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Grade-by-Grade Guide to Signs of Trouble with Learning K-5

Signs of Trouble in Grades K - 5

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If you're worried whether or not your child might be having trouble in school this year, it's a good idea to check out what some of those signs of trouble are for each grade. From kindergarten to fifth grade, here's a comprehensive list of warning signs. Simply click on each grade to see what you should be on the lookout for.

1. Signs of Trouble in Kindergarten

signs of trouble in kindergarten
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Though many teachers may take a "wait and see" approach to student learning progress in kindergarten, there are a number of indicators that can be signs of trouble in kindergarten. Those signs of trouble can be anything from mild separation anxiety to difficulty with expressive language or trouble interacting with friends.

2. Signs of Trouble in 1st Grade

sgns of trouble in first grade
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First grade is a time of tremendous growth in learners, particularly in the realms of reading and mathematics. Though some children have more difficulty than others learning, there are certain signs of trouble that need to be looked at more carefully. In first grade, these signs of trouble can range from difficulty recognizing the alphabet and sight words to troubles handling challenges or teasing from peers.

3. Signs of Trouble in 2nd Grade

signs of trouble in second grade
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By second grade most students are used to the rules and routine of school and are ready to face more challenging academics. For some children, however, second grade is when you begin to see signs of trouble that may require a referral for special education evaluation. A number of these signs of trouble surround the skills that your child needs to be a fluent reader, but others have roots in math or social skills.

4. Signs of Trouble in 3rd Grade

signs of trouble in third grade
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Third grade is a year of tremendous growth and learning, especially in math and reading. There are a number of warning signs of trouble in third grade. From troubles with fact families to confusion with following simple directions, if your child showing a number of these difficulties, it may be time to have it evaluated further.

5. Signs of Trouble in 4th Grade

signs of trouble in fourth grade
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Fourth grade is a year when children are expected to take on new challenges, both socially and academically, and it's important to be on the lookout for signs of trouble in either of these realms. The child who consistently has trouble organizing his time and work materials or the child who is always doubtful or disparaging of his strengths and abilities are among the few who might be showing signs of trouble in fourth grade.

6. Signs of Trouble in 5th Grade

signs of trouble in fifth grade
Getty Images/ Jutta Klee

In fifth grade, signs of trouble often revolve around goal-setting and peer relationships.  Signs of trouble this year encompass a number of things, including struggles with multiplication facts and long division, as well as ongoing difficulties maintaining friendships or dealing with the pressures of getting along with other kids.

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