Third Graders

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           Common Characteristics of 8 Year Olds

*full of positive energy and enthusiasm

*overly ambitious and sometimes "bite off more than they can chew"

*enjoy socializing and working in groups

*are generally easygoing

*adjust well to change

*enjoy larger friendships groups, preferably with same-gender friends

*willing to take risks; usually recover quickly from mistakes or problems

*concerned with fairness and justice; often have arguments and complaints about fairness issues

*often hurrying

*tend to play hard and tire quickly, do better with several short play breaks rather than one long one

*have improving hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, better at copying from board or chart than in the past

*have limited attention span; short exercise breaks help concentration

*can become engrossed in an activity 

*better at using manipulative to explain their thinking and problem-solving

*eager for approval of peers and adults

*increasingly interested in logic, classification, and the way things work

*vocabularies are growing quickly; many love to talk and explain ideas

*tend to exaggerate

*tend to listen well, but have so many ideas that they may not remember what they heard

*good sense of humor

*may give up when things are hard, but soon will want to try again

*excited but also nervous about exploring the broader world

*industrious, impatient and full of ideas



based on Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4–14, 3rd ed., by Chip Wood (Northeast Foundation for Children, 2007)