6th graders-- middle school or elementary? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My school district decided suddenly, for money reasons, to move 6th graders from our 6,7,8 middles schools back to elementary schools. It seems like a lot of teachers are really upset about this, while parents are having a more mixed attitude.

What's your opinion?
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#2 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 01:09 AM
 
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Here(and in most places that I know of) 6th grade is in Elementary. Middle school here is 7, 8 & 9.

In my hometown they moved 6th grade up to the highschool(there is no middle school so Highschool is now from 6-12) a few years ago. This was due to there being more room in the highschool than the elementary school. Eventually all the grades will be in the highschool and there will only be 1 school for k-12.
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#3 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 01:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you feel about it? Do you think 6th graders are too young to be with the older kids? Is it a more appropriate learning environment?
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#4 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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I think it is more appropriate for 6th graders to be in elementary schools. I like how my town has it: Elementary is K-4, Intermediate is 5 and 6, Junior high is 7 and 8. I'd much rather see 6th graders at elementary than with 8th graders. That's a big difference in maturity.
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#5 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 01:42 AM
 
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Honestly, I don't think it matters- it's all what you're used to. When I was in school, I was in a district that had k-5 for elem, 6-8 for middle, 9-12 for highschool. Then I moved to a district that had k-6 for elem, 7-8 for middle, 9-12 for high. I currently live and work in a district that has the same set up - k-6. There is also a district nearby that has k-8 schools.

I currently teach 6th grade and in some ways, I think it's better to keep them in elem, some ways, it would be better to have them in middle. 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of another.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#6 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 01:54 AM
 
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I think that 6th graders should be in elementary. Many people that I know think 6th graders should have their own school - period! I don't remember it being an issue when I was in 6th grade, but apparently that's a huge transition age with puberty and all the hormonal issues that go along with it.

I like the idea of 7th, 8th and 9th being in one school, too, and then 10 - 12th grades.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#7 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 02:51 AM
 
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Honestly, I don't think it matters- it's all what you're used to.
I agree. I went to a K-8 and then 9-13 for HS (that's right, Ontario Canada had a Gr. 13 as college prep way back when). It never occurred to me there was another way to do it. I thought it was kinda cool though, the Gr. 8 kids would have mentoring sessions with kids in the youngest grades.
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#8 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 05:05 AM
 
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I think that is wonderful. I taught 6th frade in a 6-8 middle school for 6 years and after about 2 of those years I realized the middle school model is failing our adolescents. They are NOT mini-high-schoolers, as middle schools often treat them. They are children who need more individual attention and consistency in their day. I hated only seeing my students for 40 minutes at a time. I never got to know most of them. The middle school years are so challenging for kids and they need more guidance than a typical middle school can provide. Now I teach in a K-8 school and the 6-8th graders are so much more well-adjusted and cared for in this environment.
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#9 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 09:40 AM
 
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Where I grew up 6th was the last year in elementary. Middle school was 7-9 and high school 10-12. When we moved here elementary goes up to 5th and 6th is in the middle school. I thought it was wierd. I think it is better having 6th grade in the elementary school because of the kids maturity level. They don't have the classroom space here to change it even if they wanted to.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#10 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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How do you feel about it? Do you think 6th graders are too young to be with the older kids? Is it a more appropriate learning environment?
In this town I would say so because there are so many kids. But in my hometown no I wouldn't say they are too young. In my hometown there are roughly 500-600 kids from K-12 and you know everyone in the grade above & below you and often those in grades further up/down. They do some separation of 6-9 and 10-12. they have separate sections of the school and if you are in the younger section or older section & a teacher sees you they do question why you are there. It isn't extremely strict but they do encourage the 10-12's to stay in their areas where their classes are and the 6-12's in their areas. It is also more enforced at the beginning of the year than in the middle or end of the year.lol

I don't think it is really any different than having a K class around a 6th grade class.
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#11 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that is wonderful. I taught 6th frade in a 6-8 middle school for 6 years and after about 2 of those years I realized the middle school model is failing our adolescents. They are NOT mini-high-schoolers, as middle schools often treat them. They are children who need more individual attention and consistency in their day. I hated only seeing my students for 40 minutes at a time. I never got to know most of them. The middle school years are so challenging for kids and they need more guidance than a typical middle school can provide. Now I teach in a K-8 school and the 6-8th graders are so much more well-adjusted and cared for in this environment.
I agree, I went to a K-8 school and I really loved it. I teach in a middle school and I feel like the kids here feel like they have to be mini-highschoolers because they are in a middle school. There is more sex, drugs, etc. I won't say this is the only factor, of course, but the next town over where there are k-8 schools, it seems like they know they are supposed to be children still. I also liked (as an 8th grader) having projects to do with the little kids like "chaperoning" field trips and reading buddies. I think that if kids go to a 6-8 middle school, they decide they are supposed to be dating and wearing lipstick and rebeling in 6th grade. If they go to a 7th/8th junior high, it happens in 7th grade. Maybe it doesn't matter. The 6th graders seem so innocent and I think they need less teachers in one day.

