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: Comparing and Ordering

Age: 54-60 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 54-60 Months.

Puts items in serial order of size from one to six units

Situations for Observation of Skill

Dramatic play: Shopping at the hardware store. Rolls of tape of different sizes, golf tees for pretend nails, markers, glue, pieces of wood of different sizes (or unit blocks), ruler, tools, paint brushes, color chips of paint, numbers 1-10, etc. Have at least 10 wood strips of graduating lengths. Have all materials dumped together in a pile.

Elicitation Strategy

Let children arrange the mixed up materials to make their hardware store. They can also write prices on small Post-It notes. Once set up, let children take turns being customers, with one child being the employee and check-out person. The adult can model by being the first customer and say something like, “I’m making a dog bed and I need help. What do I need?” Depending on what the child provides add additional comments, “I’d like it to be short on one end, so he can get out, then get bigger and bigger until it is tall on the other end.” “I think six different lengths should work.” “Okay, I have wood, glue, and paint. How many things do I have now?” “I have to check how much money I have. Let’s count them by what I need most. What is first? Second…”

Behavior Observed

The child will use ordinal numbers, with some prompting.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Dramatic play that enables the children to act out what they have seen in their environment, on TV or in movies, gives children an opportunity to practice using their math skills. Peers will also jump in to help. They will also come up with creative ideas for adding to the scene. The adult can facilitate by observing, commenting, and modeling when needed.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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