I visit the 5th graders in May with some live examples of students that survived the transition (current 6th graders) They help me review a ton of information with the kids and answer most of the student questions.
We also have the current 6th graders make videos for the 5th grade about a variety of topics that introduce Middle School and talk about the differences. Here is an example of 1 of them:
We hold Camp Middle School in August. We invite all of the incoming 6th graders and their parents. Kids and parents attend sessions, some together some separate. The kids have a school-wide scavenger hunt to find places they need to know, they have locker relay games and they meet their teachers. The parents get a lot of information about the structure of Middle School and changes to expect in their child. We end up having about 95% participation.
For the locker relay the kids learn their combinations and then take turns in a team to see if their team can all finish first. The teacher also walks them to their furthest possible class and then says they have 5 minutes to walk to their locker and open it and go to their homeroom. If they are confident in their abilities they can even stop for a drink or to use the bathroom. The kids take this very seriously, but have a great time.I never thought of doing mini-videos about different sections of the school. I do have my Get Ready For Middle School video all ready to go (I'll share that with you after I meet with all our 4th graders), but now I will need to try some others. I really love the library video and I also want to add the locker relay into the mix.
Thanks Sierra for sharing!
If you have any other great ideas for Transition or have a favorite lesson to share, let me know and you can be featured as a Lesson Leader.