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: 18-21 Months

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

Groups objects into two groups

Situations for Observation of Skill

Have two types of plastic animals (e.g., cows and sheep) and two different pieces of green paper. Dump the animals out and say, “Look! Here’s some big grass for the horses and here’s some grass for the sheep. Here comes the first sheep. Where should I put her? Here comes the first cow. Where should she go? Here you take some animals, too, so we can get them some grass to eat.” Say, “I can tell that cow is hungry she is making a big noise. What is she saying?”

Elicitation Strategy

Observe the child placing the animals on the grass. Have fun, and while playing let the animals interact, eat, sleep, etc.

Behavior Observed

The child should be able to sort the animals and make the animal sounds.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Help parents understand that when putting things that are alike together, the child is learning to organize his world. This will lead to understanding that these groups can also be broken down into other groups, moms and babies, brown cows and spotted cows, etc. This is an important foundation for math, literacy, and science.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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