Currículo

Tools of the Mind®

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Resumen

Tools of the Mind® sigue el enfoque de Vygotsky sobre la enseñanza. Proporciona actividades secuenciadas en una trayectoria de desarrollo y andamios cognitivos para apoyar a los niños basándose en sus niveles actuales de desarrollo. Centrándose en la autorregulación, el currículo apoya las habilidades cognitivas subyacentes de los niños, la preparación socioemocional para la escuela y las habilidades fundacionales en lectoescritura, matemáticas y ciencias.

Resumen de la evaluación del currículo

  • Promueve prácticas docentes basadas en la investigación para apoyar el desarrollo y el aprendizaje de los niños en todos los dominios del Marco de Head Start sobre los resultados del aprendizaje temprano de los niños (ELOF, sigla en inglés), especialmente en los dominios: Enfoques de Aprendizaje, Desarrollo Social y Emocional, Lengua y Comunicación, Lectoescritura y Matemáticas
  • Proporciona una serie de estrategias y recursos para respaldar el compromiso de los padres y las familias.
  • Ofrece capacitación estandarizada integral y materiales para apoyar la implementación.
  • Ofrece amplias oportunidades para el juego y las actividades iniciadas por los niños que promueven la exploración abierta.
  • Proporciona orientación específica para utilizar andamios cognitivos que apoyen el desarrollo y el aprendizaje de los niños que aprenden en dos idiomas (DLL, sigla en inglés).
  • Incluye adaptaciones específicas para niños con discapacidades, sospechas de retraso u otras necesidades especiales.
  • Promueve la individualización basada en las fortalezas y necesidades de los niños.
  • Se alinea moderadamente con el ELOF pero carece de una orientación exhaustiva para los subdominios de Razonamiento Científico, Resolución de Problemas y Salud, Seguridad y Nutrición
  • Carece de orientación sobre interacciones culturalmente receptivas con niños y familias.
  • Proporciona una orientación limitada sobre cómo integrar plenamente las culturas de los niños y las familias en las interacciones, el entorno de aprendizaje y las experiencias de aprendizaje.
Website: https://toolsofthemind.org/

Detalles

Cost of Curriculum

Manuales de Tools of the Mind®: $175 por maestro

Conjunto de materiales de prekínder Tools of the Mind®: $749 por aula

Cost of Professional Development

Los costos para el desarrollo profesional in situ y en línea no están disponibles públicamente en el sitio web del editor.

Comuníquese con el editor para obtener la información más actualizada sobre los costos del currículo y las ofertas actuales de desarrollo profesional.

Availability in Other Languages

La mayor parte del currículo está disponible en español sin costo adicional.

El conjunto de materiales de prekínder de Tools of the Mind® está disponible en español por un costo adicional.

Target Age

Programas preescolares basados en el centro para niños de 3 a 5 años

Curriculum Materials Reviewed by Raters

 Todos los materiales se compraron y se revisaron en 2018. Entre estos materiales se encontraban:

  • Tools of the Mind®: Introducción, antecedentes y teoría; manual de prekínder, 7.ª edición,
  • Capacitación de Tools of the Mind®: manual de prekínder, 7.ª edición,
  • Capacitación de Tools of the Mind®: Apéndice con andamios cognitivos adicionales, manual de prekínder, 7.ª edición,
  • Materiales del aula de Tools of the Mind®: Guía de contenido de lectoescritura y organización del aula y materiales complementarios en caja,
  • Materiales del aula de Tools of the Mind®: Guía de contenido matemático y materiales complementarios en caja,
  • sitio web de acceso público: https://toolsofthemind.org/ (en inglés) ,
  • sitio web del currículo de eTools: el acceso se proporciona con la compra del currículo (p. ej., iScaffold y pre-K Assessment). 

Evaluación y valoraciones

¿Qué significan las valoraciones?

  • Four star rating graphic Evidencia completa
  • Three star rating graphic Evidencia moderada
  • Two star rating graphic Evidencia mínima
  • One star rating graphic Sin evidencia

Criterio 1

Base empírica para los resultados del niño

La evidencia empírica de la investigación demuestra que el currículo se ha asociado con los resultados positivos del aprendizaje de los niños. El currículo ha sido implementado y estudiado directamente en programas de la primera infancia, y la investigación ha demostrado efectos positivos y significativos en los resultados del desarrollo de los niños. Se han obtenido pruebas de eficacia en estudios de investigación rigurosos, como ensayos controlados aleatorizados o diseños de regresión discontinua. Los estudios de investigación sobre el currículo han incluido de manera óptima varios grupos diversos de niños y maestros.

Two star rating graphicEvidencia mínima

At the time of this review, Tools of the Mind® has been evaluated in two key studies, a research study published in a peer-reviewed journal (Barnett, Jung, Yarosz, Thomas, Hornbeck, Stechuk, & Burns, 2008) and an experimental evaluation of Tools of the Mind® conducted by Vanderbilt University and funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (e.g., Farran, Wilson, Meador, Norvell, & Nesbitt, 2015). In addition, other studies have investigated the curriculum's effect on children's executive function (Diamond, Barnett, Thomas, & Monroe, 2007; Solomon, Plamondon, O'Hara, Finch, Goco, Chaban, Huggins, Ferguson, & Tannock, 2018). Studies of the kindergarten version of Tools of the Mind® and the curriculum enhancement Tools of the Mind®—Play are not included in this review.