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I don't think it is really any different than having a K class around a 6th grade class.
I'm not sure I agree. The 8th grade girls that call my 6th grade dss seem like women. Make up, push up bras, etc. It kinda freaks me out. I wasn't freaked out about 6th graders when he was in kinder!


We had a parent meeting and a teacher was supposed to give the pros and cons of both models, then he said he couldn't think of any advantages to having 6th graders at elementary. The parents certainly could!

I think as an educator, I do like the 6th graders here at middle school. It sweetens our campus and dilutes a little bit of the attitude of the 8th graders. We also try to give them a transitional year so that they have the same teacher for reading/literature/ social Studies and another for math/science. We guide them and baby them so they can be successful as 7th graders. Also, at a 7.8 school, fully 1/2 of the students are new each year so the culture of the school is constantly changing and adjusting. Parents don't feel so attached to a school they are only with for 2 years.


But, there are plenty of strong emotional reasons to keep our kids in elementary school. Some just don't feel ready. Some need one teacher all day.
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#12 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 04:55 PM
 
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But, there are plenty of strong emotional reasons to keep our kids in elementary school. Some just don't feel ready. Some need one teacher all day.
My girls are in Grade 3(actually a 3/4 split) and K. Tirza(the older one) has only had 1 teacher all day for K(aside from the French Teacher). The rest of the grades she has had different teachers. This year she has 5 or 6 teachers(including the French one)
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#13 of 18 Old 03-13-2007, 06:56 PM
 
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I went to 6th at a Jr High, but we were a totally seperate part of the school (in portable buildings), and really did not interact with the 7/8's, so it was like we had our own school- own lunch, own recess, they switched classes and we did not... we had one main teacher, but switched for reading and math based on ability level. It was a memorable year. Then I moved, and went to a standard 7/8 Jr High.
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#14 of 18 Old 03-14-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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Personally, I'm a HUGE supporter of the K-8 school, which a lot of our local public schools are. I think "middle schools" are a proven bad idea, whichever years they are randomly picked to cover.

We're moving in a year or two, and if our district doesn't have a K-8 school I will probably homeschool during those years.
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#15 of 18 Old 03-17-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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Our district is wrestling with this issue as we speak. There are several areas of the district where the elementary schools are very crowded so they believe the answer is to move the sixth graders to middle school. We have junior high schools now (7-9). I saw my dd mature in so many ways in 6th grade that she would not have been able to had she been in middle school. The City where I work has middle schools and those sixth graders look about 16 wheras mine looked 12.
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#16 of 18 Old 03-18-2007, 03:47 AM
 
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I taught in a middle school for 3 years, and a k-12 building for 3 years before that. I HATED the middle school. I love teaching that age group, but I think the 6th graders are too immature for the 7th and 8th graders. I think that elementary should be k-6, then a jr. high (7th & 8th), and then a sr. high. Even the differences between my 8th and 9th grade students (and former ones) was huge. Too much to justify putting them in the same building - but it might be a better match than 6-8.

The building I taught in kept the 6th graders self-contained until it came time for PE/music; then it was as if someone opened the flood gates and let the caged animals out! They need some more downtime like a typical elementary building, and even at the end of their 6th grade year, too many students are STILL not ready for the standard class schedule of 7-12.

Jen, SAHM to Jamie and Alexandra and with #3 in May
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#17 of 18 Old 03-24-2007, 04:40 AM
 
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My oldest has spent most of his school years at a k-8 school model. We really like it. The older kids get more individual attention and have a sense of social responsibilty. They realize they are the role models for the rest of the school.
Unfortunately, at our current school we aren't convinced that it'll work for 7th grade academically, and will be sending him to a 7/8 middle school. However, I'll miss the social aspect of the k-8.
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#18 of 18 Old 03-24-2007, 09:19 AM
 
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Our district is K-5, then 6-8, then 9-12.

The district we open enroll to is K-4 (elementary), 5-6 (middle), 7-8 (jr. high), and 9-12 (high). They are getting ready to bulldoze a couple of the schools and re-build bigger ones. The new set-up is suppose to be K-5 (elementary), 6-8 (jr. high), and 9-12 (high).

I personally prefer the middle school setting, but that is what I was raised in so that may be why. My older three will go through the middle school setting, but my youngest will be under the new setting by the time he gets to that grade. I guess I will have to see when it happens.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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