Tools Preschool visit: Ms. Ladner’s PreK opens a deli

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

The challenge


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

Tools Preschool visit: Ms. Ladner’s PreK opens a deli


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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 stepped 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 preschool 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 Preschool Teacher of the Month Jennifer Ladner!

"I have been in the early childhood profession since 2003. I was in the classroom early on then stepped into Admin positions for 10 years. Then I happily stepped back into the classroom and am now on my third year back as a teacher at Zarrow Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My two amazing children attend the same school. This is also my third year using the Tools of the Mind Curriculum. I love Tools because it makes teaching easy and fun for myself and the children.”

Take a peek at what Ms. Ladner and her preschoolers are up to this month:

They kicked off their grocery theme early this month with a preschool story lab. What were they reading? The Let’s Pretend…Grocery Store book. Curious to see where this grocery store theme will take these preschoolers in the weeks to come? Buckle your seatbelts!   

Next up, Ms. Ladner’s preschool class went on a field trip! Where? The grocery store of course. They tasted cheese and cookies and got ideas for their high-level make-believe play. At Tools, we are big believers in building as much background knowledge as possible for our early learners. This is a great example of getting children out into the world to experience learning with their whole selves. And in this case, with their tastebuds!

While so much learning happens within the grocery store theme, there’s also work to be done beyond the theme. Take a look at our preschool number line hopscotch. It’s not math seated at a desk, it’s math the Tools way. Our Tools preschoolers experience learning with their whole body while having fun because there’s nothing like intrinsic motivation to truly engage our youngest learners.

What’s next? Ms. Ladner and her preschoolers worked together to create their very own grocery and deli! This is such a great example of age-appropriate playful learning. And one of the many amazing things about this is how many foundational skills are built right into this make-believe play, everything from math to self-regulation development.  

That’s a preview of the rich world of imagination and learning taking place in Ms. Ladner’s Tulsa, OK classroom. To see the most recent posts by our Tools Preschool Teacher of the Month, head over to X, formerly known as Twitter.