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: 48-54 Months

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

Classifies by characteristics of people (hair color, eye, color, etc.); classifies objects or events by abstract characteristics (transportation, holidays, etc.)

Situations for Observation of Skill

Have a dramatic play area for travel set up. Have a variety of different suitcases, clothing for different weather (coats, bathing suits, flip flops, boots, etc.). Have other travel materials as well (brush, comb, toothbrush, tooth paste, etc.). Plan for 3-4 children to play at a time. Have travel brochures and “tickets” to sell them. Have chairs set up for seats. Only this time, use classification for boarding the plane or train.

Elicitation Strategy

The adult can say, all passengers with brown hair may now line up, or all passengers with brown eyes can now find a seat. The adult can add other classifications as well – blue shirts, boots, etc.

Behavior Observed

Children classify who is in a specific category relating to color, height, clothing, etc.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Go beyond colors and shapes to classifying things by needs, uses, associations (used together), as well as seasons, holidays, etc. Making it part of dramatic play makes children think about what they are doing and why.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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