If you were to peak inside Mrs. McMahon’s first grade classroom at Olde Providence Elementary in Charlotte, NC, you’d never guess who you’d see by the teacher’s side. She’s 2 feet tall, has black yarn hair, and makes learning a lot of fun.
Meet Sunny, Mrs. McMahon’s outgoing, bubbly and sometimes sassy classroom puppet! From reading books to teaching lessons, Sunny is Mrs. McMahon’s right-hand “teaching assistant” (well, actually Sunny’s controlled by her left hand.) Sunny was passed down to Mrs. McMahon from her mother-in-law and quickly became a part of her daily teaching style.
For instance, when school started in August, each first grader brought an “it’s all about me” bag to introduce themselves to their classmates. Sunny came fully equipped with her “it’s all about me” bag too and shared her favorite book, favorite toy and even her favorites shoes (which happened to belong to Mrs. McMahon). The students quickly saw how much fun learning was going to be with Sunny and Mrs. McMahon.
But what prompted Mrs. McMahon to incorporate the puppet into the classroom? She explains, “My students love toys, and this was a way to bring in a toy without distracting from the learning process.” In fact, Sunny is a great focusing tool. “When my students lose interest, Sunny is there to boost their energy and attention back to the learning topic.”
And when the Boosterthon team came on campus, Sunny, of course, participated too. She wore a Boosterthon shirt, was introduced at the Pep Rally and attended the daily Team Huddles. Mrs. McMahon’s class even gave themselves the band name “Sunny’s Star Students.”
And on the Boosterthon Fun Run day, Sunny cheered while the students ran around the Speedway and helped mark the t-shirt lap counters.
Through every interaction with Sunny, Mrs. McMahon wants her students to see their potential and be the best they can be. She says, “Everything Sunny does engages my students, builds their confidence, and allows them to have a fun and unique interactive learning experience.”
Mrs. McMahon, thank you for being an awesome inspiration to your students and finding creative ways to make learning so much fun! I’m sure they’ll hold these 1st grade memories throughout their entire educational experience!
Bring puppetry to your home or classroom with one of these fun Do-It-Yourself puppet crafts: