Managing the Move to Middle School

Below is an article called Managing the Move to Middle School by Anita Gurian, Phd. Anita Gurian, Ph.D., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine.

As the end of the school year draws to a close, this might be a helpful read for both you and your parents.

Middle school means lots of changes in the lives of kids, and some worry about making the move. What do they worry about?

“I’m afraid there’s much more work and much more homework.”

“There are classes in different places, and we may not have enough time in between to get there.”

“I worry about getting my locker open.”

“I hate changing clothes for gym with other kids watching.”

“How am I going to keep the assignments from different teachers straight?”

As children progress through different grades in school they face different challenges. Educators and mental health professionals agree that there are certain critical transition points which can be particularly stressful and require special support and understanding. The move to middle school comes at a time when kids have to deal with lots of other changes.

Social changes: Almost everything about the school day changes, including the social climate. Newly entering students may be separated from their friends and may not be prepared to deal with pressures coming from older students. Peer acceptance becomes critical at this age, and they have to start over in a less-structured environment with new people. In addition, the classroom climate changes from the supportive setting of a single classroom with a single teacher to a less intimate classroom atmosphere. Students rotate through classes with a number of teachers who have different teaching styles and expectations.

Academic changes: Class work is harder, homework demands may increase, and assignments are more varied. Grading standards and procedures are different. Students need to stay organized, manage time well and function more independently, perhaps maintaining a daily or weekly planner for the first time. They have to manage daily assignments while planning for long term assignments. The exposure to diverse content means they have to integrate information from one content area to another, such as reading a book for language arts that may affect a topic in social studies.

Physical changes: In addition to the social and academic adjustments necessary during the middle school years, most kids also experience the onset of puberty, which requires adjustments in their perception and understanding of the changes in their bodies. They may become more self-conscious and sensitive, and experience intense emotions and mood swings at this time.

How parents can help

The transition to middle school may be rocky for both parents and kids, and families should be sure to continue to be involved in their children’s progress. Middle school students are not yet ready for teenage independence, and they need their parents to help them with this transition.

To help familiarize your child with the new procedures, you may want visit the school together to map out his or her classrooms, practice using the combination lock, or talk to a staff member about the rules.

Keep hands off assignments; instead, act as a guide or resource for children. Discuss possible ways to do the assignment, but don’t actually do the work.

Since there is usually less teacher-initiated contact with parents in middle school, make it a point to meet your child’s homeroom teacher or academic advisor at the beginning of the year.

Network with other parents and consider being a classroom volunteer or PTA member. Hearing that other children are having the same problems, or how someone in the past resolved a similar issue, can help put problems in perspective.

If homework keeps the child up well past the usual bedtime, despite the fact that the child is putting forth his or her best effort, discuss the issue with the teachers involved. The aim of both parents and teachers should be to prevent parent/child homework conflict and to help the child avoid feeling incompetent.

If your child experiences social, academic or homework difficulties, include the child and teacher in open discussions about the specifics of the problem and in developing solutions.

School Closure – Friday 5 April 2010

Hey there Room 231’s!

Flickr Photo Download_ Sorry We_re Closed

attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tommy-ironic/61969725

I know it’s very disappointing that our school is closed again and that some of you will be missing out on taking part in the Songkran Ceremony.  I was looking forward to watching you perform it too.  We must keep everyone safe though – so I hope those of you that live downtown are keeping safe and well.


Some of you have been keeping up-to-date with the class blog.  Those of you who haven’t, there’s still a chance to earn “Hellyer Bucks”.  Read this post on how. Don’t forget to leave a comment in this post or yesterday’s post.

