Teacher Toolbox: Even a Motivator Needs to be Motivated

Teacher Toolbox: Even a Motivator Needs to be Motivated

If you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of a tumultuous situation like a rip-roaring, indoor recess due to inclement weather, or a rigorous test preparation right before a holiday, you know how it feels when you need a break! …You need it, and you need it NOW!   

Now is when you have to dig a little bit deeper into your teacher toolbox and pull out that shiny tool that you know will give you the extra boost needed to get you over the hump.  In my mind, I imagine it might be

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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. 

Writing Folder: New Tools for Writing Success

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The Shurley English Writing Folder will help your students move through the writing process with ease. This foldout, four-pocket folder keeps students organized with a dedicated space for their prewriting, rough draft, revised draft, and edited paper. It is packed with handy references, checklists, and tips to ensure students have exactly what they need to produce a polished piece of writing.

The Writing Folder…

  • helps students learn all the steps of the writing process, until it becomes second nature.

  • provides detailed graphic organizers so students can organize their ideas logically.

  • teaches students how to revise and edit their own writing in a step-by-step manner.

  • develops students’ vocabulary in order to empower them with word choice that is both deep and wide.

Recommended for Shurley English Levels 3-8. Size: 9“ x 12”

SHURLEY ENGLISH WRITING FOLDER:  © SHURLEY INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, INC.

SHURLEY ENGLISH WRITING FOLDER: © SHURLEY INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, INC.

SHURLEY ENGLISH WRITING FOLDER:  © SHURLEY INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, INC.

SHURLEY ENGLISH WRITING FOLDER: © SHURLEY INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, INC.

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Order today!

To add the Shurley English Writing Folder to your ELA toolbox, simply call with your credit card or visit our online store today!

Writing Folder: ISBN 978-1-58561-425-7

Jingle All the Way with these Language Arts Tunes!

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We've said it before and we'll say it again, Jingles are a fun way for students to learn the definitions of the eight parts of speech and other important language arts concepts.  Definitions are oftentimes difficult to understand and remember, but by strategically singing or chanting them, students develop a ready-made resource in their brains.  They can access that information at any time by just repeating the jingle to themselves.

Did you know you can download our Shurley English Jingles on your electronic device so you can have them with you to learn and review?

Shurley English Jingle Time CD

Travel over to the Goggle Play Store or iTunes and type "Shurley Jingles" into the search box.  Then, select the Jingle of your choice to download/purchase. You may also view our jingles for FREE on our YouTube Channel. (Click here for more details.)

Remember, practice, practice, practice…it’s the way to mastery!  Let the Shurley English Jingles rock your classroom into the new year!

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.

Let’s get “Ziggy" with language arts definitions!

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At Shurley English, we teach everything about Language Arts in a unique way.  The curriculum has been divided into a combination of individual features that spiral together in harmony to teach difficult concepts successfully.  Jingles are one of the unique features that  we introduce, reinforce, and help students master, and they are taught during Jingle Time

So, what’s the big deal?  Well, Jingles are a fun way for students to learn the definitions of the eight parts of speech and other important language arts concepts.  These definitions are oftentimes difficult to understand and remember, but by strategically singing or chanting them during Jingle time, students develop a ready-made resource in their brains.  They can access that information at any time by just repeating the jingle to themselves.

Merriam-Webster defines a jingle as a short verse or song marked by catchy repetition.  The word “catchy” is important because it means instantly appealing and memorable; however, “repetition” is the key word in the term.

Now, if you’re following my blog, you already know that repetition is what keeps brain cells in a particular learning path fired-up, creating long-term memories.  Each time a jingle is recalled and recited, memory of the information is deepened.  As students are taught the concrete steps necessary to relate each jingle to a concept, each concept to a skill practice, and each skill practice to writing and editing, students gain a greater depth of knowledge (D. O. K.) in Language Arts. 

Zig Ziglar once said, “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”  So, incorporate Jingle Time into your lessons today, and let’s get “Ziggy” with it!

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.