About Ruth Hensen

Back in 1995, when Tools of the Mind had just one activity, Buddy Reading, Ruth was the first PreK teacher with whom Deborah Leong and Elena Bodrova worked. In these critical years of Tools’ curriculum development, Ruth helped develop the core aspects of Tools of the Mind––how content was taught, how the Vygostkian tactics would be used, and how children would be paired or grouped.  Ruth made each activity something that was implementable within a classroom so that the classroom flowed, and Tools became more than a collection of activities—it became a comprehensive program that flowed through a day.

Ruth was fearless in her willingness to try something that she thought would help young children. Elena and Deb had developed Scaffolded Writing for the First Grade and Second Grade classrooms they were working in.  Ruth was convinced she could get her PreK children to do it and that was the birth of Play Planning.  No one could believe that PreK children could write like that. To the right is Ryan’s plan from that first year.

In 2000, Ruth came to work for Tools full-time and continued to be a true co-creator of activities, helping us develop our Kindergarten program. She was a trainer of trainers and teachers, and Tools’ first multi-media star. Ruth was our first videotaped teacher, demonstrating how to implement an activity with children. She could walk into a group of children she didn’t know 5 minutes before taping, learn their names and get them engaged in the activity the first time with the camera rolling.

Since retiring in 2015, Ruth has continued to be a sounding board and advisor for our content development, continuous improvement, and innovation, not to mention a valued friend.

Thank you, Ruth, for 25 years of significant contribution to Tools of the Mind; for your partnership with Deborah Leong and Elena Bodrova translating theory to practice, guiding Tools evolution to become a successful curriculum; your mentoring of our team; the development of many of our professional development and curriculum resources. We are grateful and excited to honor you each year with this new scholarship.