Over the Top - giving praise matters to children and for most children with learning difficulties they need to know that what they are doing is good not only from their teachers but by their peers too. I remember in particular a difficult, young mainstream class that I once had with a myriad of problems between them (then again - there have been a few of these!!) so to motivate and give praise we had a cheer-leading type of chant with actions (obviously) when any child did something praise worthy. At first it was I as their teacher who would say," I think such and such deserves our chant, don't you?" and for some of those children joining in with anything was a bit difficult at first but the child who was receiving the praise looked so happy that this inspired more to join in. After a while it would be the children who were happy to nominate their peers to receive the chant and lead it and it is always pleasant to be reminded by some of them (now so much more grown up) how we used to cheer each other on in this rather O.T.T way :)
Orton Gillingham Method - in my training as a dyslexia teacher I have been taught the Orton Gillingham method for improving reading and spelling for children with dyslexia. This approach is multi-sensory and focuses on the child's needs so can be flexible.
I have used it in intensive 1:1 programs with children where it has been effective but have found it difficult to adminster to groups of 4-6 because of the need of the individuals involved. The problem as ever is for it to be effective at least two hours per week are needed and for a long time (at least a year I would say) so the cost involved is prohibitive. When I delivered it on a 1:1 basis this was whilst I was doing my training and was during my own time (I did not get paid for it) and as I said it was not really effective when brought to groups of children as they needed individual attention. I believe that for children whose parents are willing to pay for tuition this would be an invaluable tool, however, the much better instruction of phonics (which has been influenced by the Orton Gillingham method) from an early age is making a big difference in most classrooms and many dyslexic children benefit from such teaching I am pleased to report.
Ornithology - yes I know this isn't a craft but this is something I love to do - watch the many different birds that visit my garden. In previous posts, I have commented on some of my garden visitors particularly the less common ones and at the moment we are having a small flock of goldfinches regularly descend on the overgrown plants at the edges of our garden. I am keeping a careful eye on the cats you can be sure but luckily because of the builders galumphing about in that part of the garden the cats tend to stay on the other side of the house at the moment :) Another hobby of mine when I was a child was to collect bird stamps which was started by my Grandad who was a keen philatelist - this is the first one I ever got:
Maybe I should take it up again now I have a bit more time in my life?
What did you collect as a child? Do you still collect the same things?
Today I am sharing my O is for Owl clipart which I created last year in the hope that someone will find it useful - please let me know if you do!