Five Minutes to a Better 5th Grader

Families—Here are four quick things you can do to help your fifth grader succeed at remote instruction.

Take 5 minutes to check their SeeSaw. When you get home from work, make them show you their SeeSaw schedule (example at left) to see if they’ve completed each task–and hold them accountable if they haven’t. (You don’t even need to assess quality—just make sure they’ve done it.) The kids in my class who are having the most success face consequences such as loss of video games, YouTube, and phone when they don’t complete their tasks on time. 

Set a bed time. I surveyed my students last week. The results were clear. The most successful students all go to bed around 9 pm. The kids who are struggling in my class don’t have a specific time and consequently stay up way too late. Experts say pre-teen kids need ten hours of sleep per night, so make your kids hit the sack early. It’s healthier for them and it gives you some quiet time for yourself.

Use an alarm clock. Move it across the room from where your 5th grader sleeps. Make sure he or she has to get out of bed to turn it off. If you’re at work when your students needs to get up, call them on the phone to verify they’ve done it…and have consequences if they haven’t. Our class starts at 8 am, at which time they’re supposed to log-in to SeeSaw and Google Classroom. Our first interactive session is at 8:30 EVERY morning.

Send them to in-person instruction. We now have sessions with up to 19 kids, so you can elect either the 8 am class or the 1 pm class and plan on it every other week. When your student comes to in-person class, I have the opportunity to help them figure out the tasks and platforms.

Notice some themes here: accountability, consequences, and sleep. Parenting is tough—but if you’ll do these five minutes tasks, it’ll be easier for you and better for your student. Thanks!