Welcome Class of 2024! Home of the Cavaliers!
Middle school is sort of a big deal. Things will be different (usually in a good way).
Blah, blah, blah. You’ve heard all this before. So why should you listen to me? Because I’ve lived it! As an 8th grader, I can give you tips and information to help make your move to Cascade much easier.
On this page you’ll find expert advice on how to:
- Go with the Flow
- Be Cool, Calm, and Organized
- Get Off to a Good Start
- Navigate the Social Scene
Expert Advice #1 – Go with the Flow
People say that change is good. And that’s true. But change can also be scary. In middle school, you have new routines, new classes, new teachers—and there’s a lot more going on.
To help you figure out how to deal with these changes, and go with the flow, here is some expert advice from kids who have been there.
You will have a locker assigned to you. Do not change lockers or join with someone else without permission. It can cause many problems in the future. Keep your locker neat so you can find what you need quickly—passing time is short. You will have time to learn how to open your locker on the first day of school and there will be plenty of staff to help. It’s best to keep everything in one binder so you don’t have to go back to your locker during the day.
A lot of kids worry about finding their classes and getting to class on time. The trick is to be organized and stay focused. There will be plenty of people to help you find your classes on the first days of school. Don’t waste time goofing around in the halls and after a day or two, you will have it all figured out. You need to be in your seat when the tardy bell rings.
Lunch is your big break in the middle of the day. You will be eating lunch in the cafeteria instead of your lunch room. You can either buy lunch or bring your own lunch. There are two lines in the cafeteria for lunch. One line has the special for the day and the other line has the daily options which include a hamburger, chicken sandwich, or corndog and a side dish. You will be assigned a PIN number to buy your lunch. Your PIN number will be printed on your schedule to help you remember.
You will have more teachers in middle school, which can make the day a lot more interesting. But it also means that you have more teachers to adjust to.
Pay special attention the first few weeks of school to learn what each of your teachers expect.
- Organization is key to being successful
- More work on your own
- Classes that are more challenging
Let’s face it. Everyone in middle school is worried about having friends and fitting in. Just remember, students come to Cascade from many schools in the district. Everyone in 6th grade is new to middle school—and everyone is a little nervous. It is important to treat everyone with respect, even if you aren’t friends with them. If you are having problems with another student, let an adult know and we can help you deal with the problem.
School is a whole lot more fun if you are involved in activities. Listen to announcements, check the bulletin boards, and visit your school’s website. Middle school is a time to try new things—and getting involved in activities is a great way to meet other students who have the same interest. You won’t be eligible for sports until 7th grade, but there are other fun activities.
- Band is so much fun—and I’ve made a bunch of new friends.
- Basketball practice helps me deal with stress. It’s great to be with friends and forget about school for awhile.
- Garden Club is a fun time after school. We get to try new foods and create a beautiful space.
Activities For 6th Grade:
- 5 K Running Club
- Hacky Sack
- Garden Club
- 21st Century After School Program
Expert Advice #2 – Be Cool, Calm, and Organized
My friends and I put together a list for you of the best organization tips ever!
If you do these things, we guarantee that you will get better grades, you will be less stressed. And you will have more time for things you really want to do—like hanging out with friends.
Have a good morning routine: Get up early enough so you aren’t rushed, and eat a good breakfast. Or come to school for breakfast, doors open at 7:15 am.
Find a quiet place to study: Silence your phone, and stay away from the TV. These can be very distracting.
Develop a study plan: Have a regular time to study, like right after dinner or right after school. Allow more time for homework than you think you’ll need.
Have a good nighttime routine: Pack your backpack each night before you go to bed—and don’t stay up too late! Try to be to sleep by 9:00pm.
Have the right tools: To be organized, you need to have the right tools—backpack, notebooks, pens, pencils, paper, calculator, and folders. Of course, you also have to remember to bring everything you need (book, paper, etc.) with you when you go to class.
Keep your locker and backpack neat: Never put loose papers in your backpack or locker, put them in the right notebook or folder.
Use a planner: Many students have planners, but don’t use them like they should. Take your planner to each class and write in all of your assignments. Also use your planner to write down tests, quizzes, special events, and anything else you need to remember.
Have a system for papers: You will probably have lots of paper—notes, homework, handouts. To stay organized, you need to have a specific place for each paper—like a folder or a notebook.
Here’s what I do to keep organized. I have a pocket folder for each class (for homework and handouts), and I have a 3-ring notebook (with tabs for different classes) that I use for my notes.
Here are some tips to help you organize your study time. If you do these things, your homework won’t take as long, and you’ll probably get a better grade on it.
