Muslim Teacher
A Sound Vision Newsletter Helping Teachers to Connect & Share April 25 , 2012
Service-Learning & Volunteerism in Islamic Schools

Service-Learning & Volunteerism in Islamic Schools How Service-Learning Can Benefit Your Students
By Malik Shaw

Service-Learning is a form of education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Service learning allows students to go into their communities and apply the concepts they have learned in Science, Language Arts, Math, or Economics as well as put them into action.

By integrating service-learning in our curricullum, students will also have the opportunity to serve humanity and reflect on the power and responsibility of that service. Connecting our Muslim youth with their communities also helps enhance dawah efforts and acceptance of Muslims as good people in the wider society. Read More >

Muslim Teacher Team

Editorial Team:
Samana Siddiqui
Taha Ghayyur

Editorial Board:
Abdalla Idris Ali, Dr.
Yahiya Emerick
Preacher Moss
Audery Shabbas

Sound Vision's Board of Directors
Abdul Malik Mujahid, President
Muhammad Khalid Riaz, Md. Secretary
Ahmed Murad
Taufiq Ahmad, Treasurer
Muhammad Fuad Lashkarwala, Director
Janaan Hashim, Director
Hanna El-Amin, Director


Write for the Muslim Teacher!

Got some classroom experience to share? Have a useful resource for educators? Wrote some tips or guides for teachers that you want to publish?

Email your experiences, articles or presentations to Muslim Teacher, we would love to publish it!


Duas for Knowledge

Dua for Students and Educators for Ease:

Allahumma La Sahla illa ma Ja-‘altahu Sahla Anta Taj ‘ali Al Hazna iza Ma Shi’ta Sahla.

(Oh Allah! Nothing is easy except what you have made easy. If you wish, you can make the difficult easy)

Divine Guidance for Educators

Generosity of Teachers: If you reflect on your talents and successes in life, chances are you would be able to think of a kind teacher or mentor who was generous with their time and knowledge. Their presence and wisdom perhaps inspired you to be who you are today. As teachers we need to have a big heart to share our expertise and time with our students. As Ali bin Abi Talin explains:

"Knowledge is better than wealth. Knowledge protects you while you have to protect your wealth. Knowledge is a judge, while wealth has to be judged on. Wealth decreases when it is spent, while knowledge increases and purifies when it is given."

Time Saving Tips

If you have never tried "gradebook software" you may like it. It can save you time by tallying grades, curving grades, allowing you to print the grades for a particular student (along with absences), quickly seeing what assignments a particular student is missing, etc. Some are better than others. Ask for recommendations from your colleagues.


50 Opportunities to Say "You're Terrific"

Create a positive environment and reinforce good behavior by praising your students for:

31. Returning borrowed books and materials
32. Showing enthusiasm
33. Being responsible for a classroom job
34. Offering help without being asked
35. Not wasting paper and supplies
36. Staying on task

37. Telling the truth
38. Accepting a new challenge
39. Behaving when a guest is in the room
40. Reading at home

Stay tuned for the last 10 in the next issue...

Source: Lee Canter & Associates-1992 ================


Computers & Language: An Educator’s Guide Tips to Infuse Spirit of Volunteerism in Students

The spirit of volunteerism is essential for a healthy Muslim community. It can be infused in our students through deliberate efforts and strategy. Here are a few quick tips to consider:

  1. Show genuine enthusiasm for volunteer work
  2. Have discussions with the class on the need to serve and help others
  3. Give real-life examples of volunteer efforts during lessons
  4. Show how the community of the Prophet and his companions were Super Volunteers themselves
  5. Highlight the volunteer efforts of contemporary celebrities (based on their biographies)
  6. Mention upcoming volunteer opportunies in the community and post these on the class bulletin board
  7. Watch movies and documentaries on the lives of great leaders and activists
  8. Encourage students to organize fundraising campigns
  9. Show them the benefits of community service: skill development, hands-on learning, career networking....etc.
  10. Highlight the role of volunteerism when discussing citizenship, history, and social studies themes
  11. Invite leaders from local charities and not-for-profit sectors to talk about their efforts and how to volunteer

How to Develop Intelligence-Friendly Schools How to Develop Intelligence-Friendly Schools
By Robin Fogarty

An intelligence-friendly school is a place where the teaching and learning process involve developing the intellectual potential of students.

