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2020 CAS - Family and Community Guide for Kindergarten

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Working Together: To support families, communities, and teachers in realizing the goals of the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS), this guide provides an overview of the learning expectations for kindergarten. This guide offers some learning experiences students may engage in at school that may also be supported at home.

Why Standards? Created by Coloradans for Colorado students, the Colorado Academic Standards provide a grade-by-grade road map to help ensure students are successful in college, careers, and life. The standards aim to improve what students learn and how they learn in 12 content areas while emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and communication as essential skills for life in the 21st century.

See all of the Family and Community Guides here.

Where can I learn more?

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Comprehensive Health

The comprehensive health standards in the elementary years focus on developing individual skills to enhance physical, emotional, and social wellness and using those individual skills in family, school, and community environments. In each grade, the standards ask students to investigate healthy eating and living habits, explore positive communication strategies, examine effective decision-making, and identify ways to ensure personal and community safety.

Expectations for Kindergarten Students:

  • Physical and Personal Wellness: Identify the major food groups and the benefits of eating a variety of foods; explain how personal hygiene and cleanliness affect one's overall health.
  • Social and Emotional Wellness: Understand that one's actions impact others.
  • Prevention and Risk Management: Respect the personal space and boundaries of self and others; communicate unsafe situations and explain safe behavior as a pedestrian; understand safety procedures when riding in motor vehicles.

Throughout Kindergarten You May Find Students:

  • Identifying types of foods that provide energy for daily activities, growth, and good health.
  • Discussing how sleep affects concentration and mood.
  • Making connections between good hygiene and good physical health.
  • Talking about the ways that emotions influence behavior and physical feelings.
  • Demonstrating respect for self and others.
  • Communicating how different situations and settings have specific rules about personal space.
  • Examining traffic laws and following school rules and procedures.
  • Describing verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
  • Practicing how to use 911 and other emergency numbers.

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Computer Science

Computer science may be taught at all levels preschool through high school, but the State of Colorado only has standards for computer science in high school.

Read the high school computer science family and community guide.

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Dance

The dance standards in the elementary years focus on general dance knowledge and skills to ensure a solid foundation for more specialized dance studies. In each grade, students explore various dance forms, gain body awareness and movement skills, develop problem-solving skills through dance making, and respond to dance performances.

Expectations for Kindergarten Students:

  • Movement, Technique, and Performance (Perform/Present): Participate in dance activities such as watching or exploring dances; perform dance steps with purpose by responding to rhythms and patterns; use movement to express what they are feeling.
  • Create, Compose and Choreograph (Create): Work together or alone to create and improvise (explore) movement to a variety of stimuli.
  • Historical and Cultural Context (Know/Comprehend): Experience simple folk dances with guidance from a teacher.
  • Reflect, Connect, and Respond (Critique/Evaluate/Refine): Express personal reactions to viewed or performed dances; recognize when/where dance is seen in daily life; describe a dance step from 2-3 different dance forms.

Throughout Kindergarten You May Find Students:

  • Copying movements demonstrated by others; participating in dance games.
  • Moving expressively (showing emotion through gestures and/or facial expressions).
  • Demonstrating physical awareness by moving freely and creatively; experimenting with a variety of dance movements (skip, dance, jump, gallop, side steps).
  • Performing simple folk dances; describing dance steps from varying dance styles and discussing how various dance performances make them feel.
  • Discussing dance in everyday life.
  • Respectfully watching/listening/responding to recorded and live dance productions.

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Drama and Theatre Arts

The drama and theatre arts standards in the elementary years focus on general drama knowledge/skills and basic theatre elements to ensure a solid foundation for more specialized study in later grades, including technical theatre, creative movement, improvisation, acting/writing/directing, and film studies. Students discover techniques; perform theatrical works; explore characters, plot, and themes; investigate dramatic texts; discover and describe personal theatre preferences; and explore constructive ways to reflect and respond to various dramatic works.

