Tools Kindergarten visit: Ms. Grigoli’s class gets creative!

Take a peek inside a real Tools classroom! Meet our April Tools Kindergarten Teacher of the Month, Kimberly Grigoli, and see how much fun she and her kindergarteners have bringing themes to life in their New Jersey classroom.

The challenge


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

Tools Kindergarten visit: Ms. Grigoli’s class gets creative!


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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 never set foot in a Tools classroom, here’s your chance to get a closer look at what’s happening inside. Each month, a different Tools Kindergarten teacher posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, sharing photos and updates about what they’re up to each week. Meet April Tools Kindergarten Teacher of the Month, Kimberly Grigoli, who posts about her Spring Lake Heights Elementary School kindergarten students.

If Ms. Grigoli looks familiar to you, it may be because of the 2023 TEACH conference session on playful learning she co-led with colleague Paige Majka or the Standby, Mission Control article we posted with highlights from that wonderful session! 

“Tools of the Mind has truly provided me with the ‘tools’ I needed to make learning come alive.”
-Tools Kindergarten Teacher Kimberly Grigoli

Building their own

One of the ways Ms. Grigoli’s class brings themes in their centers to life is by working together to create props to use during dramatic play. 

Using their own props during play goes a long way in supporting their imaginations in a tangible way. Ms. Grigoli loves to see “the incredible creativity and resourcefulness” of her students as “they transform everyday materials into imaginative creations.” She encourages them to think outside the box, using repurposed, everyday items such as shoe boxes, coffee filters and paper towel rolls to create toys, build camp fires, make their own parachutes, and construct pianos, moon rovers, and rocketships. 

Utilizing every center 

They also take advantage of the materials in their block center to create theme-based scenes and objects, like the ocean views, sea creatures, and submarines created here during their Ocean theme.

Big creativity, big benefits

Ms. Grigoli’s children can get creative, practice their skills, hone theme-specific vocabulary, build background knowledge, and continue to develop self-regulation and social skills as they work together to bring their ideas to life. Thank you to Ms. Grigoli and her enthusiastic students for giving us a peek at what they’ve been up in their classroom!

To see more from Ms. Grigoli’s class, including some great video clips, and the most recent posts by our Tools Kindergarten Teacher of the Month, head over to X, formerly known as Twitter. 

To dig deeper into the benefits and how-tos of prop-making, see Start your classroom’s prop making journey today.