In this series, we discuss guidelines and strategies to create intelligence-friendly classrooms:

4- Develop the Skillfulness of the Learner.

The developmental path of skill training moves through fairly predictable stages: novice, advanced beginner, competent user, proficient user, expert. Inherent in this developmental arc is the understanding that skillfulness is achieved through mediation, practice, coaching, and rehearsal.

Skill development often occurs through formal teaching/learning structures, such as direct instruction models, that demonstrates the skill for students. Skills are also developed through independent readings and research and through the dialogue, discussion, and articulation of peer coaching, mentoring, or internships. Skill development can even happen with experiences in which the skill is embedded in application and in poised moments for achieving peak performances.

Stay tuned for more in the next issue...

Robin Fogarty has taught all levels, from kindergarten through college. A native of Chicago, she trains teachers around the world in cognitive strategies and cooperative interaction. She is the author of Ten Things New Teachers Need to Succeed, among other books.

MyClassroomMyClassroom: Teaching Manners with Alphabet

Islamic manners make up our morals (Khuluq). Manners are not something that are worn on the surface and then taken off when not required, like a hat or shoes. They are the everyday ways we respect other people and facilitate social relations.

You can use an "Alphabet Manners" Chart to teach a new manner every week. Use a bulletin board displaying a different manner for each letter of the alphabet. You can also send a copy of this chart to parents to help children learn at home as well. Feel free to customize and Islamicize this list. 

  • A -- Accept a compliment graciously.
  • B -- Be on time.
  • C -- Clean your hands.
  • D -- Do chew with your mouth closed.
  • E -- Elbows off the table.
  • F -- Friendliness to others.
  • G -- Good grooming shows self-respect.
  • H -- Hang up your clothes.
  • I -- Interrupt only for a very important reason.
  • J -- Join in and include everybody.
  • K -- Kindness to all living things.
  • L -- Lend a helping hand.
  • M -- Magic words: "Please" and "Thank you."
  • N -- Never point or laugh at others.
  • O -- Obey the rules.
  • P -- Pleasant tone of voice is a plus.
  • Q -- Quiet when others are working or sleeping.
  • R -- Remember others on special occasions.
  • S -- Sit up straight.
  • T -- Thank the host or hostess.
  • U -- Use your beautiful smile.
  • V -- Visit a friend who is lonely or sick.
  • W -- Watch out for little ones.
  • X -- "X" out bad habits.
  • Y -- Yawn if you must but cover your mouth.
  • Z -- Zip your zipper.

Adapted & Excerpted from "Teach Manners" by Thomas Lickona

Homeschooling MythsHomeschooling Myths
By Shehnaz Toorawa

Muslim Parents often consider homeschooling but are held back by beliefs and concerns that, although valid, are usually false. Every month we will highlight a common myth about homeschooling:

Myth #4: My kids won’t get into university!

Research shows that the majority of homeschooled children excel academically. In 2003, over 94% of home-educated students scored above the Canadian norm for both grade equivalency and basic skills3. Universities accept homeschooled students and have application procedures for them, such as portfolios, interviews or examinations.

Shehnaz Toorawa holds a degree in Education from the University of Toronto and a degree in Islamic Studies from the American Open University. She is a homeschooling mother and a program coordinator at the Understanding Islam Academy (UIA) in Mississauga, Ontario.

Three Ways You Can Contribute:

  1. Feedback: We want to hear from you, the teachers, homeschoolers, and educators, about what you find most beneficial in this newsletter? What topics would you like to see addressed in future?
  2. Submit Articles / Tid Bits / Resources: Have you written something about teaching that could benefit other teachers? Any interesting resources (website, video, or book) you want to review and share? Please send it our way!
  3. MyClassroom Experience: Got a classroom success story to share? Is there some teaching practice that you discovered? Share!
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