No two kids are alike, especially when it comes to hitting developmental benchmarks. But it helps to have a rough idea of which academic and social skills your child should acquire at his or her grade level. Learn more about your child’s classroom in such subject areas as reading, math, and science — or check your state’s academic standards to find out what students are required to learn.

By the end of kindergarten, you can expect your child to:

  • Follow class rules
  • Separate from a parent or caregiver with ease
  • Take turns
  • Cut along a line with scissors
  • Establish left- or right-hand dominance
  • Understand time concepts like yesterday, today, and tomorrow
  • Stand quietly in a line
  • Follow directions agreeably and easily
  • Pay attention for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Hold a crayon and pencil correctly
  • Share materials such as crayons and blocks
  • Know the eight basic colors: red, yellow, blue, green, orange, black, white, and pink
  • Recognize and write the letters of the alphabet in upper- and lowercase forms
  • Know the relationship between letters and the sounds they make
  • Recognize sight words such as the and read simple sentences
  • Spell his first and last name
  • Write consonant-vowel-consonant words such as bat and fan
  • Retell a story that has been read aloud
  • Identify numbers up to 20
  • Count by ones, fives, and tens to 100
  • Know basic shapes such as a square, triangle, rectangle, and circle
  • Know her address and phone number

Find out more about your kindergartner and reading, writing, language arts, math, science, technology, social studies, art, music, and physical education.

By the end of first grade, you can expect your child to:

  • Work independently at her desk
  • Listen to longer sets of directions
  • Read directions off the board, although some children may still have difficulty with this
  • Complete homework and bring it back the next day
  • Sit in a chair for a longer period of time
  • Be able to see things from another person’s point of view so you can reason with your child and teach her empathy
  • Relate experiences in greater detail and in a logical way
  • Problem-solve disagreements
  • Crave affection from parents and teachers
  • Have some minor difficulties with friendships and working out problems with peers
  • Distinguish left from right
  • Be able to plan ahead
  • Write words with letter-combination patterns such as words with a silent e
  • Read and write high-frequency words such as where and every
  • Write complete sentences with correct capitalization and punctuation
  • Read aloud first-grade books with accuracy and understanding
  • Count change
  • Tell time to the hour and half-hour
  • Quickly answer addition and subtraction facts for sums up to 20
  • Complete two-digit addition and subtraction problems without regrouping

Find out more about your first grader and reading, writing, language arts, math, science, technology, social studies, art, music, and physical education.

By the end of second grade, you can expect your child to:

  • Begin to reason and concentrate
  • Improve his ability to process information
  • Work cooperatively with a partner or small group
  • Understand the difference between right and wrong
  • Make connections between concepts so he will be better able to compare and contrast ideas
  • Expand his vocabulary
  • Read fluently with expression
  • Recognize most irregularly spelled words such as because and upon
  • Begin to use a dictionary
  • Add single- and multi-digit numbers with regrouping
  • Tell time to the quarter-hour
  • Know the concept of multiplication (for example, 2 x 3 is two rows of three)

Find out more about your second grader and reading, writing, language arts, math, science, technology, social studies, art, music, and physical education.

By the end of third grade, you can expect your child to:

  • Work cooperatively and productively with other children in small groups to complete projects
  • Understand how choices affect consequences
  • Become more organized and logical in her thinking processes
  • Build stronger friendships
  • Be helpful, cheerful, and pleasant as well as rude, bossy, selfish, and impatient
  • Be more influenced by peer pressure because friends are very important at this stage
  • Like immediate rewards for behavior
  • Be able to copy from a chalkboard
  • Be able to write neatly in cursive because the small muscles of the hand have developed
  • Read longer stories and chapter books with expression and comprehension
  • Use prefixes, suffixes, and root words and other strategies to identify unfamiliar words
  • Multiply single- and multi-digit numbers
  • Divide multi-digit numbers by one-digit numbers
  • Tell time to the half-hour and quarter-hour and to five minutes and one minute

Find out more about your third grader and reading, writing, language arts, math, science, technology, social studies, art, music, and physical education.

By the end of fourth grade, you can expect your child to:

  • Begin to make more decisions and engage in group decision-making
  • Want to be part of a group
  • Think independently and critically
  • Have empathy
  • Show a strong sense of responsibility
  • Be able to memorize and recite facts, although he may not have a deep understanding of them
  • Increase the amount of detail in drawings
  • Work on research projects
  • Write a structured paragraph with an introductory topic sentence, three supporting details, and a closing sentence that wraps up the main idea of the paragraph
  • Use a range of strategies when drawing meaning from text, such as prediction, connections, and inference
  • Understand cause-and-effect relationships
  • Add and subtract decimals, and compare decimals and fractions
  • Multiply multi-digit numbers by two-digit numbers
  • Divide larger multi-digit numbers by one-digit numbers
  • Find the area of two-dimensional shapes
  • Have a greater awareness of fairness

Find out more about your fourth grader and reading, writing, math, science, technology, social studies, the arts, and physical education and health.

By the end of fifth grade, you can expect your child to:

  • Be generally truthful and dependable
  • Develop increasing independence
  • Improve problem-solving skills
  • Acquire more-advanced listening and responding skills
  • Enjoy organizing and classifying objects and ideas
  • Be able to read and concentrate for long periods of time
  • Read complex text fluently and with good comprehension
  • Research a topic using a variety of sources, and use the features of a book (for example, the index, glossary, and appendix) to find information
  • Identify conflict, climax, and resolution in a story
  • Write an organized, multi-paragraph composition in sequential order with a central idea
  • Use problem-solving strategies to solve real-world math problems
  • Add and subtract fractions and decimals
  • Identify and describe three-dimensional shapes, and find their volumes and surface areas
  • Use long division to divide large numbers by multi-digit numbers

Find out more about your fifth grader and reading, writing, math, science, technology, social studies, the arts, and physical education and health.

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