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Things I've learned about 2nd graders

I've been working with a group of second graders at an after-school program at a South Minneapolis school. I'm not trained as an elementary school teacher, this is younger than most kids I deal with in my usual youth work. These are kids who are labeled "at-risk". I'm not fond of that term, but it's what is used. They come from below-poverty level homes or have already been identified as falling behind in school. I only have 6-8 each day, but it wears me out. I've learned a few things from them....

1. Do 2 directions at a time - not more. Example: Put your paper in your bag and sit down at your desk. What doesn't work: First, put your paper in your bag, then put on your shoes and coat, and take your backpack to the door and get in line.
2. They still are really into having fun...losing a minute of "fun time" at the end of the day is a serious threat.
3. I've got three girls that can be super-nasty to each other. Unfortunately, the only thing that seems to get them to work is to get one of them out of the mix. Two can get along ok, usually...there are only 3 girls in the program. They turn super-nasty to everyone else when they get nasty!

That's all for now.