Going from 8th to 6th grade...what to expect?

Discussion in 'Sixth Grade' started by mrsnikki, May 18, 2011.

  1. mrsnikki

    mrsnikki Companion

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    May 18, 2011

    I am switching grades from 8th down to 6th and am a little nervous. I am not sure what to expect and would like to hear about their personalities and work habits? I am so used to 8th graders and I have no idea how much difference their will be between the two grades.
    I want to start off the year strong and have them be responsible students by the end of the year so that they are successful in the upper grades. Other advice is of course always appreciated!!


    Thanks!!!
     
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  3. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 18, 2011

    I've been teaching 6th grade this year after doing most of my subbing and ST in grades 7-8.

    The biggest difference I see is the maturity level. Most 6th graders are still very much elementary students. Even though it's only a difference of two years, there is a big difference in the maturity between the age groups (generally speaking).

    Also, 6th graders usually have NOT developed the self-discipline to take notes or study on their own before tests. I had my students keep math journals this year. Their instructions were to write down any notes, examples or definitions I wrote on the board or that were in the book. Then do the assignments on that section in the journal as well. The goal was to have them create their own study guide with notes and examples followed immediately by practice problems on the content. That worked for some students, but I found most of them did NOT write down things I put on the board unless I specifically told them "Write this in your journal". And very few of them ever used the journal as a study guide.

    I spoke to our AP about this, because she was the 6th grade Math/Science teacher before becoming AP. She said she had to write out the notes herself that she wanted them to take, then basically have the students copy them off the board from an overhead projector.

    At least in 8th grade, they can be expected to do much of that on their own.

    Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my kids, but I have to constantly remind myself they are NOT 8th graders and I need to bring my instructions and lessons down a notch so they can understand it better.

    The biggest difference, I suppose, is that 6th graders must be taught how to lay the foundation of work and study habits they will need in the higher grades while 8th graders have already begun developing and improving those skills.
     
  4. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    May 18, 2011

    Everything that Cerek said!

    I have also found that many 6th graders have trouble with organization. They came from having one teacher to having several and have difficulty with keeping their binders organized and having the right materials for the class they're in. We have one teacher who focuses on teaching students organizational skills.

    They also have trouble with time management. They need help with learning to spread out their homework assignments and not procrastinating. Since my homework is usually a week or two long, I tell them each day what should have been accomplished the night before.
     
  5. mrsnikki

    mrsnikki Companion

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    May 18, 2011

    This is great information!!! Thank you guys so much! I had not thought about how much I would have to constantly verbalize what to do and then remind them again!
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2011

    I spend most of my time teaching the study skills that they will need as they age. I teach my students how to take notes from lecture, from their textbook, from other sources. We practice SQ3R, outlining, and creating graphic organizers. We learn the two column notes for study guides so we can fold the paper and study. We learn how tests are organized, the questions to ask when tests come up, and to review our tests when we get them back.

    We also work on organization: color coding all supplies, having supplies, and keeping a binder.
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    May 26, 2011

    You have an advantage coming from 8th - you know where they need to be in a few years. This was my first year teaching 6th and I was surprised by their lack of independence. They still need a lot of structure and guidance with organization and time management. I expected WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY too much from them at the beginning of the year, and was often frustrated. Once I realized they needed me to TEACH them how to organize their time and belongings, things started to go much smoother.

    I am moving to 1st next year, and am thrilled about the change.
    6th graders are fun - they have a lot of spirit - but I'm more of a primary teacher.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sep 4, 2011

    This is my first year teaching 6th grade. I moved up from 2nd grade and I'm truly amazed that I'm able to use many of the same management techniques that I used with my little ones. My kids were very disorganized during the first two days of school, so I realized that I needed to model, model, model (just like I did with my 2nd graders). Just explaining my expectations wasn't enough--I had to give them a demo of what things should look like, etc.

    Sixth graders are neat--they're really discovering themselves at this age yet they're still pretty excited about school.

    I was expecting to see a lot of kids having crushes on each other. So far, boys think girls are icky and the girls think boys are equally icky.

    I'm sure I'll see lots more changes as the year progresses, but so far I'm loving it.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 5, 2011

    Enjoy this while it lasts--soon your room will be a sea of hormones :D.
     
  10. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Sep 5, 2011

    I agree! Most of the girls enter grade 6 as little girls and leave as boy-crazy young women. The boys for the most part, enter playing legos and leave still playing legos. That makes the girls so frustrated.
     

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