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3rd Grade Behavior

What do I need to know about my child's education?

Each child is unique in her emotional and behavioral development. Children may show behaviors that are above grade levels in some areas, and below grade levels in other areas. Children also do not develop at a consistent rate. They may seem to show no growth for a long time and then show a lot of growth in a short span of time. The following social and emotional expectations are general and to be used as a guideline to help you understand your child's development.

What to expect from your child in 3rd grade

Children at this age...

  • are very dependent on their peer groups. They are able to think independently but often give into their peers.
  • have increased concentration and, as a result, teachers are able to lead longer lessons.
  • begin to request independence from adults and may fight directions given and/or authority figures.
  • are able to follow directions when supported and rewarded for compliance.
  • will begin to develop their own interests in hobbies and sports.
  • will form good relationships with adults in the school setting especially if they feel supported and heard.
  • are beginning to recognize the perspectives of others and will begin to recognize others' needs.
  • will become more independent and be able to complete tasks without adult attention and support.
  • may feel they can complete tasks both in and out of school that are above their actual skill set. 

Grade Level Content Expectations

The Michigan Department of Education requires children in third grade to work on the following skills:

  • Recognize that each person is unique and what makes themselves and other people unique
  • Explain how to accept, support and respect others differences
  • Explain why they would want a positive friendship and how their friends may influence their choices
  • Explain how they would work to keep positive friends
  • Describe a positive role model
  • Describe how people help each other
  • Show how to express appreciation
  • Learn how confront annoying behaviors in a positive and appropriate way


Bright Futures
Michigan's Behavior and Learning Support Initiative
Michigan Department of Education's Health Education Content Standards and Expectations
Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention
Wisconsin RtI Center