Top up Training 3 ended successfully in the Western Region towards the end of last month. This was the first workshop to be held at the recently completed Centre of Excellence at Holy Child College of Education. The main focus of this workshop was story sharing. Participants learnt during the workshop about the three key story-sharing skills of imitation, innovation and invention. Each class received two storybooks and one oral story, accompanied by a story map. The oral story for KG1 is ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ and the one for KG2 is ‘The Tro Tro Story’.

The attention and involvement of the participants was admirable during the workshop. One of the most enjoyable parts of the workshop was when the participants invented stories to share with their children in class after the workshop. The participants were placed in colour groups for the workshop, to help them realise the benefits of doing this with their classes, and this was the red group’s story:

Long long ago, there lived a cat and a mouse in a village called Botomkaka. There was a famine in their village. The animals decided to go and look for food. Cat found a bag of groundnuts in a room. Cat hid the bag of groundnuts and looked here and there to see if Mouse would come around. Not long after, Cat heard the footsteps of Mouse, tip toe, tip toe, tip toe.

So when Mouse got near the bag of groundnuts, Cat pounced on Mouse and was about to eat him . . . when Mouse shouted ‘Ha Cat, don’t you have manners? You have to clean your paws before eating,’ Cat felt greatly ashamed. Cat put Mouse down and cleaned his paws. There and then Mouse took to his heels and ran and ran and ran and Cat chased him till he was out of sight.

Children, that is why the cat is always chasing the mouse.

Another exciting part of the workshop was when the trainers demonstrated ‘The Tro Tro Story’, showing off their wonderful acting skills.

A special feature of the way we ran this workshop was the use of a butterfly slider to manage participants’ behaviour. Each of the colour groups has a cardboard butterfly attached to a long piece of string that is hung up on the wall at the front of the room. Each group’s butterfly starts at the left hand side of the piece of string and their aim is to move the furthest along the string by the end of the day. The only way for the butterfly to move along the string is to display good behaviour. Using this in the workshop helped the participants to understand more deeply the benefits of using it in their own classrooms. Although the red group created an excellent story, they unfortunately came last on both days.

Thank you to all participants for making this workshop a great success.