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: Composes geometric shapes

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List of Skills by Age

1-2 Months

No observable skills

2-4 Months

No observable skills

4-6 Months

No observable skills

6-8 Months

No observable skills

8-10 Months

No observable skills

10-12 Months

No observable skills

12-15 Months

Matches block shapes to build a tower of 3-4 blocks

15-18 Months

Puts together a simple inset puzzle when pieces show whole objects beneath the piece (banana, orange, etc.)

18-21 Months

Puts together two pieces to form a whole geometric figure

21-24 Months

Puts together a jigsaw puzzle of 2-3 pieces, demonstrating understanding of combining segments to make a picture

24-27 Months

Experiments with combining shapes in different configurations

27-30 Months

Prefers whole items, does not recognize pieces make a whole (gets upset if a cookie is broken)

30-33 Months

Manipulates individual shapes and randomly arranges them, but can’t combine them to make a larger shape

33-36 Months

Takes shapes apart

Creates a picture using one shape (snowman from circles)

36-42 Months

Builds three-dimensional structures using one type of item (e.g., a cube) and/or multiple types of items (e.g., a rectangular prism, cube and arches)

42-48 Months

Combines two or more shapes to create a new shape or to represent an object in the environment

Creates a shape from toothpicks or similar items

48-54 Months

Constructs 2-D and 3-D constructions with symmetry

Builds, copies, and describes a shape

Breaks apart simple two-dimensional shapes that have obvious clues for breaking them apart

Finds shapes "hidden" in arrangements in which the shapes overlap each other, but are not embedded inside one another

54-60 Months

Completes a shape or figure puzzle requiring combining pieces to make a shape or figure (8-10 pieces)

Recreates a picture composed of shapes or tangrams

Decomposes or takes apart shapes to make smaller shapes

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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