Here are 10 essential ingredients for success in middle school.
The first step toward success in middle school is managing paperwork with a 5-folder system that manages paper flow in ALL classes.*
- To Do: that which needs to be completed
- Next, To File: graded assignments, test, and quizzes
- To Turn In: that which needs to go back to a teacher
- To Study: information that needs to be learned/memorized
- Lastly, To Recycle: obsolete papers of no use the student anymore
Use a paper calendar or the calendar in your phone.
- fortunately, most students keep close track of their phones, so it’s convenient to use its calendar
- often, paper calendars work better for some students, but it’s one more thing to lug around
- definitely, write down everything: homework, tests, sports practices, club meetings, family dinners, etc.
- lastly, check the calendar at regular times: before school, at lunch, after school, and before bed
Know your academic thinking style.
- first, your brain favors either What, Why, or How thinking
- also, your teachers’ brains are the same way
- so, their assignments, tests, and quizzes reflect their thinking styles
- and, certain thinking styles favor certain subjects in middle school
- without a doubt, develop all three thinking styles; know your teachers’ styles
Know your learning/memorization style.
- likely, your brain prefers to learn/memorize either visually, audibly, or kinesthetically.
- so, lean on your preferred style, and develop the others
Build successful relationships with teachers.
- first, visit them regularly
- second, ask how you’re doing in class
- third, ask how you can best learn and be successful
- also, even if you don’t have a question for yourself, ask them how their year is going
- middle school students who have strong relationships with teachers are more likely to have academic success. (article by the American Psychological Association)
Make your home conducive to learning.
- study in a place that works for you. Some students need total silence; others like ambient noise; and others prefer a little bit of activity in the room.
- your parents are interested in your academic success; feel free to make requests that will make studying at home work for you.
- don’t tolerate loud noises, interrupting siblings, or other circumstances that impede your study time. Ask nicely to make changes.
Cultivate healthy relationships with your parents and siblings.
- success in middle school depends largely on your home life (report by the Heritage Foundation)
Get your work done, AND have friends.
- positive social interactions foster academic success (post by Penn State University).
Practice effective study habits.
- study frequently for brief periods of time; don’t cram lots of information into long study periods
- give yourself a self-quiz every time a new concept is introduced; write down questions to ask the teacher in class
- develop your thinking and learning styles (3 and 4 above).
- reach out to other students for help; form study groups
Eat a healthy diet, and exercise.
*5-folder system to manage paper flow was taken with permission from the Academic Life Coaching Student Workbook, 3rd Edition, by John Andrew Williams, founder of Coach Training EDU.