This year my A to Z Challenge has a double theme. The first focuses on the resources and teaching that may help children with special educational needs learn more effectively and the second is to do with my crafting likes and ideas.
An update on blogs visited over this weekend which has left me with feelings of Excitement & Enjoyment from discovering more humorous, life-fulfilling and creative blogsters out there who are below 100 followers but at the same time Exasperation as so many on the list were not participating in this year's challenge or had not even posted since last year. Maybe I should sign up to be a helper next year to go through the list and whittle it down during the first three days of the Challenge - I think that would benefit others?
Also wanted to say a big thank you to all those who have left comments on my first few posts of the challenge and I am so pleased to have attracted a few more followers. Will I hit the 50 mark this year on my Google followers?
Expectations - It is very important for children with special educational needs to be involved with the setting of expectations for them in the classroom. These expectations help establish ground rules between them, their peers, their teachers and how they will endeavour to learn in the classroom. Expectations allow children to see the strengths they have and how these will help them tackle the challenges in their learning. It is also essential for all children to know that what is the expectation for one child may not be the same for all. This requires plenty of teaching within the classroom so that all children understand that the teacher knows what each child should be achieving. Even young children can learn and respect this and I have had many a wry conversation with a six year old who has said somewhat resignedly "I know this isn't what you expect from me so I'm off to do better now" and they have :)
Emotional well-being - A child's emotional well-being is vital for them to do well at school. I truly believe that this is the most important aspect of being a teacher to provide a safe environment in which pupil voice is heard and where a child can be happy to take risks in their learning. Lessons that explore issues on stress, building resilience, creating equality and allowing children to express their concerns are very important in today's classroom and ALL children will benefit in the long term. For further support and advice http://www.youngminds.org.uk/ is an excellent website that has plenty of interviews, research findings and ideas to try out.
Let me know what you think would help children achieve better emotional well-being or what types of things did you struggle with whilst at school that you think could have been handled better? By sharing we help each other and future children :)
Embroidery - Today I am showing you one of my earliest pieces of embroidery that my Mum helped me with when I was about eight years old. I remember it being tricky and it took me a long time to finish all three of the mats but I was really pleased with it and it stayed on my dressing table until I left home. I don't actually do much embroidery these days preferring cross-stitch and tapestry but it is always useful to have these skills and they do sometimes cross-over into my cross-stitch pieces.
Today's freebie for the letter E is Elkonin Boxes . These are a useful resource to help children with focusing on the shape of letters in words. Click on the button below to download a couple of sheets linked to the first six phonic letters - s,a,t,p,i,n.