North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Cognitive Development (CD)

Subdomain: Mathematical Thinking and Expression

Goal: Children show understanding of numbers and quantities during play and other activities

Skill Progression: Composing and decomposing number

Age: 30-33 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 30-33 Months.

Examines a group of up to four items and creates another group of the same amount

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child during mealtime with pieces of food.

Elicitation Strategy

Similar to the above mealtime game, play “I want the same as you!” Use small crackers or cereal pieces. The adult takes 1-4 pieces of the snack out of a bowl. She places them on the child’s plate and says, “I want the same as you!” The child then has to find the same number to give the adult. If the child is wrong, the adult asks, “Is that the same number?” (The child may be teasing, so watch for facial reactions). This can become a turn-taking game with both child and adult creating sets to be matched.

Behavior Observed

The child is able to create matching amounts of snacks up to four pieces.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Again, playing number counting and matching games builds the child’s ability to think quickly when he sees amounts. The more the child plays such games, the quicker his mental processing becomes. Encourage parents to come up with their own games during the routines of the day, in the park, in a store, or in the car.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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