Sunday, March 28, 2010

Choose and Review Day

This was one of those weeks that the only time I had to prepare for primary was late Saturday night. I changed my mind so many times about how I wanted to do the choose and review...while incorporating Easter into the mix, since General Conference is on Easter this year. So this is what I came up with. I covered a box with red wrapping paper (any color would do), and attached clear protective sleeves to each side. In each sleeve is a clue as to what the song to be sung would be. Then I placed the large question mark over it. To pick the helpers, I asked if anyone had pink shoes, blue tie, red hairband, etc. Just look around at the kids and pick out something exclusive and use that. It worked really well.

The "helper" would choose a side and pull out the question mark. He or she would look at the clue and try to think of the song. Most kids knew the song, but didn't know the title, so they enlisted the help of the entire primary.

Here's how it works. For most of the songs, I would take a page from the song's flip chart and stick it in there for a clue. Included in the songs to review were the extra two that they're learning for Stake Conference. It worked out sweet!

Here's the fun part. I put some slips of paper inside some Easter eggs. A "helper" picked an egg and opened it up. As you can see here, it says for the boys to sing. The other slips said, "girls sing", "blue and green eyes," "teachers sing," "pianist picks a class to sing," etc. If the group picked was small, I had them come up to the front so they would all be together, instead of spread out.

I wanted to give each child something for Easter that would remind them of our Savior. So I brought a basked of filled eggs. In thinking of what I wanted to place in these eggs, I visited Deseret Book in hopes of finding a small picture of Christ. I found some things there that were sooo CA-UUUTE!

Here's a closeup. First, I found stickers that say, "I Know My Savior Lives." So I put them on the front of the eggs. Then I found the most darling little taffy candies, that actually have I "heart" Primary in the Primary colors of red, yellow, and blue. THEN I found little stickers which are the same picture from the front of this year's primary program.

It all fit sweetly into the egg. The stickers on the front were of both boys and girls. I didn't notice that until I had almost filled all the eggs. But the kids noticed right off the bat!

So... in letting each child choose an egg, each one was very careful to take the correct gender. Hahaha! VERY fun today. Had a blast

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Winging It....

I got back in town late Thursday night, worked my usual job on Friday, then helped paint my son's newly finished basement yesterday.  In between, I couldn't get hold of my substitute chorister to obtain all my "stuff."  So.... I arrived at primary today without it. Although I was mildly stressed, we had fun anyway!

SENIOR PRIMARY:  I had the kids vote on which verses they most wanted to sing  for Follow the Prophet.  They chose Adam, Daniel, Jonah, and President Monson.  I chose the "People are Confused" verse, just cuz I think it's funny and cute.  So those are the verses we worked on. 

I wrote the words to the verses on the blackboard, then when we had sung them a couple of times, erased an entire line.  I let the kids choose which line to erase.  By the time all lines were off the board, they had learned the verse.  No visuals, just me and the blackboard.  The kids really paid attention, and seemed to like it.  Sometimes the simplest things.......go figure.....

JUNIOR PRIMARY: I started out by singing a couple of wiggle songs, as the kids seemed pretty geared.  We sang "Hinges", and "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes" gradually getting faster and faster each time we sang it.  The Sunbeams LOVED this!

Since many of our Jr's can't read yet, I opted for picture prompts, for our Follow the Prophet review, on the blackboard.  That is, I drew simple pictures on the board for each verse.  Now....I am NOT an artist, to be sure.  And I just had to laugh along with the kids at my "drawings."  But that just made it more fun, and the kids were paying attention, so....that's the important thing, right?  These are what I drew:
  • Adam's name with a picture of a flower and tree - to represent the Garden of Eden. (One little boy said he could draw a better flower than I did.  HaHa!  I'm absolutely SURE that he could!)
  • Daniel's name with a picture of a lion.  (The kids had several suggestions on how to make the lion "better")  :-)
  • Jonah's name, picture of a big fish whale.  (Even though it looked like Little Nemo....sigh...)
  • I drew an old-fashioned TV for the "confused" verse, complete with rabbit ears!  (Had to explain that one!)
We already had a picture of President Monson in the Primary room, so I just used that for his verse.  All in all, it was one of the more fun singing times we've had. 

Next week I'll be reviewing all three songs we've learned so far this year.  "I Know That My Savior Loves Me," "He Sent His Son," and "Follow The Prophet."  I'll post my ideas for the review in a few days.  Have a great week!  And THANK YOU for visiting my blog!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Missing Primary ...and a Calming-Down Trick

I'm in the sunny state of Arizona this week, visiting family.  I missed teaching primary....I worry about my primary children just like a mother hen.  "Are they learning the songs?"  "Were they reverent and responsive for the substitute chorister?"  I'm sure they were just great.

I DID visit the primary here in Gilbert this morning.  What's so cool about our church is it's unity.  Any primary on planet earth, that you may have attended today, was learning "Follow the Prophet."  I was excited to see how someone else would approach it.  HOLY COW!!!  This primary had over 100 children!  Mine has a total of 30.  BIIIIG difference!  The chorister was teaching the President Monson verse today, using pretty much the same idea I used last week.  I felt for her, though, in trying to keep everyone's attention.

