North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

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

Subdomain: Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning

Goal: Children demonstrate the ability to think about their own thinking: reasoning, taking perspectives, and making decisions

Skill Progression: Thinking and reasoning

Age: 42-48 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 42-48 Months.

Describes how and why things work or are done

Situations for Observation of Skill

Have a water table with spoons, sieves, a water wheel, eyedropper, cups, funnel, sponges, etc. or a similar discovery set up.

Elicitation Strategy

Encourage the child to try all the different items to see what happens with the water. Then ask children questions. “Why do you think this water comes out in one water fall and this water comes out in many?” “What do you think will happen if I pour water through here?”

Behavior Observed

The child will make observations, predictions, and explanations. She may not be right, but the child is observing, analyzing, classifying, and formulating hypotheses.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Children are beginning to understand why things work the way they do, and their burgeoning vocabulary allows them to explain it. Not all parents are interested in science experiments, so early childhood educators need to incorporate activities that tap into the child’s curiosity.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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