Adolescents in Middle School are facing so many challenges and juggling feelings... This is for all subjects, writing is great for letting your thought and feeling out. So I feel for these students the first 5 minutes should be Free-Expression Writing to clear their minds before your lesson begins. Using a compositon notebook, have them put their names on the outside and each entry the write the date at the top and at least five sentences of something they are having trouble with or is happy about. To have a little order put a number on each notebook and keep them in a plastic bin and lay them out before class enters. The students walk in grab and write without any talking.After the 5 mins. have a volunteer place back in the bin quietly. Then start the lesson with them more focus on what you want to teach them. Try it and let me know your feedback.