Cognitive development involves the ability to learn, problem solve, make sense of information, and think on an abstract level. Thinking takes place on a concrete level with movement to a more abstract level as children mature. Mathematical and scientific thinking, as well as general knowledge about the world, curiosity, and imagination are included in this domain and encompass the ability to sort and classify, to comprehend number, time, and measurement, and to think critically, using reason and logic.
Math + Science
Children are natural scientists. They observe, wonder, speculate, question, make theories, and then test and modify them. Teachers foster what already comes naturally without interrupting the child’s process of discovery with ready-made answers. Teachers ask children to notice patterns in the environment, in literature, and when working with materials.
Teachers also provide materials such as manipulatives and puzzles that encourage children to sort, match, compare, and observe patterns. Working with puzzles and pegboards requires abstract reasoning and the ability to focus and solve problems.