Muslim Teacher
A Sound Vision Newsletter Helping Teachers to Connect & Share October 11, 2012
To Read or Not to Read

Are We Overusing Multimedia in Our Classrooms? Are We Overusing Multimedia in Our Classrooms?
By Asma Ahmadi

Despite the efforts by institutions, administration, and teachers in providing differential support and instructions, students are becoming less and less engaged in schools.

As an educator with an interest in student engagement, I have found myself reading Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) from a completely different lens.

The decline of a print-based epistemology and accompanying rise of a television-based epistemology has had grave consequences for public life, that we are getting sillier by the minute.

Read More on the Islamic Teacher Education Program Blog....

Muslim Teacher Team

Editorial Team:
Samana Siddiqui
Taha Ghayyur

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!


Dua for Removing Anxiety & Stress

Allahumma inni a‘udhu bika min al-hammi wa al-hazan. Wa a‘adhu bika min al-‘ajzi wa al-kasal.

Wa a‘udhu bika min al-jubni wa al-bukhl. Wa a‘udhu bika min ghalabat id-dayni wa qahr ir-rijal.

(Oh Allah, I seek refuge in You from worry and grief, from helplessness and laziness, from cowardice and stinginess, and from overpowering of debt and from oppression of men.)

Divine Guidance

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:

"The superiority of a learned man over a worshipper is like my superiority over the ordinary men from among my companions." [Tirmidhi]

Time Saving Tips

Keep a supply of notebook paper handy. Tell students they make take a sheet when necessary. (Works especially well in middle school, where students seem to regularly forget their supplies.)


50 Opportunities to Say "You're Terrific"

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

41.Participating in school functions
42. Demonstrating a positive attitude
43. Giving one's best effort
44. Participating in a community improvement project
45. Participating in a group activity
46. Remaining calm during a problem situation
47. Showing creativity
48. Keeping busy when work is finished
49. Taking turns
50. Working cooperatively with an aide or volunteer

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


Encouraging Students to Read for Pleasure:

  • Engage parents by inviting them to become members of the school library, or by inviting them to workshops on how to support their child's reading.
  • Make reading visible around the school by displaying attractive posters: 'Good reads for historians', 'Want to know more about the causes of earthquakes? Try these books.'
  • Have sections of a text placed in different corridors so that students need to read one and find the next extract.
  • Let students take home six books from the library over the summer holiday (one for each week).
  • Recruit influential students to be book, author or genre 'ambassadors' with an element of competition to see who can secure the widest readership.
  • Try 'Taking a chance on a book' promotions where some books are wrapped in paper to hide their identity; this gives an air of mystery and can encourage readers to try different genres.
  • Add small 'recommendation' cards to book displays with lively student or teacher comments, or try 'If you like this then you'll love.'
  • Encourage other staff to use and promote the library to kids.
  • Take the library out of the library; set up book displays and reading corners in different parts of the school.
  • Show students how current literature has its roots in the past, e.g. Twilight and Dracula.
  • Take advantage of technology in the school; share book recommendations, extracts or reviews on the school's intranet, screensavers and TV display screens.
  • Set up book groups for students. Encourage them to discuss books and make recommendations.
  • Develop a subject specific 'extension library' to enable older students who may be specializing in history or economics to develop their reading repertoire whilst connecting to and making sense of their specialist areas of interest.

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:

5- Challenge through the Experience of Doing.

Learning is a function of experience and is shaped by internal processes that actually construct ideas in the mind, as well as by the external processes of social interaction. In the intelligence-friendly classroom, a constructivist philosophy of education reigns. Active, experiential learning is the norm, as the learner is invited to become an integral part of the teaching/learning process.

Specific strategies that abound in the constructivist classroom include hands-on learning with lots of manipulatives and lab-like situations: small-group, cooperative tasks; the frequent use and unique application of graphic organizers (e.g., concept maps. attribute webs, flow charts, and Venn diagrams): and authentic experience curriculum models (e.g.. problem-based learning, case studies, project and service learning. performance tasks, and the use of relevant overarching themes).

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.

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 issue we will highlight a common myth about homeschooling:

Myth #5: Kids need structure and organization and I’m not an organized person!

Just as there are a variety of personalities and learning styles, there are a variety of homeschooling styles. Some families are relaxed with little structure while others are highly organized with daily and weekly schedules. Each family thrives with the level of discipline and structure that suits them. Regardless of how structured you are, homeschooling is highly efficient—the one-on-one attention and lack of pressures and distractions allow children to cover more content in less time.

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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