Group of Children playing outside

Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards


Domain:  Cognitive Development

This domain recognizes the child’s search for meaning as the basis for intellectual development. The focus is on children’s curiosity about the world and their ability to acquire, organize, and use information in increasingly complex ways. The component areas of this domain are Mathematical and Logical Thinking, Scientific Thinking and Problem-Solving, and Social Systems Understanding.

Children show progress in Mathematical and Logical Thinking when they:

Number Concepts and Operations

1. Demonstrate increasing interest in and awareness of numbers and counting

2. Demonstrate understanding of one-to-one correspondence between objects and number

3. Demonstrate ability to count in sequence

4. Demonstrate ability to state the number that comes next up to 9 or 10

5. Demonstrate beginning ability to combine and separate numbers of objects

Patterns and Relationships

6. Recognize and duplicate simple patterns

7. Sort objects into subgroups by one or two characteristics

8. Order or sequence several objects on the basis of one characteristic

Spatial Relationships/Geometry

9. Identify and name common shapes

10. Use words that show understanding of order and position of objects


11. Recognize objects can be measured by height, length, weight, and time

12. Make comparisons between at least two groups of objects

Mathematical Reasoning

13. Use simple strategies to solve mathematical problems


Children show progress in Scientific Thinking and Problem-Solving when they:


1. Use senses to explore materials and the environment

2. Identify and/or describe objects by physical characteristics


3. Express wonder about the natural world

4. Ask questions and seek answers through active exploration

5. Make predictions about objects and natural events


6. Use tools (e.g., magnifying glass, binoculars, maps) for investigation of the environment

7. Make comparisons between objects that have been collected or observed


Children show progress in Social Systems Understanding when they:

Human Relationships

1. Recognize and appreciate similarities and differences between self and others from diverse backgrounds

2. Understand various family roles, jobs, rules, and relationships

3. Participate in activities to help others in the community

Understanding the World

4. Recognize and describe the roles of workers in the community

5. Share responsibility in taking care of their environment

6. Begin to recall recent and past events

7. Identify characteristics of the places where they live and play within their community

8. Begin to understand the uses of media and technology and how they affect their lives


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