Elementary school is essential in preparing children for further education and life in general. The vast majority of children gain a fundamental understanding of the world and its history, in addition to reading and the basic concepts of science and mathematics, while they are enrolled in school.

After elementary school, acquiring more profound knowledge would be much easier. Research has shown that learning to read before fourth grade can boost a student’s lifetime earning potential. In other words, a child’s elementary school education sets the stage for the rest of their lives.

While US public statistics identify primary schools as serving students in grades one through eight, most schools, including Imagine Schools West Melbourne, define elementary school as kindergarten through sixth grade. In addition, most educational literature and pedagogical approaches characterize elementary school in this manner.

In this blog post, we will explore what ages are typically associated with elementary school and the developmental milestones that occur during each stage.

Ages of Elementary School

Ages 5-11 make up the bulk of the elementary school population. At this age, most children are just getting their feet wet in the worlds of reading, writing, arithmetic, critical thinking, and problem-solving. During this time, children also learn about the world and develop social and emotional maturity. Therefore, having a solid grounding in the basics of education is crucial for children as they prepare to enter middle school and beyond.

Children’s ages determine their starting grade level in the American school system. Once a child reaches the legal school enrollment age, they must be enrolled by their parent or legal guardian. Children are placed in classrooms with peers who are of similar age.

The first year of elementary school, known as kindergarten, typically begins when a child is five years old. After that, the first grade begins the following academic year, and so on, up to the fifth or sixth grade. Finally, they complete elementary school after they turn 10 to 11 years old.

Developmental Milestones

A set of criteria called developmental milestones describes children’s life skills and abilities. Pediatricians and educators use these developmental milestones to monitor a child’s growth.

All children develop at their rate, although each milestone is associated with an age or grade level. It is considered normal for a peer group to achieve milestones at various ages, sometimes varying by a few years.

What abilities do children typically acquire in elementary school? Find out what developmental milestones to watch for in your elementary school child.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has divided the list into age groups from infancy to adolescence. Since this blog is mainly about our elementary children, we will only focus on the three age groups associated with this stage. Here’s the table summary.

(3-5 years of age)
Middle Childhood
(6-8 years of age)
Middle Childhood
(9-11 years of age)
– Hops on one foot
– More independent
– Start to pay more attention to adults & children outside the family
– Curious about their surroundings
– Able to ride a tricycle
– Use safety scissors
– Observe the differences between boys & girls
– Help to put on & take off their clothes
– Play with other children
– Remember a portion of a story
– Sing a song
– Children can dress independently
– Catch a ball more easily with just their hands
– Tie their shoes
– Less dependent on parents & family
– Begin to consider the future
– Increase attention on friendships & teamwork
– Desire to belong to a group
– Learn more effective ways to describe experiences & express emotions
– Become less egocentric & able to empathize
– Physical signs of puberty start to show
– Become more conscious about their bodies
– Develop closer, more complex bonds with friends & peers
– Become less reliant on the family
– Understand others’ perspectives
– Have a longer attention span

Learning Strategies

Children need the appropriate learning strategies to meet their developmental milestones. A positive learning environment is crucial for children to learn and develop their full potential.

Please be aware that some references use the terms “teaching strategies” and “learning strategies” interchangeably. Let’s distinguish between these two terms to prevent confusion. Teachers’ techniques and approaches to support student learning are referred to as teaching strategies.

Meanwhile, learners use a learning strategy when they want to organize and apply a particular set of skills to learn course material or carry out other tasks in a classroom or outside of it more quickly and effectively.

There are numerous effective teaching and learning methods, but knowing which to use and with which learners are of utmost importance.

Here are ten teaching-learning techniques frequently employed in elementary school classrooms:

Individual Learning

Students learn individually at their desks. Each child may work on a customized project. Individual learning occurs when students work alone.


In elementary school classrooms, centers are trendy. Usually, center work has a theme, like math, science, spelling, reading, etc. Each center might have toys or other things for the children to use. Usually, a few children work together at a center. They can move to another when they’re done with the activity at one center. You can schedule center sessions and get everyone to move simultaneously. Other teachers let students move through the centers at their own pace. Board games and simple science experiments are two examples.

Group Work

Group work lets children practice social skills. They must also discuss their plans, methods, and reasons. They learn persuasion and more! Additionally, children help each other with content in groups. Thus, some students must teach others. Students gain. The one explaining reviews the content, and the one needing help gets more exposure. Group projects include math and experimentation.

Concept Mapping & Charts

Other learning strategies include webbing, charts, and mind mapping. They are handy when categorizing.


Summarizing increases reading comprehension by 33%. For example, you have your students read a book and then have them identify the main ideas. Finally, have them summarize the main points in their own words.


A classic example we have is ROYGBIV. It lists rainbow colors (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet). The acronym makes remembering the color order easier than memorizing the colors.


Acting is more than just studying plays. Role-playing can be an excellent way for students to put various ideas and concepts into practice. For example, children can portray different characters in a story.

Discussion & debate

Discussion and debate are also great ways to help students learn in the classroom. Children learn to understand other people’s perspectives and stand up for themselves. Discussion can also happen if you ask open-ended questions.


Brainstorming is an excellent way to discover what your children know about a subject. But before brainstorming, it’s essential to set some ground rules, like telling the children that all ideas are welcome to generate as many ideas as possible.

Modeling & Examples

Most teachers use this learning method. The teacher models a problem, behavior, or assignment. For example, the teacher can show an example of an essay, so students know how to organize their reports.

Imagine Schools West Melbourne


Elementary school is an essential part of a child’s education and development. Therefore, it is critical to understand the various ages and stages of elementary school and the developmental milestones that occur at each stage.

Parents and educators can give their children the best chance of success by understanding elementary school ages and the learning strategies that can help them reach their developmental milestones.

Be a part of our community if you are looking for an elementary school with a strong foundation in terms of academic excellence and character development.

Imagine Schools West Melbourne is a public charter school located in a large suburb of West Melbourne, Florida. Tuition-free education is available to children in kindergarten through sixth grade. To inquire about enrollment opportunities, please call (321) 233-4301. We hope to see you around!

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