Developing Self

Approaches to Learning


Goal 1: Children show curiosity about the world around them and take action to interact with it and learn.

By the end of each age group or grade level, most children will have met prior age group or grade level standards in this domain.

Infants Through Older Toddlers


(0-12 Months)

  1. Use senses to explore the immediate environment
  2. Show interest in themselves (e.g., play with own feet)
  3. Seek, initiate and respond to interactions with people and objects

Young Toddlers

(9-18 Months)

  1. Experiment with object to see how it reacts to different actions (e.g. bang, shake and roll pinecone)
  2. Experiment with multiple objects to gain information (e.g. rolls car, ball and stuffed animal down a ramp)
  3. Engage in simple cause and effect (e.g., jack-in-the-box, placing hand under faucet and getting sprayed with water)
  4. Indicate preferences or dislikes for activities, people and experiences)
  5. Use memory as a foundation for more complex play, actions and ideas

Older Toddlers

(18-36 Months)

  1. Watch others and imitate or participates
  2. Apply knowledge in new situations.
  3. Ask questions to get new information
  4. Initiate play with one peer
Younger Preschoolers Through Kindergartners

Younger Preschoolers

(36-48 months)

  1. Observe others to enter play
  2. Initiate play with one or more peers
  3. Show interest in how things work
  4. Explore and discuss a range of topics

Older Preschoolers

(48-60 months)

  1. Demonstrate flexibility, imagination and inventiveness in approaching task and activities through play
  2. Explore and discuss a range of topics, ideas and tasks)
  3. Attempt to master new skills (e.g., riding a bike)
  4. Ask questions to find out about future events


  1. Initiate finding answers to questions using a variety of resources (e.g., find a book, through play with peer or simply asking an adult)
First Graders Through Third Graders

First Graders

  1. Engage in learning about new concepts and skills (e.g. use manipulatives to solve a math problem)
  2. Ask questions to learn about surroundings and everyday events

Second Graders

  1. Ask questions and conduct research about phenomena outside of own direct experiences
  2. Explore self-directed interests independently or collaboratively
  3. Develop a reasonable solution to a given problem

Third Graders

  1. Ask increasingly complex questions about a variety of topics of interest
  2. Use basic logic to explore a question
  3. Demonstrate multiple methods for solving problems

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

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