Muslim Teacher
A Sound Vision Newsletter Helping Teachers to Connect & Share November 2, 2011
Teaching Citizenship & Building Thinkers

Teaching Citizenship to Children20 Ideas for Teaching Citizenship to Children
By By Leah Davies, M.Ed.

Citizenship means being a member of and supporting one's community and country. A citizen has an obligation to be informed, law abiding, and uphold basic democratic principles such as tolerance and civic responsibility. Voting, conserving natural resources, and taking care of oneself are all part of citizenship. In addition, citizens often participate in local community projects dedicated to the common good.

Educators are obligated to teach students the history of our democracy on a level children can comprehend. Helping students explore citizenship and connecting it to their lives are the keys to true understanding. When children are exposed to storytelling, drama, and other activities in which they are actively involved, their retention is increased.

If children learn to love and appreciate their country through thoughtful activities, they will be more likely to become responsible, active citizens in their community, nation and the world. Here are some ideas for you to explore with your students. 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


Divine Guidance for Educators

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, explains the status of the one who teaches and shares beneficial knowledge:

"Verily Allah, His angels, the inmates of the heavens and the earth, even the ant in its hole and the fish in the sea, send salutation on the one who teaches good to the people." [Muslim]

Time Saving Tips

Use a daily planner. Keep all your "to do" lists there. Or, keep one calendar handy and write everything on it that you need to accomplish. Memories fail at times. Some teachers keep a planner on their desk at all times, some use large desk calendars. Whichever type you prefer, use it.


50 Opportunities to Say "You're Terrific"

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

1. Entering the classroom quietly
2. Arriving to class on time
3. Cooperating while teacher takes attendance
4. Returning permission slips and school forms on time
5. Transitioning into an activity
6. Following directions
7. Saying "please" and "thank you"
8. Listening attentively
9. Helping a classmate
10. Bringing necessary materials to class

Stay tuned for more in the next issue...

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

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Building Community of Thinkers Building a Community of Thinkers
By Ronald Case & Ian Wright

A community of thinkers is a collection of individuals interacting in mutually supportive ways to nurture critical reflection.

If we are serious about critical thinking we must establish the conditions that are likely to nurture the required attributes. This involves infusing expectations and opportunities to think critically in all our students’ school lives. We can transform our classrooms into communities of thinkers by working in the following ways... Read More >

Controversial Literature 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.

It serves as a caring companion and mindful guide to the intellect of each and every child. In this series, we will discuss guidelines and strategies to create intelligence-friendly classrooms:

1- Set a Safe Emotional Climate. The intelligence-friendly is a safe and caring place for all learners, regardless of race, color, creed, age, or ability to to go about the business of learning. In setting a climate of thinking, risk-taking becomes a norm and learners understand that to learn is to make mistakes, as well as to experience successes.

Specific strategies to use include the following: establishing classroom rules, being aware of verbal and non-verbal teaching behaviors (e.g. wait time), organizing small-group work that feels "safe", tapping into the emotional and moral intelligences, setting up the room to facilitate student-to-student interactions as well as student-to-teacher interactions, and incorporating learner-centered structures (e.g. multi-age groupings) that foster the creation of intelligence-friendly learning communities.

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.

MyClassroom: Creating a Harmonious Classroom

Here are some ways you can immediately create a good rapport with students:

1- Greet students at the door with "Assalamu alaikum" and "good morning", along with a personal question or compliment.

2- As you are taking attendance, again, connect personally with each student.

3- Tell the students that they are a great class and how enthusiastic you are to be their teacher.

4- Let the students know that this is going to be great day, Insha Allah (God-Willing).

5- Use positive verbal suggestions and positive body language to create an environment where students are happy to be and feel safe from the fear of put-downs.

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 #1: My kids will be isolated without social interaction!

Families that homeschool are rarely isolated. The Pan-Canadian Study on Home Education found that, on average, homeschooled children engage in eight types of activities outside of the home, such as trips, sports, playgroups, religious programs, etc. With a little effort, homeschooling families can benefit from a variety of classes, support groups, programs and events in the community.

In the Greater Toronto Area, for example, homeschooling groups run a host of activities, including weekly art classes, nature programs, sports programs, a martial arts class, a Science Explorers program, book clubs, Quran and Islamic Studies classes, and more. This is in addition to weekly playgroups, monthly trips, yearly science fairs and other events that homeschoolers organize.

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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