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Oh, Behave! Personal Skills Your Child Needs Before Next Year (page 2)

Oh, Behave! Personal Skills Your Child Needs Before Next Year

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Updated on Apr 8, 2013

Second Grade

"Students should be able to own up to and try to make amends for their mistakes." –Jon's Cardoso, second grade teacher at Brooke Roslindale Charter School in Roslindale, Massachusetts

Your child should know right from wrong in the classroom and be able to apologize when mistakes are made.

What else should your child be able to do to be ready for second grade?

  • Solve personal conflicts civilly: Arguing and fighting are bound to happen in the social atmosphere of second grade, but your child should have some ability to talk through differences. If she can prevent conflicts before they happen, that’s even better.
  • Accept blame: Second grade is a year of heightened moral responsibility for many children. If you have a child who blames everyone but herself, help her get over this behavior as a first step to a mature understanding of morals.

Third Grade

"Some parents think their kid is great with technology because he plays video games. Just because a kid plays video games doesn't mean he has computer skills." –Charlotte Christensen, third grade teacher at Frank L. Huff Elementary School in Mountain View, California

Third graders aren’t expected to be master typists, but in the digital age, they should be able to open a document, save changes, change fonts and understand where to find things on a computer desktop.

What else should your child be able to do to be ready for third grade?

  • Raise hands, not yell out: First and second grade should have given your child enough practice raising a hand to ask or answer a question that she no longer “yells out” in class.
  • Focus on a task in a small group: Third graders should be able to sit down in a small group, read directions and work together to get the assignment done. “Group work is not just social time,” Christensen says.
  • Work quietly for 10 minutes.

Fourth Grade

"Students should have passed the ‘tattletale’ mode by fourth grade and be able to talk out a lot of their problems with other students." –Audrey Mannion, fourth grade teacher at the Christian Academy in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania

In fourth grade, teachers expect students to take responsibility for their relationships and be able to work out issues with peers. "Students should be maturing to the point where they don't call each other out on things in class," Mannion adds, "but instead are encouraging when a classmate does something worth praise."

What else should your child be able to do to be ready for fourth grade?

  • Organize school supplies: By fourth grade, kids should be able to write down their homework and take home the necessary books, as well as keep their desks and binders organized.
  • Walk through halls quietly: While children of all grades are taught to walk in quiet, single-file lines and keep their hands to themselves, but this is a basic expectation in fourth grade.
  • Work quietly for 15 to 20 minutes.
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