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: 48-54 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 48-54 Months.

Counts all in two number sets by adding on from the first set

Situations for Observation of Skill

Play a dice game. Give each child a piece of paper with a 12 X 4 grid (or with more columns if desired). Children can play in small groups and take turns with the dice.

Elicitation Strategy

Encourage children to count on from the total on the die with the largest number of pips. For example, if the child throws a 4 and a 2, remind the child to count on from the larger number.

Behavior Observed

Because dice have easily subitized patterns, they provide an opportunity for children to learn that a quick way to add is to start with the largest number and count on. Encourage children to put the die with the most dots first, followed by the other one. “I know this is 4, so this is 5, 6. I have 6.”

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Learning that sets can be switched around and still get the same number is an important math principle. In addition, learning to count on from the largest number is important for simplifying addition. Playing games that allow children to practice these principles in a fun way builds a strong foundation for learning math operations in later grades.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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