Counselor's Corner

355 Lowville Road, WI 53960 - (920) 992-3143

Fax Number: (920) 992-3012

Guidance Counselor - Mrs. Gwen Finley

Parenting Resources

Second & Third Quarter Parenting Resources:

Excerpts of Yardsticks by Chip Wood, as reviewed by teachers Sarah Nogee, Lea Fennessy, and Stacia Koenig.

Parents of children at all ages often question what to expect at each level of their children’s growth and development. If your child is a kindergartner or first grader, here are some tips taken from the resources above to consider.

  • Children’s growth and development follow some identifiable patterns.
  • Even though there are general patterns, no two children are the same which means that while children may go through stages in the same order, they will go through them at their own rate.
  • Development and learning do not proceed at the same rate. A child may be ahead in learning but behind in physical and social growth or ahead in music or mechanical ability while being more average in traditional school subjects.
  • Growth is uneven. Learning can involve spurts ahead followed by times of skill consolidation.

“Each child is a gift, each child is a surprise.”

Characteristics of Kindergartners


  • Gross motor control improving
  • Need a good deal of physical activity/free play outside is necessary
  • Reversals of letters and numbers are at their peak and make reading and writing difficult


  • Consistent rules and discipline are necessary
  • Struggling to learn to express empathy; can have difficulty sharing their own ball or space but then at times if a classmate across the room is crying, a crowd of caring fives may gather


  • Asks permission often; “Teacher can I . . .?”


  • Learns best through play and own action
  • Do not think like adults; children must do one thing at a time; keep it clear and simple

Characteristics of 1st Graders


  • Allow a “busy” level of activity and noise during learning
  • Help students slow down; being in a hurry to finish is common


  • Wants to be first
  • Tremendous capacity for enjoyment; likes surprises, treats
  • Extreme behavior needs to be understood but not excessively tolerated; tantrums, teasing, bossing, complaining, tattling are ways sixes try out relationships/authority
  • Can be competitive; take the competitive edge off when using games to learn


  • Likes to explain things


  • Enjoy the process almost more than the finished project
  • Watch for their delight in showing what they can do in academics and class routines

Characteristics of 2nd Graders


  • Visually strong at desk work, not copying from the smartboard
  • Sometimes tense due to worrying about not doing things “right”


  • Need security and structure
  • Don’t like to take risks; often need constant reinforcement and encouragement
  • Changeable feelings and friendships


  • Like one-to-one conversation


  • Want to discover how things work; might take things apart
  • Erase constantly; want things to look perfect
  • Need closure and like to complete assignments (not leave them open-ended)

Characteristics of 3rd Graders


  • Full of energy
  • Often in a growth spurt, restless, need short exercise breaks during the day


  • Often “bite off more than can chew,” overestimate abilities
  • Enjoy being in groups and doing things as a group


  • Like to explain things
  • Vocabulary is expanding rapidly


  • “I’m bored,” can often mean, “This is too hard. I’m overwhelmed.” Needs help breaking things down into pieces
  • Hard Working
  • Beginning to show better grasp of basic reading and math skills

Characteristics of 4th Graders


  • Competitive
  • Sometimes tense; behaviors like nail-biting or hair twisting can occur


  • Can be moody
  • Worry and show anxiety
  • Sometimes complainers who point out fairness issues
  • Benefit from a “determined sense of lightness” and humor from their teacher
  • Are beginning to see how things in the world really work and how unfair things can be
  • Avoid using sarcasm with them; they are already hard on themselves
  • Need second chances with adults to try again


  • Directions and expectations need to be clear
  • Can describe things well
  • Sometimes negative--”I hate it. I can’t. Boring. Yeah right.”


  • Starting to see “the bigger world”
  • Work hard but can be hard on themselves
  • Reading to learn instead of just learning to read

Characteristics of 5th Graders


  • Need breaks and outdoor play time or behaviors will affect class time


  • Work well in groups and enjoy class goals where they can show leadership
  • “Golden end of childhood” where students are content prior to the upcoming teenage years
  • Usually truthful and showing a more mature sense of right and wrong
  • Like to be noticed and to lead activities for younger students


  • Talkative and enjoy explaining things


  • Memorization of necessary facts, classification and organization are strengths
  • Proud of finished school products
  • Academics often include independent reading, writing about famous people, geography, map work, fractions, decimals and division of larger numbers

If you would like to read more about developmental traits of Elementary students, please contact me to borrow the book Yardsticks by Chip Wood or ask your child’s teacher.

First Quarter Parenting Resources:

Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay

Parent Tips from Love & Logic Magic When Kids Leave You Speechless by Charles Fay

  1. Children feel better about themselves when they have firm yet loving limits, some age-appropriate chores to do at home, and have to struggle and not be rescued when they face consequences.
  2. When children try to argue with you, "go brain dead" and repeat "I love you too much to argue."
  3. Emphasize what you will do in a time-limited way. For example," You need to pick up your toys now. If some are left out, I will pick them up and put them in my closet for today. That way no one will trip on them." Use a businesslike voice so you are not letting the child gain control by seeing you upset.

Check It Out!

Rio Public Library has Love & Logic CDs for your car rides, DVDs, and books.

What is Parenting With Love and Logic?

Mrs. Finley's Website