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: 54-60 Months

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

Classifies toys, tools, number, letters, people, objects by function

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. Have each child play the cashier as items are checked out and paid for. Clean up. Provide containers for the different materials.

Elicitation Strategy

During the check-out process, use money and counting terms. Ask, “Do you want to check out the tools or paint first? Which tool do you want first? Second?” Clean up. This requires classifying the objects. As the children are putting things away, ask them, “Tell me why you put those things in the same container.”

Behavior Observed

Children group items by function.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

As above, dramatic play offers a rich source of applied learning. Make sure it is facilitated to draw out children’s ideas, concepts, skills, and problems solving.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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