There are many transitions when students leave elementary school, but getting organized in middle school presents many challenges. Fortunately one school is giving their sixth graders some help.
“Bear Essentials” was launched this year by Robert Stuart Middle School. The name of the program is a tribute to the school mascot. It is a required class which covers topics of organizing for middle school, such as setting goals, organizing work and supplies, and setting expectations. For many students, this is a big change from elementary.
“We have historically just expected them to figure it out,” Principal Amy McBride said. However, she pointed out, organization and goal setting were never actually taught.
Students each use a binder using divider tabs with pockets. They label two pockets for each class, so there is a place for assignments that are immediate, and a place for other things they will turn in later. They use a sheet for each classs to track their homework assignments.
In addition, all sixth grade classes except for science, are held in the same wing, reducing stress on sixth graders for changing classes and socializing.