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: 36-42 Months

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Recognizes simple pictures made with shapes (square and triangle look like a house)

Situations for Observation of Skill

Have a set of blocks of different shapes and colors along with some small vehicles in another smaller container. If done in a classroom, the adult can play with a small group of children each day in this activity.

Elicitation Strategy

“What can we make with the squares and triangles?” Follow the children’s suggestions or add, “How about making houses and maybe some trees with the rectangles and circles. You make the houses. I’ll make a tree. I need some green circles first. Can you find me some?” “Neveah, what do you need for your houses?” (The adult can use a picture of the block combinations if needed to illustrate how the blocks are combined.) When the activity is done. Say, “It’s almost clean up time. Who knows what we do next?”

Behavior Observed

Children can now visualize and combine simple shapes to represent an object.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Help the child see the patterns in what he has done. “Oh, look you made a pattern on your road: red block, blue block, red block, blue block.” Point out that the shapes can be combined to make a picture, not just to build a structure.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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