Wednesday, 8 April 2015

G is for Greetings, Goals & Garter stitch

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.

Greetings - Being able to say hello and greet another person is such a big social step for some children and it can also be the ice-breaker when a child arrives from another country with very little English.  To see their eyes sparkle and lose their nervous wide stare when I try out my faltering Polish, Slovak, Urdu etc never ceases to be a magic moment.  Often there is a laugh followed by the correct pronunciation and that immediate understanding that everyone gets things wrong including their teacher but we are all prepared to try :)
It is also important in small group work for all of the children to be introduced to each other and to greet everyone at the beginning of the session.  Reluctant talkers are encouraged to join in, everyone gets to know each others' names and friendships can grow.  From little acorns mighty learning grows :)

Goals - I have already blogged about expectations but children with special educational needs also need to set themselves goals in their learning.  This helps everyone focus on what we are aiming for and how we are to achieve this.  Some goals need to be broken down into smaller steps to become achievable and we also need to realise that goals will change over time.  It is no use pursuing a goal time after time on an IEP if a child feels they don't want that goal anymore - sometimes a change is as good as a rest! I also think it is very important to celebrate the achievement of goals - no matter how little it may look to others - remembering how we all have different expectations allows us to see that one child learning three of their spellings is the same as another scoring ten out of ten or even for another twenty out of twenty.  Once again never underestimate the ability of even young children to get this concept and give praise and encouragement to those who have achieved and thus create a thriving learning community :)

Garter stitch - is actually the first stitch people learn when they begin knitting but it is a really useful one as it does not leave you with curling edges to your knitting and provides a sturdy garment. Plenty of scarves and bags use garter stitch as one of their main stitches because of this.
There is a very useful article with accompanying videos at if you want to actually see how to do it - for any of you taking your first steps into the amazing world of knitting :)
When I was little and had first begun to knit I made countless scarves and tabards for my Palitoy Pippa dolls - some of which they still have today :)

Pippa on the left and Tammy? on the right

This is a photo of what happened next - when attack of the 50 foot cat occurred!!!!
Luckily, both girls survived thanks to the amazing strength of their garter knit clothing items :)

I haven't made anything recently using solely garter stitch but I will probably be making some extra chunky scarves this winter and garter stitch might be exactly what they will need judging from what others have posted -
such as yarnmeditations over at

Can you remember what was one of your first knitted garments - either made by you or for you?

My newest freebie is hot off the presses and has just arrived over in my TpT store where it will be free only until this Saturday - so if you want to get one I'd do so quickly!!
I was inspired to create when Krista Wallden (one of my favourite clipart designers) posted her adorable Rainbow Gorilla for free.  Try this game for children to give them a reason as well as improve their counting in twos!!


  1. I guess a simple greeting is something I've taken for granted, but you have made me realize its importance. Just like with the garter stitch - so simple yet so important.
    ~Visiting from AtoZ

  2. The only things I've ever knitted and finished were garter stitch scarves for my dolls. I had a Sindy doll (UK), I never liked Barbie!

  3. When you look at a coat of mail in a museum, doesn't it look like they used the garter stitch? With iron of course. I remember making clothes for my nieces' Barbie dolls, cast on 6 etc. It was a challenge, But they had quite the wardrobe!

  4. I do think setting individual goals for children's education is extremely important.

    Knitting is a skill that I learned from a video and a printout from eHow. I was enjoying it greatly and don't remember why I stopped. It is so nice that you still have some of your dolls from childhood.

  5. Greetings to you! I am impressed that you can even *try* to converse in Slovak or Urdu. People appreciate the respect you show to others when you do that.

    As for goals, I agree that it's nearly always helpful to break goals down into manageable bites, because it lets you feel the progress and keeps you from getting discourage.

    Garter stitching, though? I am a garter stitching ignoramus.

  6. Greetings to you! I'm impressed by your multi-subject A to Z challenge. Wow! Greetings in any language are wonderful, and goals definitely help when they are written in small doses that lead to big dreams. :)
    And, I love the pic of the 50 ft. tall cat - I'm glad the garter stitch held. :)

  7. Love that scarf! As for greetings, my father worked in construction when I grew up, so we moved a lot as jobs started and ended. I'm an introvert, but my mom made me go up and introduce myself to new people. Definitely a skill that has done me a lot of good over the years. I'm still an introvert, but most people don't realize it :)