The Five Best Practices for Getting Ahead in 9th Grade
In the fifteen years we’ve been working with students just entering high school, we’ve accumulated quite a bit of information about what the most successful 9th graders do.
1) SEEK OUT THEIR TEACHERS: Teachers appreciate students who seek out extra help, focus their energies on growing as learners, and help contribute to the classroom. That doesn’t mean your shy child has to dominate discussions, but successful students see participation in class, and building relationships outside of class, as a part of their work as students.
2) STAY ORGANIZED: Staying organized means more than keeping an organized backpack (though that certainly goes a long way). Most of our high school students are expected to take cumulative exams, so staying organized really means holding onto all graded assignments, taking careful (and carefully dated) notes, and flagging difficult units for extra review.
3) USE THEIR FREE PERIODS EFFECTIVELY: With high school comes increased autonomy, and free periods provide a valuable time to work on assignments so that at-home work remains manageable. Students who use their free periods to get ahead on homework, study with friends, and seek out teachers (see #1!), are much less exhausted than those who save all their work until after school.
4) KEEP TRACK OF THEIR THEOREMS: Geometry poses a difficult conceptual shift for many of our 9th graders. Keeping track of all postulates and theorems from the beginning of the year really helps students feel confident about the class and stay on top of difficult concepts as the year goes on.
5) BREAK THINGS DOWN: In 9th grade, essays get longer and projects more comprehensive. Our most successful students break long-term assignments into short-term tasks. Have an essay due in two weeks? Start by finding all the quotes for the essay. On night two, craft your thesis. Use the weekend to pull together an outline, and then tackle a body paragraph a night until it’s time to revise and polish!
We’re sharing these best practices with you now so that your child can have a great first year of high school. We're always happy to set up a call to talk more about your child’s transition to high school! Give us a ring at 646.638.3504.