Vitality in Veteran Shurley English Teachers

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Visualize this scenario:  It’s early August, and as you scroll through your inbox you see the first of many emails from your school administrator.  “Already!?!” you say to yourself as you hesitate to open it.   You guessed it!   It’s your new school year Welcome Letter and Professional Development Schedule. On the agenda, you notice a full-day training scheduled for Shurley English! Your next few thoughts go something like this: “I’ve taught Shurley English for 5 years now!  I don’t need training!  Maybe I can get out of it this year!”  

Warning:  Thoughts like these are exactly why veteran teaches still need our support!  Take these thoughts as a sign! I know because I’ve been there!

Certified Shurley English consultants typically train new and seasoned teachers from all grade levels at the same time…WHY?  Well, I would say from my experience, we do this because it is an excellent way to ensure consistency across all grade levels.  It also gives us the opportunity to re-motivate and re-inspire teachers who have been instructing Shurley English for many years.  Veteran teachers, me included, tend to develop habits of comfort that can lead to getting stuck-in-a-rut, or so to speak.  We want to make sure all Shurley English teachers understand the BIG PICTURE of what the curriculum was designed to do in order to successfully teach it with confidence and enthusiasm.  A Shurley English-Full Day Training can energize and inspire a veteran Shurley English teacher with what I like to call the “Vital V’s!”

The Four “VITAL -V’s” of a Veteran Shurley English Teacher:

1. Know that YOU ARE VALUABLE!  YOU are the best RESOURCE for new Shurley English teachers. (Never forget what it was like your first year.)  You have a wealth of experience and knowledge to offer the newbies…SHARE IT!  Take the LEAD & step up to the next level, especially if Shurley is your “thing!”

2. Add VARIETY to your lessons! Keep challenging yourself to stay in alignment with the curriculum (teach with fidelity), but add your flare of creativeness to Shurley English; this gets easier the longer you teach Shurley.  Get more engaged in the Enrichment Activities, Discovery Time Activities, or try creating Learning Centers.

3. BE VIEWABLE & VISIBLE! YOU ARE A LEADER & A MODEL TO NEW TEACHERS! Make sure you’re a part of the professional development opportunities no matter how long you’ve been teaching-never stop learning!  With grace, show them how it’s done…because they ARE watching you-observing how you make it work.  INVITE them into your classroom for a Shurley English demonstration.  Mentor them.  Collaborate with them.  Lead them.  Help mold them into a successful Shurley teacher like you are!

4. VOCALIZE with AUTHENTICITY & SINCERITY!  Your thoughts, questions, and concerns need to be heard and can be validating to teachers not willing to speak-up.  When you do speak-up, be genuine, honest, and tactful.  If you see teachers not staying in alignment with the curriculum, I encourage you to say something.  A broken cog in the wheel makes it difficult for the wheel to roll, and the Shurley wheel needs all cogs in place.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.” -Martha Graham

Comment /Source

Kimberly Crady

Kimberly Crady is an adventurous woman with an immense love for life, learning, and teaching. After teaching in upper elementary classrooms for nearly 10 years, she joined the Shurley Team in 2005.  Kimberly has had the unique experience of teaching Shurley English lessons in all levels, Kindergarten-8th grade and training teachers across the United States.  Kimberly is a National Consultant and SEDA Teacher for Shurley Instructional Materials.

 

Kimberly’s passion for helping people and living a healthy lifestyle has led her to continue her education in the area of Health and Wellness.  She enjoys numerous outdoor activities from hiking and snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains to paddle boarding in the ocean; although, these days you can find her practicing hot yoga in a Bikram Yoga studio. She also enjoys traveling abroad, live music, reading, and spending time with her favorite mutt, Lu.  Kimberly’s experience as a Certified Health & Wellness Coach and Teen Life Coach helps support her firm belief in teaching the whole person, especially in the classroom.

 

Back-to-School Planning: Educational Posters with Purpose

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Although summer is in full swing, we all know that August is just around the corner and school will begin soon thereafter!  I feel like a killjoy for bringing this up, but I know from experience that now is a great time to work on a few of those back to school to-dos!  Instead of waiting until the last minute, why not check a few of them off the list? This week, I would like to focus on selecting and positioning Shurley English Jingle Posters in your classroom!  

