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: Counting

Age: 18-21 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 18-21 Months.

Demonstrates basic understanding of one-to-one correspondence, by putting one or more items into separate compartments

Situations for Observation of Skill

Provide an egg carton or other container with compartments and see how the child distributes many items (such as small blocks) into the compartments (have enough to fill each compartment).

Elicitation Strategy

Set out the egg carton and items and observe. No elicitation is needed.

Behavior Observed

Filling things up is fun at this age, so putting something in each hole or compartment is interesting. This also demonstrates the child’s emerging interest in one-to-one correspondence.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Help parents understand that the first three aspects of understanding numbers are using one-to-one correspondence (or having only one number name for each item); invariant sequence (the items counted are always in the same sequence), and cardinality (the last number stated is the total amount). Parents can help children learn these foundations by helping the child point to each item as it is counted, by helping them learn the number sequence a little at a time (emphasize up to 3 items), and at the end of the count say the total amount (“One, two. You gave me two”).

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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