Rigorous Design: Three of the Tools of the Mind® evaluations used cluster randomized experimental designs (Barnett et al., 2008; Farran et al., 2015; Solomon, et al., 2018). The study by Diamond and colleagues used random assignment but did not include pre-test data collection on children.

Sample and Generalizability: Across the studies, the samples were from varied settings (e.g., public preschool, day care, and Head Start), including children from primarily low-income and diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The study by Solomon and colleagues was conducted in a Canadian urban center, while the other studies were conducted in the United States.

Fidelity of Implementation: In the study conducted by Barnett and colleagues, teachers had four days of training prior to the school year as well as a half-day workshop and five one-hour lunch meetings during the school year. Teachers also met with a trainer weekly during the school year for 30-minute classroom visits and could schedule additional time with the trainer, as needed. To assess fidelity, Barnett and colleagues used an observational checklist. They found that by the end of the year, teachers were fully implementing six of seven key environmental features. In the Vanderbilt and Diamond studies, teachers had four days of training prior to the school year as well as three one-day workshops during the school year. In the following year, teachers were trained at a one-day opening workshop prior to the school year, as well as three half-day workshops during school year, and had coaching sessions every six weeks with a Tools of the Mind® staff member. Both studies used an observational checklist to assess fidelity and found that nearly all teachers implemented significant parts of the curriculum with high fidelity. In the Solomon study, teachers participated in five training sessions during the study period as well as ongoing coaching. Solomon and colleagues developed a "Tools Implementation Checklist" of the essential activities in the curriculum in order to measure fidelity. They found that the Tools of the Mind® teachers implemented the curriculum with "moderate success."

Child Outcomes: Barnett and colleagues found a positive effect of Tools of the Mind® on children's behavior but no effects on their language and literacy development or math, problem-solving, or visual-motor skills. The Vanderbilt evaluation investigated the effects of participating in Tools of the Mind® preschools on child outcomes in language, literacy, mathematics, self-regulation, and behavior in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade for two cohorts of children. The evaluation found one positive and some negative effects on child outcomes that varied by learning domain, grade level, and cohort. Diamond and colleagues found that children in Tools of the Mind® classrooms showed higher executive function skills than other children. Solomon and colleagues found that, overall, children in Tools of the Mind® classrooms had similar outcomes as children in comparison classrooms that used a different play-based curriculum. However, they did find a positive effect on one of the measures of self-regulation for children who had high initial levels of hyperactivity.

References:

Barnett, W.S., Jung, K., Yarosz, D.J., Thomas, J., Hornbeck, A., Stechuk, R., & Burns, S. (2008). Educational effects of the Tools of the Mind curriculum: A randomized trial. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23(3), 299–313.

Diamond, A., Barnett, W.S., Thomas, J., & Munro, S. (2007). Preschool program improves cognitive control. Science, 318(5855), 1387–1388. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1151148

Farran, D.C., Wilson, S.J., Meador, D., Norvell, J., & Nesbitt, K. (2015). Experimental Evaluation of the Tools of the Mind Pre-K Curriculum: Technical Report. (Working Paper). Peabody Research Institute, Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from https://my.vanderbilt.edu/toolsofthemindevaluation/files/2011/12/Tools-Technical-Report-Final-September-2015.pdf

Solomon, T., Plamondon, A., O'Hara, A., Finch, H., Goco, G., Chaban, P., Huggins, L., Ferguson, B., & Tannock, R. (2018). A cluster randomized-controlled trial of the Impact of the Tools of the Mind curriculum on self-regulation in Canadian preschoolers. Frontiers in Psychology8, 2366.

Criterio 2

Currículo basado en la investigación

El currículo proporciona contenido basado en la investigación y las prácticas de enseñanza para apoyar el desarrollo y el aprendizaje de los niños. Un currículo basado en la investigación es consistente con la investigación acerca de cómo se desarrollan y aprenden los niños. Específicamente, proporciona contenido rico, prácticas de enseñanza y experiencias de aprendizaje que la investigación ha demostrado que son eficaces para apoyar el desarrollo y el aprendizaje de los niños. Un currículo basado en la investigación se centra en contenido y habilidades específicas por dominio y es apropiado para el nivel de desarrollo, los cuales contribuyen al desarrollo de los niños a largo plazo en cada dominio.

Three star rating graphicEvidencia moderada

Approaches to Learning: Tools of the Mind® consistently supports children's skills in the domain of Approaches to Learning. The curriculum is built on the Vygotskian idea that the goal of early childhood education is to foster children's self-regulation as they gain content knowledge. In addition to establishing predictable routines and activities throughout the year, the curriculum provides a variety of activities intentionally designed to promote self-regulation skills. For example, daily Opening Group activities such as "Fingerplays," "Chants," "Do What I Do," and "Physical Self-Regulation Games" develop children's working memory and self-regulation skills. Other activities, such as "Classroom Rules" (a plan created by a small group of children) or "Pretend Transitions," provide additional opportunities to practice physical self-regulation and develop executive function skills. Daily activities (e.g., Free Choice, Mystery Games, Make-Believe Play Practice) provide children with ample opportunities to initiate play and engage in open-ended exploration, which research shows support children's creativity.

