The Big Shift: Making the Move from Elementary School to Middle School

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Is Your Child Set-up for Success in Middle School?

The move from elementary to middle school is a significant leap. Students say goodbye to having just one classroom for every academic subject and hello to multiple teachers, different instruction approaches, and more homework!

As 5th graders move up to middle school, the demands on their executive functioning skills increase exponentially as well. Organization and planning skills are essential for a successful transition and effective routines need to be established quickly.big shift 6th grade

Digital Dilemmas

reading Discounts for Summer Workshops

SOS4Students is extending a special Middle School Promo for parents of soon-to-be 6th graders: starting today through June 5, 2019 at midnight PT, if you register for either Mastering Middle School or Write On, you’ll get a 20% discount when you use promo code EARLYBIRD20 at checkout.

Middle schoolers also have to navigate software platforms where their instructors post all their homework and often their grades. Some students will find themselves confounded and overwhelmed, having to engage with multiple systems such as Google Classroom, Power School, Canvas, or School Loop.

And not all teachers post in the same way or consistently. Some post documents for students to work on and turn in online. (My students complain frequently about forgetting to hit the “turn it in” button on Drive.) Then there are online programs for grammar or math practice that require 30 minutes of a student’s time per week.

Keeping track of all these computer-based to-dos can be hellish for some!

note from A Note from an SOS4Students Parent

"I look at my son as he is winding down his final year of elementary school and I'm excited about his bright future and what this first major step out of childhood means. The possibilities are endless, but as a parent, I worry. Is he set up for success? Am I giving him all the tools he needs? Middle school is a big transition for any child, let alone for a child who has a working memory problem. Having a workshop like Mastering Middle School provides me extra assurance that I am giving my new middle schooler the tools he needs. Setting up the routine and the foundations of his executive function skills means he'll spend less time in panic mode and more time focusing on academics and having time for fun stuff."

Paper Planners a Must

Sixth graders should use paper planners from the start of middle school, noting all deadlines in them.

They also need to look beyond just what’s on the platforms used to list their homework. Students often take a glance at what’s posted there and make the mistake of attempting to remember the work they need to do.

Deadlines and directions need to be recorded, and paper planners and printing out documents with rubrics and directions are musts!

Essential Skills for Middle School Success

Some of the other essential skills incoming 6th graders need include the ability to . . .

  • Set up a notebook and folder system that is simple to use and easy to access
  • Break up a project into manageable chunks
  • Advocate for themselves with different instructors and personalities, whether by email or in-person
  • Take notes from presentations, text, and for research (Math needs notes too!)
  • Write about literature or historical events
  • Create arguments and back them with evidence
  • Manage outside activities, school work, and digital use.
reading Registration for Summer Coaching Now Open

Summer is a great opportunity for students to work with an SOS4Students coach to prep for the next school year, review and change habits that have been counterproductive, and/or target skills that need to be tweaked or built from the ground up. You can go online right now to pay for and schedule sessions with one of our coaches. Coaching is offered at our offices in Montclair Village (Oakland), Walnut Creek, and online. Register

We Can Help

In addition to students, parents need help, too, to answer questions such as, "Should your 6th grader have a cell phone?" and "What type of parental help is appropriate at this stage?" Our goal is to make sure you and your tweens are ready for the big shift to 6th grade. 

Our Mastering Middle School and Write On programs cover all the bases executive-functioning-wise for 6th graders, and Mastering Middle School even includes a webinar for parents! 

Register before midnight June 5, 2019 for either of these workshops and get 20% early bird discount.


We're here to help. Call us at 510-531-4767. Email is good too: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it...


summer workshop menu

  • Signing up for an SOS4Students Workshop or Summer Coaching is easy and can be done online. Our workshops tend to fill fast and start dates will be here sooner than you think, so act now.
  • All workshops are held at Lafayette Library (Oak Room) Lafayette, CA.
  • Summer coaching is available at our Walnut Creek and Montclair District offices, or online.

Middle School Workshops

6thgrade bluebulletMastering Middle School empowers students entering sixth grade. Students learn invaluable skills to tackle the demands of multiple teachers and more complex assignments.

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6th - 8th GradesWrite On esnures your child is prepared for the essay-writing challenges ahead by covering essay fundamentals for middle school students.

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7th & 8th GradeMiddle School Blitz gives your students the strategies they need to have control over their time and workload. Prepare your student to balance classwork, homework and outside activities.

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High School Workshops

9th GradeNailing Ninth Grade prepares your student for a successful transition to high school. Students come away with an invaluable toolbox of study strategies they will use every day.

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9th-11th GradeWriting RX teaches students an easily replicable system for expository essay writing. Students leave confident and prepared to tackle the complex writing assignments that high school demands.

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9th-12th GradeSecrets of Successful Note Taking demystifies the note taking process. Students learn techniques to take effective notes and use their notes to prepare for tests and papers.

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Can't make the workshop you need? Does your student benefit from more individualized attention? All ages and abilities benefit from the one-on-one summer coaching sessions with our seasoned coaches.

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