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: Spatial understanding

Age: 27-30 Months

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Knows directional word (including up, down, out, in, over, under) with regard to movement

Situations for Observation of Skill

During playtime have blocks available.

Elicitation Strategy

Observe the child building. Talk about what the child is building, and ask questions. “Where do you find that kind of house?” Add comments. “I think it needs…a small one on top; a big one underneath, etc.” The adult builds with the blocks too, and asks the child for advice. “Where should I put this one?”

Behavior Observed

The child uses directional words and talks about various locations in the house and outside.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Talking about locations and using directional words helps build the child’s vocabulary and spatial understanding. Give parents examples of how they can support this learning in daily activities. For example, “Let’s go outdoors and see what we can find in the garden under the plant leaves.”

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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