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Signs of Trouble in Third Grade

Signs of Trouble With Learning in 3rd Grade


signs of trouble third grade

Persistent difficulty with multiplication is one of the signs of trouble in third grade.

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

Third grade is a year of tremendous growth and learning, especially in math and reading. If your child is showing signs of trouble in third grade, it should be addressed as soon as possible. Speak with your child's teacher and/or pediatrician if she shows some of the signs of trouble on the following list.

Your child may have trouble in 3rd grade if she can't:

  • Read sight (or high frequency) words without stopping to think about it.
  • Write legible, complete sentences.
  • Automatically solve basic addition and subtraction facts up to 10.  This includes doubles facts, double plus one facts and other fact family problems.
  • Write in cursive (if it was taught in 2nd grade).
  • Create and solve the numerical sentences that go with story problems.

Your child may have trouble in 3rd grade and might need further evaluation for possible developmental delays or learning disabilities if she shows some of the following signs:

  • Has difficulty maneuvering scissors, tweezers, puzzle pieces or other small objects.
  • Cannot tie shoes or has trouble beginning the zipper on her coat.
  • Rambles when speaking about a topic.
  • Uses invented vocabulary in her speech.
  • Stammers, stutters or often fills sentences with words like "um, uh, you know or I mean."
  • Uses malaproprisms in speech. These are also known as "slips of the tongue" and use a similar sounding word as a replacement in a phrase, making it nonsensical. For example, "It is beyond my apprehension." (Danny Ozark)
  • Has trouble understanding and/or following verbal or written directions.
  • Loses her place while reading.
  • Confuses words that look similar when reading. For example: word/world.
  • Reverses letter order when reading. For examples, reads "was" as "saw."
  • Avoids reading or reads under protest.
  • Has trouble learning multiplication tables and other mathematical formulas and rules.
  • Struggles to create and/or charts or graphs from mathematical information.
  • Fails to follow through to completion tasks schoolwork, homework or chores.
  • Tries to avoid activities that call for long periods of concentration.


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