How Tools Is Implemented

Tools is designed as a core curriculum that works for all children including those identified special needs and those who will be identified through Rtl, Response to Intervention (IDEA reauthorization legislation).

Tools activities are multi-level so instruction is individualized within the design of each activity.  Ability grouping is not used to individualize instruction.

Specific scaffolds for children with special need as well as those who are non-English speakers (ELL) are written into each activity.

Specialized training is given to ensure that classroom teachers and special needs staff can work together in a coordinated manner.

Materials include both Tools-designed materials and materials already present in most preschool classrooms.  Tools staff help district personnel inventory their existing materials and then suggest modifications, adaptations and additions.

Tools is designed to be implemented in both full- and half-day preschool programs with a teacher ond one part-time or full-time paraprofessional, depending on class size.

Pacing guides are developed that ensure that instruction matches end-of-the-year district benchmarks and standards.

 

Examples of Tools Pre-K Activities 

 Graphics Practice:

In Graphics Practice, children develop the fine motor and self-regulation skills needed for writing.  They draw on white boards with markers, stopping and starting in response to musical cues.  Children use private speech to help them remember how and what to write, learning to inhibit while also remembering the shape they’re representing in writing.

Buddy Reading:

In Buddy reading, pairs of children “read” books to each other, using external mediator cards to remind them of their roles as they take turns reading and listening.  Buddy Reading is one of Tools of the Mind’s cooperative partner activities.  These  activities are designed to foster self-regulation development and positive child-child interation while also fostering the development of emergent literacy or numeracy skils.

Play Planning:

Children describe what they are going to do when they play and then represent their plan on paper in drawing and writing.  Children work at their own level, adding detail to their drawn plans, using lines to represent words in their written message, and using the Tools of the Mind Sound Map to write letters representing the sounds in their words.

Making Collections:

In Making Collections, children work in a cooperative partnered mathematics activity taking turns counting and ‘checking’ using one-to-one correspondence.  Children use Vygotskian tactics such as private speech, external mediators and other-regulation.