Expectations for Kindergarten Students:

  • Create (Create): Use facial expressions and movement to express thoughts and feelings about one’s self, characters, or environments; use dialogue, movements, facial expressions, actions, and objects to tell a story.
  • Perform (Perform/Present): Use creativity and imagination to manipulate materials (use classroom chairs as trees in a forest or a pencil as a magic wand); use background knowledge and imagination to take on different roles in dramatic play situations.
  • Critically Respond (Know/Comprehend and Critique/Evaluate/Refine): Respond to dramatic experiences through reflective questions stories and plays, relate theatre terms to everyday life (characters-people, costumes-clothes, sets-locations), and connect personal experiences to dramatic play.

Throughout Kindergarten You May Find Students:

  • Using a variety of vocal sounds (loud and angry, soft and meek) to imitate characters from stories or movies.
  • Showing how people use their bodies and faces to show how they feel (happy, sad, excited, etc.).
  • Using pantomime (body movements and facial expressions) to tell a story without words.
  • Expressing how they felt or what they thought while watching or performing in a creative drama experience.

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Mathematics

The mathematics standards in the elementary years focus on number and operations. Ideas from measurement and geometry help students learn about numbers and quantities. In each grade, students make sense of problems, explain their thinking, and describe their world with mathematics.

Expectations for Kindergarten Students:

  • Number and Quantity: Fluently (consistently) write numerals and count items up to 20.
  • Algebra and Functions: Understand addition as putting together and subtraction as taking apart for numbers up to 10.
  • Data, Statistics, and Probability: Sort objects into groups by comparing attributes such as color, size, and shape.
  • Geometry: Name shapes regardless of size or position (a triangle is still a triangle even when pointing down).

Throughout Kindergarten You May Find Students:

  • Playing counting games to help focus on one-to-one counting (touching one object and saying one number name).
  • Quickly seeing groups of two or three objects without counting.
  • Recognizing multiple finger patterns for the numbers 1 to 10.
  • Writing numerals.
  • Acting out addition and subtraction word problems.
  • Creating pictures to show how numbers were joined or broken apart.
  • Making comparisons (“I have more crayons” “His pencil is shorter than mine”).
  • Describing the basic location of objects (next to, under, over, inside).
  • Naming and drawing shapes.
  • Creating pictures by combining shapes (a house drawing created with a square and triangle).

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Music

The music standards in the elementary years focus on general music knowledge and skills to ensure a solid foundation for the opportunity for more specialized musical study in later years. In each elementary grade, students investigate and perform various music styles and genres, examine the language of music through identifying and writing simple music notation, consider simple musical composition processes, and develop the ability to describe their own musical preferences as well as critique the music of others.

Expectations for Kindergarten Students:

  • Expression of Music (Perform/Present): Respond to musical opposites, perform simple songs, and respond to teacher feedback to improve musical skills.
  • Creation of Music (Create): Create music to add to stories or poems.
  • Theory of Music (Know/Comprehend): Recognize a wide variety of sounds and sound sources (voice, instruments); describe and respond to musical elements such as beat (rhythm), tone, speed of music; identify musical opposites-loud/soft, high/low, long/short.
  • Aesthetic Valuation of Music (Appreciate and Understand): Express feelings experienced when performing or listening to music; recognize music in daily life.

Throughout Kindergarten You May Find Students:

  • Reacting to different types of music rhythms and patterns through clapping, moving, and playing; demonstrating musical awareness by moving freely and creatively.
  • Speaking, chanting, and singing expressively; participating in singing games.
  • Experimenting with a variety of instruments (maracas, rhythm sticks, bells, tambourines, drums, sand blocks, and shakers).
  • Listening to music from diverse genres (Popular, Blues, Folk, Patriotic); describing music and sources of sound (drums, stringed instruments).
  • Discussing or describing connections between music and feelings; discussing music heard in different places (cars, homes, and stores).

