Thursday, 9 April 2015

H is for Hydration, Heroes & Hats

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.

Hydration - for many children being thirsty has an adverse affect on their ability to concentrate in class.  Allowing access to water during the day through the use of water bottles and especially at playtimes is a necessity.  Children with special needs sometimes have to reminded to stop and have a drink especially if they are going out to group work and might not be taking water bottles with them. And yes I know that some children will take to drinking so much that they then need the toilet but these children are few and far between.  Far better to have children hydrated and ready to learn.  More worrying though if a child appears to be thirsty a lot of the time it might signal diabetes so it is always worth relaying any concerns to a parent as soon as possible to have the child medically checked out.

Heroes - are always great motivators in the classroom.  They may be real men and women or the made up variety but they can always boost learning!!  In the past, children have written comics based on their superheroes, written letters to their superheroes, read stories about them, been involved in superhero reading schemes (footballing heroes as I recall) and sometimes heroes appear in lessons and inspire in ways we haven't even thought of.  I know when I was using an old interview video between Tanni Grey Thompson (the wheelchair athlete)
and Barnaby Bear in a geography lesson with children age 5 & 6 this led on to a discussion about how fast one of the children in the class would be able to go in her wheelchair.  Tanni Grey Thompson became an instant hero who inspired the child in question to take part in sport's day - something she had been dreading doing but Tanni Grey Thompson also became something of an instant hero for the whole class.  Because she found a different way to do something - she couldn't use her legs to run so instead she raced in her wheelchair - this seemed to inspire this particular class to have a go at doing lots of things differently and whenever they were asked why they were doing it that way the response was "I'm doing it like Tanni" whether it be trying out something different in design technology- mixing colours & mediums in art, learning spellings etc In the same vein, if a child found something hard I could often persuade them to try again simply by saying, "I'm sure Tanni would give it another go, don't you?"  Hurray for Heroes!!

Who have been your heroes that have inspired you to achieve things you wouldn't have otherwise done?

Hats - throughout my life I have made hats - either from paper, card, fun fur fabric and last but by no means least knitting.  So today I will be sharing my boating hat - perfect for being able to stay on my head as I leap on and off the boat, operate locks, have ropes thrown at me etc etc and for keeping my ears warm on cold mornings.  Made from lovely Jaeger pure wool (I actually took some pics at the time of knitting it more than three years ago) with my tried and trusted vintage hat pattern from which I have knitted several hats for various people.

and this is the finished product that will be coming with me on our next boating trip this coming weekend :)

As you can see in the daylight it looks a lot bluer - doesn't it?

I am also so Happy to announce that today I have my one Hundredth feedback comment on my TpT store.  Knowing that the activities and resources I share make enough of a difference to other teachers that they take time out to leave me feedback makes it all worthwhile :)
Today's freebie is: is for Heroes (super heroes in reading that is!)  So head over to my TpT store to collect - remember that TpT is free to join for anyone to download products!!)


  1. Thank you for another great post!

    1. Thank you in return for yours that bring a smile to my face :)

  2. Hi Pempi! Just wanted to say I absolutely love your blog and A to Z theme. There definitely needs to be more awareness and discussion around children with disabilities and special needs education; definitely hits home for me, that's for sure.

    I agree, role models are so important for children to have - even if they're fictional heroes. I remember Superman was my ultimate hero when I was growing up, particularly Clark Kent from the TV series "Smallville." I watched for the entire run (10 years!), and the protagonist of that show taught me a lot about how to deal with friends, family, tough situations and just life in general.

    Such cute hats! Wish I was that talented ;)

    By the way, I'm hosting a chapter critique giveaway on my blog as part of my A to Z journey! I'm really excited :) Would love for you to enter and be a part of the fun :) You can find it on my blog under ʺG is for Giveawayʺ - don't forget to use the Rafflecopter form!

    Have a great day, Pempi!


    1. Thank you, Wendy and I have entered your rafflecopter - what a great idea :)

  3. You are so right about the water-- we should all be drinking enough . I always ask my students to bring in water to drink during the day. And if they start feeling queasy,sometimes a little water heads off their headache.
    Love your hat !

    Mary at The View from my World

    1. Thanks Mary - you're quite right that headaches do have a tendency to break out in hot classrooms. Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. The whole hydration question is such a hot topic on the parent forums. Every school recognises the importance of drinking regularly through the day. But very few recognise that not every child will drink water. Especially SEN pupils. I am lucky because our mainstream placement has been prepared to turn a blind eye to the litre bottle of diluted squash my son drinks on the one day a week he is there. But it's a different story in many schools for the full time children.
    What do you thnk? Is allowing dilute squash one of those "small adjustments" necessary to allow integration or is it a step too far?

  5. Most of the schools I was on placement at had water bottles for the children and we took breaks during the day to make sure everyone's bottles were full. I'm not always that great at staying hydrated myself so I invested in a water bottle of my own and joined them. ;-)

    I love your hat. I collect vintage knitting patterns and really must have a go at trying something from some of them. So far all I've knitted are baby clothes (because babies don't complain if you make a mistake ;-D). Enjoy your trip away.