One trick I learned today was how to get children's attention when they're all over the place. This trick was used in settling down the kids after coming in from Sacrament Meeting:

The Primary President stood behind the microphone and said, "If you can hear me, put your hands on your head."  As the kids took notice, she then said, "If you can hear me, stand up."  "If you can hear me, fold your arms."  etc.....   It worked really well.  By the time all the kids were listening, she sat them down and they were ready for primary to begin.  LOOOOVE simple little ideas like that.....

I'll be back next week!!!!   Have a good one, everybody!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Follow The Prophet - Week 1

It took me quite a while to figure out how I wanted to attempt to slay this beast. There are lots and lots of fantastic ideas out there.  I finally settled on an idea from the Primary Singing Ideas blog.  I liked the interactive maze idea....made out of footprints.

Before I go any further, let me take a sec to say THANK YOU!!!! to all you creative people out there who make my calling as primary chorister so much FUN!  People think I'm brilliant because of you.  So....if I see a great idea, I'll be sure to give the author the I've done on this post.   Now....moving forward.... 

The goal of this maze thing is to follow the"right" path, and not get sidetracked on our way to following the prophet.  Each footprint has a phrase printed on it.  Some phrases are incorrect, that is, they don't go with the song.  I placed the footprints face down on the board.  A "reverent" child comes up and picks a footprint, reads it to the children, and decides if it is correct or incorrect.  If it is incorrect, it gets set aside. At the end, a clear path shows the way to following the prophet.  The kids REALLY, REALLY liked it!  This is how to set up the footprints.  The red line is just to illustrate where to place the "correct" footprints.

This was a blast to do, and it helped the kids learn the words to the song in a fun way.  I started out by teaching them the new President Monson verse found in the February Friend.  I wanted to use this verse because all the other verses are about prophets from waaaaaay back.  This one would give the kids someone to relate to....and realize WE have a prophet today. 

That said, I found the verse to be rather tricky, taking some extra thinking and some quick pronunciations.  So if you teach this verse, start sloooooow.......  I tripped up a bunch of times.  The kids seemed to really enjoy the verse though.  It's a little more snappy with all the additional syllables.  You'll see what I mean....

Some of the incorrect phrases on the footprints are pretty hilarious.  You can download the footprints here. The kids and teachers laughed at them.   I love when we have fun like that.  Here's a sampling:

I taught the verse to the children, BEFORE playing the game, by using these visuals, found on the flipchart on the Singing Ideas blog here.

To keep all the "Follow the Prophet" stuff together, I created a three-ring-binder just for this song....with all the flipchart visuals I'm going to teach the children.  I placed the footprints for the President Monson and Adam verses in the clear protectors with both those verses.  The inside pockets make great places to keep game pieces and instructions.  This is important because I'm going to be out of town next Sunday, and I wanted to have everything available for the substitute chorister - in a way that makes sense. 

This Sunday I want them to review the Adam verse the same way, except Adam will probably be at the end of the maze. Nothin' wrong with doin' the same thing twice - if it works - right?

Sorry the lighting is a little on the yellow side.  I think the camera was set wrong....  

Monday, March 1, 2010

Goin' With the Flow...

I got an e-mail from my primary prez mid week, informing me that the senior primary kids will be singing in Stake Conference April 11.  We'll be singing "I Know That My Savior Loves Me," which they all know really well.  Then a medley of "Teach Me To Walk In The Light" (verses 1&3)  incorporated with "I Want To Live The Gospel."  (verses 1&2).

So....I scrapped my previously made plans, and began teaching the seniors "I Want To Live The Gospel."  Thing was, it was also Ward Conference yesterday....  So EVERYBODY was in there, which made me a bit more nervous than usual.  I came up with the following, but honestly, I don't feel real great about how it went over.....the kids seemed really wired yesterday for some reason...and I didn't feel like I had their attention as well as I usually do.  Plus, I went overtime....shoot!  So much for a good impression for the Stake Leaders!  Dang!  But for what it's worth, this is what I did:

To teach this song, I sang the song to them while showing the flip chart (by Jolly Jenn).  I guess they hadn't sung this in a while, because they really didn't seem to remember it.  Then I asked them to identify some action words....things we must DO.  They are:  "Live, Know, Follow, and Live."

I had helpers attach the words to the edge of the umbrella.  Each action word is a different color.  I made flags to match each color, then handed a flag to four teachers. A child came up to turn the umbrella as we sang.  The kids in each teacher's area would sing the phrase from the song with that word in it. 
If time had allowed, I would have switched the flags around so the kids could sing different phrases.  HOWEVER, the kids DID learn the song....that's the important thing, right?


I brought my "Keyword Connection Jar" for reverent kids to reach in and pick a slip of paper with a keyword on it.  Then the child would try to think of a song which either had the word in it, or was about the subject.  All the kids ended up helping each child pick a song.

To make somewhat of a game out of it, I drew a road on the blackboard (two parallel lines with a dotted line in the middle) with a car cutout on one end, and a picture of Jesus on the other.  The object was to get the car all the way to Jesus by the end of Primary.  If they sang well, or at least made a darn good effort, I moved the car. They seemed to like this a lot, and one of the Stake Leaders said, "You had them right in the palm of your hand."  Seriously!  Glad that things went a little better in Junior Primary.
To pick the reverent kids, I used my huge yellow glasses as my "Reverent Child Finder."   I showed them to you here...