Skills Needed to Advance to Sixth Grade

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Many students advancing to sixth grade are leaving elementary school and transitioning to a middle school. There can be many changes involved in this promotion including a new school, new classmates, a different attendance schedule, moving about the school for classes, a locker, and numerous teachers for different subjects. The academic work might be more challenging and the homework load can be heavier. There are often more responsibilities too including those that require organizational skills for assignments and deadlines.

Organizational skills often make the difference at this age between students who excel and those who perform poorly. These same organizational skills will be needed in the future and developing good habits now will be of life-long value. You can help your child develop these organizational skills with tools that best fit his or her needs and preferences. For example a watch is often better than a cell phone for tracking time. A cell phone is often tucked away in a back pack or purse and not allowed in some schools and classrooms. A watch keeps the time readily available. A watch with hands is said to be more beneficial for grasping the concept of time than a digital read out watch.

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Sixth grade students need to be proficient in oral and written language for expressive, informational, argumentative, and literary reasons. They should also be adept in grammar structure and rules and be able to speak and write correctly. They need to be able to interpret, form arguments and debate, and have a broad vocabulary.

Additional academic skills a student advancing to sixth grade needs include:
Multiply and divide common fractions and mixed numbers
Perform percentage problems
Formulas for circumference, radius, diameter, and area of a circle
Analyze dialogue, imagery and mood in literature
Read and summarize information
Create multi-paragraph compositions
Identify good writing
Your student entering sixth grade needs to “as smart as fifth grader!”

by David McLeod

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Owner and Elementary School Teacher

David has been teaching elementary school in Central Texas for over 7 years and has over 15 years of experience in online education related websites and blogs.

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