This is my inaugural WordPress post written for #blogsync2.
Hi Everyone. I nearly missed February’s #blogsync2 as my mind has been occupied with Important school politics. Once you’ve read this you might actually wish I had missed it!
I’m sorry to bleat on again about my SEN pupils but I come from a very different perspective from most of you. All the fancy initiatives such as Solo simply won’t work with my children. They just wouldn’t understand. So how do I motivate my P3 to NC2 11-14 year olds?
Fun and laughter! It’s simple really. All teachers make their lessons fun. Of course they do. It’s part of our remit. But for my children it really does have to be fun. Make them laugh out loud. Most recently I have been teaching Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. A pretty tall order to motivate these children and help them understand Shakespeare. There are 9 boys and 1 girl in my class. (See earlier post- I’ve no idea how to re-blog yet #idiot). I ad libbed my way through the balcony scene in my northern accent, Shakespeare would have been proud! We discussed the balcony scene at great length. The children hoped that Juliet was holding on so that she didn’t land on Romeo if she fell. We discussed how she would catch a cold if she didn’t have her dressing gown on as it was night time. Many amusing little gems came from the children as they were truly motivated to learn all about the story. By the end of the half term every single child could recite ‘Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo’! Some used their voices, others used a dynavox or a Big Mac for communication but every single child understood the balcony scene. Pretty amazing for children with severe SEN. I was very moved when one boy said he was going to ask his Mum to take him to the Library so that she could read the end of the book to him.
Science has also been filled with lots of laughter. We’ve blindfolded several willing TAs and asked them to taste different substances. Some edible and some not so edible. They had to guess what the substances were. Tears of laughter rolled down the children’s faces as the staff tasted soap, salt, grass and washing up liquid. We also had TAs trying to operate a powered wheelchair whilst blindfolded. The children thought their amateurish attempts were hilarious. They were now the experts and loving every minute of the staff discomfort. Even children with VI can operate a power chair with skill. These were just 2 lessons in a series of learning about our senses.
We also use the usual tools such as twitter to share photo’s with parents. Twitter is a great motivator as happy, smiling faces are beamed across the Internet to proud parents and family.
These are just a few of the things that motivate my pupils. None are as fancy as the many wonderful things used in mainstream schools. That said, my children turn up every day, despite their terrible illnesses, smiling and motivated to learn. Laughter is the greatest motivator of all!
This post is written as part of #blogsync. Please read the other posts at http://share.edutronic.net/
There are some fabulous posts. Feel free to join in and add comments.