Friday, November 25, 2011

Word Work with Surah Al-Ikhlas

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

The preschool/kindergarten classrooms are, whenever possible, large inviting spaces. With various learning centres throughout the room, it is a place that invites children to engage in the sheer joy of learning and discovery.

In Islaamic Schools, Quraan and Islamic Studies teachers come into this space to share their knowledge with young students and in support of that, homeroom teachers can try to allocate space to set up a Quraan/Islamic Studies Centre. This centre, given its noble purpose, should be a clean,beautiful space that is superior in cleanliness and beauty than that of its companion centres. What could be found in such a centre?

Believing in and being committed to the power of literacy, I propose that teachers can furnish this centre with literacy based activities. The oft used word work can easily be adapted to be used with the Quraan. Children's familiarity with word work and literacy games can aide them in learning to read the shorter suwar (pl. of surah) from the Quraan independently. Here are some suggested games that can be used in a Quraan centre:

Pictured are 3 games. The first game has game boards for up to four players. There are 3 different boards in the file and the teacher can print enough so that some student's boards will be different and some the same. On the boards are words from surah al-ikhlas. Students shuffle the word cards (in the lower right hand corner of the tray and found on pages 7,8 and 9 in the file) and place them face down on the table, making sure that the name of Allaah is not on the bottom. Each player takes turns picking a card. They must read/say the word on their card and if that card is one they need to complete their board, they keep it and place it on the board. If they do not need the card they replace it at the bottom of the stack. If a student has the board that has the picture of the Quraan in the bottom left corner, when he gets the Quraan picture card, he has the pleasure of being able to recite the entire surah (or he can pass if he wishes). The first player to fill up his board is done. Other players keep playing until all boards are completed and only one player is left with an incomplete board.

The second game pictured is a variation of Go-Fish. Students take the cards and shuffle them/mix them up. One player gives all players cards (i.e. 1 for me, 1 for you, 1 for Ibrahim, 1 for Sa'ad, 1 for Faisal, etc.) until there are no more cards left and all players have cards. The players hold their cards in a fan like fashion in their hands where other players cannot see their cards. The player on the right starts and can pick a card from the hand of any player he/she wishes. If that card is one they need (i.e. they have the matching card in their hand of cards) they take both cards out and place them on the table. Play continues in this way until 1 player is left with the card that says: "Iqra! - read!". This player has the privilege of reciting surah al-ikhlas from memory to the other players. The player with the most sets of matching cards wins.

The game can also be played using other alternate ways of playing Go-Fish.

The third game pictured is to be used with a CD player. The teacher records the words that are on the cards (i.e. Ahad, As-Samad are on one card.) After she says the words that are on a particular card, she asks the student to use the clothes pins that have the words on them to show the word she just said. This game can be played with students saying the words on the cards and their partner must find the clothes pin that has the correct word. It is suggested that all cards and pins not be used/introduced at the same time but start with 2-3 cards and matching clothes pin words and add more as children become more proficient.

Other work/games in the file that are not pictured include:

  • Students cut out the word cards from surah al-ikhlas and paste them onto a worksheet that has some of the words missing. They must glue the correct word into the correct space so that the surah reads correctly insha'Allaah. (Pages 5 and 6 in the file). You will use the cards on pages 7-9 in the file for this activity.
  • Match the words in the right hand column to the words in the left hand column. This is to help students recognize the words in the surah (page 10 in the file) and move toward being able to read them on sight with fluency insha'Allaah.
  • Handwriting practice: Trace some of the words from surah al-ikhlas (page 11 in the file).
  • Cut and paste to match the ayaat in surah al-ikhlas (pages 12 and 13 in the file). This activity is different from the one on pages 5 and 6 in that no words are blank but students use the shadow/traced words to help them match the words correctly insha'Allaah. 
  • The Quraan card game pictured above (the variation of Go-Fish) is on pages 16 thru 22. *You must print these pages twice so you have duplicates of each card so students can match them*
  • On page 23, teacher/parent cuts out all of the sentences and then mixes them up. The student must re-arrange the sentences so that the ayaat read in the correct order.
Using games and activities that children are familiar with and enjoy, this centre supports children as they endeavour to learn to read the Quraan independently. If you are a teacher in an Islaamic school, do you have a Quraan centre in your classroom? What activities and/or games do you have in your centre? How do you and the Quraan/Islaamic Studies teacher work together to incorporate the Quraan and Sunnah across the curriculum?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Posting, Emails & Requests

