Tools co-founder Elena Bodrova featured in Starting strong: Developing foundational life skills in kindergarten

Wondering why building self-regulation in kindergarten is so important? Take a peek at highlights from a compelling recent webinar to find out.

The challenge


What we heard from teachers and administration at after implementing Tools at

Tools co-founder Elena Bodrova featured in Starting strong: Developing foundational life skills in kindergarten


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The process

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

Last month, Tools Co-founder Dr. Elena Bodrova was featured as a panelist in the Campaign for Grade Level Reading’s Kindergarten Matters series, which highlights the pivotal role kindergarten plays in a child’s educational journey. Bodrova shared insights from Tools throughout the session, which sought to explore “the importance of social emotional learning (SEL) and executive function for kindergarteners.”

“Kindergarten teachers list self-regulation problems at the top of their list of concerns. They cannot teach if children cannot pay attention, if they cannot overcome distractions, if they cannot help each other stay regulated.” 
- Tools Co-founder Dr. Elena Bodrova

Here are the key takeaways Dr. Bodrova emphasized:

  • Children must practice self-regulation throughout the day
  • Engaging in make-believe play is a wonderful way for children to develop and practice self-regulation
  • Cognitive and social emotional self-regulation are deeply connected and children need to ultilize self-regulation in both areas to successfully solve complex problems
  • To be successful in kindergarten and beyond, children need to learn to:
    • Stop and think before they act
    • Transition from one activity to another
    • Sustain attention, even in large groups
    • Persist in challenging tasks without giving up and 
    • Engage independently in activities, without continuous monitoring or adult regulation

Dr. Bodrova and her fellow panelists (KPD Education’s Kim Paddison Dockery, Yoncalla Oregon Children’s Institute’s Erin Helgren, and President and CEO of CASEL Dr. Aaliyah Samuel) underscored that these foundational skills can’t be taught in isolation, but must be woven into everything in the kindergarten day, because otherwise, as Bodrova explained, kindergarten children may struggle to transfer their newly learned knowledge and skills from one context to another. 

To view the webinar in it’s entirety, please click here. To read more about the Kindergarten Matters series, click here.