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Give your rising 9th graders a hand up into high school.

In late February, Mount Airy, NC 8th graders got a sneak peak at what high school life would be like. Mount Airy High School held a curriculum fair for 8th grade Mount Airy Middle School students, where the high school clued students in on the classes that would be available to them the following fall and what to expect from high school life.

For the Mount Airy curriculum fair, each high school department, including athletics, set up a table in the middle school gymnasium. The main focus of the fair was to make students aware of different career clusters so they could choose high school courses more wisely.

Source: The Bear Growl, Mount Airy High School, 2/24/10

10 Ways to Host a Great Curriculum Fair

* Have a representative from each field of study your high school offers. In Mount Airy, several of the teachers chose to include interactive elements to their presentations: a physical education teacher brought a Wii for students to play with and a science teacher offered students the chance to win a set of medical scrubs.

* Let students know what colleges expect to see on applicants' transcripts. A simple handout is a good start.

* Consider including the general requirements from one of your state colleges or universities on your handout. This way, students know up front about how many years of math, science, history and English classes they should take, and what it means to have AP or IB credits.

* A curriculum fair is a great place for students to meet their new guidance counselors. Counselors can be present to answer questions and set up meetings for the fall.

* Turn it into a larger event. Invite parents and community members to come check out the high school offerings as well.

* This is a good chance for current high school students in the performing arts to show off their skills and get the 8th graders excited about extracurricular activities in theatre or dance.

* Have an art exhibit: Ask art teachers to request submissions from students so fair attedees can see what the art classes have been up to.

* Does your high school have a fencing team? Gymnastics? Table tennis? A curriculum fair can be a good place for indoor athletics teams or clubs to have demonstrations.

* Invite a high school or local band to perform, or include a performance from your high school marching, jazz or concert band.

* Ask for student volunteers to give 8th graders a tour of the high school facilities.


* Have representatives from your high school volunteer or community service club give 8th graders the chance to sign up for some volunteer service hours over the summer. This will give them the chance to make new friends and help out your community at the same time!

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Title Annotation:Making the Grade: Grade 8
Publication:Curriculum Review
Geographic Code:1U5NC
Date:Apr 1, 2010
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