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
If you have sent an email within the last few months and/or have requested a resource be made, jazakillaahu khayr. None of the requests and/or emails have been forgotten, however once the academic school year begins extra curricular pursuits (such as blogging), by necessity, are put on hold or slow down considerably. This does not mean that existing requests will not be attended to, it only means that the speed that is possible during the summer months is not possible during the school year. Therefore requests will take longer to fulfill. 

A similar notice such as this one is received by those who email but if you have used the contact page on my website you would not have received this message.

Your patience and understanding is sincerely appreciated.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

[Cross Post]: What's Up Duck?

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

This is a cross-post from The Well Read Muslim

What's Up, Duck?: A Book of Opposites by Tad Hills is a book that teachers and parents of infants and toddlers may wish to consider purchasing for their student's/child's school/home library. The two characters, Duck and Goose, are in a word, adorable! Duck and Goose help teach children nine pairs of opposite words like: near/far; heavy/light; dirty/clean and so on. The concept of opposites books is not new but the illustrations are what make this book stand apart from its companions on the library shelf.

Teachers who work with very young children may find that this book easily lends itself to be the book for a storytime session that supports an opposites theme that may be coming up in the classroom or currently in progress.

And the title? That alone may engage student interest right away....waallaahu a'lam.

What's Up, Duck?: A Book of Opposites (Duck & Goose): A book teachers may definitely wish to add to the classroom library (perhaps more than one copy would be a good idea if your class is large).

During your next trip to the library, check the shelf for 'What's Up Duck?' and if you find it....Check it out insha'Allaah!

Enjoy insha'Allaah!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Theme Pack: I Eat (Manners From the Quraan and Sunnah))

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

This is a thematic pack that helps teach preschool children that wasting food is not from the correct Islamic manners. Children also learn/review that we eat with our right hand only and they learn the terms/concepts "right" and "left", "near" and "far". They also learn about foods that are healthy and foods that are unhealthy and should be consumed infrequently.

Included in the pack is a mini-poster with an ayah specific to not wasting food, two mini- student readers (in Arabic only). The first student book teaches the manner in which we eat (رابط التحميل); the second student reader teaches how healthy food helps us grow (رابط التحميل). In the pack there is also a 20 page student workbook (رابط التحميل). Each activity in the workbook helps children develop a specific skill such as: determining which object does not belong in a group, sorting based on the characteristic of healthy and unhealthy foods, a math activity (addition sentences) and several other activities.

A place mat (رابط التحميل).that reminds children to say 'Bismillaah', eat with the right hand, and helps them place their eating utensils in the correct place. This can also be used as a Montessori activity by giving the child a small plate, small spoon and small cup and inviting them to place them correctly (without food or drink in the cup and bowl).
The Student workbook (رابط التحميل): cover page, sample pages and assessment page on the back cover

The teacher/parent assessment sheet
Due to time constraints the mini-student readers are not available in English but in the English student workbook, the last page is an assessment page for the teacher/parent that is intended to help in the record keeping process. This is not in the Arabic version. 

After the child completes the workbook, the teacher/parent can quickly go through the checklist and mark off what applies. In this way, when needing to refer back to the students work at a later date, the teacher/parent can see at a glance how each student interacted with this particular activity. 
(this file has no text enabling teacher/parent to hand write the directions in the language of choice insha'Allaah)

Enjoy insha'Allaah!


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