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Mastering Elementary School Curriculum: The Basics Every Student Should Know

Kids will learn about basic letters and sounds and how to write words correctly. They’ll also practice combining ideas and making connections to build more complex writing pieces.

Students will take end-of-unit tests to assess their understanding of core subjects. They’ll be encouraged to study on their own or, if they got fewer than 80 percent of questions right, with a teacher.

Math Basics

When it comes to elementary school curriculum, math is one of the core subjects. From counting to learning how to make change, basic math skills are essential.

Kindergarten students learn number sense, including counting and one-to-one correspondence, as well as addition and subtraction within 10. By second grade, they are able to skip count by twos, fives and tens, and can begin using their knowledge of multiplication tables to solve problems.

To move on to a new topic, students need to demonstrate that they have mastered the previous lesson. To do this, they must be able to answer a series of timed questions correctly and quickly. This is why daily repetition of concepts like speed drills are so important. Each single-page lesson includes review exercises, speed drills, teacher tips, new material and word problems.

Reading Fundamentals

Reading fundamentals are essential for grooming young minds into academically proficient individuals. Children become able to express themselves clearly and understand concepts when they know how to read.

Students learn all the 70 phonograms and how they combine to make words. They practice deleting phonemes from words to create new ones (for example, ‘spill’ becomes ‘pill’).

In addition to learning how to pronounce and spell words, elementary school students learn about different types of speech. They also study the differences between nouns, verbs and adjectives and how they’re used in writing pieces. Depending on the curriculum they choose, they may even get introduced to some economic concepts. Liberty University’s 100% online EdM in Curriculum & Instruction, with a specialization in Elementary Education, is committed to teaching for social justice and disrupting inequality rooted in white supremacy, anti-Blackness, cis-heteronormative patriarchy, ableism and dominant English monolingualism.

Science Concepts

Science is an exciting and important subject, particularly for elementary school students. It helps them learn more about their world and understand how things work. It is also a highly active subject, and children are naturally curious and interested in learning about the natural world.

Providing students with a solid foundation in science is essential to their future success. However, many urban public schools lack adequate resources and teachers to properly educate their students in this area.

Teachers must select curriculum materials that emphasize science process skills rather than simply focusing on rote memorization and fact recall. For example, students need to be able to find patterns in nature and understand cause-and-effect relationships. For instance, primary-grade children can explore this concept by watching how soaking seeds with water and light affects their growth, while intermediate-grade kids can discover how lubricating and streamlining the body of a pinewood derby car makes it run faster.

History Lessons

History classes teach students a wide range of things about the world, from its various cultures to its geography and how countries and societies are structured. These lessons give learners a foundation that can help them become informed citizens and better understand their civic duties and responsibilities.

Historical inquiry lessons encourage children to think like historians. They help them to organize and communicate ideas as they review a variety of sources for evidence on a central question. As they find new and sometimes contradictory information they revisit their hypotheses and learn how a historian's interpretations can change.

When learning about American history, it's important for kids to know that all Americans were not treated equally. A great way to do this is through books, films and documentaries that tell stories about people of color in the United States.

Art Projects

Art is often a popular addition to an elementary school curriculum because it allows students to explore their creative expression. But beyond that, arts integration has been shown to boost students' cognitive skills, especially their ability to retain information from other subjects.

For example, having children illustrate a new vocabulary word using a thumbprint doodle has been shown to help them better understand that word's meaning. It's an excellent way to introduce a new science topic, too.

As with all educational institutions, the curriculum at an elementary school is in a constant state of change. However, many of the basics remain the same. Students need a strong foundation of work in the educational basics to prepare them for a future as informed, productive citizens of democratic society.