1. Parenting

Signs of Trouble in Fifth Grade

Signs of Trouble With Learning and Friends in Fifth Grade

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signs of trouble in fifth grade

Lack of details in writing can be a sign of trouble in fifth grade.

Getty Images/Jutta Klee

Note: Please see Signs of Trouble in Third Grade and Signs of Trouble in Fourth Grade as this list of concerns is in addition to those previously outlined.

For many students, fifth grade is the year to prepare for middle school. Signs of trouble in fifth grade often revolve around goal-setting and peer relationships. If your child is showing some the following signs of trouble, it's time to speak with her teacher, guidance counselor or pediatrician about some extra support in the academic or social arena.

Your child may have trouble in 5th grade if she can't:

  • Work with other students to complete projects or in-class assignments
  • Write coherent, logical sentences and paragraphs.
  • Remember and make sense of factual information.
  • Give oral reports or informally speak about what she has learned.
  • Read non-fiction.

Your child may have trouble in 5th grade and might need further evaluation for possible developmental delays or learning disabilities if she shows some of the following signs:

  • Is not able to identify his strengths and/or areas of concern, either socially or academically.
  • Does not attribute success or failure to his own efforts, but to outside influences. For example, says things like "The teacher is out to get me." or "I got lucky, that's why I did well on the test."
  • Makes careless mistakes because he isn't paying attention to or is rushing through his work.
  • Is easily distracted during and forgetful in everyday tasks.
  • Has trouble learning his way around or gets lost easily in new places. (Has a poor sense of direction.)
  • Has difficulty completing tasks or playing games that require him to judge speed or distance.
  • Cannot interpret charts, graphs or maps.
  • Is unable to listen to the teacher and make notes at the same time.
  • Does not fully develop his ideas when writing. His writing may lack details, be very short and/or seem unfinished.
  • Struggles to recall basic multiplication facts and has difficulty learning multi-number multiplication.
  • Is unable to master long division.
  • Continues to have messy writing, with cross-outs, uneven spacing, misspellings, letter reversals and/or trouble staying on the line.
  • Doesn't organize his time well or doesn't seem to have a good sense of time.
  • Has trouble maintaining (but not necessarily making) friendships.
  • Cannot set realistic social or academic goals.
  • Struggles to deal with peer pressure, to the point of avoiding other students.

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