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 compare, sort, group, organize and measure objects and create patterns in their everyday environment.

Skill Progression: Patterning

Age: 30-33 Months

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

Makes spatial designs with blocks or shapes

Situations for Observation of Skill

The adult can elicit vocabulary by being a player. In dramatic play outdoors, say, “I am making a museum of nature for people to come and see. I need rocks. I need a big one and a little one.” “ I need a heavy one and a light one.” “Okay, now how about a tall stick.” Continue with other characteristics hard, soft, etc. If the child brings many rocks, “Say, I just need one. You pick the one.” (You can also add in counting and say a number that you need.)

Elicitation Strategy

Let the child collect many more items, then ask the child to help you arrange the “museum displays.” Let the child arrange them any way he wants on a picnic table, sidewalk, path or other clear space.

Behavior Observed

The child will make designs with the rocks and sticks, but the designs will probably not be in order or a pattern.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Children love to make arrangements. Having multiples of a small item, such as rocks, poker chips, counting bears, blocks, etc. encourages children to experiment with arrangements in different designs and patterns.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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