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Physical Education

The physical education standards in the elementary years focus on enhancing movement concepts and skills, understanding basic health-related components and skill-related components of fitness and how it relates to personal fitness, demonstrating respect, and the ability to follow directions. In each grade, students demonstrate various movement concepts; assess personal behaviors; connect fitness development to body systems; demonstrate respect for self, others, and various physical activity environments; and utilize safety procedures during physical activities.

Expectations for Kindergarten Students:

  • Movement Competence and Understanding: Demonstrate body and spatial awareness through movement; locate and move major parts of the body.
  • Physical and Personal Wellness: Understand that physical activity increases the heart rate, making the heart stronger.
  • Social and Emotional Wellness: Demonstrate respect for self, others, and equipment; demonstrate the ability to follow directions.
  • Prevention and Risk Management: Apply safe practices, rules, and procedures.

Throughout Kindergarten You May Find Students:

  • Demonstrating contrasts between slow and fast speeds while using locomotor skills.
  • Traveling in straight, curved, and zigzag pathways.
  • Creating shapes at high, medium, and low levels by using hands, arms, torso, feet, and legs in a variety of combinations.
  • Moving specific body parts in response to a variety of sensory cues such as auditory or visual.
  • Identifying activities that will increase the heart rate.
  • Sustaining physical activity for short periods of time.
  • Demonstrating the characteristics of sharing and playing without interfering with others.
  • Following a simple series of instructions for an activity.
  • Participating in activity without colliding into other students, objects, and surroundings.

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Reading, Writing, and Communicating

The reading, writing, and communicating standards move from developing skills in reading, writing, and communicating to applying these literacy skills to more complex texts through the elementary years. Standards at each grade emphasize skills related to speaking and collaborating with others as students work with literature and informational readings and participate in individual and group research projects.

Expectations for Kindergarten Students:

  • Oral Expression and Listening: Use effective oral language (vocabulary and grammar) and non-verbal communication skills (gestures, expressions); use their voice to show phonemic awareness (knowledge of the sounds of language, such as long and short vowel sounds, consonants); show how vocal sounds produce words (the word “cat” has three sounds – /k/-/a/-/t/).
  • Reading for All Purposes: Demonstrate knowledge of all the letters of the alphabet; use letter sounds to decode (sound out and pronounce) words on the printed page; show understanding of the “concept of print” (read from left to right, letters make words, words make sentences, books have a front and back cover).
  • Writing and Composition: Share ideas in their writing; demonstrate knowledge of different types of writing that people do and why people write (to tell stories, to provide information, to try to explain the world around them, to express opinions, likes, and dislikes); use correct mechanics and conventions (capital letters and end punctuation) in their writing; use a combination of pictures and words to write stories and books.
  • Research and Reasoning: Use different resources to find information to answer their own questions of interest about a topic; ask good questions to become a better reader and listener.

Throughout Kindergarten You May Find Students:

  • Showing they understand print concepts; decoding (sounding out and pronouncing) familiar words.
  • Asking and answering questions about main ideas and details in readings (understanding what the reading is about); identifying character, setting, and events in a story; identifying main points in informational texts.
  • Responding to stories and books by asking questions; sharing understandings with others; using drawings to respond to readings.
  • Talking about the pictures and visuals in books and how images connect with words; naming the author and illustrator of a book; comparing and contrasting characters in familiar stories.
  • Using drawing, dictating, and writing to tell a story, to explain a topic, or to state an opinion; using resources (watching a science experiment, listening to books read- aloud, watching videos) to answer questions about a topic; talking with others about their writing.

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Science

Three-dimensional science standards in the elementary grades lay the foundation for students to work and think like scientists and engineers. In elementary grades students will explore disciplinary core ideas in Physical, Life, and Earth and Space sciences by engaging with phenomena in the world around us.  Learners in elementary grades develop and ask testable questions, collect and analyze different types of evidence, and write and communicate our understanding. We also see strong connections to skills students will use to be successful with literacy and mathematics. Mastery of these standards will result in young learners who have a deep understanding of how scientific knowledge can provide solutions to practical problems we see in our world. 

