11-Year-Olds

In and Out of Class*

* Moody; sensitive;

extremes of emotion

* "Saving face" is important

* Oppositional; test limits

* Impulsive; rude; unaware

* Love to argue

* Difficulty with decisions

* Self-absorbed

* Prefer new tasks

and experiences to reflection

or revision of previous work

* Able to abstract

* Desire to test limits,

rules, an important

developmental milestone,

not a personal attack on

a teacher

* Learns well in cooperative

groups

* Likes work that feels

grown up - research,

bibliography, interviews,

footnotes, math skills

* Individual motor skills

(throwing, catching,

kicking) accelerate rapidly;

likes to measure individual

best

12-Year-Olds

In and Out of Class*

* More reasonable, tolerant

than at 11

* High energy; much rest

needed

* Both playful and serious

-- love to play class games

but can have a serious

discussion a moment later

* Adult personality begins

to emerge

* Peers more important

than teachers

* Increased ability to

abstract in intellectual

pursuits

* Can and will see

both sides to an argument

* Enjoys conversation

with adults and peers

* Sustains reading

for long periods; visual

concentration better

* High interest in current

events, politics, social

justice; also pop culture,

materialism

* Peer vocabulary - slang -

important

* Physical education and

sports valued

* Lengthy homework,

assignments due over longer

periods become more

reasonable

*From "Yardsticks:

Children in the Classroom

Ages 4-14" by Chip Wood