I don't know how you do a fly-up activity at your middle school. Our fifth graders come to visit for an hour and a half or so. I've participated in that event several times as an elementary counselor, but have never planned one at my current level. This is actually a good thing, as I am familiar with what has been done in the past, and what I think would additionally be valuable to our fifth graders.
With that said, here is our agenda for now:
- Band and choir performances
- PE/Art/Technology presentation
- Principal/Assistant Principal talking academic/behavioral expectations
- 6th grade student panel
- Trivia/Q&A as time allows
- Building tour
The 6th grade student panel is actually something new we're doing this year. I select a few sixth graders who did fly-up day a year ago, and they talk about what some of their fears/worries were, and what they learned about them once they got here. This will be somewhat scripted in that I will go over their answers with them beforehand. But, the ideas we come up will be student generated.
Also, we have a very capable group of leadership students who will take a small group of fifth graders, do some very quick ice breaker activities, sit with them during the presentations, and then lead them in the building tour.
Of course, fifth grade transition is more than just a 90-minute event that takes place four months before they enter the building. We are also working with staff and administration to get to know this group so that we can start off with students properly placed in their ability groups--and ready to start instruction--from day one. I just might turn this topic into a little series that describes our approach to this topic.