Starting a new grade level can be a challenging time for students, especially if they are moving into middle or high school. As an educator, there are a number of ways you can help to ease the transition.
- Start off with some fun. Coming from summer vacation, students are used to having a lot of free time. In your first couple of weeks, try to use project- and game-based learning to introduce new topics and get students back in the groove. Here’s a video that explains project-based learning and another resource to give you some ideas.
- Add in some routine. Students typically adjust better when routines and rules are explained clearly and early on in the year. Balance your project- and game-based learning by establishing some daily and weekly routines for your class. You can find ideas on this Pinterest board.
- Loop in parents for additional support. Although there are varying levels of parent involvement, providing an avenue for communication early on can ensure that those who want to be involved know how. It can also help reinforce ideas from your classroom at home.
- Set up students for success. Once they are back in the groove, it is time to figure out who needs additional attention beyond your mainstream lessons. Administer a benchmark test to students that will identify skill strengths and weaknesses. For those with a small number of skill gaps, pair them with students who have strengths in those areas for group learning and tutoring activities.
- Close skill gaps. For students who are lacking a significant amount of skills at their age, be sure to get them into an intervention program that will teach them the content they’ve missed over the years. Diagnostic assessments that have automated prescriptions are a great fit because they assess what students know and only give students content that they don’t know.
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