Here are some things that you can do today:

#  Read a book (at least 90 minutes – ‘cos that’s 45 minutes of normal class reading + usual homework)

#  Log onto Math Investigations (click here if you’ve forgotten how to log in or check the wiki (learning links) for the link.  Logopath is in the Student Resources

  • Use LogoPaths Free Explore to build different types of hexagons.  Record the steps in a blog post on YOUR own blog – not in the comments below please.
  • Draw polygons without using degrees that end in 0 or 5.  Don’t forget to record the steps and write a blog post on your own blog about how you did this – What did you have to think about?  How did you work it out?
  • Use Polygon Pairs (not Free Explore) Draw 3 pairs of polygons.  Are the polygons in each pair similar or not similar?  Explain how you know.  Be sure to include the tools you used (Label Turns, Label Lengths, Overlay commands) to help you decide.
    Take a screen shot (apple, shift 4 – on a mac / how to take screenshot on a PC) upload the screenshot to our flickr account and then use it in a blog post on your own blog please. Don’t forget to include the answers to the questions about whether they are similar or not similar.

#  Your Realistic Fiction story does need to be finished completely.  You”ll have a whole week to publish your story on your blog.  Please remember that this is a published copy – you need to double check your spelling and your grammar.
If your story is at school – then you will need to finish it for homework during the first week back at school.  If you have your flash drive with you, you can work on your story, and get it up on your blog – it can remain in draft form if you are not happy with your story and want to work on it some more.
(Do not copy and paste straight from Word – remember the blog does not like the code inside Word – copy and paste into text edit and then copy and paste from text edit to your blog)

#  If you’re looking for other things to do ….. check out our learning links on the classwiki – there’s a tonne of math, spelling, grammar and reading links for you to enjoy!

Happy Songkran everyone – enjoy your week off – be safe and take care.

Ms H

School Closure – Thursday 8 April 2010

Flickr Photo Download: Sorry We're Closed

attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tommy-ironic/61969725

Hi there Students of Room 231.

No doubt you all enjoyed going back to sleep when you discovered that school was closed today.  If you are checking this blog today – well done – there will be “Hellyer Bucks” for those of you that leave me a comment on this post telling which activities from the list below you completed!

Things to do:

#  Read a book (at least 90 minutes – ‘cos that’s 45 minutes of normal class reading + usual homework)

#  Log onto Math Investigations (click on Math category to see post how to do that if you’ve forgotten or check the wiki (learning links) for the link.

  • Use LogoPaths Free Explore to build different types of hexagons.  Record the steps in a blog post on your blog.
  • Draw polygons without using degrees that end in 0 or 5.  Don’t forget to record the steps and write a blog post about how you did this – What did you have to think about?  How did you work it out?

#   Have a go at creating a math tutorial using Screen Toaster.  You could teach your classmates a favourite strategy for solving 3-digit multiplication/division or how to find equivalent fractions, simplify fractions – anything you like.  Screen Toaster is fun and easy.  Try it out – see what you can create!  Then I’ll show you how to embed it in your blog when school opens again.

#  Have a jolly good look around for any of those books that are overdue on the Learning Hub Overdue list that I posted yesterday.

#  Work on your PSA (if you can)

#  Write a reflection on your blog about a strategy that has been helpful during our Historical Fiction Unit of Study. Explain if it was useful – How was it useful? What did you realise when you used the strategy?

#   Work on your Realistic Fiction Story.  I know most of you won’t have your writing with you – some of you may have your flash drive – but I know most of you won’t.  But you do know what needs revising.  You could try writing a scene “fresh” without seeing your original writing – it might make your writing clearer!

Above all else, stay safe, enjoy the day and please – at least do some extra reading today – for me!

See you when school opens!

Ms H

Overdue Books from Learning Hub & Bookroom

Help!  Ms H has 85 titles OVERDUE on her checkout list!

PLEASE pretty please check your bedrooms, under your beds, in your bookshelves, in your lounges, everywhere and anywhere at home to see if you have any of these missing titles.  Bring them back to school as soon as possible please!  No questions asked!

