As a classroom teacher, returning from holiday break was always bittersweet. On one hand, I knew the pressure for “test prep” would be more intense, but on the other hand, the satisfaction of witnessing my students grow into wiser beings put a validating smile on my face.
It was a common practice of mine to re-assign the Shurley English Pretest the day my students returned to class from their holiday break. The Teacher’s Manual did not tell me to do this; I simply felt it was an important way to remind my students how much they’d already learned in four short months and hopefully use it as a tool for motivating them at the start of the New Year. Re-assigning the Pretest was also a way for me to check-in with each student’s retention and progress. In addition, I would ask them to write a basic three-point paragraph (or three-paragraph essay depending on the grade level) about their holiday break to monitor how they were transferring their new knowledge into writing. It was also important for me to have my students share their holiday in review with their classmates as well. This practice proved to be a positive and productive way to ease my students and myself back into the teaching/learning mode of Shurley English. As a side note, if you were the lucky teacher to have gained a new student in your classroom, this could be a non-threatening way to introduce Shurley English to your new learner. Here are some possible writing topics:
*The best/worst vacation ever
*My most memorable holiday moment
*The coolest gift I gave/received
*My wildly weird family
BEST of LUCK to you and your students throughout the NEW YEAR!