Being a 6th grader is super hard.  
New school.  New school structure.  
Less time for personalized attention during class.
New classroom structure.  Much faster pace.  Classes are approximately 58 minutes.
Organizational skills are essential.  
Your student(s) and I need your help.  

1.  Take a look at their Math notebook (spiral)
    *This is where we will put all of our math work.
    *There is a yellow HW stamp sheet
    *There is a table of contents.
    *There is a grading rubric.
*For Chapter 1, we are still practicing and learning this new technique of organizing information
into a notebook.  No official grading of notebooks will be done.  Starting Chapter 2, this part of 
class assessment will be engaged.

2.  They would benefit greatly if you would take about 1/2 hr once a week to check in                with them on their spiral notebook organization.  The weekend would be the                 best time when you are not rushed.
    *Use the table of contents to check pages with a focus on the BOLD section title pages and the                  HW pages in that that section.  This is where we begin and end each lesson.   
    *Our Warm Up each day set the stage for teaching time or contain review material.
    *Students have been asked to write down the warm up problems even if they do not know how 
                to do them.  
    *We WILL go over the processes and answers when Warm Up time ends.
    *There is a HW page for every section.  You can see on their Yellow Stamp Card if they are                            keeping up with HW.  HW is corrected and used as a learning opportunity for questions
                and explanations.
3.  ParentVue - Grades can be tracked here.  
                Setting up an expected standard with your student, checking once per week and 
                using  the results as an accountability measure that unlocks privileges has worked well 
                for many families.  Be consistent or accountability systems don't work.  Training can be
                uncomfortable for the trainer and the trainee at times.
4.  Hormones are beginning to rage.  
                Middle School can be some of the toughest years for students to maneuver.  
                Understanding the adolescent years in terms of brain development, social, emotional and
                physical developmental patterns can help with navigating this tough stage in life.
                As hard as you may try to tell them otherwise, some teens may feel awkward, ugly, and  
                insecure at times.  This may manifest as:  attitude, grumpy, tired, abnormally quiet,  
                behavior outbursts, and/or grade changes just to name a few.
5.  Stress Management 
                Teach your student coping skills when things don't go as planned.  Some ideas include:
                        a. slow down breathing, count to 10, think of something that makes them happy.                                b. envision what the situation might look like if it turned out successful.
                        c. allow "wait time" in life.  Challenging situations DO get better with time.
                        d. build stamina for dealing with "hard situations".  Learn how to problem 
                                solve instead of "freak out" and/or have "doom and gloom" thoughts.
                        e. build personal trust to recognize, accept and appreciate their strengths, personal 
                                challenges, and imperfections.  Model how to learn from mistakes to 
                                build confidence.
                        f. help them identify the people in their lives that they can lean on to share honest
                                thoughts and feelings without judgments or immediate problem solving.

 

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