I'm a first year teacher and I've been assigned 8th grade. My students will be the first set of 8th graders to make the transition from being at the elementary across the street to the high school where I will also be teaching 11th and 12th graders. I'm comfortable with juniors and seniors because I taught those grades exclusively as a student teacher for fifteen weeks after observing them for seven. 8th grade is another story... I was placed late and only got to observe the classroom for four weeks. I read an article recently about how middle school should be abolished because many teachers are not trained in how to prepare this age range properly for entering high school. I'm thinking (this being their first year in a new building and all) they will need extra guidance. Behavior, organization, and autonomy are some of the things I thought of focusing on. I don't really know what my question is. Where do I start? I'm going to ask for the contact info for the elementary teacher who taught them as seventh graders and ask to meet to look over her grade book and learn what I can from them. I'm familiar with CCSS, but not the daily running of an 8th grade classroom. I know the teacher I observed read aloud for 20 minutes and then also had them read silently for 20 minutes, but she had 80 minute class periods! I anticipate having to do a lot more monitoring and grading. Is that true? Many of the books I collected for my classroom library on not geared toward middle school students. What are a few suggestions? Resources? Point me in the right direction. Any help is much appreciated.