Social and Emotional Development: The curriculum consistently promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's social and emotional development. Tools of the Mind® includes guidance on how to establish a strong classroom community among children and adults (e.g., Community Building Games). With a focus on learning through social interactions, the daily large and small group activities, such as Make-Believe Play, Buddy Reading, and Share the News, provide social contexts for children to practice social interaction and relationship skills. In addition, these activities offer opportunities for teachers to scaffold children's learning as they develop emotional regulation skills, social problem-solving, perspective-taking, and emotional understanding. For example, during Make-Believe Play, teachers introduce and reinforce the use of specific language for expressing ideas, thoughts, and feelings to others.

Language and Communication: Tools of the Mind® consistently promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's language and communication skills. The curriculum provides ongoing opportunities for rich oral language experiences based on topics interesting and relevant to young children (e.g., family, pets, grocery store). It offers multiple possibilities for dialogue and engagement. Teachers are guided to use, model, and scaffold children's language. For example, during Make-Believe Play, children choose and play characters based on the theme, and teachers elaborate on children's actions and interactions, adding complexity to children's oral language. Other activities, such as interactive read-alouds (Story Labs), Buddy Reading, and Opening Group activities (e.g., songs, chants, and games), support vocabulary development and provide ongoing opportunities to use and understand complex language. For example, in Story Lab activities such as "Active Listening" and "Connection," children listen to the story and then turn to a peer and discuss the book.

Literacy: The curriculum consistently supports the development of literacy skills through varied authentic opportunities for children to discuss, use, and make print materials. Each day's Opening Group time incorporates print in the form of illustrated poems, songs, charts, and chants that increase in complexity over the year. Make-Believe Play involves making print-based props (e.g., grocery lists, restaurant menus) for play scenarios that children plan. Story Lab activities use engaging children's books and magazines to support children's development of critical literacy skills, such as listening comprehension strategies, making predictions and inferences, building vocabulary, and conversing with peers about stories. The curriculum emphasizes the importance of written language (even if the mark is a scribble) to help children remember and express their inner thinking. Scaffolded writing is used in many activities (e.g., Message of the Day, Play Planning), encouraging children to draw and write any letter or word parts for authentic purposes.

Mathematics Development: Tools of the Mind® consistently promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's mathematics development. Intentionally designed math activities and games, with suggestions for how to increase complexity as the year progresses, provide children with ample opportunities to develop mathematical skills and concepts. Math is introduced as a "tool for thinking" and is used to record data (e.g., Weather Graphing) and solve problems (Mystery Math games), and as part of science activities and Make-Believe Play. Activities with materials such as puzzles, manipulatives, calendars, and blocks are used to promote conceptual understanding and introduce children to math vocabulary. For example, the "Remember and Replicate" activity uses playdough as a mode for producing shapes and arranging them in different ways, using vocabulary words to describe position, size, and shape (e.g., first, round, long, behind).

Scientific Reasoning: Tools of the Mind® promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's scientific reasoning. Science Eyes, the main science activity in the curriculum, engages children in focused observations, communication, and documentation once or twice a week. Working with a partner, children describe and discuss observations in detail and then document them in their science journals using drawing and writing. Teachers are guided to ask questions that encourage in-depth observations using different senses (e.g., "Now observe something different. What else do you notice?") and to scaffold the use of science vocabulary. As the year progresses, children participate in simple science experiments, exploring topics such as actions and reactions, force, and motion. However, limited weekly time is allocated for science learning, and there is no guidance on how to integrate science into other domains of the curriculum.

Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development: Tools of the Mind® promotes a few research-based teaching practices in this domain, such as providing opportunities for daily physical activity, practice of new physical skills, and the development of fine motor skills. However, physical skills are addressed indirectly through participation in activities that focus on self-regulation skills. Movement games, such as "Freeze Game," "Do What I Do," and "Pattern Movement," are incorporated into every day's Opening Time. Guidance for these games includes learning trajectories for gross motor development and some instructions about how to support children to participate successfully. There are also highly targeted learning activities for fine motor development (e.g., Graphics Practice). However, the curriculum lacks direction on how to create a safe outdoor environment that encourages active physical exploration, as well as intentional guidance to support the development of self-care skills, handwashing, personal safety, and nutrition.

Criterio 3

Alcance y secuencia

El currículo incluye un alcance y una secuencia organizados del desarrollo para apoyar el aprendizaje de los niños. El alcance y la secuencia describen en qué se enfoca el currículo y de qué manera los planes y los materiales apoyan a los niños en los diferentes niveles del desarrollo. El alcance se refiere a las áreas de desarrollo abordadas en el currículo; la secuencia incluye planes y materiales para experiencias de aprendizaje que van progresivamente de menor a mayor complejidad, con la meta de apoyar a los niños mientras avanzan a través de las progresiones del desarrollo. Un currículo rico en contenido garantiza que las secuencias de experiencias de aprendizaje incluyan múltiples oportunidades relacionadas para que los niños exploren un concepto o una habilidad con una profundidad cada vez mayor. Las secuencias de experiencias de aprendizaje deben ser flexibles para responder a los intereses, las fortalezas y las necesidades individuales de los niños.

