The Incredible Years® Blog

Pre-K teachers using puppets to reach out to their students remotely for IY Dinosaur School

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  • Emily Parkey (Program Consultant at Invest in Kids) and Carley Maloney (Pre-K teacher at Southeast Elementary School in Brighton’s 27j District, Colorado)
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Emily Parkey and Carley Maloney

It has been wonderful to connect remotely with our Pre-K students through Dinosaur School during our school’s closure.  Our Pre-K scholars love Molly, Wally, Dina, and Tiny.  Continuing Dinosaur School throughout the break has given them a chance to continue a familiar, joyful routine, and visit with puppet friends at a time when interacting with other friends is difficult, if not impossible.

Every week Pre-K students and their parents receive a message or video from Molly or Dina.  So far, these lessons have focused upon exploring students’ feelings, and ways that students can help themselves to feel better when they are feeling uncomfortable feelings like boredom, fear, frustration, and sadness.  Students and their parents respond to the lessons by sending in photos and texts of how they are feeling, and what they are doing to change uncomfortable feelings into more positive ones.  So far students have shared great ideas with their parents, teachers, and each other!

In the accompanying lesson, recorded on iMovie, you’ll have a chance to see the lesson introduced by Ms. Carley.  Then, Dina takes over to share some ideas that students shared with Molly to help cheer her up during the break.  We’ve found that showing pictures of ways that real students are coping is very exciting and motivating for both themselves and their peers!  Students make sure to tune in every Wednesday to see not only Dina, but pictures of themselves and their Friends.

Finally, Ms. Carley ends by reiterating the homework assignment and ways in which students can complete the assignment.  One real gem of doing virtual lessons is that parents are more and more connected to what students are learning and ways that they can have conversations with their children at home.


Please see our website for more sample video messages to preschoolers from teachers and puppets, plus a sample format for delivering on-line calls with children and sample scripts for using the puppets to talk with children about feelings.


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