Writing Time: Let's start a blog!

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Journal Writing is an activity that is implemented very early in the Shurley English curriculum.  Students are taught how to create a written journal to record their thoughts and feelings.  Then, throughout the school year, they are encouraged to respond to specific prompts in their personal journals. (If you’re wondering about the benefits of journaling, please check out my previous blog, “The Value of Journal Writing (…and how to get started).”)

Today, I’d like for you to think beyond the written journal and consider developing a classroom wall blog.  This type of activity affords you an opportunity to support your classroom instruction and teach your students how to become responsible writers. 

To begin, here’s a blog for you and your students to read:

Hello, students! Have you ever been in class and felt as though you had something important to say, but you just couldn’t raise your hand to speak up?  Me too! 

Sharing your voice is not always easy.  Writing in a journal is an excellent way to get your thoughts out of your mind and onto paper without speaking in front of anyone.  When you journal, you can record your thoughts and feelings about people, places, things, or events that are important to you. Journaling gives you an opportunity to express yourself!

Did you know that you can also journal online?  It’s called blogging, and it can be a lot of fun! A blog is a journal that you share with others. When you write a blog, you express your own thoughts and experiences, knowing that others will be reading your words.

A fun way to start blogging is to participate in a Classroom Wall Blog!  It is a great place to practice and improve your communication. Remember, when you write your blog….

  • Always take responsibility for how you express yourself when writing in a place that others can read.

  • Don’t write anything private, rude, or unkind.

  • Have FUN sharing your voice!

 

Activity Time:  Classroom Wall Blog

Teachers, this Wall Blog activity is an awesome way to get your students more engaged in journaling, support your grammar and writing instruction, and create a closer sense of community in your classroom. 

1. Define your wall blog space with butcher paper or poster board.

2. Create a fun name for your Wall Blog.

3. Discuss what topics are appropriate for student blog entries.

4. Encourage students to express their thoughts about what is going on in their classroom, family, school, and community as blog topics

5. Have students write their blog entries on notebook paper and hang them on the wall.

6. Incorporate time in your weekly schedule to discuss hot topics posted on the Wall Blog.

After your students practice their blogging skills by contributing to the wall blog, you may consider creating a private, online classroom blog. This will afford your students the opportunity to develop good digital citizenship while under your supervision. 

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. 

Back-to-School Planning: Creating Shurley English Centers

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As you relax into your summer break and feel the freedom of each day, consider thinking about those learning centers you wanted to create during the school year but never had the time to do.  With a clear mind and more time to tap into your right brain, creating Shurley English Learning Centers might just be a fun little project to work on.  My two-part series called, "Shurley English Centers for Your ELA Classroom," will teach you how to create them step-by-step.   Here’s a quick review:

 

GET ORGANIZED:

1.     Select the subject materials you would like to develop.

2.     Decide how many learning centers to create. (Computer stations can count as one.)

3.     Plan where each center will be located.

4.     Determine the student objectives for each activity.

5.     Calculate the amount of time to allow at each center.  Decide if learning centers will be open on a weekly basis or a specific day of the week.  How long will the learning center be used?

6.    Name each learning center.  On a sheet of paper, write a description of the center.  Then, write the step-by-step explanatory instructions to complete each task.

7.     Be sure to review the expectations with your class before the centers officially open and close your learning centers with a "Wrap-up Session" or "Take-Away Time."

 

 

GET FOCUSED:

M.E.A.P.S. is the acronym used to explain the characteristics included in effective learning centers. The letters stand for:

Multisensory: Activities should appeal to all learning styles!  Students will
"See It, Hear It, Say It, Do It!"

Engaging: Strive for 100% student participation!

Aligned: Content must support your current classroom instruction.

Purposeful: Centers should serve a purpose to support learning. Watch students in action and assess what you need to assess!

Student directed: Students should be able to follow directions without teacher help. They should be responsible and accountable for their own learning.

 

GET CREATIVE:

Here are some ideas for learning centers that will support Shurley English curriculum:

1.  Listening/Video/Jingles

2.  Question & Answer Flow Practice

3.  Practice & Revised Sentences/Sentence Blueprints

4.  Writing

5.  Silent Station

6.  Teacher Station/Float

 

Remember to come back next week to see even more information about creating classroom learning centers.  The most important thing is for you to develop centers that will support your curriculum in a fun and creative way.  Your students will thank you!

 

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.