Puppetools in the preschool

 
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ktan



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Location: India

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:15 pm
PostPost subject: Puppetools in the preschool
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Hi Everyone,

I've been away from the forum for a while but have been keeping up with what is happening here. I have been involved with coordinating the activities of a local preschool; the one I have been conducting storytelling sessions with over the past two years. With a lot of motivation and guidance from Jeff I have started using the Language of Play in the classroom regularly with interesting results.

Our school year begins in June and I have just started introducing puppets in little sessions during activities. Right now my monkey hinge puppet helps in taking attendance (Helping with conversation too like Who has come to school this morning? Who has not?...) and building towers (I must say he's hopeless at it! Laughing ).

As Jeff suggested, I am posting my email queries to Jeff and his reply below. I do hope this will be a place where we can all exchange and share suggestions, tips, queries, and ideas to successfully incorporate Puppetools in the preschool curriculum.

My queries
Quote:
I've been getting stuck trying to figure out how to use one puppet throughout the year as a fellow student or a teacher assistant who could help me go through the activities for each day. Your suggestions prompted me to think differently. Instead of working on the theme first and them bringing in the puppets, I have decided to move from puppets towards the theme. I hope I am not sounding confused! For instance, there is a little girl in my class who plays for a while and then sits down inside the doll house saying, "There are theives around here. I cannot play." Even in her imaginary world she does not try and solve that problem. I am creating a policeman puppet to 'encounter' this problem. This could expand into a little topic on safety and the Police Dept.

This would mean building a Puppetools kit with a whole lot of puppets for any occasion that may arise in the classroom. This way I can use them for short periods of time everyday making it a lot more effective for such a young age than using one puppet and running out of ideas!



Jeff's reply
Quote:
You are on the right track. Instead of having to create a puppet to fit literally with every subject you cover, you can even have a single puppet who makes silly mistakes, mis pronounces words, gets the facts mixed up, thinks he knows the answer (when he's full of himself) and makes a mistake (and laughs at himself). Ths kids will want to help and teach a 'friend' like this. One puppet will do, but if you create a small collection with little personality quirks and purposes--you obviously have more to work with.

The little girl is learning to fear thieves because her family is either afraid or has been victim. Maybe a puppet who has been hurt or had somethings taken from her/her would allow the child to identify with a character outside of herself and help her express her feelings and fears. Sometimes the police can't fix the problem, but a puppet can help unlock her fears and allow them to be shared.

Keep in mind, too, that if you are studying a subject like nutrition or health or anything, you can create a subject puppet who can help you build the 'story' that all lessons contain. If the kids and the puppet can exchange and converse about the subject, you know that they are learning.


Look forward to all your participation.

Aparna
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ktan



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Location: India

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:10 am
PostPost subject: Look who has come to class today!
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Hi Jeff,

I've been actively using the hinge puppet in my class now - a few minutes a day. Today I was quite impressed with the effect it produced. Today I had a new 'child', John, join the class. He was just one among the others. One child quickly picked him up and inserted his hand into the hinge (He had his mouth open all the time that he was trying to close the puppet's mouth!) He sat with John through two songs in the song session and responded for him everytime I asked him a question.

I think his hands began to ache so he lay John down 'because John was tired'. After a while he pulled out a bit of his hair! I took John immediately and consoled him. I have John with a bandage on his head for class tomorrow.

I'll keep you informed on how John is accepted into class.

Aparna

PS: All the children in the class are between 2.3 and 3 years.
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papertalker
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Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 206
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:26 pm
PostPost subject: Picking Up on Play
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This is excellent. You are creating flow and fluency. If you keep this up, it will become second nature to you and the children--in effect allowing nature to come to head of the class. You will find lots of exciting benefits as you move this 'communication modality' into place. Keep these posts flowing, too. I think you are establishing a new standard. Don't be hesitant to make a puppet concept or two that arises from using 'play language' with the children. They will begin to see how much power their ideas and speech possess when their ideas spring into puppet form.
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ktan



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Location: India

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:24 am
PostPost subject: Update
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Hi, Here's what John has been upto.
Its been over a week since he has joined his preschool. One day early in the week, I had the children handle John for more time than necessary. The child handling him dropped him down and accidently rode his little tricycle over him. He gleefully said, "I cycle over John." I took John to 'hospital' and spent a few minutes getting all the children to visit him. The child who rode over him was visibly uncomfortable the rest of the day. He was quite shaken that happened. But he visited him again and wanted to handle him again when John returned.

It was two days before he came back to class. He came to share a story on littering. I make sure I don't stretch John's time in class and once the children have crossed their attention span, someone takes John 'home'. Only there are three children who take turns - "I take him." "I take him." and keep taking him back and forth!

I think its a learning experience for me as well to bring a continuity such as this in the classroom. Even if it is for short periods of time, I hope this will make a class a lot of fun.
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ktan



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Location: India

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:23 am
PostPost subject: Need some action here!
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Hi all,

Its been a while since there have been any posts in Puppetools.
We are back after a mid-term break and children in my school have all settled back in. So has John the puppet.
This term he has started bringing in some alphabet friends that make 'peculiar' sounds. The children seem to be rather amused with the puppets. I do hope they have fun learning them.

Looking forward to more sharing in the forum.

Aparna
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papertalker
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 206
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:55 pm
PostPost subject: patience
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Aparna,

Things are deceptively quiet. My head has been immersed in the marketing project. Given the low volume of visitors, it is hard to keep up the energy required for robust forum activity. However, that will change soon. I am sending you the marketing plan we will unfold by October. In the mean time, keep exploring and playing and reporting. You are doing great work, and I always want to hear more. I am glad you take the initiative to check on things, and stir the pot. Look for an email, and let me know what you think.
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