Tools Kindergarten visit: Mrs. Beekman’s K builds a pyramid

Here’s your chance to take a peek at what’s happening in real Tools classrooms. Meet our October Tools Kindergarten Teacher of the Month Michelle Beekman and see how she and her kindergarteners are bringing the Tools curriculum to life.

The challenge


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

Tools Kindergarten visit: Mrs. Beekman’s K builds a pyramid


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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

If you’ve been wondering what exactly happens in a Tools kindergarten, here’s your chance to take a look. You might just feel like you’re traveling with them straight from their classroom to an ancient civilization. Read on to find out just where they’re headed and how Tools helped them get there. 

Each month a different kindergarten teacher posts on X, formerly known as Twitter. Each week they share photos and updates about what they’re up to. Meet October's Tools Kindergarten Teacher of the Month, Michelle Beekman of Neptune City, NJ!

"I have been in the field of education for 28 years. 25 of those in the classroom and 3 as a lead trainer with Tools of the Mind. I am looking forward to sharing our journey with you!"

Take a peek at what Mrs. Beekman and her kindergarteners are up to this month:

Here they are working on some early stages of prop making, which merges art and dramatization in a meaningful, age-appropriate way. In Tools classrooms, teachers work with students to bring worlds to life using everyday objects. Below you see a cardboard box being painted. What will it become? Anything’s possible. 

Here’s a taste of what happens during Background Building Week, when teachers have a different Tools Interactive Read Aloud to read to the group each day. This builds children's knowledge about the time and place they'll be dramatizing in the next two weeks ahead. During Background Week, the children write about something they learned while they listened to the Interactive Read Alouds each day. This makes them so excited to write, which you can see below through Tools Scaffolded Writing in action. Our teachers report that children are so much more likely to write more with this kind of support. They’re less concerned about making mistakes and more focused on getting their ideas out while learning foundational literacy skills like building a sentence. We say a big “Yes” to this kind of learning. And you know what? The kids love it too! Keep scrolling to find out where they’re headed next. 

Feast your eyes on this kindergarten classroom turned ancient civilization! There’s nothing like prop making by children for children. Our Tools teachers are always available to co-construct with our learners and guide them along with supportive open-ended questions. And yet, the power here is in the hands of the children. As Mrs. Beekman says, “Play IS learning!” You better believe these experiences are making a lasting impression on these young learners. The benefits of the academic, social emotional and self-regulation development embedded into this learning will last into first grade and well beyond.

That’s a preview of the rich world of dramatization and discovery taking place in Michelle’s classroom. To see the most recent posts by our Tools Kindergarten Teacher of the Month, head over to X, formerly known as Twitter.