K – 3rd Grade

Children’s learning in the first few years of school builds on the foundations of their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development established during early childhood, which form a basis for later learning. As children transition to kindergarten, the domains of learning become more formal. For children five to eight years old their developmental domains shift to the content areas of the Colorado Academic Standards.

Download the Guidelines for children K-3rd Grade for complete descriptions of specific behaviors and suggested supports.

The formal subject areas categorized in Colorado’s Academic Standards are:

Comprehensive Health and Physical Education

  • Movement Competence and Understanding
  • Physical and Personal Wellness
  • Emotional and Social Wellness
  • Prevention and Risk Management

English Language Proficiency

World Languages

  • Communicating in Languages other than English
  • Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures
  • Connections with Other Disciplines and Information Acquisition
  • Comparisons to Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture

Reading, Writing and Communicating

  • Oral Expression and Listening
  • Reading for All Purposes
  • Writing and Composition
  • Research and Reasoning


  • Mathematical Practice
  • Number Sense, Properties and Operations
  • Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability
  • Shape, Dimension, and Geometric Relationships


  • Physical Science
  • Life Science
  • Earth Systems Science

Social Studies

  • History
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Civics


  • Expression of Music
  • Creation of Music
  • Aesthetic Valuation of Music


  • Movement, Technique and Performance
  • Create, Compose, and Choreograph
  • Historical Cultural Context
  • Reflect, Connect, and Respond

Visual Arts

  • Observe and Learn to Comprehend
  • Envision and Critique to Reflect
  • Invent and Discover to Create
  • Relate and Connect to Transfer


  • Create
  • Perform
  • Critically Respond

For more information please visit the Colorado Academic Standards.

At this age, children will also learn skills that will help in all of their learning, in life and school. These skills may include understanding similarities and differences or being able to talk and write about their thoughts and ideas. Children may begin to develop these skills starting in kindergarten and get better at these skills over the years.

In addition to descriptions about child learning and development, the Colorado Academic Standards articulate skills called Concept Connections. Concept Connections are cognitive skills and themes that are emphasized in each grade across multiple content areas. You can view the Concept Connections by grade on page 137 of the Guidelines.