Shurley English Jingle Posters are available to purchase.  They are 17” x 22” each and provide a colorful visual aid to assist students’ learning.  The posters are great tools for reinforcing grammar concepts taught using the curriculum, especially when they are displayed properly.  Your students can join the lovable Quigley character as he escorts them through the adventures of grammar if you choose to buy the posters!

Another option is to create your own Shurley English Jingle Posters.  Since Jingles are located in the Quick Reference section of the teacher’s manual or student book, all you have to do is copy them into your own design and VIOLA!  Ideas for how to create your own posters are endless, so if you have a theme in your classroom, use it. 

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Keep in mind that educational posters should be well-designed, well-organized, legible, and attractive.  They should be positioned in a spot that will be visible to every student in your classroom.  In order to promote learning and serve as an effective teaching tool, each poster should contain the following characteristics. The posters should:

  1. motivate and inspire students to learn.
  2. stimulate interest in the topic.
  3. effectively illustrate a concept or skill.

 

Jingles are an essential element of Shurley English.  They not only teach and reinforce important skills and definitions; they help transition students’ brains into a ready-for-learning state of mind at the beginning of class.  Researchers report that the visual sense is responsible for 90% of brain stimulation and that vision and visual memory take up to two-thirds of the brain.  Those findings substantiate how educational posters can truly assist students’ learning.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with items on your classroom to-do list, especially if you wait until the last minute.  So, get Shurley English Jingle Posters on your mind and either purchase them or start creating them.  Either way, they serve as an effective learning tool all year long! 

Comment /Source

Jamie Geneva

Jamie Geneva is the Senior National Consultant at Shurley Instructional Materials and is a seasoned subject matter expert in the realm of English Language Arts.  Her career with the company began during the days of the Shurley Method binder, which was pre-1st Edition, and has spanned across three decades.  Over the years, her various roles have included teacher, presenter, state representative, consultant, manager, and most recently, a Shurley English Digital Assistant.  You might not recognize her face, but her voice could certainly sound familar.  That’s because she’s recorded Jingles, Q&A Flow Sentences, and other Shurley English content for many, many years. 

Jamie and her husband, Garret, live in the foothills of eastern Oklahoma. She loves spending quality time with her family, traveling, reading, cooking, and staying connected on social media.

Ms. Geneva received her B.S. degree in Elementary Education and her M.Ed in Public School Administration from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. 

What is the value of a pretest?

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What is the value of giving the Shurley English Pretest if students are not familiar with the curriculum?  As a consultant, I’ve heard this question before, and I want to urge you to listen up!  Even though the pretest may appear extraordinarily difficult, you should never avoid it!  Let me explain. 

You may be new to the curriculum, but as the classroom teacher, you must always keep the main goal of Language Arts instruction in mind.  The goal, of course, is to give students the tools they need to become competent, confident communicators!  Simply stated, you want your students to be able to speak and write with fluency.  

One way to support this goal is to allow students to see their own progress for themselves. The Shurley English Pretest can be used to compare with the Posttest at the end of the year.  You do not need to formally grade the Pretest; all you have to do is file it away in a safe place and pull it out at the end of the year.  Then, students will see the value of the Pretest and the Posttest as they compare the two assessments. They (and their parents) will be amazed at what they have learned during their first year in Shurley English.

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So, why give our Pretest? It is simply a benchmark which measures the beginning of the journey into making the grammar/writing connection. As your students grow in their skills, both you and they will be glad you took the time to mark where they began the trip.  That, my friend, is the value of our Pretest.

 

Comment /Source

Cindy Goeden

Cindy Goeden has enjoyed being involved with Shurley English for the last sixteen of her twenty-six years in the field of education.  Working with various levels of students in elementary, junior, and high schools, in both the private and public arenas, Cindy surely is thankful for the providential day that she was introduced to Shurley English, which changed forever her approach to Language Arts instruction. That has led to her current job of having the joy of sharing about Shurley with other educators.  Her love of learning has prodded her to earn over two hundred and twenty hours, which includes two bachelor degrees in education.

 

Cindy currently lives with her husband, Donald, in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she enjoys puttering in her flowers, changing up her décor with the seasons, and occasionally getting out and traveling with Donald to either explore a new beach or view historic sights and gardens.