Tonight at 10: How to avoid the ‘6th grade slump’

Transitioning from elementary school to middle school is challenging for a lot of kids, and the change can have serious impacts on a student’s attendance, grades and behavior in school.

It’s something University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher Geoffrey Borman calls the “sixth-grade slump.” His team developed simple writing exercises to show kids they weren’t alone in dealing with physical, social and emotional shifts. The answers shared from peer to peer not only showed students the universal struggles everyone was facing, but also emphasized the fact that they’re temporary.

The results showed better grades, attendance and behavior for students of all genders, races and socioeconomic classes.

Borman reiterated the importance of the stories and advice coming from classmates rather than adults.

“That is something that is much more believable to kids and something that doesn’t appear so preachy and something that they have to do,” Borman said. “Rather, this was just simple advice that, ‘Look, you know, this is tough for everybody.'”

Tonight on News 3 Now at 10, Dannika Lewis dives into the study and shows us how one Madison middle school is already pushing a sense of belonging to all of its students.

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