This summer, a group of Grade 7 graduates willingly spent half their vacation back in the classroom, preparing for the unknown: Secondary School.
The transition from Grade 7 to Grade 8 is a big one. It is a big change for students to move from elementary school, being in one class together, to secondary school with eight classes with different teachers in different rooms.
Taught by Lia Cuccurullo, 'Getting Ready for Grade 8' is designed to help students prepare for the academic and social challenges of transitioning to secondary school-and sometimes those little unknowns.
"I was surprised," says Cuccurullo. "One of their biggest anxieties about high school was how to open their lockers. Of course, they're also concerned about making new friends, homework and how to find their classrooms and we worked on that. But learning to use a lock was definitely something they were all worried about."
Over the 4 weeks, Cuccurullo worked with the students on essential study skills and work habits required for Secondary School, like note taking, study habits, time management, and creating academic goals. As students learned these work habits, they incorporated the foundational skills for Language Arts and Mathematics.
A pleasant by-product of the class was the opportunity to meet new people going through the same fears and experiences.
"I enrolled in this class because I wanted a preview of how Grade 8 would be," says Helen. "But I also had a chance to make new friends, and I did! Another reason I enrolled is because I was nervous about the homework in high school."
When asked if the class had helped prepare them for Grade 8, the students were happy they had taken the course.
"I am still nervous about high school," says Sammi. "The fact that I am going to a new environment where my friends are not there, terrifies me. I am scared that I am going not going to make new friends; however, 'Getting Ready for Grade 8' has helped me list some strategies to make new friends. I know how to open a locker now, do I don't need to worry about not getting to class on time my first day!"