5 things to do before finishing the 8th grade
The end of the school year is not far away, and students currently in the eighth grade will face a major change in their academic life next year, they will soon be high school students. 8th graders have to face finals week just like they did in years past but there are some additional things they can do to help them prepare for the summer as well as their impending future as a high school student. Whether working on organizational skills or self-motivation 8th graders can make their lives a lot easier by refining a few important academic skills before they complete the school year.
1. Effective study habits
Students entering high school will be expected to have pretty decent study habits. They will need to be able to sit down and start homework assignments on their own, take the initiative to ask questions or get help when needed, work effectively within a group, and so on. There are lots of changes going on in middle school and junior high but ninth grade teachers will expect a certain level of commitment from their students so it’s a good idea to start looking at study habits now and make any necessary adjustments over the summer.
2. Time management and organization
Another thing that’s incredibly important for 8th grade students to master is time management and organization. Students might have three hours of studying or homework to complete over the weekend but, if they’re disorganized, it can take forever. So many students don’t get things done on time or miss important deadlines because they lack personal time management skills. To be fair, most adults struggle with time management to some degree so it’s not to say that young students need to be perfect. Rather, they should set a reasonable goal for improvement and work towards it. Students who have at least some organizational skills tend to not only do better academically but also tend to be happier and more relaxed during this major transition (READ: 10 Reasons Why You Need a Summer Tutor).
3. Becoming a self-starter
In the 8th grade teachers will still check up on students on a regular basis and ask if they understand the assignment, if they need any additional help, or if they’re struggling. In contrast, 9th grade teachers will encourage students to be self-starters and take the initiative to ask questions without prompting. If 8th graders have one major goal over the summer it should be to learn how to speak up when they don’t understand something. Even if a student is uncomfortable asking a question aloud in class, they should get used to talking to the teacher after class or making an appointment to talk about challenging assignments.
4. Communication with teachers
Another really important factor of mastering the 8th grade is learning how to communicate with teachers. For instance, younger students generally say to a teacher “I don’t get the assignment” or “this doesn’t make sense”. That’s a good start because it lets the teacher know the student is struggling but, by high school, students should be able to specifically describe what it is they’re struggling with. For example, students can ask a question such as “I don’t understand the concept described on page 23” or “I don’t understand what specifically sparked (a particular war, revolution, or conflict)”. Specific questions definitely help the teacher figure out how to explain the difficult passage or concept to the student in detail.
5. Choosing good role models as friends
Another thing essential at this age is for students to start choosing friends based on their attitude and goals towards school and life. Most students stay at one high school for four years, so they’ll likely have the same classmates this entire time. However, students moving from 8th to 9th grade will have an opportunity to reinvent themselves and make new friends. Classmates who are serious about getting work done, ask for help when needed, and have a positive attitude about school are more likely to encourage their friends to do well and stay on the right track. Everybody struggles from time to time, but the desire to succeed will make a difference in any student’s life.
End the year strong with the help of our private San Diego middle school tutors. We have all the major subjects covered, and will help prepare your child as they make the big transition into high school.