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Fifth grade can be a turning point in the lives of many young students. For many students, fifth grade the final stopping point before continuing on to middle school and beyond. Fifth grade is one of the last chances that many students have to completely prepare themselves for the “world beyond elementary school” which can be a very different world.
The “world beyond elementary school” is a world in which learning is no longer just for fun but to eventually get you into a good college so that you can get a good job and have a good life. The “world beyond elementary school” is full of dreams of the opposite sex instead of just dreams about playtime and the fun things that you did in class that day. The “world beyond elementary school” involves challenging authority, challenging yourself, and finding out who you really are and how the world really works.
Teaching fifth graders, and teaching them well, is not simply about teaching them math, science, geography, and other subjects, it is teaching them how to think and not what to think. Teaching fifth graders is all about preparing them for the next stage in their lives.
Here are some helpful hints about what you, as a teacher or a parent, should be teaching fifth graders:
• Teach study skills. Encourage your students to use great
study skills for all subjects that they are learning. If they have
developed excellent study skills by middle school, it will be easier
for them to succeed in the years of schooling ahead of them. Middle
schools are unlikely to teach proper study skills.
• Encourage other good habits, as well. Teaching fifth graders is not just about teaching knowledge out of textbooks, it is also about teaching fifth graders how to lead a good life. Encourage fun activities that involve great exercise. Talk about healthful food and snacks.
• Extend what you are teaching fifth graders beyond information that will simply improve themselves, talk about what they can do to help the environment. Encourage recycling in your classroom and at home. Talk about water conservation and pollution. Talk about these things before your students start to form bad, wasteful habits.
• Embrace reading in your classroom. Help improve the reading skills of your students. Strong reading skills will help students a lot throughout the rest of their school lives. A strong appreciation for reading will also help.
• Teaching fifth graders to write well is extremely important. Writing is also a very important skill that can be a lifelong tool. It is important to help your students with their writing skills before they reach middle school, because once in middle school, classes will likely be fuller, and teachers may not have as often of a chance to give individualized attention.
• Focus your attentions on every single student, not just as a group, but as individuals. Do not only give positive attention to students that do well, give positive attention to everyone. Raised self-esteem of a student can help that student succeed. Have your students enter the world with confidence and with accomplishments that they are proud of.
Remember that teaching fifth graders skills should go beyond the
book. Fifth grade is an important milestone in many students lives
– make sure that your students are entering the next step
of their lives as prepared as possible. Teaching fifth graders is
an important job. -- by Sammi Ross.
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