Providing a Well-Rounded Education for K-5 Students: Academic, Social, and Career Development

The Importance of Education in the K-5 Age Range

A quality education helps kids learn about the world around them and develop valuable skills that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s learning to read and write or how to be a responsible citizen, the K-5 education system offers many opportunities for students.

EL Education’s curriculum for Grades K-2 includes four hour-long modules per year that allow students to build important content knowledge. Module assessments include both summative and formative evaluations to provide teachers with the most useful data possible.

Academics

Students in the k-5 grade range are at the beginning of their academic journey and need to learn essential skills. The curriculum for this age range focuses on providing a well-rounded education that fosters intellectual, social and emotional growth.

Educational activities include classroom lessons, group projects, assignments and standardized tests. These are designed to help students develop their knowledge of different subjects, including language arts, math, science and social studies. The curriculum also includes extracurricular activities, such as music, sports and clubs, to give students a broader educational experience.

The EL Education K-5 curriculum supports teachers and students through standards-based core literacy instruction, which engages students by using compelling, real world content. It is used by schools around the globe to build students’ content-based vocabulary and comprehension skills. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education K-5 program gain a deep understanding of teaching theory and practice, and are prepared to teach at this level of the school system.

Social and Emotional Development

While children pick up some social-emotional skills naturally from their parents or guardians, they can be taught more about how to manage emotions and build positive relationships with other people. Teachers can be particularly influential in this arena, since schools are often children’s primary place outside of their homes.

The school-age years are a crucial time for social and emotional development, laying the foundation for healthy mental health throughout life. These skills include learning how to communicate effectively, being able to identify and express their own feelings, and feeling sympathy and empathy for others.

These are called “emotional self-regulation” skills and help students learn to understand, validate, and control their emotions. Teaching these skills can help children feel supported and connected in their educational environment, increasing their love of learning. The mind+heart Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum is designed to teach these skills in grades Pre-K-5. Click the image to learn more and download sample resources.

Character Development

A child spends six or more hours a day at school and learns a lot of lessons that have nothing to do with math and English. Rather than learning these lessons haphazardly or at the whims of a teacher, students can benefit from a character education program that offers a holistic approach to learning that includes values, personality development and more.

Character development teaches students to be ethical, caring and responsible people. It helps develop the virtues that employers want in employees and neighbors in the community. It’s something that should be woven into the classroom environment, assemblies, hallway behavior, curriculum, after school activities, parent communications and staff professional learning.

Many schools have adopted programs like CharacterStrong that promotes the traits of Trustworthiness, Respect for Others, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. They also include family activities that provide a bridge for conversation between school and home. This is a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page and that positive character development is happening across all spheres of a student’s life.

Career Development

During this time of uncertainty about future employment opportunities, career development is one of the key educational goals for students. A comprehensive system of career development can help prepare young people to thrive in a reviving economy as well as to manage challenges that may arise in the near term.

Career awareness begins with students having an understanding of who they are, their interests and skills. This is often accomplished through a series of questions that encourage self-reflection and exploration. It is important that this stage take place early as research indicates that it impacts high school and post-secondary choices.

Students need exposure to the vocabulary of occupations and careers, career interest surveys or assessments and opportunities to review and reflect on their results with adult guidance and support. This can be accomplished through formal and informal activities. Career education efforts can also benefit from a variety of resources and partnerships. These can be found through communities of practice, publications, conferences and online communication.

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