LIBRARY MATERIALS

Due: 1/25/2010

“Once upon a starry night : a book of constellations”

“Oceans”

“Dew and frost”

“Everyday insects”

“Nothing beats a pizza”

“The fairy tale life of Hans Christian Andersen”

(These were all from our Non-Fiction Unit of Study)

Due: 9/23/2009

“Maniac Magee : a novel /Level V”

“Matilda / Level S”

“The Birchbark House Level T” (4 copies)

Due: 1/27/2010

“Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret / Level T”

Due: 1/29/2010

“Junie B. Jones and her big fat mouth : Level M”

Due: 4/8/2010

“Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day : Level M”

Due: 11/12/2009

“The midnight fox / Level R”

Due: 3/18/2010

“Number the stars / Level U”

“Wringer / Level U”

Due: 3/18/2010

“Number the stars / Level U” (3 copies)

“Heartbeat / Level W”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Chasing Redbird Level V”

Due: 3/24/2010

“The case of the class clown / Level M”

Due: 10/15/2009

“Just Grace / 12 copies/ Level S”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Song Lee in Room 2B / Level L”

Due: 3/24/2010

“Song Lee in Room 2B / Level L”

Due: 10/15/2009

“Class clown : Level O”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Henry and Ribsy / Level O”

Due: 4/8/2010

“Operation, dump the chump : Level O”

Due: 3/24/2010

“Let’s fly Wilbur and Orville! : Level M”

Due: 3/24/2010

“The Littles go to school : Level M”

Due: 11/12/2009

“Tales of a fourth grade nothing : Level Q”

Due: 3/24/2010

“Cam Jansen : the first day of school mystery / Level L”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Amber Brown goes fourth : Level N”

Due: 1/27/2010

“Marvin Redpost : why pick on me? : Level L”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Crash / Level V”

Due: 3/24/2010

“The quilt story / Level L”

Due: 9/23/2009

“What would Joey do? : Level T”

Due: 1/27/2010

“The Paint Brush Kid : Level M”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Boy : tales of childhood / Level T”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Walk two moons / Level W”

Due: 1/27/2010

“The tiger rising : Level T”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Hoot : Level W”

Due: 3/18/2010

“Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society : Level T” (6 copies)

Due: 9/23/2009

“Edward’s eyes : Level S”

Due: 4/8/2010

“A case for Jenny Archer : Level M”

Due: 4/8/2010

“Sidewalk story : Level N”

Due: 4/8/2010

“The talented Clementine : Level O / NF”

Due: 1/27/2010

“Ivy + Bean : Level M

Due: 9/23/2009

“The talented Clementine : Level O / NF”

Due: 4/8/2010

“Catwings return : Level N”

Due: 1/27/2010

“The great Gilly Hopkins : Level S”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Twin Trouble : Level M”

Due: 9/23/2009

“How I survived middle school collection : Level S Volume 1”

Due: 3/18/2010

“The Mary Celeste : an unsolved mystery from history /Level T”

Due: 3/18/2010

“The Mary Celeste : an unsolved mystery from history /Level T” (6 copies)

“Almost late to school : and more school poems /Level O”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Don’t make me smile : Level P”

Due: 3/24/2010

“Mostly Monty : Level M”

Due: 3/18/2010

“A year down yonder : Level V” (7 copies)

Due: 4/8/2010

“The phantom mudder : Level N”

Due: 1/27/2010

“My name is María Isabel : Level N”

Due: 3/2/2010

“Julie : Level U”

Due: 3/24/2010

“Horrible Harry and the ant invasion : Level L”

Due: 4/8/2010

“Amber Brown sees red : Level O”

Due: 3/24/2010

“Cam Jansen : the barking treasure mystery /Level L”

Due: 9/23/2009

“December secrets : Level L”

Due: 9/23/2009

“Loser : Level U”

Due: 4/8/2010

“Why? / Level N”

“Number the stars / Level U” (2)

Due: 3/24/2010

“Marvin Redpost : super fast, out of control! /Level M”