Mastery of Knowledge and Skills

  • DDES students can do more than they ever thought possible!

    Students at DDES do more than they ever thought they could.  Within the motivating context of an expedition, students dig deeply into compelling content such as insects, the history of Denver through the lens of transportation, voting rights throughout history in America, and climate change.  Along the way, they learn and apply critical thinking, communication, and literacy skills to complete real work that matters.  The skills they learn impact their work in increasingly sophisticated contexts, both within and beyond a school year.  Our goal is for students to be able to read complex texts and compose writing pieces for short tasks, long-term projects, and a variety of assessments.

    In math, DDES students work on solving problems flexibly, accurately, and efficiently.  In order to build these skills, students practice foundational and fluency skills in service of solving tricky problems.  They consider multiple approaches to solving problems in order to build flexibility and determine the best strategy to address the question.  Students study and apply a variety of thinking models to increase their mental math and problem solving abilities.  Every day, students in math grapple with complex problems to practice and apply their skills of flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency.  

    Our definition of achievement includes performance on traditional measures, such as state and interim assessments.  We believe that when students work on purposeful and engaging work such as expedition products and math grapples, they will be able to demonstrate what they’ve learned within these assessment contexts.  

    We also monitor and measure achievement by asking students to articulate what they’re learning, reflect on their growth, and make meaningful revisions.  When students do this accurately, they demonstrate deep ownership of the learning process and impactful metacognitive skills.  Throughout a student’s academic career, these deeper learning skills will be at least as influential as their mastery of academic knowledge and skills.  

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  • Claim 1- DDES Students demonstrate math and literacy growth that exceeds national norms

    See the Evidence for Claim 1

    Claim 2- DDES students of Color demonstrate strong growth and achievement in English Language Arts

    See the Evidence for Claim 2

    Claim 3 - DDES Students demonstrate critical and analytical thinking through reflection, goal setting, and presentations of learning

    See the Evidence for Claim 3