Four star rating graphicEvidencia completa

Scope: The curriculum clearly identifies seven learning domains: Literacy; Writing; Mathematics; Science; Social Studies; Emotional, Social, and Underlying Cognitive/Executive Function Development; and Physical Development. The Tools of the Mind®Training: Pre-K Manual, 7th Edition (Training Manual) provides sets of activities organized according to the curriculum's main time blocks in the schedule (e.g., Free Time, Opening, Make-Believe Play). The "Standards Alignment Chart" lists specific activities and goals within each domain and articulates how the curriculum's activities map to the seven domains.

Sequence: Tools of the Mind® provides sequences of learning experiences organized in four levels of "Training Sessions," with content becoming more complex and challenging over time. The sequences of learning activities support children as they move through the developmental progressions in each of the ELOF preschool domains. They offer ample opportunities for children to explore concepts and skills. "Summary of Changes" describes how each set of activities becomes more complex over time. In addition, each activity includes a chart showing the developmental progression (from 3 to 5 years) of key skills addressed in the activity, scaffolding suggestions to individualize based on children's development and special needs ("Zooming in on the ZPD"), and ideas for increasing challenge ("Up the Challenge").

Criterio 4

Alineación con el Marco de Head Start sobre los resultados del aprendizaje temprano de los niños (ELOF)

El currículo está alineado con el Marco de Head Start sobre los resultados del aprendizaje temprano de los niños (ELOF, sigla en inglés). Alinear un currículo con el ELOF determina el grado en que los dominios y subdominios del ELOF se abordan en el currículo. Los currículos que están totalmente alineados con el ELOF son integrales y abarcan todas las áreas de aprendizaje y desarrollo de los niños descritas en el ELOF.

Three star rating graphicEvidencia moderada

Alignment with the ELOF: A thorough review of all curriculum materials in relation to the ELOF domains and sub-domains indicates that Tools of the Mind® is mostly aligned with the ELOF. The majority of ELOF sub-domains are supported throughout the curriculum's sequence of games and activities described in the Training Manual. For example, the curriculum's Make-Believe Play and Story Lab literacy activities support children's development in areas such as cognitive self-regulation, oral language skills, literacy skills, and creativity. The curriculum partially addresses the ELOF sub-domain of Reasoning and Problem-Solving. In most science activities, children learn to observe, classify, and describe their observations, but there are fewer opportunities for children to plan and conduct investigations and experiments. The curriculum also does not address the sub-domain of Health, Safety, and Nutrition.

Criterio 5

Metas de aprendizaje para los niños

El currículo especifica metas de aprendizaje para los niños. Las metas de aprendizaje del currículo son objetivos para el desarrollo y el aprendizaje de los niños en todos los dominios. Las metas de aprendizaje deben ser medibles y apropiadas para el desarrollo. Las metas de aprendizaje medibles se centran en habilidades, comportamientos y conocimientos que son observables; las metas de aprendizaje apropiadas para el desarrollo son consistentes con las progresiones de desarrollo bien establecidas. Los maestros deben ser capaces de utilizar las metas de aprendizaje de un currículo para individualizar las experiencias de aprendizaje para todos los niños, como para niños de diversas culturas, niños que aprenden en dos idiomas (DLL, sigla en inglés), niños que están aprendiendo lenguas tribales y niños con discapacidades u otras necesidades especiales.

Four star rating graphicEvidencia completa

Learning Goals: Tools of the Mind® specifies measurable, developmentally appropriate goals for children's learning and development. The goals concentrate mainly on children's underlying cognitive skills (self-regulation, focused attention, and deliberate memory), social-emotional school readiness (e.g., emotional and behavioral self-control), and foundational skills in literacy and mathematics. Each activity in the Training Manual provides a list of learning goals ("Purpose"), the rationale for the activity, and a "What to Expect—Developmental Learning Trajectories" chart showing the developmental continuum of skills across ages. Overall, the learning activities in the curriculum support children in making progress toward these goals. Building on the Vygotskian approach to teaching, the curriculum's activities provide scaffolding strategies to support children in reaching the goals ("Zooming in on the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)"). The curriculum also provides the Tools of the Mind® Training: Additional Scaffolds Appendix Pre-K Manual, 7th Edition (Additional Scaffolds Appendix Manual) with individual scaffolds for children who need more support in reaching the learning goals and for children who are DLLs.

Criterio 6

Evaluación continua del niño

El currículo proporciona orientación sobre la evaluación continua de los niños. La evaluación continua del niño es el proceso de reunir información para comprender y apoyar el desarrollo de los niños a lo largo del tiempo. La información recopilada a través de la observación y la documentación ayuda a programar la planificación curricular, la enseñanza y la individualización para todos los niños. La evaluación continua del niño también se puede utilizar para llevar a cabo periódicamente instrumentos de evaluación estandarizados y estructurados para evaluar el progreso del desarrollo de los niños.

