Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tools of the Mind- An Introduction

A growing body of research indicates that many children start school not ready to learn not because they do not know their letters or numbers but because they lack one critical ability: the ability to regulate their social, emotional, and cognitive behaviors. Current research shows that self-regulation – often called executive function -- has a stronger association with academic achievement than IQ or entry-level reading or math skills.
Tools of the Mind is a research-based early childhood program that builds strong foundations for school success in preschool and kindergarten children by promoting their intentional and self-regulated learning. In a series of rigorous experimental trials, Tools of the Mind has been shown to have a significant impact on self-regulation of preschool children. The study also found these gains in self-regulation to be related to scores in child achievement in early literacy and mathematics.

Characteristics of Tools of the Mind
1)Tools of the Mind is a comprehensive curriculum including content that meets all state and national standards.
2) Content is presented in an integrated, developmental way so that instruction
forms a coherent whole
3) The instructional formats and activities in Tools of the Mind are research
based (peer reviewed articles in top tier research journals)
4) Instructional strategies used in Tools of the Mind include: child-directed activities; teacher-directed activities; and collaborative activities.
5) The thoughtful combination of instructional strategies and the matching of
instructional strategy to activity is specifically designed to support
self-regulation development and allow individual instruction in academic skills
6) Progress is monitored daily, weekly, and monthly.
7) There is ongoing use of assessment data to tailor interactions to meet
individual needs.
8) A recognition and commitment to the disposition that play is an essential
component to the intellectual, behavioral, and social development of the child.