 

Expectations for Kindergarten Students:

  • Physical Science: Compare the effect of different strengths and directions of push and pull on the speed and motion of an object. Examine how sunlight affects the Earth’s surface.
  • Life Science: Develop an understanding of what plants and animals need to survive, and examine the relationship between their needs and where they live (ex. Deer eat buds and leaves, so they typically live in areas like forests.)
  • Earth Science: Patterns are observed when measuring the local weather, and these observations can help communities prepare for and respond to severe weather conditions.

Throughout Kindergarten You May Find Students:

  • Planning investigations to compare the effect strength and direction have on the motion of an object.
  • Using tools and materials to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area.
  • Making observations about what animals and plants need to help them live and grow, and also making observations about how animals might change their environments to meet their needs.
  • Keeping track of  how the weather changes from day to day, and describe the patterns they observe over time.

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Social Studies

The social studies standards in the elementary years begin with individuals and families and move from there to explorations of neighborhoods, communities, the state of Colorado, and the United States. In each grade, students investigate historical events, examine geographic features and resources, consider economic decision-making processes, and define civic roles and responsibilities.

Expectations for Kindergarten Students:

  • History: Ask questions, share information, and discuss ideas about the past; put events in chronological (time) order.
  • Geography: Identify the basic characteristics of maps and globes and point out their similarities/differences; discuss how people live in different settings and interact with their environment based on location.
  • Economics: Describe choices individuals make based on wants. Personal Financial Literacy: Describe choices people make about how to use the money they earn.
  • Civics: Explain that groups have rules; interact positively with others; recognize membership in family, neighborhood, school, and team; discuss the characteristics of an active and helpful member of the classroom and school; follow class rules.

Throughout Kindergarten You May Find Students:

  • Using words such as past, present, future, to sequence events in the school day; exploring the similarities and differences of children and families long ago and today; talking about changes in their lives over time and discussing important events in their lives (and their families’ lives).
  • Comparing and contrasting how people live in different settings around the world; discussing different foods, types of clothing, and shelter and how they change with different environments (people living in colder climates wear warmer clothing).
  • Discussing the different types of resources in the classroom; reasoning and working through situations with classmates to share those resources.
  • Demonstrating positive citizenship skills such as courtesy, honesty, and fairness; working productively in both independent and cooperative learning situations; contributing to making and maintaining a classroom and school community.

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Visual Arts

The visual arts standards in the elementary years focus on general art knowledge and skills to help create a foundation for artistic study in later years (drawing, painting, sculpture, graphic design, media arts). In each grade K-5, students explore techniques of various artistic styles, follow developmentally appropriate steps in the creation process, learn how to critique works of art, identify art in the world and daily life, and discover ways that artwork helps people better understand cultures and historical eras.

Expectations for Kindergarten Students:

  • Observe and Learn to Comprehend (Know/Comprehend): Understand that works of art can represent people, places, and things.
  • Envision and Critique to Reflect (Critique/Evaluate/Refine): Identify and discuss connections between stories and artwork.
  • Invent and Discover to Create (Create/Present): Use a range of materials to create artwork.
  • Relate and Connect to Transfer (Connect/Apply/Transfer): Identify art in daily life; understand that artists have an important role in communities.

Throughout Kindergarten You May Find Students:

  • Identifying feelings and emotions connected with pictures (in books); listing the possible feelings an artist might be trying to create (in an illustration in a book).
  • Identifying the most important character/person in an image; identifying the setting shown in an image.
  • Answering questions about stories in artwork images; pointing at pictures that represent the beginning, middle, and end of a story.
  • Making a variety of artworks using different materials.
  • Identifying art in their life.

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World Languages

Instead of being organized by grade level, the world languages standards are organized into ranges that describe the progression of learning a student should experience as they grow from novice language learners to an advanced user.

Read the world languages family and community guide for elementary school here.

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