Three star rating graphicEvidencia moderada

Ongoing Observation and Documentation: Tools of the Mind® describes and promotes "dynamic assessment" with specific guidance embedded throughout the curriculum materials for teachers to engage in this process. Through observations, the teacher identifies the child's independent level of performance (ZPD) and how the child responds to scaffolds and instruction. For example, the section "Scaffolding Make-Believe Play" suggests the teacher observe the child's current stage of play, identify a scaffolding goal, provide supports according to the child's ZPD, and observe again to assess the need for further support. Additionally, Pre-K Assessment offers specific assessment resources for observing and documenting children's progress across domains within daily routines and learning experiences (e.g., Scaffolded Writing, Story Lab Listening Comprehension, Math, Social and Emotional Development), as well as guidance for developing and using portfolios that illustrate children's growth over time.

Standardized and Structured Assessment Instruments: The curriculum provides structured assessments but does not provide information about selecting and using standardized assessment instruments. Pre-K Assessment describes and provides some structured assessment tools, such as Listening Comprehension Formative and Summative Assessments and Letter Sound and Name Dynamic Assessments. The curriculum encourages programs to use these assessment tools at regular intervals to track children's progress and adjust learning experiences. However, the tools are not standardized (valid or reliable), and there is no guidance on how to select standardized assessment instruments.

Criterio 7

Compromiso de los padres y las familias

El currículo promueve el compromiso de los padres y la familia. El compromiso de los padres y la familia es un proceso basado en la colaboración y las fortalezas a través del cual los maestros de la primera infancia, las familias y los niños desarrollan relaciones positivas y orientadas a una meta. Es una responsabilidad compartida de las familias y el personal que se construye sobre el respeto mutuo por los roles y las fortalezas que cada uno tiene para ofrecer. El currículo proporciona estrategias cultural y lingüísticamente receptivas para comunicarse con las familias y para involucrar a las familias en el aprendizaje de los niños.

Three star rating graphicEvidencia moderada

Communicating with Families: Tools of the Mind® provides information to share with families about the curriculum's learning experiences. The "Parent Resource" section of the eTools website includes a "Back to School Night" PowerPoint presentation about core curriculum activities. It also contains a detailed brochure explaining the curriculum's philosophy, goals, and ways parents can effectively support their children's continued development of self-regulation skills at home. In addition, it offers newsletters to be sent home at the beginning and mid-point of each month that describe the curriculum's learning experiences, including lists of books and "fingerplays" children experienced in class. Each parent resource is provided in both English and Spanish. However, the curriculum provides minimal guidance about the importance of two-way communication with families, how to communicate with families in culturally and linguistically responsive ways, and how to share information with parents and families about their child's development.

Engaging Families: The curriculum provides specific guidance on how to engage parents and families in children's learning and development. Each parent newsletter, available in English and Spanish, includes a list of "Extensions at Home" with simple activities parents and children can do together (e.g., "Help someone at home make a recipe in the kitchen."). A "Need Your Help!" section at the bottom of each newsletter asks for specific prop materials (e.g., empty food containers). In addition, eTools offers "Let's Pretend" books in English and Spanish to help parents support the development of children's make-believe play skills at home. However, there is no guidance for teachers to invite families to become involved in the classroom environment and activities, nor is there consideration on how to engage culturally diverse families or families that speak languages other than Spanish or English.

Criterio 8

Desarrollo profesional y materiales para apoyar la implementación

El currículo ofrece desarrollo profesional y materiales para apoyar la implementación y la mejora continua. El desarrollo profesional incluye la adquisición de los conocimientos y las habilidades requeridas para la implementación eficaz de un currículo. Los procedimientos de capacitación estandarizados incluyen formación inicial y continua para apoyar al personal de educación a medida que aprenden a implementar un currículo con fidelidad. Los procedimientos de capacitación estandarizados proporcionan contenido uniforme y métodos de impartición en las sesiones de capacitación. Los materiales del currículo para apoyar la implementación de los mismos incluyen recursos que vienen con un currículo para ayudar al personal docente a entender cómo utilizarlo. Los materiales pueden incluir también recursos para ayudar a los gerentes de educación y a los instructores a apoyar al personal docente para que implementen el currículo de manera eficaz.

Four star rating graphicEvidencia completa

Professional Development: Tools of the Mind® provides a comprehensive system of training and support. Initial training includes four "CORE" trainings workshops for a fee. The first is offered in person, over two days, prior to the start of the school year. Each of the remaining three sequential workshops is a one-day session, delivered in person or virtually, in fall, winter, and spring of the first year. In addition, the curriculum offers varied opportunities for ongoing professional development on a range of topics through webinars, "PreK Beyond the Core" workshops, and online modules. Tools of the Mind® also offers customized training for programs and individualized coaching sessions.

