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 identify and use common shapes and concepts about position during play and other activities.

Skill Progression: Recognizes geometric shapes

Age: 33-36 Months

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Recognizes and names typical circle, square, triangle

Situations for Observation of Skill

Have a variety of shape blocks. Ask the child what she wants to build. Provide suggestions if needed (e.g., an airport, farm, zoo, town, etc.).

Elicitation Strategy

Before starting to build say, “Let’s sort the blocks first, so we can find what we need. Let’s put the square blocks here….the round or curved blocks here… the triangle blocks here…. the rectangle blocks here.” As you are building request a specific shape from the child. “I need a square block. Please hand me one.”

Behavior Observed

The child sorts and names different shapes. Squares and rectangles may be confused.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Parents often have Legos or Duplo blocks. Encourage use of different shapes in blocks as well. These will encourage children to see how different shapes can be combined in various ways. Children can also see how different shapes are combined to make new shapes. (“Look. Two triangles make a square!”)

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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