How to Engage and Guide Middle Schoolers
Maegan DeLeary, Special Education
According to the author, middle school can be a rough transition where students are expected to take more responsibility by their teachers and guardians. In the middle school students have several classes and more teachers for every subject and all together it can be overwhelming for students. This project was designed to help students and their families with different expectations and situations that may arise in school. Maegan designed a google site for parents and students to teach some necessary skills about their middle school routine such as how to stay organized, how to contact their teachers by email, how to work on assignments etc. This google site was created considering students with special needs. She claims this as a survival guide.
This website walks parents and guardians through their students’ classes, how to use the district LMS, and looks at it from students’ perspective. On the main page there are tabs for students and guardians for tips.
Under the student tab she mentioned three tips about how to stay organized. As students have almost seven classes, it can be difficult to remember the due dates to break up large projects.. Maegan explained the importance of writing down all the assignments, tests and due dates. A video was added here about a crash course study course , it’s a bootcamp. Some online planners ( google calendar, google doc for how to list, google weekly planner) were introduced with a video explaining how to use them. Once students add their work and due dates to their planner, the second tip was about how to organize the notes. For this, the author added a few videos about how to use google drive and use the color coding system, how to manage old work and stay organized with notes and documents.Along with this virtual filing, she also explained how to organize the paper notes and label those.As a third tip, how to access Haiku on students Chromebook to stay organized with the planner and todo list was explained. How to keep track of grades and missing work in powerschool and set notifications was explained in the second video. The last video was about how to access google calendar.
While contacting and emailing teachers, the author explained the tips and tricks about how to craft an email. Use of proper subject line, how to take responsibility and be respectful, and how to create and use the template for specific reasons was explained. She also suggested that students should check their emails on a regular basis.
About how to study, she explained how to stay on track, create a workplace with less or no disturbance, and to study smarter. Several helpful study resources were added on this page.
If students miss any of their work, Maegan suggested to track missing work, prioritize and schedule to finish it.These learning activities are independent such as creating their planner, creating email templates, and using the extra study tools and support ISTE 2a.
For guardians she explained to them how to help students stay organized. She suggested reminding students about their work and to-do list. Helping them with academics and asking specific questions and staying in loop was expected by guardians. She also talked about helping students to stay on track and find a better work area. ABout missing work she suggested it is best practice to talk with students and check for missing assignments often. This was supported by ISTE standard 2a as it embraces this standard by having a place for all guardians to engage in their students’ education while also increasing students’ independence.
I think organizing students’ work is important and to teach them how to stay organized and get advantage of technology for the same reason is also important. Maegan’s google site was very easy to navigate for students and parents with helpful links and videos.