Tools Preschool visit: Ms. Sabatte-Doyle’s class digs into learning at the buffet

Curious to see what’s happening in real Tools classrooms? Meet our January Tools Preschool Teacher of the Month, Mariana Sabatte-Doyle, and watch her Denver preschoolers go into the restaurant business!

The challenge


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

Tools Preschool visit: Ms. Sabatte-Doyle’s class digs into learning at the buffet


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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 behind the classroom door. Each month, a different Tools preschool teacher posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, sharing photos and updates about what they’re up to each week. Meet January’s Tools Preschool Teacher of the Month, Mariana Sabatte-Doyle, who posts about her class at College View Elementary School in Denver, Colorado.

Ms. Sabatte-Doyle has been teaching for over 20 years and has been a Tools teacher for seven. Tools has offered Ms. Sabatte-Doyle insight into her students and also into herself as an educator. "Every year is a learning experience and I look forward to the development of self-regulation and learning happening in the classroom with a curriculum that is so thoughtful about the children's needs," she reflects in her posting. 

Join Ms. Sabatte-Doyle and her preschool class as they open several restaurants in their Denver classroom, setting prices, taking orders, charging customers and writing up receipts. Beware, at their (very high-end!) fast food restaurant, a hamburger could cost as much as $5,000! Bring all your pennies and let’s go!

Practicing oral language at the buffet

One of the centers in Ms. Sabatte-Doyle’s classroom is transformed into an Asian buffet, where customers and servers come together asking and answering questions about the food. Children practice conversational skills by taking turns listening to their classmates’ questions and responding appropriately. 

Not all of Ms. Sabatte-Doyle’s students are ready to talk during make-believe play. One of the youngest children in the class is still early in the process of developing oral language. When it is time to decide which restaurant to go to, she participates by putting on the pizza chef's hat and bringing a pizza box to the circle. When it is her turn to choose a center, she says only, "Me. Pizza," but her use of props and gestures allows her communicate her plans to her Ms. Sabatte-Doyle and her classmates.

Making math count

Numerals games that children engage in, counting and taking turns checking each other’s work, help them to understand if there are ‘too many’ or ‘too few’ and develop self-regulation as they shift roles between counting and checking. Back in their restaurant centers, children price items and write out the amount customers will owe for their orders, engaging in authentic math experiences during their make-believe play.

A big thank you to Ms. Sabatte-Doyle and her class for inviting us in to get a peek at their January fun and learning!

To see the most recent posts by our Tools Preschool Teacher of the Month, head over to X, formerly known as Twitter.