Sunday, May 30, 2010

Super Fun Review Activity

I had such a great day in primary today, I had to blog about it. I'm not good at posting my ideas ahead of time. They are usually evolving in my head throughout the week and then Saturdays tend to be so busy I am just lucky to get everything prepared, clothes washed, children bathed, and get to bed early enough to drag myself out of bed for 8:30 church. was one of those days that all came together nicely. It was easy to prepare and the children had as much fun as I did. Being the last Sunday of the month, it was pass off day. The children earn an icecream scoop each month as an incentive to master each song for the program. But they know the May song so well I figured we might as well just do a review of all the program songs and of course, have some fun doing it!

Here's what I did:
*I had 5 envelopes numbered 1-5 taped to the piano. Inside each one had a piece of paper that listed the song and a fun way to sing it.
*I had the children sit in a circle on the floor, just for something fun and different.
*As each child came in I handed them a piece of paper with their name on it (8.5 x 11 computer paper cut in half length-wise)
*Once every child had a paper and was sitting quietly, I chose a child to go pick #1 and read it to the group. Then we sang the song, did the activity, and went on to the next envelope. Here's how we did each song:

#1: I Know that My Savior Loves Me. Wave your paper in the air when you sing the word, "Jesus." (happens 3 times if you sing both verses)

#2: Follow the Prophet. Snap your paper whenever you sing the word, "Prophet." (hold each end of the paper in your hands with some slack in the paper. when they sing "prophet" move your hands apart so the paper is taught and makes a snapping sound. happens 8 times for us because we sing 2 verses + the chorus at the end)

#3: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Tap a rhythm with your rhythm sticks. (I hand out 2 unsharpened pencils to each child for rhythm sticks. They are a cheap alternative to wooden dowels! I had them tap the ground twice, then the sticks together twice. We repeated that pattern throughout the whole song. I made it a little more complicated for senior primary.)

#4. He Sent His Son. Help Sister Walker lead the music. (I handed out glow sticks, purchased 5/$1 from the dollar store. I turned out the lights, although our primary room has skylights and so many windows it wasn't really dark, but the kids still loved the glow sticks! I showed them how to conduct 3/4 time and we all conducted the song together. Then we converted the sticks into bracelets and they got to keep them.)

#5. Choose the Right Way. Stand up and sing word-perfect to earn a Singing Time Scoop. (Like I said before, I have a poster that started out with just an icecream cone. Each month as they master the song, meaning they can sing it with no picture helps, everyone standing reverently and singing all the words, they get a blank icecream scoop. I choose a child to color it according to their favorite flavor of icecream and then glue it to the poster.)

Overall it was awesome. We had just enough time to sing all 5 songs and all the activities kept the kids motivated and involved and SINGING, so I was happy. And every child got to participate and take something home so they were happy, too.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Focusing on Gospel Principles

I don't know if it's just the time of year, or what. But I have been feeling so burnt out lately. I have so much going on and preparing each week for singing time can easily become just another thing on my to-do list that, unfortunately, usually gets left for Saturday.

I LOVE my primary kids and I LOVE those moments when you feel the spirit in singing time and you know the kids feel it too. They make all the hard work worth it.

I am in need of a serious over-haul in my calling. Not in visual aids or ideas or anything, just in personal motivation and dedication to serving the Lord through this calling. I have made some short term and long term goals and hope that they will make a difference in my approach to teaching.

First things first: tomorrow I have a very simple activity planned that I hope will help reinforce the gospel principles taught in the songs, not just memorization of the words. I usually like to plan a game or project--something to help them be motivated to participate. I never do competitive games (like one team against another) but try to have the whole primary work together toward a common goal.

But I noticed in the sharing time outline for tomorrow it specifically says to try to create a reverent atmosphere so the children can focus on feeling the Holy Ghost and discussing how it helps them. I don't want to do a rowdy game and then turn them over to the Primary Presidency all wired, which can definitely happen when I have a fun game for singing time.

For tomorrow, I have simply printed out in big letters HO-L-Y-G-H-O-ST. On the back of each letter (or group of letters) is a question that reinforces a gospel principle from one of our 5 program songs we've learned so far. The songs with multiple verses I've split up into one question per verse. Senior primary will also have a scripture to look up that goes with the song. The 7 pieces will be scattered around the room. I'll invite a child to go pick one and read the question on the back. We'll sing the corresponding song, then discuss the gospel principle taught in the song. Once all the pieces have been collected and put up on the board, we'll unscramble it to spell out HOLY GHOST. I'll end by talking about the Holy Ghost is a gift Heavenly Father gives us to help feel his love and help us know what to do to return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus. I'll bear my testimony ( I always do) and hopefully this will be a good segway into sharing time.

These are the questions I have planned:

1.What did the Nephite children feel while Jesus was blessing and teaching them? (I know that my Savior Loves Me 1st verse)

2. Even though Jesus isn’t here with us like he was in the Book of Mormon story, he gives us special people to help guide us. Who are they? (I know that my Savior Loves me, 2nd verse)

3.How did Heavenly Father show us what we are supposed to do on earth so that we can return and live with Him? (He Sent His Son

4. JR:How did the prophet Adam serve the Lord? (Follow the Prophet, vs 1)

4. SR: Where did the prophet Daniel get his power? (Follow the Prophet, vs 8)

5. Why does Heavenly Father give us prophets on the earth today? (Follow the Prophet, Pres Monson verse)

6. Whose church do we belong to? (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

7. What blessing will we get if we live by the teachings of Jesus Christ? (Choose the Right Way)