The middle school years are often when a child’s views about school and its worth become set in stone. Middle school lessons place a greater emphasis on learning information and drawing connections to real-world situations. Preparation for this new setting is essential for students to succeed.
Here is a list of 20 activities students can do to help prepare them for the upcoming middle school transition.
1. Connect with your Middle Schoolers
By communicating with your students or children, you’re helping them to establish a strong and healthy relationship with you and others. By using effective communication, students’ attentive listening and understanding skills are improved. Here are 25 conversation starters for your middle schoolers.
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2. Middle School Transition Graphic Organizer
Upper elementary students that are about to enter middle school have many questions and experiences to look forward to. This activity allows students to share their thoughts and feelings about the transition and talk to and collaborate with others who experience similar emotions.
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3. A Combination Lock
A locker’s independence is a crucial aspect of a child’s development. Instilling a sense of trust and importance in the student’s possessions, ideas, and thoughts. Giving students a chance to practice opening their lockers will help them feel more at ease and confident on their first day.
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4. 5th Grade Binder Organization
Providing elementary students with a binder and working with them to develop organizational skills is a great way to prepare them for middle school. Students have an organized system for keeping track of their materials and locating their homework, saving time and effort.
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5. Create a Love for Reading
Building strong readers at any grade level will help with easy transitions throughout school life. This is primarily due to the importance of language development. As kids transition to middle school, it’s essential that they have a robust vocabulary and an enhanced ability to comprehend what they read and hear.
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6. Teach Mindful Communication
Open and closed communication is a great tool for developing interpersonal skills for 6-8th grade students. A good start is to make children conscious of how their words and actions affect those around them. Involving students in mindful interactions compels them to face fears and barriers to open expression.
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7. Respect Communication Between Elementary & Middle School Students
When you invest time in educating your students with soft skills like communicating respectfully, you create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the classroom. Students will carry this with them in hopes that it will inspire students to engage actively in their learning and future social interactions.
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8. Create a Study Plan
Study techniques can help lessen the stress associated with deadlines and tests. Therefore, improving these techniques in elementary and early middle school will help students to be more successful. This study plan is a great graphic organizer students can take with them throughout their academic journey.
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9. Teach Goal Setting
Instructing students in the art of goal-setting can help them develop analytical abilities, creative problem-solving skills, and a mature understanding of handling adversity. Students’ growing sense of self-assurance during the transition to middle school will benefit greatly from this.
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10. Study Skills Coloring Page
Elementary and middle school students are entering a new world with testing and deadlines. It’s vital to teach study skills. This coloring page will provide students with various studying tips. Have students keep it tucked away in their binders or print it on a large piece of paper and create a “study coloring wall”.
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11. Teach Cornell Note Taking
Cornell notes are one of the best ways for students to take notes. Elementary students may not be thinking about college, but teaching note-taking skills throughout elementary & middle school will help to get students on the right track for college.
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12. Following Directions
It’s crucial to practice listening to directions in everyday life. Following directions can impact grades, subject knowledge, and skill execution in a classroom setting. This activity is perfect for giving students an inside look at their direction-following skills.
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13. 10 Truths Middle Schoolers Must Know
Reading through these ten truths with your students will help them prepare and give them something to think back on when times get tough. Bonus: it takes practically zero prep time for elementary and middle school teachers.
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14. Teach Healthy Self-talk
Teaching your students positive self-talk can make all the difference between failure and success with their newfound independence. Positive self-talk has the ability to alter students’ perspectives, altering their behavior completely. It will help students to be successful in their endeavors as well as their challenges.
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15. Worry Hearts
Whether you want to make these yourself or have students create them, they’ll be happy to have the comfort with them. This is great for the beginning-of-the-school-year activities for middle school teachers or the end-of-the-year activity for elementary.
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16. Tiny Book of Positive Thoughts
Looking for a cute craft and keepsake to send your students off to 6th-grade or 7th-grade homeroom? This cute little book of positivity might be exactly what you’ve been searching for. Positive vibes and optimistic surroundings are essential for student progress.
17. DIY Fidget Toys
Students in grades throughout elementary and middle school LOVE fidget toys. Through the manipulation of toys, fidgeting helps children focus better, enabling them to focus on work in the classroom or online. Create your own for students to take with them to the next grade level.
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18. Virtual Middle School Tour
If you’re a 5th-grade teacher, then this video might be the perfect video to show your students in grades 5 and even 6. This is a great video to spark conversation with your kiddos about middle school. Your student’s future teacher will thank you for the preparation.
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19. Give Parents Some Prep Time
Elementary teachers have plenty going on. Use the collection of resources in this video to send home to parents! Have parents use this and their own content knowledge to help prep their newfound 6th or 7th graders for middle school.
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20. Fears and Faves
Listen to other students about all things middle school. From middle school teachers to school drama and making friends, video clips like this are great for students transitioning into middle school. This is one of those videos that will prepare students with problem-solving and listening skills.
Learn More: Spokane Public Schools