Thinking about ways to augment audiences' experience of the show with extra pre-show sessions that might visit a group in the weeks before we come to do the performance. Some of the other companies doing this kind of work call this "embedding" - that is, bringing characters or elements of the show in to classes beforehand to help familiarise kids with the story, the characters and/or the concepts. This is why we've been bringing the puppets in to the last couple of sessions and re-introducing them to the kids. Judging from today's reactions the kids DO seem to be increasingly more comfortable with them - and might even be starting to have favourites!
So... looking at the the central idea in the Jub Jub Tree story of the animals planting a seed to grow some food, we decided to have a go at making the whole seed-planting concept a bit more concrete for the kids - by having a bulb planting session with them in the classroom. Also, in this case, we thought it might be a nice touch to give a gift of a pot plant (that we all plant together)to each class to keep in their classroom, care for in schooltime, and watch grow over the course of this residency.  It was a hoot to get down and dirty with the kids (we've since learnt to bring tarps and towels!) The combined Bluegum & Room 2 class was such a lively organic and highly interactive session - great fun! Having Bec using music almost throughout really helped the flow and seemed to keep the kids "with us" throughout - am realising her role is similar to the conductor/leader of the classroom role that we've been observing in the Conductive Education approach.

Sensory Walk, June 22, by Rebecca
A distinctive step in establishing relationships with the children. All day we worked with a constant flow of students comming through to be led on the sensory walk, my pleasure from engaging with the students in this way was equaled by the pleasure they expressed in being immersed in the sensory experience. A notable point of development for me was learning to use degrees of physical contact necessary to assist and support the students in their experience. Contact such as holding, rolling, lifting, and hand over hand, is so necessary and always used by the teachers and EAs, yet quite foriegn for me comming from a mainstream facilitator/student context, where contact is often discouraged.

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