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: 24-27 Months

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Counts first three count words

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child counting with an adult during daily activities.

Elicitation Strategy

If the adult does not spontaneously request counting, ask them to request that the child count something with which they are engaged (e.g., food, blocks, books, outdoor items such as leaves or sticks, etc.). Listen as the child uses numbers. She may for instance say, “Here is one for you.”

Behavior Observed

The child will count using number words, with accuracy, to 3 or 4.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Emphasize the importance of meaningful (rational) versus rote counting. Parents often ask their child to perform (“Can you count for me?”). Help them to understand that counting actual objects using pointing helps the child learn the meaning of the numbers. Children are more motivated to count if they have a reason. For example, “Help me put 3 strawberries on each plate.”

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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