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: Classifying

Age: 36-42 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 36-42 Months.

Classifies by shape, size, color individually (not two characteristics)

Situations for Observation of Skill

Have a set of blocks of different shapes and colors along with some small vehicles in another smaller container. If done in a classroom, the adult can play with a small group of children each day in this activity.

Elicitation Strategy

At clean up time, take the two containers and ask, “Which one of these will hold the most stuff?” What should we put in this one, blocks or cars?” “I have an idea. Let’s see what happens to our town if we take it apart a little at a time. I’m going to pick up three red blocks. What color are you going to pick up?” Then switch categories. “I’m going to pick up circles. What shape do you want to pick up?”

Behavior Observed

The child is able to sort by shape, color, and size.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Use cleanup time as an extension of learning activities. Children may enjoy finding things to put away by named categories. “See how many blue things you can find to put away.” “Now see how many things with circles in them you can find to put away.” “Wow! Maria found five things with circles!” This makes cleanup more of a game than a chore.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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