Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Letterland.

Ahhh I love Wednesdays.  This is the day Rye and my mindie decamp to a fellow HE'er's house and the older children work on their workbooks and the younger children do Letterland worksheets and then we have lunch and tea made up of foods beginning with the letter of the day.  Today was "N".  So nut roast, mash and veg for lunch followed by rockyroad icecream with mixed nuts on top, and then for tea they had nutella sandwiches and nougart, something called nibbles, peanut brittle etc.  Next week the letter is "O" so the plan is to serve octopus, olives, okra, oranges, oatmilk milkshakes, ostrich, onion rings etc. 

We have also decided to split the children up a bit, the younger ones will be with one adult in a room, the early readers with another adult in another room and the older children in yet another room with an adult.  We decided this after a rather stressful day with the older children fighting and being resistant to doing any work, so they were split up, but then one of the older children became very upset that it was too noisy in the playroom with the younger children etc.   We solved that for her, but she was still being resistant, I sat with her and we worked through the sections that were required, but gosh it was hard work and the younger children are picking up the older children's attitude - which we don't want to happen as the younger kids are generally very enthusiastic.

Rye was a little resistant too but that was because he wanted to play, so we compromised that he'd do a couple of the N worksheets then he could go and play.  Then we had lunch, Rye really enjoyed the nut roast.  The house with 9 children in it, was getting very chaotic, so we got out bikes and took the kids over to the cemetry to ride around and burn off some energy.  I am really pleased with how Rye is developing.  He is really beginning to come out of himself and is playing more with the children and coping better with the group situation and the noise and chaos that happens sometimes. 

It can be hard work sometimes putting different ability kids together, and there is some resistance to work because some of the kids think someone is better then them, lol, we really weren't expecting that so much so we are working on building up self esteems and confidence.  I'm thinking we might need to be a little more creative too and not just do worksheets week in week out, but add in crafts, games etc that are based around the letter we are working on that week.  I've got some ideas brewing ;-)  I'm thinking too, that it would be useful to write out the names of the foods, the children are eating, and get them to pick out the names of the foods they are eating.  Or even match them up to pictures of the food too.

Still lots of good learning going on, from social intereaction to more academic type learning. :-)


2 comments:

September (Susie) said...

That sounds like a really good set up you have going there. Out of interest, what ages are the children that meet? We are in the middle of setting up a kind of KS2 group for Hannah but i'm wondering whether 7-11 is too big an age range. Be interesting to know if yours works with a larger age range :-)

Joxy said...

3 through to 11yrs old. We have quite a couple of 3yrs old, couple of four year olds, a 6yr old, 8yr old, 9yr old and an 11yr old.

The older 3 are a little resistant to doing any work and really kick up a fuss when they are asked to, and try to find any excuse to delay working, hence why we are segregating them into 3 groups, the younger ones do tend to distract the older ones because they are much noiser and of course their "lesson" is much shorter than the older children. I think if the children in your group are keen though it will work; we initially thought getting all the children doing something together would stop the..."but so and so doesn't have to do anything......" alas it was another delaying tactic. Also bear in mind a couple of kids are on the spectrum, so that presents challenges too. However we are finding the younger ones are starting to mimic the older ones and playing up a bit; hence also why we are splitting the groups and making sure there is an adult with each group.... we had concentrated on the younger ones, and left the older ones to get on with it..but that isn't working so well. We're hoping the new grouping will solve this issues and the adult present will encourage the older ones to do the work set.