In elementary school, students are taught, and tested on, the core subjects, including reading, writing, spelling, math, science and social studies.
Students are expected to master:
- Reading and reading comprehension skills, including main idea, sequence, inference, comparisons, language patterns and phonics
- Language arts, including writing, grammar and spelling
- Writing, including brainstorming, drafting and editing
- Spelling, including patterns and using the dictionary
- Handwriting, including letter formation in printing and cursive
- Mathematics, including numbers, measurement, geometry, decimals, patterns and basic math functions, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions
Science curricula may include weather, plants, insects, rain forests, oceans, life cycle, balance, weight, soil, dinosaurs, ecosystems, chemistry and more.
Social studies curricula may include United States history, local history, maps and geography.
Depending on the school, students also study music, art, physical education, computers and health. Some schools introduce foreign language at the elementary level as well.
In any subject, students will be tested frequently. Many elementary schools test students weekly on spelling, reading, handwriting and math. Students will be expected to learn good study skills early in their educational careers, and they will be expected to be prepared for each test. It is important for children to learn how to study very early.
Elementary school teachers generally provide parents plenty of notice prior to tests so that they can help their children prepare for each exam. Many teachers also inform parents of the test format so that they can practice with their children at home. Many elementary school subjects involve tremendous amounts of memorization, so students will have to memorize things such as addition and subtraction facts, multiplication tables and spelling.
For students who have difficulty with test taking, a great deal of test preparation materials are available, including one-on-one tutoring, workbooks, flashcards and other materials.
For more on elementary study aids, please visit our Elementary Test Directory.