Middle School: 6th-8th or 7th-8th?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Our school district is seriously considering reconfiguring our elementary and middle schools and changing them from K-5 and 6-8 to K-6 and 7-8.

    There is going to be major upheaval among the 6th grade middle schools teachers if they end up having to leave middle school and go to elementary sites to teach a self-contained class. Currently, 6th grade teachers either teach a language arts/social studies core or math/science core. The kids also have a P.E. teacher and an electives teacher.

    Our district is contemplating this change to save money and get rid of teachers.

    What is considered middle school in your district?
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Middle school is 6-8 for us.
     
  4. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    I grew up with middle school 6-8 but there is a huge district nearby that does elementary k-6, junior high 7-9, and high school 10-12.

    I've heard people argue passionately on either side.

    In my art field placements, I've had 6th graders at an elementary school and 6th graders at a middle school. I prefer the middle school 6th graders, they are really eager to learn. But others say that kids are growing up too fast and they should be kept at the elementary school longer.


    ETA: the elementary school used to have 6th grade only buildings.
    Another district I know used to have a 5th grade only building but now has k-5 and 6-8.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I went to a K-6 school for elementary, but I've only worked at 6-8 schools for middle schools.

    Honestly, I don't think it really makes too much of a difference. Where I'm working, the 6th graders are still treated the way we were treated as 6th graders in elementary school, and they're kept separate from the 7th and 8th graders in their own little wing with their own teachers, and they even have their own lunch period just for 6th graders.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I taught in a middle school that was 7-8. The one I went to was 6-8 but years earlier it was 7-9 and the HS was 10-12.
     
  7. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    I currently teach at a 6-8 middle school, but I went to a 7-8 middle school.
     
  8. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    In this part of the Central Valley, most middle schools are 7-8.
     
  9. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

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    I grew up K-6. When I was in junior high we were transitioning from 7-9 to 7-8. The district is still like that, but surrounding districts range from K-4 to K-5 elementary with all sorts of strange ways of grouping 5-9th grades. One nearby district goes as far as having K-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9, 10-12. Just like you, I've heard passionate opinions for and against all these.

    Elementary schools here are departmentalized in 6th grade. Many times 4th and 5th are departmentalized as well. They will still have the standard electives.

    The biggest difference from an elective teacher's point of view is that 6th graders are often too old to function well in elementary electives. The activity, materials, and set up aren't easy to make appealing to them. In 6-8 setups, the electives are often optional pick-and-choose things and are geared for older students.

    I've seen good and bad outcomes from several different approaches, so I suppose the best one is the one that works for your district. My old district would love to put 6th in the junior highs, but there's just not enough room for our growing populations to fit in those buildings.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    We've had all configurations.
    • 1-7 (elementary) & 8-12 (high)
    • 1-6 (elementary), 7-8 (middle), & 9-12 (high)
    • K-4 (elementary), 5-6 (intermediate), 7-8 (middle), and 9-12 (high)
    • 6mo-K (preschool), 1-5 (elementary), 6-8 (middle), and 9-12 (high)

    I've taught in both a 7-8 and a 6-8 middle school setting. I can't teach 6th graders. My certification is only 7-12. It was a big adjustment when we added 6th graders. For several years we basically had an elementary school downstairs for 6th graders and a mini-high school upstairs for grades 7-8. We have grade-level teams now, and the grades mix for one class per day. It's odd to see those tiny 6th graders in the room with 8th grade boys as big as grown men. One year I had an 11 year old and a 16 year old in the same classroom. :dizzy:
     
  11. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Where I grew up it was K-5, 6-8, 9-12.

    Here in Costa Rica it's K-6, 7-12.

    I guess I don't see that much of a difference. I was cool with the way it was designed when I grew up, and I'm fine with the way it is now. Although I think only having 7 & 8 in an entire school would be a little silly.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    If this ends up becoming a reality, it's going to create huge changes throughout our district. Many of our 6th grade teachers have only taught at middle schools and it'll be a major adjustment to move an elementary site to teach a self-contained class.

    As many of you know, I had a year-long stint at the middle school level last year teaching 6th grade language arts/social studies core. I can't imagine having the same group of 6th graders for the entire day. I liked the fact that they were able to have me for two subjects, then transfer to other teachers for math, science, P.E., and electives.
     
  13. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    The middle school I attended was 5-8, but I'm from a small suburb in NJ and my town only had one MS.

