 3 ring binders. Too many of my students don’t know how to use their binders.
- Model how to use binder dividers. Open and close the binder and show students how to place their papers behind the dividers.
- Show students how to write on 3 ring paper. Under a document camera, show them how to line up their sentences and write after the margin. Many students are unsure of which side of the paper to write on.
- Students need to learn how to write in blue or black pen. Fancy pink ink cannot be read by teachers!
- Using correction tape (whiteout) is also a key still. Too many students have broken my correction tape because they are unsure how much pressure to apply.
- Model what an organized locker looks like. Have lots of photos and an anchor chart. Give students concrete ideas on how they can keep their items organized.
- Explain to students that they need to learn to talk to their teachers and advocate for themselves, not just wait for their parents to contact the school.
- Students need to learn that there are due dates in middle school. They will not get an unlimited amount of time to complete their work.
- Students and families need help to learn how to develop a homework routine that works for them. Some elementary schools do not assign homework and then students struggle in middle school to get it all done.
Students need to be explicitly taught how to adjust to the transition from elementary to middle school. We often think that students will just “figure it out” but after 12 years of teaching middle school, I believe that we need to support students as they enter middle school. I hope these tips about preparing students for middle school are helpful for you. Check out these two other articles by Sara from Secondary Sara about this transition time. 5 Ways to Prepare Students for Middle School and 4 Ways to Prepare Primary Readers for Middle School.