• Tip Sheet

5 to 8 YEARS

As in the earlier years, kids’ thinking, feeling and growth will continue to develop, but as they transition from preschool into kindergarten, their learning will be more formal and focused on academic subjects. These formal school subject areas are categorized in Colorado’s Academic Standards.

Colorado Academic Standards content areas include:

  • Comprehensive Health and Physical Education
    • It’s important for kids to eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise to stay healthy.
    • Kids will develop their ability to move during a variety of routines, games, and activities.
    • Kindergarteners should show respect for themselves and others and follow directions. First grade students grow in their ability to effectively work with others, including following the rules. In second and third grade, children continue developing social skills so that they can work well with other students in class.
  • World Languages
    • Students learn about other cultures – their language, interactions, and cultural products.
    • Students begin to learn how to communicate in a foreign language.
    • Students connect their experiences to the language they are learning.
    • Learning a new language and about a new culture helps students to learn more about their own culture and experiences.
  • Reading, Writing and Communicating
    • Students are learning how to speak and understand the language(s) spoken around them.
    • Students begin to read. While preschool and kindergarten children learn the basics of reading (letters and phonics), children in first through third grade begin to read on their own.
    • In preschool, kids learn that writing means something and communicates ideas. Students begin to print upper and lower case letters and add spacing between words in kindergarten. In first through third grade, students learn to write with more structure to tell stories and give messages.
    • Students begin to gather information, answer questions and solve problems.
  • Mathematics
    • Students learn about numbers and how they are related.
    • Students learn how to think though and solve math problems.
    • Students learn how to recognize, describe, and compare shapes, objects and structures.
    • Students begin to use data to answer questions.
  • Science
    • Students learn about physical science and changes in matter and energy.
    • Students learn about living things and how they interact with each other and their environment.
    • Students learn how Earth’s systems function and interact with other objects in space.
  • Social Studies
    • Students learn about historical people and events, which helps to develop moral understanding and comprehend how things change.
    • Students learn about world regions and resources and how places are connected locally, nationally and globally.
    • Students learn about economics and personal finances.
    • Students learn about government, citizenship and law.
  • Music
    • Students learn how to express themselves in response to music, for example, by singing songs.
    • Students learn how music has a different language and structure.
    • Students develop the knowledge to evaluate and critique music.
  • Dance
    • Students develop the confidence and skills to dance and perform.
    • Students learn how to create dance elements and translate ideas through movement.
    • Students learn about the history of dance.
  • Visual Arts
    • Students learn how visual arts can help someone express themselves and communicate with others.
    • Students learn how to critique art.
    • Students learn how to create art with different techniques and using different materials.
    • Students understand how visual arts can be a part of lifelong learning.
  • Drama & Theater Arts
    • Students learn how to create and participate in theater, including performing in and writing plays.
    • Students develop the skills to critique theater and identify elements of theater in their everyday life.

Collectively these areas reflect all that a student will learn in school, but there are also other important areas of child development including their overall health, feelings and emotions. Students will also continue to develop important skills that will help them be successful in life. Colorado calls these 21st Century Skills and they include, but are not limited to, students’ ability to think critically and work well with others.


Note: It is important to arrange for regular health and developmental exams with a health care provider. These are usually part of a well-child visit and can include vision, hearing and oral health screenings.

Questions? Concerns?

The Guidelines describe how a typical child develops but it is important to understand that each child learns and develops at his or her own individual pace. Since each child is different, caregivers should talk with a health care provider or other trusted professional about any questions or concerns. For more information about questions or concerns you may have, please contact us.