Grade 1 is an action-packed time, full of learning and development. During the early elementary school years, your first grader will learn to read and begin the transition of to reading to learn (strong reading skills are the basis for academic achievement in later years). Your child will mature emotionally and physically and grow more independent while developing a solid educational foundation.
In grade 2 your kids will have settled into the routines of school and are ready to take on more serious learning. They now apply what they learned about meanings of letters and numbers to more complicated material and start to develop analytical abilities. At this age, they’re able to learn more difficult concepts in one area and apply them to other situations.
Kids who were not ready to completely grasp the concepts introduced in grade 1, often are ready to master them in grade 2.
Third grade is a pivotal year for your child. Learning to read with fluency and confidence will serve as a foundation for the reading demands in later grades. By practicing with learning-to-read strategies, your child will reliably be able to make sense of multi-syllable words in books. He or she will come to appreciate that words have meanings that are not literal (e.g., a piece of cake) and have relationships to other words (e.g., company and companion). Recognizing and understanding words will help your child read increasingly challenging stories and books and build knowledge about the world around him or her. By the end of the year, your child also will be writing clear sentences and paragraphs on a range of topics, drawing on an expanding vocabulary.
Kids learn a number of new things in 4th grade, both socially and academically. Just as the formation of cliques begins to increase and complicate your child’s social life, the academic ante is upped as well; requiring your child not only to be responsible for their own work, but to work cooperatively in groups as well. This year is the genesis of the too-heavy backpack, as each subject in 4th grade usually has its own book and notebook.
As your 5th grader is merely a year away from the challenging curriculum of middle school, this is the year that math programs step it up a notch. This year your child will be asked to stretch his or her brain to come up with solutions to more complicated problems, ones that ask them to use multiplication, division, subtraction, and addition, all within the same problem.
By now your 5th grader has grasped many of the mechanical skills of reading and should be reading chapter books with relative fluency. This year she will be challenged to read different genres with a critical and interpretive eye. Expect your child to be doing a lot of independent reading and writing book reports that analyze the characters or the plot and setting as they relate to the author’s purpose in writing the book. Your child will also learn to back up his or her opinions using examples from the text.
Fifth grade writing instruction comes hand-in-hand with reading in a combined class known as Language Arts. This year students will be writing every day in a number of different ways. Many teachers will have a time for journaling during which students are asked to write for personal expression, be it poetry, autobiography or fiction. A great deal of emphasis is given to the writing process, as students master the art of editing for punctuation, flow, and clarity of thought. This year your child will build a writing portfolio of her best work, a process that allows her to learn to evaluate her own work.
Fifth-grade students become hands-on scientists exploring the physical world this year. Areas of study include the solar system, photosynthesis, the digestive system, and the chemical properties of elements. In this regard, your child will learn the Scientific Method, measuring the changes to substances. Your child will not only conduct experiments, but also practice presenting their findings in a factual manner.
The focus of social studies in fifth grade is citizenship. Students learn about the nation’s history are challenged to analyze what they have learned. Your child will learn about the evolution of our government, as well as spending time learning the geography and unique features of countries.