Curriculum Materials to Support Implementation: Tools of the Mind® provides a comprehensive set of materials to support implementation. The Tools of the Mind®: Introduction, Background, and Theory; Pre-K Manual, 7th Edition (Introductory Manual) includes a rich overview of the background, theory, and key elements of the curriculum. The primary Training Manual offers detailed information about each of the curriculum's activities, including materials and set-up, steps for implementing each activity, and detailed guidance for teachers about engaging and supporting children during the activity ("Flow and Process"). The Additional Scaffolds Appendix Manual describes strategies for supporting specific learning needs (e.g., developmental delays, self-regulation supports, fine motor supports) and for supporting children who are DLLs. iScaffold, available to curriculum users through the publisher website or app, is a multimedia teaching tool that provides a range of assistance on demand (e.g., learning experiences, learning trajectories, scaffolding ideas). In addition, the Pre-K Assessment appendix provides assessment instruments to identify baselines, document children's development over time, and identify areas of individual need to target scaffolding and intentionally plan instruction.

  • Fidelity Tool: The curriculum offers Teacher Self-Reflection forms, which can be used to assess fidelity of implementation. The forms provide detailed checklists with key elements for each set of activities in the curriculum (e.g., Opening Group, Make-Believe Play, Literacy Time Block, Story Lab, and Math/Science Small Group Time Block). Teachers can use this tool independently to reflect on their own implementation of activities, or collaboratively with a coach to identify areas of support.

Criterio 9

Interacciones y experiencias de aprendizaje

El currículo promueve experiencias de aprendizaje e interacciones valiosas para apoyar el desarrollo entre los dominios. Las experiencias de aprendizaje valiosas apoyan y amplían el conocimiento, la comprensión de los conceptos y las habilidades de los niños en todos los dominios. A medida que los niños exploran activamente su entorno de aprendizaje al manipular objetos e investigar conceptos, los maestros interactúan con ellos para ampliar su exploración, pensamiento y comunicación. El currículo les ofrece a los niños numerosas oportunidades para participar en la exploración práctica y les proporciona a los maestros orientación sobre cómo extender la exploración, el pensamiento y la comunicación de los niños. Las experiencias de aprendizaje valiosas deben ser cultural y lingüísticamente receptivas e inclusivas para niños con discapacidades, sospechas de retrasos u otras necesidades especiales.

Four star rating graphicEvidencia completa

Active Exploration: Tools of the Mind® provides daily opportunities for children to engage in open-ended, hands-on explorations. The classroom is set up with six interest areas (e.g., science, sensory, blocks, manipulatives), each equipped with sensory materials as well as more complex materials related to the Make-Believe Play theme of the month. Every morning, children freely choose to play at any of these centers. Additionally, the daily schedule includes a time specifically for "Make-Believe Play Center," which offers more opportunities for free explorations during the day. Although the children use some center materials in more structured ways (e.g., according to scenarios related to the theme), children can suggest their roles and scripts and manipulate objects to create play scenarios. Other daily small group activities such as Puzzles, Manipulatives, and Blocks, provide children with opportunities to explore objects, build, and create with different materials (e.g., blocks, playdough, lacing, pegs, nuts, and bolts).

Interactions That Extend Children's Learning: Throughout all learning activities and in its introductory materials, Tools of the Mind® provides specific guidance on how to extend children's play, exploration, and communication. Built on the theoretical foundation of social learning and providing experiences and support within the child's individual ZPD, the curriculum guides teachers to actively scaffold children's learning by providing prompts, hints, and gestural signs and by using "Mediator Cards" with visual reminders of the task in hand. For example, in Story Lab activities, teachers use mediator cards with open-ended questions or other prompts to scaffold children's self-regulation and to expand children's thinking and communication about the book (e.g., "What was your favorite part?" "You can make connections between this book and something that happened to you.").

Individualization: The curriculum provides specific guidance embedded throughout curriculum materials on how to ensure learning experiences are appropriate and accessible for all children. Each activity's lesson plan includes a section titled "Zooming in on the ZPD" which includes specific tips and strategies to help children who need extra support and for children who are DLLs. For each activity, the Additional Scaffolds Appendix Manual also provides specific accommodations and modifications to meet the needs of children with different needs (e.g., a child who has difficulty with expressive language, participating, or following directions) and a special section with guidance for supporting children who are DLLs.

Criterio 10

Entornos de aprendizaje y rutinas

El currículo proporciona orientación sobre cómo configurar entornos de aprendizaje valiosos y rutinas apropiadas para el desarrollo. Los entornos de aprendizaje valiosos son espacios que fomentan y apoyan el desarrollo de todos los niños pequeños. El currículo proporciona orientación sobre cómo diseñar horarios apropiados para el desarrollo, las rutinas y las oportunidades en el interior o al aire libre que proveen opciones para elegir, jugar, explorar y experimentar. Los entornos de aprendizaje incluyen equipos, materiales y suministros apropiados de acuerdo a la edad. También reflejan las culturas del hogar y son lo suficientemente flexibles como para apoyar los cambios de edad, intereses y características de un grupo de niños a través del tiempo.

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Environment: The Tools of the Mind® Training Manual and online environment module accessed through eTools provide specific guidance on how to design an engaging environment that promotes learning and development across domains. Guidance focuses primarily on setting up the furniture and materials in the six indoor learning centers: Literacy, Housekeeping/Dramatic Play, Science/Sensory, Blocks, Art/Fine Motor, Math/Manipulatives/Table Toys. For each activity, a section called "Structure of this Activity" includes information about the materials and classroom setup. Throughout the materials, photographs show the different ways the space is organized and how children can be oriented to the materials. The curriculum provides some advice on how to include the child's home language into the physical environment, but there is no guidance for including children's culture or for making the environment accessible for children with disabilities or other special needs. In addition, the curriculum lacks direction on setting up the outdoor environment.

