School leaders, want to start bringing self-regulation development to your school community? This just might be a great topic for your next staff development. And it’s straight from the minds that created Tools of the Mind.
What we heard from teachers and administration at after implementing Tools at
How to create a regulated, inclusive community
Committee search to choose the right curriculum
Selection of Tools of the Mind curriculum & professional development
Tools training and implementation for all relevant staff
Teaching and learning review and outcomes
School leaders and teachers, you know how challenging it can be to create a healthy, vibrant school community. One of the biggest factors can be the self-regulation development of each student in the community. Here’s your chance to bring self-regulation development to your school community, one classroom and one child at a time.
To know Tools is to know that self-regulation development is near and dear to us. It’s built into every activity all day long for Tools preschool and kindergarten. That’s why Tools co-founders, Dr. Deborah Leong and Dr. Elena Bodrova along with Tools co-developer Barb Wilder-Smith, created a whole guide to self-regulation development. This guide was featured in the most recent issue of Principal Magazine, a publication of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. And because we know how much is on your plate, here are a few highlights from this impactful piece.
First, let’s start by painting a picture of a school community that is not regulated. Depending on the state of your current community, this may not be too hard to imagine. And it’s important to mention, there is always a range of self-regulation development in every community and every classroom. According to Leong, Bodrova and Wilder-Smith, “We know that without self-regulation, children experience struggles in the following areas:
With self-regulation, children grow and thrive in their social-emotional development and academically.”
It’s worth noting that the phrases self-regulation and executive function can be used interchangeably. At Tools, through our thirty years of experience with administrators, teachers and families, we’ve learned that the term self-regulation is more clear and so that’s generally how we refer to it. In “Creating a Self-regulated Community of Learners,” Leong, Bodrova and Wilder-Smith break down exactly what self-regulation, aka executive function, is:
According to “Executive Functions,” by Adele Diamond, three components of executive function make up self-regulation. Here are some examples of each.
1. Inhibitory Effort Self-Control: Examples include controlling emotional arousal, acting appropriately when tempted to do otherwise, delaying gratification, and staying on task, even when bored.
2.Working Memory: Examples include holding information in your mind, answering a question and explaining how you got the answer, and remembering all the steps in directions and how to follow them.
3. Cognitive Flexibility: An example is being able to change the focus of attention from the words in a math problem to the operations on numbers in the problem or changing focus from decoding a single sound to blending the multiple sounds into a word.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably already seeing the value of prioritizing this in your community. And if you’re not convinced yet, according to Leong, Bodrova and Wilder-Smith, “Self-regulation looks like:
In the short term, prioritizing self-regulation development can help you create a more regulated, inclusive community. And in the long term, we know that self-regulation is just one of the many tools that children will use in all of school and life.
Ready to start building your regulated, inclusive community? Start now by heading over to NAESP to download the full guide to “Creating a Self-regulated Community of Learners.”
Can Tools help develop self-regulation in children whose parents say they struggle with attention? Yes! In fact, these children seem to benefit the most.
Researcher and best-selling author of Mind in the Making, Ellen Galinsky describes why building executive functions through a curriculum like Tools is so powerful.