• Welcome teachers! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Complaining Middle Schoolers


Junior Member
I hate complaining eighth graders! What is a reasonable amound of notes for them to have in their notebook for one 48 min. period?


Senior Member
8th graders

I think 8th graders are the most complaining of all students. I tried having them copy notes and finally gave up. It is easier for me to type them out and give them a copy. Now they complain about everything else - homework, tests, and their bad test grades, which is funny because they don't study!


Full Member
ugh i know

i try not to give notes b/c i understand that it is boring but when you are trying to teach math to students who dont pay attention, i think it is easier to give them notes and if they study, good! if not, its their grade!


Senior Member
One strategy I have found works is when I notice kids are not taking or copying the notes, I give them an open notes test. Generally most will start taking notes after that - at least for a while. :)
Last edited:


Senior Member
graphic organizers

Have you tried having them fill in the information into organizers? It helps to give the notes structure and rather than having to write volumes of information, they grab the key concepts. Throw a Venn Diagram at them sometime when you are comparing and contrasting. Or maybe a vocabulary map. It activates the brain and helps facilitate the learning.

But, on another note, kids complain about everything this time of year.



You mean eighth graders complain even more than 6th graders?

I have a sign posted in my room that says "NO whining." I am also a little sarcastic with whiners. I ask them if they would like some cheese to go with that whine.

I have used the idea of the open notebook test. That is pretty effective.

Sometimes the kids act like we have just asked them to jump off a building. Geeeshhh!


The Open Notes Test

The open notes tests only encourage my students to talk in class and generally ignore everything that is said. They figure they can copy it out of the textbook for their open notes test. So...no more open notes tests.

8th grade whines even more than my 6th grade science class. 7th grade is the worst though - they can't get ANY of the science or reading teachers to take that class - so the principal is teaching science and the school administrator is teaching reading!


Senior Member
Open Notes Test

Oh, my goodness! NEVER tell them you are going to give them an open notes test. You leave yourself wide open for the above. Besides - they don't study then.

I agree re: 7th grade. Of the three middle school grades, that one is the worst.


Senior Member
I've given two open-book tests back-to-back, but grades aren't any better than if the book were closed. My 6th graders are too lazy to actually go back and reread a stanza of a poem to determine who said what to whom (Walrus & The Carpenter). Since my test grades tend to be ultra-low, this is a major reason tests don't count any more than daily assignments. I tell kids that if tests are hard to pass, they need to do the other assignments that aren't as challenging. the reason my kids fail my class or eak by with a 70 is because a) they are absent a good bit; b) they don't finish work, think they'll do it for homework, and then don't turn in late work; c) they just don't do the assignments and therefore have nothing to turn anyway; or d) they just put anything down on the paper to get 'er done without regard to actually thinking first.