Learning Materials: Tools of the Mind® provides specific descriptions of materials needed for each activity in "Structure of this Activity." The materials are developmentally appropriate, open-ended, and support children's play and exploration. For example, materials to support Make-Believe Play include props and books related to the play theme, as well as pictures of real-life roles and actions. Materials are rotated monthly as new Make-Believe Play themes are introduced. The curriculum provides learning materials, such as games and cards, that are used as "mediators" to support focused engagement during activities (e.g., a card with a picture of an "ear" to mean the child is the listener of a story). All materials are presented in English and Spanish. However, there is no specific guidance on selecting materials that authentically represent children's cultures or adapting materials to make them accessible for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.

Schedule and Routines: Tools of the Mind® provides a specific daily schedule with a detailed description of the activities in each time block, including Free Choice/Mystery Game, Opening Group, Make-Believe Play Center Block, Literacy Activities, Outside/Play, and Math/Science Activities. The daily schedule is consistent and alternates large- and small group activities with individual choice and active, child-initiated play. The activities have the same name and structure across the year (e.g., Share the News, Scaffolded Writing, Story Lab), but the theme changes and the level of complexity and cognitive demand increases as the year progresses. Teachers are encouraged to discuss with their coach and curriculum trainer how to tailor the schedule to meet the needs and constraints of the program, but no further support is provided. There is guidance on how specific routine activities may need to be adjusted based on individual children's needs.

Criterio 11

Receptividad cultural

El currículo apoya la receptividad cultural. La receptividad cultural es un enfoque basado en fortalezas para la enseñanza y el cuidado arraigado en el respeto y aprecio por el papel que desempeña la cultura en el aprendizaje y el desarrollo de los niños. Un currículo culturalmente receptivo les indica a los maestros que aprendan acerca de las fortalezas, habilidades, experiencias e intereses de cada niño según se desarrollan en la familia y la cultura del niño. El currículo proporciona orientación sobre cómo modificar y mejorar los planes y materiales del currículo para aprovechar estas fortalezas, habilidades, experiencias e intereses con el objetivo de incorporar la cultura de cada niño en el aula.

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Interactions: The curriculum does not offer guidance on how to engage in culturally responsive interactions with children and families (e.g., learning about the families' expectations, practices, and routines within their family and culture). In one activity (Story Lab on Character Empathy), the curriculum refers to cultural differences, pointing out that different cultures express and interpret emotions in different ways. However, the curriculum does not discuss culturally responsive ways of interacting with diverse children and families.

Learning Experiences: The curriculum discusses the importance of showing respect for all cultures and all languages in the classroom. In the section "Specific Additional Scaffolds for Dual Language Learners," the curriculum encourages teachers of children who are DLLs to create themes that support children's cultures and language use and to make sure that children's home cultures are naturally represented throughout the day. A "tourist approach" (e.g., having a special celebration related to culture occasionally) is to be avoided. For Make-Believe Play, the curriculum encourages teachers to incorporate scenarios that represent the children's cultures. However, the curriculum provides minimal guidance on how to provide or adapt learning experiences that build on the families' traditions, cultures, and values.

Learning Environment: The curriculum provides minimal guidance on how to select and use learning materials that reflect cultural diversity. The section "Specific Additional Scaffolds for Dual Language Learners" encourages teachers to choose books that celebrate the children's backgrounds and to make sure that children's home cultures are represented throughout the day "in a natural way." Curriculum materials, such as "Daily Schedule Cards" and "Story Lab Mediator Cards," include images that reflect children and families from diverse cultures and ethnicities. Similarly, the "Let's Pretend" e-books depict community helpers, family members, and other adults of many ethnicities. However, the curriculum lacks guidance on how to use learning materials that represent the cultures and the ethnicities of the children and families in the program.

Criterio 12

Receptividad lingüística

El currículo apoya la receptividad lingüística. La receptividad lingüística se refiere a las prácticas de enseñanza que apoyan el aprendizaje, el desarrollo y la participación de los niños de diversos orígenes lingüísticos. Incluye apoyos para el desarrollo continuo del idioma del hogar o de las lenguas tribales de los niños, al incorporar auténticamente el idioma de los niños en el entorno de aprendizaje. Además, las prácticas lingüísticamente receptivas pueden facilitar la adquisición del inglés. El currículo proporciona estrategias de andamios cognitivos para apoyar a los niños en cualquier nivel de conocimiento del inglés para participar plenamente en las experiencias de aprendizaje del currículo.

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Scaffolding Strategies: Tools of the Mind® provides specific guidance embedded throughout curriculum materials on how to scaffold the development and learning of children who are DLLs. Each lesson plan includes a section titled "Zooming in on the ZPD" with some specific tips and strategies to support children who are DLLs (e.g., repeat the same fingerplay several times a day; encourage children to use just gestures at first). In addition, the Additional Scaffolds Appendix Manual offers activity-specific suggested scaffolds for DLLs. This volume also provides the "Tools Teacher Phrasebook." It includes a list of phrases teachers can learn in children's home language (phrases in Spanish are provided) to facilitate communication and allow children to understand routines and directions for critical classroom activities. It is also important to note that strategies such as mediator cards, visuals, and gestures are used with all children as part of the curriculum's learning activities and routines, and provide ongoing supports to DLLs.

