What's normal?

Common Characteristics in the Developmental Stages of a Fifth Grade Student

This information was adapted from the book Yardsticks; Children in the Classroom by Chip Wood, and the Family Education website at http://school.familyeducation.com/fifth-grade/parenting/36069.html?detoured=1.

Developmental characteristics that appear around age 10:

*A ten-year-old is beginning to develop a sense of ownership in their community.

*They are eager to reach out to others through community service or tutoring younger students. *A ten-year-old is both competitive and cooperative when they see the value of it.
*A ten-year-old usually prefers to be part of a group and works well with either gender. *Ten-year-olds are quick to anger and quick to forgive.
*They tend to be obedient, good natured, and fun.
*They are influenced by TV and identify with TV characters.
*At this age, they begin to improve their self-concept and their acceptance of others.
*They are showing signs of maturing mentally, emotionally, and physically.
* They need lots of outdoor play and physical challenges to develop muscles and coordination of their larger bodies.
*Their bodies are growing in spurts and they may complain of aches and pains. Snacks and rest periods are important.
*They like to form personal relationships with adults in addition to their parents. How can we support a fifth grade student’s learning?

*Set clear expectations.
*Providing consistent rules, without exceptions, is important.
*Provide consequences that are fair and immediate. Help them see consequences are a result of the choice; not a measure of their worthiness.
*Enjoy word games and activities that expand their vocabulary.
*Help them learn about their government and history by visiting local museums.
*Encourage them to use mediation and problem solving skills.
*Give them lots of encouragement and opportunities to read for extended periods of time. *Provide opportunities for them to join clubs or teams in their interest area.
*Encourage them to set a goal and accept the responsibilities to achieve it.
*Allow them more independence and responsibility for decision making.
*Allow them to fail if that's their choice, but be there with consequences and strategies for them to make a more successful choice next time.

 

Developmental characteristics that appear around age 11:

*An eleven-year-old is easily frustrated, often moody, and self-absorbed.
*Their moods may swing from moment to moment. They have a wide range and intensity of emotions.
*An eleven-year-old is easily embarrassed and sees a need to "save face" in front of peers. *An eleven-year-old likes to talk a lot and, in reality, needs lots of talk time with peers. Peer opinions may mean more than adult acceptance.
*Eleven-year-olds like to challenge rules and test limits.
*They prefer to learn things rather than improve previous work.
*They tend to be competitive and may put down others who don't "measure up" in their opinion. *They worry about who's "in" or "out".
*At this age, they begin to improve their self-concept and their acceptance of others.
*They are showing signs of maturing mentally, emotionally, and physically.
* They can be both energetic and lethargic from one moment to the next.
*Their bodies are growing in spurts and they may complain of growing pains.
*Well balanced meals, frequent healthy snacks, and lots of sleep are important. Their hours of sleep and alertness begin to get later.
*They need adult empathy and guidance to sort through what needs to be taken seriously. How can we support their learning? *Set clear expectations.
*Providing consistent rules, but be more willing to listen to their ideas and be flexible when their reasoning is sound.
*Provide consequences that are fair and immediate. Help them see consequences are a result of the choice; not a measure of their worthiness.
*Enjoy discussing abstract ideas, such as "justice", with them.
*Help them to write about, and support, their opinions with activities like writing a letter to the editor when they feel passionate about a subject.
*Encourage them to use brain teaser puzzles and problem solving skills.
*Give them lots of encouragement and opportunities to research things they are interested in. *Provide opportunities for them to join clubs or teams in their interest area.
*Encourage them to set goals and accept the responsibilities to achieve them.
*Allow them more independence and responsibility for decision making.
*Allow them to fail if that's their choice, but be there with consequences and strategies for them to make a more successful choice next time.

You can find more good information on issues for 5th graders beyond the school at:

http://life.familyeducation.com/parenting-preteens-children/elementary-school/42867.html?detoured=1

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