5th grade students and parents, please join us on Monday, March 11 at 7pm for our Annual “Tackling the Transition to Middle School” presentation by Jennifer Hoyer, Director of Academic Solutions, Shallowford Falls Partner in Ed and Shallowford Falls parent. Her presentation is intended for parents and students to see together to prepare the entire family for the changes that are ahead. From her unique perspective of owning a tutoring center that often works with students who are struggling at school, she has terrific ideas for how to avoid the common pitfalls that middle school students face. While many topics are covered, she focuses on the importance of organization and study skills which are vital to middle school success. Year after year, parents tell me that Jennifer's presentation was enormously helpful in preparing them for all the changes that are ahead. You don't want to miss this!!!
Simspon Middle School: Tuesday. February 26 at 6:30 pm
Hightower Middle School: Tuesday, February 26 at 6:45 pm
These meetings will give an overview of the middle school program and curriculum and answer any questions you may have about the transition process. These meetings are for PARENTS ONLY. Students will have their own transition activities that will take place in May. Flyers announcing these meetings have already gone home with students.
Our feeder middle schools, Simpson and Hightower, work closely with us to provide activities to help our 5th graders make a successful transition to middle school. On Tuesday, February 26, both Simpson and Hightower have scheduled their Rising 6th Grade Parent Information Meetings. Both meetings are held in their school theater. Simpson's meeting starts at 6:30 pm and Hightower's begins at 6:45 pm. This meeting is designed for PARENTS ONLY. On May 7 from 1:00-2:00, students will meet with their future 6th grade counselor and several former Foxes to hear about life in middle school. One week later, on May 14, we will be taking students on a field trip to visit either Hightower or Simpson so they can take a tour of the building, meet some teachers and administrators and hear the band and orchestra play.
Sometime before Spring Break, we will receive and send home registration materials for you to fill out and return to your child's classroom teacher. At the same time, if your student's immunizations are not in compliance with Georgia requirements, you will receive a letter indicating what is missing. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me at school.
The news today is filled with shock, horror and sadness following the violent incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday. Our hearts go out to the families directly involved as well as the entire community. When sudden tragedies occur, we often have difficulty understanding how it could happen and whether we could be vulnerable as well. If this is difficult for adults to understand, it is impossible for children. Therefore, we recommend the following guidelines:
Please visit the links below for additional information about talking to children about this or any other tragic incident.
We are pleased to announce the continuation of our Increase the Peace program. The purpose of our Increase the Peace program is to recognize students for “peace making” behaviors with their peers in an effort to encourage a positive and safe learning environment.
There are many ways children may “Increase the Peace”. So far this year, students have been recognized by staff members for sharing with others, including those who are left out, being helpful, solving conflicts peacefully, working as a team, and using kind words. Our “peacemakers” will be easy to spot as they wear their peace pins proudly on their backpacks, lunch bags, shirts or jackets. We are already so impressed with all our Shallowford Falls “peacemakers” and can’t wait to see all of the ways our students continue to work to “Increase the Peace” this year.
Students in 4th Grade meet with Mrs. Karins several times a month throughout the year to learn about topics that will help them develop skills in the personal/social and academic areas of their life. Later in the spring we also have a unit that is best described as early lessons in career exploration. In our fast changing world, it is becoming increasingly important to help children make a connection between what they are learning in school and future careers.
We begin the year in the Academic Domain where students are introduced to the idea that people have different learning styles and do an activity to help them to determine what style of learning works best for them. We also learn about time management, the importance of paying attention and study skills.
We next move into the Personal/Social Domain, where we spend the bulk of the year. We have a series of lessons that begin with teaching the concept of empathy, which we connect with our Increase the Peace program here at Shallowford Falls. We also cover the topics of conflict resolution, bullying and harrassment. Our goal in 4th grade is to define them and discuss ways of dealing with these situations when students are faced with them, both as a victim or as a bystander. After the holidays, we move into the second major area of the Personal/Social Domain, decision making. A simple three step method for decision making is taught. In addition, students are challenged to recognize who and what is influencing them when they are making decisions. The influence of other people in our children's lives and the media is explored. Lessons in tobacco, alcohol and drugs are included in this unit where we consistently connect back to the importance of making good decisions about these substances.
Finally, in the spring, we do several lessons that introduce 4th graders to the career exploration process. The goal is to teach them that making a decision about a career is important and shouldn't be done quickly or by chance when they get older. Instead, they are taught that making a good decision about a future career takes many years of following a process that includes knowing more about themselves and the world of work.
Guidance Topics for 5th Grade
Students in 5th grade meet with Mrs. Karins several times a month throughout the year to learn about topics that will help them develop skills in the personal/social, academic and career areas of their life. We begin the year in the academic domain learning about time management, study skills and the all important skill of setting realistic academic goals. We even take some time to look ten years into the future and talk about their hopes and dreams for high school, college and beyond. The focus of the lesson then becomes helping them realize that it's their short term goals they are working on now that will help them achieve those lofty dreams they have for the future.
We move next into the personal/social domain and spend several lessons exploring the topic of bullying and harassment. 5th graders are already familiar with this topic from previous year’s guidance lessons, so our focus is not so much on what it is but more what you can do about it. We then move into lessons about how our behavior has an impact on other people and how we can solve problems and resolve conflicts with others. These lessons really set the stage for the overriding theme of 5th grade guidance which is the importance of making good choices/decisions. It is a theme we will go back to over and over as students prepare to make the transition to middle school.
Near the end of the year, 5th graders spend some time exploring careers and the process they should use to make good decisions in this area in the future. While many may think 5th graders are too young, it actually is the perfect time to introduce the topic in a serious way. It's very important for students at this age to begin to make connections between what they are studying and expected to learn in school and the world of work and it's usefulness to their future. The process they learn involves two essential questions. What do I know about myself and what do I know about the opportunities available to me in the working world? We do activities to help them define what they enjoy (interests), what they are good at (skills or talents) and what is important to them (values). We also introduce the Holland system of classifying careers which is used by most high school and college career resource centers. Finally we learn how to navigate through some career information websites to learn more about several selected
Our final topic of the year is middle school transition. We work closely with
our feeder middle schools to provide transition activities to help our
students successfully make the transition to 6th grade. Specific activities
will be posted on this blog as we get into the spring months of 2013. These
activities will include a visit to each middle school for a tour, presentations
by the middle school counselors and even practice with combination locks to
help them prepare for their highly anticipated locker!