Analyzing Adverbs with Language Arts Jingles

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Do you have some primary students who still have difficulty identifying adverbs? Not to worry! Our Adverb Jingle helps students learn not only the definition of an adverb, but also the three initial questions to ask when finding adverbs: 

How?  When?  Where?

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(Don't have our ELA jingles? Here's where you can find them.)

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To help students distinguish between the three questions asked to find adverbs, you can have them work in small groups to make lists of adverbs according to the question that they ask. 

Here is how one teacher displayed the results of her students’ group work on a chart when they came together as a class to discuss the activity.

Remember, categorization is a great way to help the brain in retaining information as well as granting your students practice with analyzation of the idea. Happy writing! 

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.

Developing Students' Empathy Skills

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Bullying remains a serious problem in schools across America even though anti-bullying laws and/or policies to prevent bullying and protect children are enacted in every state. Recent studies suggest that rates of bullying may be on the decline, but according to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly a third of all students aged 12-18 reported being bullied at school., a federal government website, lists four ways adults can help prevent bullying, including:

(1) helping kids understand bullying,

(2) teaching them how to keep the lines of communication open,

(3) encouraging kids to do what they love, and

(4) modeling how to treat others.

After staring at the list and reading the description beneath each heading, I came to the conclusion that a fifth goal should be considered:

(5) developing students’ empathy skills.

I truly believe that adults can help prevent bullying by developing students’ empathy skills.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.  Research states that people strong in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others' lives or others' situations. (Gallup’s Strengthfinder 2.0)  Gallup researchers report that while empathy is a natural behavior for some folks, it can be an area of lesser talent for others.

The good news is that there’s research available that shows (1) empathy can be learned, and (2) empathy can decrease bullying among school children.  In fact, studies conducted by Mary Gordon at Roots of Empathy, an evidence-based classroom program, have shown a significant reduction in levels of aggression and bullying occurred while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. (Source: Gordon, Want to prevent your child from bullying others?, Dec. 15.)

Knowing that teaching empathy skills in the classroom will help students build and maintain healthy relationships and decrease bullying at the same time, I encourage teachers to initiate a plan of action today! A dash of empathy goes a long way!  


ELA Writing Connection

Here are a few writing related activities you can use in your classroom as you discuss empathy:

1. Write about a time when you felt empathy toward someone else, meaning that you felt the same way another person did because you could sense the way they were feeling.

2. Write about why you believe empathy is important.

3. Empathy is a skill that can be developed through practice.  Write about a few ways you might use empathy to show care and concern for others.

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. 

Key Skills for ELA Success!

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Words, Words, Words…what are they all for?  I’d like to invite you to reflect on your early learning years as a young child and remember what it might have been like before you knew about sentences, paragraphs, or reports.  If you find this to be challenging, then catch a glimpse of very young child (PreK or younger) and consider how they communicate.  You will probably notice that words are the primary means for communication.  A broad vocabulary is essential to good writing and will directly affect a student’s word choice and voice in their writing.

Learning new vocabulary words, understanding analogies, delving into a word’s etymology, making vocabulary cards & notebooks, taking the time to do vocabulary enrichment, mastering spelling rules, and playing with Power Words are all strategies within the Shurley English curriculum that assist your students in building and expanding their “word bank” in order to begin to own their language.  The value in owning one’s language opens the door to fully understanding how words relate to sentences, sentences are organized and developed into paragraphs, and being able to write for all purposes sets you up to connect with the world differently.

The path to ultimately owning one’s language is making sure you as the teacher provide your students the knowledge, skill, and practice in these key skill areas:

  • Alphabet
  • Phonics
  • Rhyming Words
  • Spelling
  • Reference Skills
  • Figurative Lanugae
  • Sound Devices
  • Word Study: syllabication, etymology, analogies, synonyms/antonyms
  • Comprehension: context clues, inferences, drawing conclusions

Set your students up for success by giving them the opportunity to own their language and become confident, competent communicators.


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.