From the very beginning, problem solving should be encouraged, and further
academic progress will follow from an openness to learning.
Beyond academic skill building, students at these grades level
should begin to show autonomy, confidence, and the attention appropriate for
the development of study skills.
Developing an ability to be patient during these problem solving processes is
a key attribute for students.
Students also pursue the beginnings of creative writing and illustration by
utilizing proper grammar and drawing pictures to accompany the text. Penmanship
is foundational here, as each letter needs to be clearly written by hand, leading
the way from block to cursive.
Opportunities for Growth
It is important for high-performing students in the early elementary grades to
be encouraged to foster a love of learning and a curiosity both inside of and
outside of the classroom.
If these students do not find classroom content challenging, a growth mindset
can be developed by presenting these students with reading and math problems above
their current grade level. Exposing students to supplemental content will allow
students to explore interests and passions by reading about subjects in which they
may not be previously familiar.
In early elementary school students can also begin to develop study skills and
time management abilities. Students who know how to stay organized and increase
the quality of their study time will find the transition to later grades easier.
Students who have mostly B’s at this point will have to make sure to fill in
the gaps and remediate, as there are likely several areas to strengthen to
achieve A grade level performance.
They may need to develop a mindset which increases their confidence inside
and outside of the classroom. One way to increase a student’s belief in his or
her academic abilities is to focus on more basic concepts in the areas of math,
reading, and language arts.
This is also the time to begin building the study and time management skills that
students can carry with them through the later elementary grades and beyond.
Students will need to learn the self-discipline and diligence needed to perform
academically and the subject matter increases in rigor.
C or Below Students
Students who mostly receive C or below grades during the Kindergarten-2nd grade
years will need to watch out for the domino effect, where gaps in basic skills
begin to significantly affect performance in later years.
A student performing at this level may need to have their motivation assessed,
as confidence could be low. Encouragement is key, and success is won by a back to
basics approach. Starting with what the student can do and tracing backwards, a
unique and differentiated approach must be taken to find a solution to prevalent
concerns and weaker areas. There may need to be a dismantling of academic
foundations and a reconstruction in order to make sure this student does not
fall behind to a nearly irreparable state.
Many students at this level still struggle with basic reading comprehension
and basic math skills. A source of encouragement for early education students
is that students academically grow most quickly during these grade levels, so
if academic skill weaknesses are addressed during this time, there can be a
significant impact on a student’s academic potential during later grades.
Students who have difficulty in school often start to lose motivation at this age,
and disengage from school. It is important to encourage these students to develop a
mindset which motivates them to work hard, build their confidence, and find ways to
connect academic work to their interests.