An article in this morning’s New York Times magazine has set my brain on fire. It’s about a curriculum called Tools of the Mind that seeks to teach preschoolers self-control and executive function. I remember reading this article from NPR on it earlier this year, and am really interested in putting some of these ideas into practice.
One thing in the NYT article that really spoke to me was the importance of play, and how so many kindergartens these days are going to a pure academic focus. That’s certainly true at my school, and I feel lucky that in pre-K, I can give my students centers time (free play) every day. But — from what I read in the article, I could be doing a better job. I’m going to give the article to Miss Slinger to read, and then have a talk with her to see what the two of us can do together in our classroom. For one thing, it might be a good idea to do some modeling and scaffolding of pretend play, to help the children learn how to do it, or to have richer experiences when they are in the house corner.
Anyone else know anything about Tools of the Mind and teaching executive function to preschoolers that they can share with me?