3 Ways Your 8th grader can prepare for 9th grade!
By Amanda Alessandria and Michelle Alessandria
The transition between 8th and 9th grade can feel very daunting for many students. High school tends to have more assignments, tests, and readings which contribute to student stress. Knowing how to prepare for 9th grade is vital.
In fact, a good 9th-grade performance can build momentum into a strong next three years. Having real conversations with your students about some difficulties they may face and providing them with strategies will lay a good foundation.
Here is a good place to start!
#1 – Stay Organized!
If your student is disorganized, the transition between 8th and 9th grade is the perfect time to implement new systems. Organized students are more likely to turn work in on time and are prepared for long-term deadlines such as tests, projects, and essays.
Find a system that works for you and stick to it!
It does not matter whether or not your student likes to use apps, paper, or whiteboards to organize, the key is consistency! Check school portals, make a checklist list of what you need to do, including long-term projects, and cross them off when completed.
Great Organization Apps: Remember the Milk, Todoist, OneNote
Assignments and classwork are easy points that can only boost your GPA. Even if you missed an assignment, turn it in late and make sure to email your teacher reminding them you turned it in.
The night before
Spend 5 to 10 minutes every night before bed and make sure your binders, books, homework, and charged computer are all in your backpacks before you go to bed. (you can put the computer in your backpack while it is charging overnight – just unplug it when you are ready to go).
#2 – Strong Study Skills!
One way high school differs from K-8 is its emphasis on tests. In some classes, tests are worth up to 80% of the total grade. Bottom line, just being smart will not cut it anymore, developing good study habits is essential for 9th-grade success. Here are some of our favorite study skills you can share with your students.
This method is highly effective because it is the best way to mimic the feeling of taking a test. While rereading something feels like studying, it is too passive an action and harder to remember for a test. Quizzing is a good way to see which concepts are specifically challenging and which concepts are mastered. See if the content is already on a site like Quizlet or create handwritten flashcards. Offer to quiz your student and spend extra time on the challenging concepts.
Explaining concepts to others is an extremely effective way to recall information. This is actually called the Protege Effect: more neural pathways are created that will help students recall these concepts upon test time.
Space it out
By spacing out study session days or weeks before a large test, the information is easier to recall. The information gets stored into long-term memory; scientists refer to this phenomenon as the Spacing Effect. By retrieving memories on different days, they get better encoded in the brain. The more times this information is recalled, the easier it is to retrieve it for an exam.
#3 – Set Goals
There is nothing wrong with having big dreams and goals. Goals can motivate students during the school year. If your student shares an academic or personal goal with you, help them find tangible ways to achieve the goal. For example, if your student wants an A in Spanish this year, support them in creating a study plan and using the strong study skills from above.
When you set goals with your student at the beginning of the year, not only do you learn what they might be interested in, but you can find ways to support them in their goals.
A combination of these 3 techniques is a surefire way to prepare for 9th grade and making it an outstanding year.