In their first year of middle school, 6th graders embark on a new journey in their schooling, and with that come new challenges and changes. In many ways, 6th grade is a year of significant transition for students as they use the skills they have previously learned and apply them to more complex and independent learning in deeper and more rigorous ways. The specific texts and topics studied in 6th grade vary across states, districts, and sometimes schools. Consult your local state standards, school, or teacher for more details regarding the texts and topics your child will be studying. In addition, see the guide below for sample texts recommended by the common core for 6th-8th graders.
Often, the structure of a school day for 6th graders varies greatly from that of elementary school. Rather than being taught by one (or mainly one) teacher, teachers in middle school usually vary by subject, and the students switch classrooms. With this new structure, students must be more aware of their own schedules and belongings than they ever were in elementary school.
While collaboration and group work may still be an important part of the curriculum, students are often required to produce more extensive independent work, specifically in writing, as they will write formal essays for both Social Studies and English class. This calls for greater independence and organizational skills, and it may certainly require some adjustment and practice in the beginning of the school year. Some may need the whole year to adjust, and that's alright — even this one change can be a major one for middle-schoolers. In addition, students in middle school often transition from being the oldest kids in school to the youngest. (Although this certainly doesn’t apply to all middle schools, as some begin in 5th grade and others in 7th). Again, this one fact may require a big adjustment as 6th graders interact with and are perceived differently by the other students in the school.