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: Patterning

Age: 4-6 Months

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Anticipates movement patterns

Situations for Observation of Skill

During play time provide several objects that are similar to but different from what the child has seen before. For example, self-moving toy and small plain cardboard box.

Elicitation Strategy

The adult can begin by using a motivating action toy that rolls or moves on its own. Show the child the car moving behind the box and coming out the other side a couple of times. Then do it again and stop the toy behind the box. Watch the child’s reaction.

Behavior Observed

The child will look for the toy to emerge from the other side of the box and be surprised when it does not. This demonstrates awareness of the expected trajectory pattern of the toy.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Parents often do not know that the simple things they see their child doing, like lifting an unfamiliar cup to their mouth, demonstrates learning. Explain that noticing different kinds of patterns, whether they are physical, tactile, visual, or mental helps us organize the world in a meaningful way. “I do this with things that look like a ball, and something different with an object with a different shape.” As infant’s move from mouthing everything, encourage parents to notice the child’s growing ability to understand different patterns.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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