    I currently teach in a district where all MS are grades 6-8. K-5 is elementary.
     
  14. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    This is my nightmare.

    For the past 5 years I have only taught MS. This year I am teaching eight classes (four 6th grade and four 7th grade classes) and there is NO WAY I could survive if I had to teach any of them all day long. No way.
     
  15. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    :lol:

    I have the same 6th graders all day long! I love them so much.

    I don't really know how I feel about the structuring. My school is PreK-8, but we have a separate building for 6-8 due to over-enrollment. 6th lives in their own little wing and doesn't really mix with 7th or 8th. They are definitely more immature than the older kids. I think they would be the same way if we had the building configured K-6.

    They still seem like little people to me. The kids don't get scary until 7th! :whistle:
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would have to be moved to seventh or eighth as I am not certified to teach self-contained. So the change would suck.
     
  17. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Dec 6, 2012

    Middle school is 7-8 here.

    It used to be 6-8, but apparently it was way too crowded and there was a lot of harassment of the 6th graders.

    The current districting is:
    PreK through K - 1 school
    1-4 - 3 schools
    5-6 - 2 schools
    7-8 - 1 school
    9-12 - 1 school

    It works pretty well from what I hear. When I went, it was:
    K-3 - 5 schools
    4-5 - 1 school
    (then they changed it so that 6th grade was no longer at the middle school, and we had to go back to our elementary school for 6th grade, and made them the current districting)
    7-8 - 1 school
    9-12 - 1 school
     
  18. ATXMusic

    ATXMusic Rookie

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    So it's definite that you'll teach self contained classes in 6th grade if the move happens? I don't know of anyone around here that has self contained 6th graders. Regardless of which school they happen to be in. I can't think of too many places here that have 5th grade self contained, much less 6th grade.
     
  19. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Where I am middle school is generally considered 6-8. But, most of the elementary schools where I am still have 6th grade. The middle schools with 6th grade spend quite a bit of their day with the same teacher. This might have changed. I have not been in a middle school since 2004.
     
  20. Math

    Math Cohort

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    When I was in middle school the school consisted of 6-8. Now, as of two years ago the "middle school" consists of only 7 & 8. I believe if you are going to just have 7 & 8 it might as well be called a Junior High School.
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    In all the school districts I've been a student at or worked at, only 1 has been 7-8. One elementary school I taught at had 6th grade, but they changed classes for math, reading, and science/SS. I couldn't imagine having the same group of 6th graders all day long.
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    No--no one has mentioned anything to me about teaching 6th grade next year.

    If for some reason I have to teach 6th grade next year, though, I'll probably see if I can pair up with another teacher and s/he can teach math/science and I can teach language arts/social studies. When I taught 6th grade, I only taught language arts/social studies, so I know nothing about 6th grade math/science (obviously, though, I'd be willing to learn if I get placed in 6th grade). :)

    My preference is to stay put in 2nd grade. We all know, however, that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry! :(
     
  23. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Where I live middle school is 5-8.

    Where I teach right now it's 1-5 for elementary and 6-8 for middle (and a Kindergarten center for K).

    Where I was a LTS they switched from K-5 to K-6. The 6th grade teachers at the middle school taught language arts and math, and either science or social studies. They kept this same format when they switched to elementary. Unless there are only two sections per grade I would think you'd still be able to work it so that the teachers teach what they have always taught. Run the 6th grade on a more "periods" system even if the school as a whole doesn't. My husband teaches in a K-8 school and the 7th and 8th graders have periods and nobody else in the school does. Other than not having bells it works fine.
     
  24. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Exactly what I was thinking you could work out as well.
     
  25. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Elementary: K-4
    Intermediate school: 5-6 (departmentalized)
    Middle School: 7-8
     
  26. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Our middle school is 7-8. But we have an intermediate building that is 5-6.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    The district I grew up in had "junior highs" instead of "middle schools". The junior high schools were 7-9. High schools 10-12. Elementary schools K-6.

    Here in the district where i teach, middle school is 6-8.
     
  28. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    When I was little, it was K-6; 7-9; 10-12. They changed it when I was in 3rd or 4th grade to K-5; 6-8; 9-12. I personally attended a K-5 and a 6-12.

    Now almost every school in my district is a K-8 or 9-12. I work at the only 6-12.
     

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