Tools of the Mind is currently being used in a variety of settings, including public and private preschools and kindergartens, charter schools, and Head Start programs. For the locations of Tools of the Mind schools and early childhood programs in the USA and around the world, see the Program Sites section of our website.
If you plan to enroll your child in a Tools of the Mind program, you will be receiving regular newsletters describing activities used in the classroom to support self-regulation, as well as suggestions for how you can foster self-regulation at home. If your child is not attending a Tools of the Mind classroom, you can find ideas in the Parents section of this website.
The Tools professional development model includes:
- the classroom teacher;
- the assistant teacher or paraprofessional working in the classroom;
- a site coordinator and/or coach from the district (mentor teacher, program director, literacy specialist, early childhood coordinator, etc.); and
- school administrators.
A key feature of Tools professional development is the training of district staff to provide on-going coaching support to teachers as they implement the program; this builds the district’s capacity to continue building a dynamic and high quality program. Coaches receive direct training from Tools staff through workshops, webinars, joint visits to classrooms, a coaching manual, coaching forms that guide classroom visits, the iScaffold iPad application, and individualized feedback from training staff. An administrator’s handbook and fidelity checklist are also available. The site coordinator/coach is responsible for providing day-to-day support and ensuring that the program maintains a high level of fidelity, once Tools training is finished. The trainers and site coordinator/coach maintain contact through emails and phone calls between workshops and visits.
Our experience suggests that most teachers require two years of training in order to become fully proficient in the program. Student outcomes improve with the first year of implementation, and teachers reach acceptable levels of fidelity by the end of the second year. Tools of the Mind training is extensive and comprehensive to ensure successful implementation of the program.
The cost for professional development is calculated on a per-classroom basis; it includes the training of teachers, paraprofessionals, district coaches, and administrators. The cost is dependent on the size of the program and the professional development needs of the district. Training for special education staff is contracted separately on a per-person basis. The cost for the second year of professional development is negotiated with the district.
Materials include both Tools-designed materials and materials already present in most preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Tools staff help district personnel inventory their existing materials, including kindergarten reading and math series, and then suggest modifications, adaptations, and additions. Programs implementing Tools of the Mind can purchase some of the Tools-designed materials at Lakeshore Learning.
Please note that Tools of the Mind is not expanding outside of the US and Canada for the upcoming school year.