- Before you start to study, make a plan. Decide what you want to get done, and the order you’re going to do it in. Be sure to do the most important things first.
- If you have something that seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller parts.
- If you have something to memorize, work on that first. Then go over it again at the end of your study session.
- Focus on one thing at a time.
- Do difficult assignments first, while you’re fresh and alert.
To be cool, calm, and organized, you have to have enough time for all the things you need to do.
There are 24 hours in a day—but if you take out 8 hours for school and 8 hours for sleeping , that only leaves 8 hours for everything else!
How you use your time is Time Management. Here is some expert time management advice.
- Limit games, TV, and time online: Activities like texting friends, watching TV, and playing video games are fun, but if you’re not careful, you can waste a lot of time on these things.
- Use class time: Teachers sometimes give you time in class to get started on your homework. If you make use of this time, you will have a lot less to do at night.
Expert Advice #3 – Get Off to a Good Start
We’ve talked about some of the big changes you face in middle school. Now let’s talk about the whole reason we’re in middle school to begin with— to learn! Middle school will probably be more challenging than elementary school (but more interesting). And your grades will be more important than ever.
I have this bad habit of slacking off at the beginning of the year. Then after a few weeks I get all stressed out because my grades are lousy and I’m behind.
This year I started off doing all my homework—and I am going to have some awesome grades this quarter.
There’s no better time to set goals for yourself than at the beginning of a new school year. Setting academic goals will give you something to work towards in your classes.
Think about what grade you want to get in each class and write it down. While you’re at it, write down any other goals you have—like turning in every assignment.
This Expert advice will help you be more successful in all your classes!
Be in school every day: Good attendance is the #1 school success factor.
Do all of your homework and turn all assignments in on time: Use your planner and keep up with your assignments— right from day one. Many teachers link assignments to Skyward.
Get help early if you need it: Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers for help. Most teachers are happy to help you—but you might have to ask.
Participate in class: Ask and answer questions, and take good notes.
Hopefully, you will never have to deal with a bully—but bullies are a problem in some schools. If you see bullying, be sure to tell a parent, teacher, or your counselor what’s happening. Make sure you fill out a “What Happened Form”.
Students have more freedom in middle school, and some kids make bad choices. And sometimes kids are tempted to do things they normally wouldn’t do, just to go along with the group.
If a friend asks you to drink, smoke, or do something else you don’t feel comfortable doing, you don’t have to explain yourself. Just say “no thanks,” or make up an excuse and leave.
Expert Advice #4 – Navigate the Social Scene
I’m not going to lie. The social scene in middle school can be crazy. To begin with, your class no longer rules the building—and it can be hard being the youngest grade in the school again. There is also more drama in middle school.
But the good news is—you’ll do fine with the whole social scene if you don’t take it to seriously and you make smart choices.
Friendships: We’ve already talked about the changes you’ll face in middle school. Along with everything else, people can change too. Some of your old friends may get a “too cool for you” attitude. Or you may find that you get along better with some of the new kids you meet.
Here’s some expert advice on making new friends and avoiding the drama.
- Find friends who have the same interest as you do, and who like you for who you are.
- Social media like Facebook, Instagram, and SNAPCHAT can be fun, but it can also cause hurt feelings: PAUSE BEFORE YOU POST.
- Joining a group like a sports team, band, or club is a good way to meet new people— and make new friends.
And now a word from your counselor…
Throughout this page you’ve gotten tips and advice from students—and they have given you some excellent advice. But you know us adults, we always have to add our two cents.
So here are a few words of advice from a middle school counselor’s point of view.
- We know that most new middle school students are concerned about finding their way, fitting in, and having friends, but…don’t forget about your classes. Getting off to a good start in your classes is really important.
- If you have a question or problem, get help. If you’re having a problem in class, talk to your teacher. If you ever have a problem and don’t know who to talk to, see your counselor. Of course, if you have any concerns or problems, be sure to also let a parent know.
- Middle school is a time to explore who you are. Be bold. Try new things— try a music class, try out for a team, join a club.
Middle school will be an exciting adventure for you. Follow the advice in this book, and you are sure to have a fun and successful year!
Cascade Cavaliers follow the 4 B’s
- Be Respectful
- Be Responsible
- Be Safe
- Be a Learner
Other Important Information
- There is 4 minutes passing time between classes.
- You will get your schedule at the 6th grade orientation on August 29th, 2017, the day before the first day of school.
- Wednesdays are early release days. The schedule will vary slightly on Wednesdays and school will get out at 1:20.