Republished with written permission from Carol Goossens, Ph.D.
Let’s make the Animated Step-by-Steps accessible during free-play time!
For a preschool class, the TAPit is hard to beat. I like the fact that it is adjustable in height thus allowing Animated Step-by-Steps to be presented at the appropriate height for a seated preschooler. With a press of a button the screen can adjust up and down; it can even be tilted into a more horizontal presentation to allow a student in an upright stander to easily interact with an Animated Step-by-Step poem or song. It has a feature called ‘intended touch’, that is, it can recognize the difference between ‘an arm resting upon the screen and a finger … intentionally tapping an image’. The fact that the entire unit is on wheels allows it to be moved to different locations within the classroom, e.g., in the Reading area when reviewing a poem, in the large group cooking area when using an Animated Step-by-Step recipe.
Many children enjoy interacting more independently with the Animated Step-by-Step poems, especially when ‘playing teacher’ during free-play time. An Animated Step-by-Step presented on a TAPit is an excellent (although not inexpensive) prop, allowing students to play teacher while simultaneously giving them an opportunity to practice their reading and expressive communication skills.
The fact that they may have already experienced the poem numerous times during Circle Time, gives them the confidence to play teacher, ‘reading’ and animating the poem for their friends.
So if you’re wondering how to spend that money generously donated by the Garden City Ladies Group … think TAPit … and of course Animated Step-by-Steps! : )