Home and Tribal Languages: Tools of the Mind® provides specific guidance embedded throughout curriculum materials on how to authentically incorporate children's home languages into the learning environment. The "Zooming in on the ZPD" sections include prompts describing how to incorporate children's home language (e.g., teach a fingerplay in children's home language; speak the child's home language, if you know how, when playing the game; have the rules translated to the child's home language; read the book in English and in the child's home language, if possible). During Make-Believe Play, children are encouraged to have conversations in whichever language they feel comfortable using. The Additional Scaffolds Appendix Manual emphasizes the importance of incorporating the child's home language into classroom communications and activities. It provides the "Tools Teacher Phrasebook" with useful classroom phrases that teachers are encouraged to learn in the child's home language (phrases in Spanish are provided) and use, when possible. Finally, the curriculum materials (e.g., mediator cards, rules of the classroom) are translated into Spanish. Tribal languages are not addressed.

Criterio 13

Individualización para niños con discapacidades, sospecha de retrasos u otras necesidades especiales

El currículo proporciona orientación sobre cómo individualizar para los niños con discapacidades, sospechas de retrasos u otras necesidades especiales. La individualización para niños con discapacidades, sospechas de retrasos u otras necesidades especiales incluye proporcionar apoyos más especializados para que los niños accedan y participen en el aprendizaje, las experiencias sociales y las actividades. La orientación del currículo para apoyos especializados abarca prácticas específicas de enseñanza y formas de interactuar con los niños, así como adaptaciones a los horarios diarios, actividades de aprendizaje y el entorno de aprendizaje. La individualización para niños con discapacidades, sospechas de retrasos u otras necesidades especiales permite a todos los niños acceder, participar y prosperar en los entornos de aprendizaje temprano.

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Teaching Practices and Interventions: The curriculum's approach is that teachers should make accommodations for children with special needs, suspected delays, or other special needs within every activity, as necessary, without making modifications that alter the purpose of the activity. Accommodations are based on children's responses to supports and scaffolds provided by the learning environment in relationship to the child's ZPD. The Additional Scaffolds Appendix Manual provides overview information on scaffolding for individual children with special needs, including children with significant developmental delays, behavior problems (self-regulation), and children who need more fine motor supports. This volume also provides "Additional Teacher Scaffolds," specific supports for children with a variety of needs related to each activity in the curriculum. For example, in the activity "Share the News," there are scaffolds for a child who has difficulty with expressive language and for a child who has difficulty remembering the steps in the activity.

Learning Environment: The Introductory Manual discusses "Accommodations Made Within the Classroom," but provides minimal guidance on how to modify the physical environment. The curriculum mentions briefly that "the nature of a child's disability might mean accommodations that require changes be made in the design of the entire classroom or in the design of specific activities" and that such accommodations should be discussed among special education staff and the classroom teacher. A few strategies in the Additional Scaffolds Appendix Manual include suggestions for adapting materials (e.g., for a child who has a visual impairment, provide objects that have texture to sort so the child can use both touch and vision).

Criterio 14

Individualización basada en intereses, fortalezas y necesidades

El currículo ofrece orientación sobre cómo individualizar en función de los intereses, las fortalezas y las necesidades de los niños. La individualización es un proceso de planificación e implementación de experiencias de aprendizaje que responden a los intereses, las fortalezas y las necesidades de cada niño. Los maestros reflexionan sobre sus observaciones de cada niño y luego planifican las formas más eficaces de apoyar el aprendizaje y desarrollo de cada niño. Cuando las experiencias de aprendizaje se adaptan a los intereses de los niños, son más atractivas y significativas para ellos. Debido a que los niños pueden variar en sus progresiones del desarrollo, también es importante que el currículo apoye a los maestros en la planificación de experiencias de aprendizaje que respondan a las fortalezas y necesidades individuales de los niños.

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Individualization Based on Interests: Tools of the Mind® provides children with daily opportunities to play in classroom centers of their choice (e.g., Free Choice, Mystery Game Block) and to choose their activities and materials. Children also engage daily in Make-Believe Play. As the year progresses, teachers are instructed to choose play themes that follow children's interests and reflect the community in which the children live. Children invent new actions and scenarios, play different roles, use their imagination to invent props, and expand play themes based on their interests. However, other activities in the curriculum are pre-planned (e.g., Story Lab activities, Math and Science activities), and there is no guidance in on how to plan learning experiences based on the interests of individual children.

Individualization Based on Strengths and Needs: The curriculum offers specific guidance embedded throughout its materials on how to make learning experiences responsive to individual children's strengths and needs. All activities are designed so that children at different levels of development can participate and learn. Within each activity, "Zooming in on the ZPD" provides scaffolds to support children who need extra support. Each activity also includes "Up the Challenge," providing ideas for making the activity more challenging, either by making it more difficult cognitively or by increasing self-regulation demands on children.