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Throughout the past few years, there has been a shift in the emphasis of ELA curriculum within schools throughout New York State. Both teachers and students now face the demands and stresses of meeting specific standards for both reading and writing, as well as state wide exams. While teachers work to prepare their students to meet these demands, they too must perform a juggling act incorporating creativity into their lessons and balancing the remainder of the year’s curriculum. Additionally, these new requirements have created anxiety for students and parents, as well as a lack of motivation on the student’s part.As teachers of Middle School students we know our sixth graders enter school in September with much angst already. These children are leaving the comfort of their elementary school teachers and peers and entering a world of changing classes, unfamiliar faces, and newfound responsibility. We feel that providing these students with a structured enrichment class, focusing on a variety of reading and writing strategies, and incorporating a sense of classroom community will not only ease the transition to Middle School, but instill a certain degree of confidence for all students.
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