I always laugh when I hear, as I do at least once a day, someone tell fifth-grade students that they need to do something "like a fifth grader." Teachers, specialists, special educators: all are guilty of this easy rhetorical maneuver. Only problem is it's completely ridiculous. It's generally deployed when the adult in question is faced with large groups of rambunctious children; even when it's addressed to an individual the wider context of general fifth-grade wildness cannot be ignored. Evidentially, fifth-graders do not behave well. First graders, they can walk quietly in a line or go down the stairs to recess without forming a stampede that can't be stopped by anything short of an administrator; fifth graders can't. Perhaps the admonishers have some concept of the platonic ideal of a fifth grader in mind, but as that ideal bears no relation to reality I am forced to admit that, when they chase each other around the classroom or refuse to stop talking for more than 25 seconds at a stretch, these fine young people are, in fact, acting just like fifth graders.