Standards Glossary

The purpose of this glossary is to help the user better understand the terminology used in the Colorado Academic Standards. It is intended to assist educational practitioners and pre-service educators in understanding the standards. It is not intended as a study guide for students nor does it represent a comprehensive list of all academic terms.

Content Area:

Use the alphabetical list to view glossary terms by first letter.

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O -


Excess body fat that is much greater than what is healthy and results in adverse health effects.

Content Area: Comprehensive Health and Physical Education


The character’s wants, needs, and desires.

Content Area: Drama and Theatre Arts


The act of sensing or perceiving through sight.

Content Area: Visual Arts


What stands in the way of the character achieving his/her objectives.

Content Area: Drama and Theatre Arts


An interval measuring eight diatonic degrees. Two pitches an octave (or multiple octaves) apart have frequencies that are exact multiples.

Content Area: Music


Verbal or movement suggestion given by one actor to another to initiate or further an improvisation.

Content Area: Drama and Theatre Arts


A market structure containing just a few sellers.

Content Area: Social Studies


A use of words in which the sound of the word suggests the sound associated with it: buzz, hiss.

Content Area: Reading, Writing, and Communicating

opportunity cost

The value of possible alternatives that an individual gives up when making one choice instead of another; also known as a trade-off.

Content Area: Social Studies

oral history

Historical information obtained through interviews with individuals with firsthand knowledge of an event.

Content Area: Social Studies


The art of arranging a musical work for performance by an orchestra having regard to balance, tone color, and texture.

Content Area: Music

order of operations

Established order in which to perform mathematical operations.

Content Area: Mathematics

ordered pairs

A pair of numbers that describe the position of a point on a coordinate plane by using the horizontal and vertical distances from two reference axes.

Content Area: Mathematics


Shapes and/or forms similar to those found in nature, such as plants, animals and rocks, often curvilinear in appearance.

Content Area: Visual Arts


A unique personal expression of art knowledge and skills.

Content Area: Visual Arts

osmotically balanced

A solution whose ion concentration is the same as another solution so osmosis will not take place between the two solutions.

Content Area: Science


A musical phrase repeated over and over during a composition; plural: ostinati.

Content Area: Music

outdoor adventure activities

Physical activities centered in natural settings: orienteering, backpacking, hiking, rope activities, canoeing, cycling, skating, and rock climbing. See also: adventure activities.

Content Area: Comprehensive Health and Physical Education


Data points that are distinctly separate from the data.

Content Area: Mathematics


A recording technique that facilitates the combination of separately recorded performances.

Content Area: Music


A principle of training in which the demands placed on a system must be increased systematically and progressively over time to cause physiological adaptation.

Content Area: Comprehensive Health and Physical Education


The state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property.

Content Area: Social Studies

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