The ability to communicate clearly—to read, write, speak, and listen—forms the core of
Educators, parents, and communities can now focus their attention and energy on
human culture. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills are essential tools for
creating the conditions under which all students can meet these expectations.
learning, for success in the workplace, for enriching and expanding our lives, and for
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the education community to intervene at the
responsible citizenship.
earliest point in the student’s formal educational experience where, through careful
Language skills are particularly critical in the area of education. Through language
abilities, students understand the academic content areas. Success in learning
observation, it becomes apparent that a student is not progressing in a manner that
will lead to the meeting of these standards.
depends on students acquiring solid knowledge and skills in reading, writing, speak-
These standards will lead to the development of literate students who are proficient
ing, and listening. As with the Colorado Model Content Standards, the proposed
in reading, writing, listening, speaking, creativity, problem solving, and researching
Denver Public Schools standards set high expectations in these areas for all students.
skills. Achievement of these standards gives students the ability to make meaningful
Reading and writing have the power to bridge time and place. We remain in contact
with people who lived before us through literature and other written records of
human experience. We reach toward our future by knowing how to locate, read,
comprehend, and make use of an ever-increasing amount of information.
connections between life and educational experiences and enables them to enjoy
personal success. Given the importance of developing literate students, the reading
and writing standards cannot be accomplished in isolation. Literacy skills must be
developed in all content areas. Standards that incorporate the academic rigor in
these reading and writing standards will help students achieve standards for all
These standards express what each student in Denver should know and be able to
content areas and perform at expected levels of proficiency.
do in order to
become fluent readers, writers, and speakers;
communicate effectively, concisely, coherently, and imaginatively;
recognize the power of language and use that power ethically and
creatively; and
communicate with ease in an increasingly technological world.
Denver Public Schools
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Developing Literacy
The primary goal of the Denver Public Schools is to
develop literate students. Students in the Denver
Public Schools will learn to read and will be
prepared to participate in society as literate
Reading and Writing Content Standards
1. Students read and understand a variety of
citizens, equipped with the ability to communicate
effectively in their communities, in the workplace,
and in postsecondary education. These reading
Students write and speak for a variety of
purposes and audiences.
and writing standards set forth clear expectations
for student achievement in the areas of reading
and writing and are supported by the district
Elementary and Secondary Literacy Plans. The
Students write and speak using formal
grammar, usage, sentence structure,
punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.
literacy plans provide a framework which will
support the development of literate students. The
literacy plans include these strategies:
Students apply thinking skills to their
reading, writing, speaking, listening, and
providing effective reading instruction for all
providing professional development which
includes content and process strategies to
implement effective, necessary reading and
Students read to locate, select, and make
use of relevant information from a variety of
media, reference, and technological sources.
Students read and recognize literature as a
record of human experience.
writing instruction for all students;
Students use appropriate technologies to
supporting schools in acquiring appropriate and
quality materials for all students;
monitoring the use of appropriate assessments
extend comprehension and communication
skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening
and viewing.
that measure student achievement in reading
and writing; and
monitoring the implementation of content
standards for reading and writing instruction.
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Content Standards
Students read and understand a variety of materials.
In order to meet this standard, students will
In grades K-4, what the students know and are able
use comprehension strategies such as using prior knowledge; previewing; predicting; inferring; comparing
to do includes
and contrasting; rereading and self-monitoring; summarizing; identifying the author’s purpose, i.e., reason for
using a full range of strategies to comprehend
writing; determining the main idea; and applying knowledge of foreshadowing, metaphor, simile, symbolism,
materials such as directions, nonfiction material,
and other identified figures of speech;
poetry, plays, and stories.
make connections between prior knowledge and what they need to know about a topic before
reading about it;
adjust reading strategies for a variety of purposes such as reading carefully, skimming and scanning,
fitting materials into an organizational pattern, reading a variety of literature chronologically, finding
information to support particular ideas, and finding the sequence of steps in publications including textbooks
and technical articles;
use word recognition skills, strategies, and resources such as phonics, context clues, picture clues, word
origins, and word order clues; reference guides; roots, prefixes, and suffixes of words for comprehension; and
use information from their reading to increase vocabulary and language usage.
Rationale. The goal for students at all levels is that they know and can use strategies—various ways of unlocking
the meaning of words and larger blocks of text—to become successful life-long readers. The strategies are applied in
increasingly difficult reading material at each grade level. At all levels, students should be challenged to read
literature and other materials that stimulate their interests and intellectual abilities. Reading from a wide variety of
texts, both assigned and student selected, provides experience in gaining information and pleasure from diverse
forms and perspectives.
A reference list of sources of book lists can be found at the end of the Reading and Writing Standards. None of these book lists has been endorsed by the Colorado State Board of Education.
Denver Public Schools
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