Recent Research on Middle School

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Middle school or high school: When is best time to begin study of foreign language?

Many students could become more fluent and confident speakers of a new language if they started learning it in middle school rather than high school, according to a new study in Foreign Language Annals. Students who begin learning a foreign language in middle school have greater oral proficiency and motivation than students with similar levels of language experience who… Tell Me More »

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5th graders rate their biggest concerns about going to middle school

Despite the dizzying pace of change in the world, fears of today’s 5th-graders are remarkably similar to those of their parents and older siblings, according to a recent survey of 225 Alabama students about to enter middle school. Undressing in front of others for P.E. was students’ top concern followed by taking harder subjects, taking tests and using… Tell Me More »

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Improve gist reasoning to help 8th-graders close achievement gap

Brain games to make you smarter are popular with healthy adults who want to sharpen mental performance, victims of traumatic brain injury and seniors at risk for Alzheimer’s. Now the Center for Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas, Dallas, TX says brain training can help middle schoolers develop “gist reasoning,” the ability to “connect… Tell Me More »

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What prepares students for algebra

A new four-year study in Mississippi funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will look at what works to get middle-schoolers ready for algebra in 8th grade. Mississippi requires students to pass Algebra I to graduate, but it has the largest achievement gap in the nation between rural and non-rural eighth graders, according to… Tell Me More »

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Middle school homework intervention improves student grades

Students with organization problems waste a lot of their time and energy–and a lot of their parents’ and teachers’ time and energy–getting their homework done.  Disorganized students also get lower grades, a trend that escalates as students progress through school. School Psychology Review reports that a middle school intervention to improve organizational skills was effective… Tell Me More »

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Small-group middle school interventions work as well as individualized

How much individualized intervention do middle school students need if their reading skills are below grade level and they have not been responsive to Tier 2 interventions? A year-long study of 7th-8th graders receiving Tier 3 interventions in small groups of 4-5 students concludes that individualized intervention is not necessarily superior to standardized interventions, even… Tell Me More »

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Study identifies most popular Tier 2 interventions used by middle schools

The most common Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) Tier 2 intervention used by middle schools is the Check-In/Check-Out (CICO), according to a nationwide survey of state contacts for SWPBS. The study, published in Preventing School Failure, says many schools use programs that are already in place for Tier 2 instead of developing new interventions. Check-In/Check-Out,… Tell Me More »

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Middle school math project does double duty: Teaches students about statistics and cultural diversity

To make math more relevant to middle school students and to nurture their awareness of diversity, one rural Indiana school adapted the 100 People Village concept to double as a statistics learning activity and a multicultural education activity. The 100 People Village project educates people about the demographics and statistics of the world’s population by… Tell Me More »

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Teachers’ praise notes to middle schoolers linked to drop in discipline referrals

When middle school teachers write praise notes to students about their positive behaviors, there are fewer office discipline referrals (ODRs) in the school, reports a study in Preventing School Failure. The researchers examined use of teacher praise notes that reinforced the appropriate use of social skills in a school in the western part of the… Tell Me More »