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Great resource on the characteristics of middle schoolers

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While I was procrastinating instead of writing the other day, I found this great resource on the characteristics of middle schoolers.  (Sounds like my son to a T.)  Hope someone finds it helpful. 

http://pubs.cde.ca.gov/tcsii/documentlibrary/characteristicsmg.aspx
#1 - August 22, 2013, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for sharing this link!
#2 - August 22, 2013, 04:15 PM
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Love the way they phrased this:

"Have ravenous appetites and peculiar tastes; may overtax digestive system with large quantities of improper foods;"

 :fridge :cake :burger :pizza :applepie :sundae :cookie
#3 - August 22, 2013, 10:29 PM

Interesting - I see it was written in 1989. I feel like I was reading about "junior high" kids, rather than today's middle grade kids - which I think of (in terms of writing/books) as being kids in grades 3 - 7, or so. The terminology is always a little confusing - middle school (formerly known as junior high) vs. middle grade novels.
#4 - August 23, 2013, 04:04 AM
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Wow! What a great resources. Thank you. I thought the list felt rather timeless, but I could be wrong.  So jancoates, I'm curious, which parts felt particularly 1989-ish to you?
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#5 - August 23, 2013, 06:16 AM
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The terminology can be confusing, Jan! But what this piece outlines is the middle *schooler's* mind, so those kids in grades 6-8.  As writers and readers, our use of middle *grade* does indeed refer to kids from about 8-12 (say, second through early 6th grade). So, there is an overlap at the upper end of the spectrum for those 11-12 year olds, but, on the whole, the list really only is talking about kids in grades 6-8.

Junior high, IIRC, was the model used back when we were kids, with elementary school extending to grade 6. So 7/8 was junior high. But at some point (late 70s/early 80s?) most schools switched to the middle school model (6-8) when it became clear how very different developmentally 6th graders were compared to the younger grades, but how similar to the upper 2 grades. But the term "junior high" has stuck around -- even my husband still uses it, because that's what his school was.

Anyway, I guess I'm saying...yes! The terms are often mixed up and it's very confusing. :)


(As a side note, I used to teach at that level and actually think this book is on my shelf somewhere! The title is very familiar.....)
#6 - August 23, 2013, 07:32 AM

Yup - it wasn't that the list felt "1989ish", but rather that it's describing middle-school kids, as opposed to middle-grade readers ( who are generally younger than those described). If that makes sense ...

In Canada, actually, middle school includes kids from grades 6 - 8, as opposed to the old junior high model which had grades 7,8,9 lumped together. Personally, I still prefer grade 6 kids being elementary school students, as is still the case in some, mainly rural, schools.

And it still bugs me that when you say you write for "middle-grade" readers, people assume you mean middle school! :wine
#7 - August 23, 2013, 10:51 AM
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And it still bugs me that when you say you write for "middle-grade" readers, people assume you mean middle school! :wine


Me too!

:yup
#8 - August 23, 2013, 11:00 AM


And it still bugs me that when you say you write for "middle-grade" readers, people assume you mean middle school!

Me three! :)
#9 - August 23, 2013, 04:38 PM

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Sadly, our fifth graders were consolidated into the middle school. 

I didn't even notice the date!  I thought the observations were spot on, especially for my own 12 year old son.  (The overtaxing the digestive system cracked me up, too.)
#10 - August 25, 2013, 01:21 PM
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As the mom of a 13-year-old girl, I thought this part below was dead-on:

    Are often erratic and inconsistent in their behavior; anxiety and fear are contrasted with periods of bravado; feelings shift between superiority and inferiority;

    Have chemical and hormonal imbalances which often trigger emotions that are frightening and poorly understood; may regress to more childish behavior patterns at this point;

    Are easily offended and are sensitive to criticism of personal shortcomings;

    Tend to exaggerate simple occurrences and believe that personal problems, experiences, and feelings are unique to themselves;

    Are moody, restless; often feel self-conscious and alienated; lack self­ esteem; are introspective;

    Are searching for adult identity and acceptance even in the midst of intense peer group relationships;
#11 - August 25, 2013, 05:31 PM

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Wow! That makes me breathe easier! Thanks for sharing, Lisa!  :thankyou
#12 - August 26, 2013, 12:18 PM

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Thanks for sharing this link, Lisa! I am definitely bookmarking it for future reference!

 :sun Becky
#13 - September 03, 2013, 03:52 PM
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