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

Age: 33-36 Months

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Sorts colors

Situations for Observation of Skill

Play with the child in dramatic play about making cookies with play dough. Have different colors of play dough, plastic plates and a cookie sheet.

Elicitation Strategy

The adult can encourage the child to use different colors of play dough for the cookies. When the tray(s) are full, “bake” the cookies. While the cookies are baking, take out several plastic plates. Tell the child, “Let’s think about how we want to serve our cookies. Let’s put different kinds on different plates.” Take out the cookie trays and ask, “What kind of cookies should we put on this plate?” Provide suggestions if the child needs them. “Let’s put all the tall cookies on this plate.” Or “Let’s put the yellow cookies on this one.” When it is time to serve the cookies, decide which plate has more, which have the same amount, etc. and who would like to have the different plates.

Behavior Observed

The child should be able to sort the cookies in several different ways. The child may not be able to think of all the ways to sort, but will be able to follow through when the suggestions for a category is made.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage parents to involve the child in activities that require sorting. For example, after grocery shopping, the child can be involved in helping to put things away. “Fruits go here. So let’s put all the cherries and grapes in here. Green vegetables go in this drawer.” If laundry is sorted by color before washing, the child can also assist with this. Make it a fun activity, not a chore. It will then be more fun for the parent too!

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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