Trusting the Process of Shurley English

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This week, I evacuated from my home in North Carolina due to Hurricane Florence.  I headed out of town alone, following the others trying to seek safe shelter from the life-threatening storm.  Nine hours later, I arrived at my turnoff, and it was completely dark except for my vehicle’s headlights.  Imagine this…

I’m in the middle of a mountain range that is unfamiliar to me, and the GPS (yes there’s service) tells me to turn right, up this steeeeep hill!  For a split second I questioned Maggie, my GPS, as if I thought I might know better or more than her.  In that second of hesitation, my car stalled on the steep incline and a wave of panic came over me.  I took a deep breath, restarted my SUV, and said to myself, “Just go with it!”  I did, and I pushed the gas pedal to get going. 

With fluttering in my stomach, I made my way up the dark and winding road that had been paved before me.  Once I made it to the top of that steep hill, I still had no clue where I was going exactly.  I could only see the next step in front of me, and I knew I had to keep going. 

When I arrived, the destination home where I will be staying until the storm passes was also completely dark and unfamiliar.  So, with my measly headlamp and suit of “No Fear!” armor, I followed the steps given to me to let myself into the home to get it up and running.  I found the key.  Then, I found a light, and from there I just went with it!

The fear of the unknown can be incredibly scary, testing your patience and faith.  But, trusting the road that has been successfully paved for you can sometimes lead you in just the right direction!

Some teachers might feel the same way I did on the steep hill when they begin to teach Shurley English.  I imagine you’ve heard someone say, “Just trust the process.”  It seems this phrase has become a part of our daily verbiage.  I know that I’ve even said it while leading Shurley English trainings.  So, let’s take a closer look at how Merriam-Webster defines the words: trust & process.

Trust

a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something

b : one in which confidence is placed

Process

a (1) : a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result-the process of growth


So, what does “trusting the process” mean when it comes to Shurley English?

- It means trusting that each feature of Shurley English has a purpose in the big picture of teaching students how to make the Grammar Writing Connection.

 

- It means trusting that the cute little Jingles actually help to lay the foundation for the Question and Answer Flow by using domain specific language.

 

- It also means having confidence in the format and sequence of the Q&A Flow, trusting that it will teach sentence analysis and reinforces sentence fluency and proper sentence structure. 

- It means trusting in the value of teaching the reverse approach to the Q&A Flow through Sentence Blueprints, in order to help students learn how to build and revise creative sentences independently.

 

- It means having faith that your diligence in teaching all the skills introduced in Grammar, Writing, Reading, and Speaking & Listening, while having students apply them daily, will pay off! 

 

- It means relying on the Writing Evaluation Guide and Traits of Effective Writing to help guide your students through the 6-Step Writing Process so they can become confident and competent writers. 

 

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To completely trust the process in Shurley English:

…you need to let go of the need to know what is unfolding next or why. 

…you need to be able to have the confidence to simply experience how the curriculum spirals language arts concepts, using repetition. 

…you need to have confidence that Shurley English will give your students the skills they need to make the grammar/writing connection! 

Just go with it and be fearless!

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.

 

Formative Assessments with Shurley English

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Formative Assessment plays an important role in education for both students and teachers.  It’s a powerful tool that can enhance learning and education when aligned with outcomes and instructional methods. 

Students clearly benefit from the feedback they receive on formal assessments.  It tells them how they are doing and helps them improve their performance on future assessments.   Research shows that immediate feedback increases student engagement and improves academic achievement.

Assessments also provide a benefit to the teacher.  The information derived from an assessment can help identify what the teacher taught well and what they need to work on. 

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So what about Shurley English?  Does the curriculum provide Formative Assessments? YES!  Shurley English provides two ancillary items that contain formative assessments: The Shurley English Student Workbook & the Shurley English Test Book.   



A Shurley English Student Workbook contains three important learning tools: 

1. Classroom Practice pages are used to give students several opportunities to practice new concepts in each chapter.  They can also be used to give daily grades, and the number of points possible for each section is provided in the Teacher’s Key.   (*See suggested grading below.)

2. Chapter Checkups can be used as a review or as a formative assessment.

3. Student Writing Rubrics are used by students as a roadmap for their writing.  When their writing is graded, the Student Rubric will be used to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the paper and to help determine the points for a grade.

 

A Shurley English Test Book contains three important learning tools: 

1. Pretest information shows what the students know or do not know about grammar, mechanics usage, editing, and writing. (You can learn all about the value of the pretest here!)

2. Chapter Tests can be used as a review or as a formative assessment.

3. Posttest information shows what students have learned during the school year.  A comparison of pretest and posttest scores will show the gains students have made with Shurley English.  These scores can be used to compare first year scores with subsequent years to verify the tong-term success of the curriculum.


These tools are used in conjunction with the Student Textbook to increase students’ learning.  The teacher must follow the Student Objectives and Teacher Instructions closely as Classroom Practice pages are assigned. 

 

*Suggested Grading:  Most Classroom Practices, Chapter Checkups, and Chapter Tests are divided into three sections:  Grammar, Skills, and Editing, and the number of points possible for each section is provided in the Teacher’s Key.  Most Shurley English Writing activities are completed on a separate sheet of paper and a Writing Rubric is used to assist with scoring the paper.

·  You may total all the sections on the page to give one grade per page, or

·  You might consider giving separate grades for each section.  The advantage to giving separate grades for each section is that you can visually identify a student’s strength or weakness in each section at a glance.  

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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. 

An Open Letter to Teachers: Taking off with Shurley English

“Without continual growth and progress, such words such as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”      -Benjamin Franklin

“Without continual growth and progress, such words such as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”  -Benjamin Franklin

Dear Educators,

Welcome aboard Shurley English flight ABC. Please find your seat, stow your baggage in the overhead bin, and buckle-up as we take off into your new school year!  This year’s destination is progress and growth.  We’ve got a long flight ahead of us so, sit back, stay focused & relaxed, and enjoy the journey! 

For some of you, Shurley English might be a new addition to your curriculum.  Several of you may already be familiar with the effectiveness and uniqueness of our Grammar, Skills, Writing, Reading, and Speaking & Listening features.   Regardless of your passenger status, I encourage each of you to keep your eye on the prize: progress & growth!  Throughout the journey this year, you may experience some turbulence, making you feel a bit outside your comfort zone, but don’t worry!  Simply refer to the previous posts called: “The Perfect Shurley Teacher” and “First Year Freak-Out.”  They are loaded with information to help guide you; you can find them in the archives.  

Passengers sitting in the “New to Shurley English” seats, please remember:

1. Stick to the Script!

2. Repetition & Consistency build Mastery!

3. Trusting the Process leads to Success!

Passengers sitting in the “Seasoned Teacher” seats, please remember to:

1. Aim for Progress over Perfection!

2. Practice what you Teach!

3. Get Outside of your Comfort Zone!

Keep in mind that Shurley English Curriculum is installed with a built-in support system, including modifications, extra-practice, and SEDA lessons, should they be necessary.  In addition, the “Always Keep Learning & Be Brave Enough to Keep Growing” light will stay lit for all passengers for the duration of our flight.  We are here to support you as you teach students to become competent, confident communicators that will be prepared for any and all future destinations!

On behalf of the entire flight crew, “Welcome aboard!”

 

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.