The Myriad of Students' Needs in Sixth Grade
Are you aware of the issues your child's teacher faces in the 6th grade classroom? Here's how you can help out from home.
What You Need to Know
Issues teachers face in the 6th grade classroom:
- Attention span of middle-schoolers is not as great as it was in late elementary or as it will be in high school. Attention will wander through a lecture of any length, and a teacher's chances are hit or miss at best when employing it as a teaching strategy.
- Middle-schoolers often have very vivid imaginations that can be linked to concepts as abstract thinking develops, and thus purposefully channeled to maximize learning experiences. At this age, children are capable of problem solving in creative ways that lead to their own discoveries.
- Intellectual development is so varied among middle level students that one class may represent a whole spectrum of levels. This poses a challenge to to teachers, who must instruct according to a prescribed curriculum in accordance with state and national standards, in a room full of students at different developmental levels.
- Physical and intellectual development are occurring simultaneously, creating a need to move, touch, manipulate, and search for meaning and understanding through active learning over passive learning.
- Middle-schoolers are beginning to understand material as meaningful and useful in the context of their own lives, so lessons increasingly need to be framed to fit and relate to that context.
How You Can Help
- Provide your child with a nutritious breakfast and lunch for maximal alertness and minimal mental lag through the school day due to processed foods, too many saturated fats, and high levels of crash-inducing sugars.
- Revisit school material at home, make it relevant and easier to synthesize and relate to. A variation of instructional methods and approaches to keep learning active for your child, so encourage outside reading, visit museum exhibits, and watch television specials on the material your child is covering in school.
- Students learn more at the beginnings and ends of study periods, so schedule frequent breaks with healthy energy boosting snacks (e.g. raw fruits or vegetables) into homework and study time to maximize the information your child retains.
- Don't hand hold or give answers when helping your child with homework. Allow your child to apply critical thinking and creativity to solving his own problems.
For more on this topic, please see the full article:
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