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: 21-24 Months

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Orders several objects on the basis of one characteristic through trial and error (e.g., stacking rings ordered by size)

Situations for Observation of Skill

Use a stacking ring toy, a set of nesting cups, nesting boxes, or similar toys or materials.

Elicitation Strategy

Take the set apart and give several to the child, keeping one or two for yourself. Say, “Hey! Look. Someone has more!” Let the child say who has more. Give the set of materials and let him play with them. See if he self-corrects if he makes a mistake. Provide a little assistance if needed. “Oops! This one is bigger than the one under it.” Remove both and see if the child can correct the error.

Behavior Observed

The child will stack the set correctly, but may need a little assistance.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage early childhood educators and parents to talk about sizes with the child and compare amounts. Children always want “the most” so this is a perfect opportunity to count and compare amounts.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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