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

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List of Skills by Age

1-2 Months

Scans contours

Recognizes sounds of parents’ voices

2-4 Months

Scans internal details

Starts to categorize and distinguish objects with similar appearance

4-6 Months

Explores with hands and fingers to determine properties of objects

6-8 Months

Uses shape, sound, color, and texture to identify object

8-10 Months

Uses haptic (touch) exploration to determine size, hardness, shape, temperature, and texture

10-12 Months

Uses cross-modal (vision, taste, touch, sound, etc.) approaches to determine object's properties

Categorizes and distinguishes objects by function or behavior

12-15 Months

Places objects into categories (blocks, animals, food)

Selects, discriminates, compares and sorts by color and shape or another feature (incorrect at times)

15-18 Months

Matches objects

Knows body parts

Sorts objects into one group

18-21 Months

Makes collections of things that are alike in some way (toys with wheels)

Matches familiar objects (picks out socks from shirts)

Groups objects into two groups

Matches animal sounds to animals

21-24 Months

Demonstrates knowledge of basic-level categories (plants, animals, people)

Compares and matches form, size, color

Knows big and little hands on the clock and the position of the hands on the clock for specific activities (or digital numbers)

24-27 Months

Beginning to think about how things in the world are alike (rocks, trees, flowers, etc.)

Knows clothing for different occasions

27-30 Months

Thinks many things are alive that are not, but beginning to understand alive and not alive

Names at least one color

30-33 Months

Matches pictures of similar objects

Matches colors (red, blue, green, yellow)

33-36 Months

Sorts colors

Combines new and previous experience to sort objects by size, type, color, or shape

36-42 Months

Classifies by shape, size, color individually (not two characteristics)

Matches colors (orange, purple, brown, black, pink gray, white)

Makes inferences about which category an item fits into

42-48 Months

Names examples of objects, animals, foods, etc. in a class (e.g., fruits)

Matches a wide range of colors

Knows holidays and related weather or season

Knows how to classify, label, and sort familiar objects by a specific category (e.g., hard v. soft, large v. small, heavy v. light)

48-54 Months

Classifies by characteristics of people (hair color, eye, color, etc.); classifies objects or events by abstract characteristics (transportation, holidays, etc.)

54-60 Months

Identifies the class, when items are named (apple, banana, grape)

Knows penny, nickel, dime (but not their worth)

Classifies toys, tools, number, letters, people, objects by function

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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