Tip Sheet for Working with Lower Grades

Tip Sheet for Working with Lower Grades


What’s it like to be in Kindergarten?

Children at this age are often quite shy and earnest, and are learning the rules of good behavior in school.   They are like little sponges for information, and love to tell you what they already know about a subject.  Listening to what they already know can be very instructive in developing a language that they will understand.  They sometimes like to test limits, and need to know where boundaries are.

In science they will be learning about cycles in nature, the seasons, habitats, states of matter, plant germination, parts of a plant, sea animals and frogs.  Their mathematical objectives are around counting, sorting, sets, patterns, etc.  Some will be reading and writing, and some are just learning to form their letters.


What’s it like to be in 1stgrade?

This is a big year for learning to read and write.  Some students will achieve mastery over these skills and some will still be learning. By this time, they know the basic expectations of behavior, but will have to be reminded not to talk over others, raise hands to speak, etc.  They are trying hard at this age to fulfill expectations, and can get frustrated. They sometimes need encouragement if they are perfectionists. Some children may need help with scribing.

Phonic spelling is still acceptable though children will be learning to spell short, common words. In science we will be covering the basics of animal adaptations, camouflage, sources of light, rotation of the earth around the sun, day and night, types of sound, pitch, vibrations, and waves.


What’s it like to be in 2ndgrade?

By second grade, most students are already reading and writing, and are learning to put it together in sentences.  There is emphasis on sentence formation with capital letters at the beginning, and periods at the end.  This is a grade where spelling starts to count.  If a word is spelled correctly on the board, or on a worksheet, the children need to copy it correctly on their papers.  Some children may still need help with scribing if lengthy writing is involved.

In second grade students are able to grasp bigger concepts, and put together information in a more sophisticated way.   They will be writing paragraphs of description rather than single sentences. Science at this grade level covers butterfly metamorphosis, the many species of owls, habitats, landforms, erosion, continents, the globe, frogs, animals of Mexico, and pond life.


Basic rules for children at all lower grades:

Respect for others

Raise hand to speak

Don’t talk over others

Stay in your own bubble

Being kind to others

No running inside

Learning is fun!


To redirect a child who is distracted….. how do I help?

Sit next to them

Quietly remind them to pay attention if another teacher is talking

If at tables working, ask them questions about what they are supposed to be doing

Model behavior for them

Help them out with an idea or hint at an answer

Help them spell by ”sounding out”

If they can’t spell word by sounding out, tell them

If they need help scribing ideas, that is allowed, but maybe you take turns writing with them

Direct the child’s attention to the task

Use positive reinforcement for positive behavior

If behavior is disrespectful or hurtful to another person in the room, let the teacher know!