Review of Jan 29

I got the Cds out! I’ll post a copy of the letter I sent home and the playlist. I recorded my kids singing “Choose the Right” and put it on the CD instead of the Hymns version (because the Hymns version doesn’t have anyone singing the melody on the first verse!?! and kids find it hard to pick out the melody from a harmony anyway.) It is really cute. Not perfect, but cute. I will be happy to send you a copy if you want it!

The Primary Presidency passed the Cds out to parents during the 3rd hour and everyone was carrying them around after church.  I’m so happy do be done with that project! Not that it wasn’t enjoyable…I’m listening to my copy right now in fact. But now I can focus on other things (like my lovely friends who miss me).

Today I started teaching Choose the Right! It was AWESOME!! I loved it!! I remembered to bear my testimony and everything!!

In Jr Primary We worked on reviewing As a Child of God for the first 15 minutes. The kids know the 1st verse and chorus really well…but not so good with the 2nd and 3rd. We worked on it a lot today (using the same game we played in Sr Primary last week–with the spinner) So I hope that with continued repetition they will catch on. The teachers all know it very well…and most of the kids are doing the signs even if they aren’t singing.

So before we beat the song to death I had them stop and color their CTR shields. I ended up using a page with 6 CTR shields instead of the 12 I had originally planned–they were just the right size at 6/page. I ended up being a few short, but one of the teachers saved my bacon by having his kids draw their own on paper. The coloring break was just right–the kids came back ready to pay attention again. While they were coloring I played the CD  with words first verse and chorus (the one I recorded) about 5 times. I warned them to finish up before playing it the last time and then had them pass in their crayons.

I asked them what the name of the song is? “Choose the Right!” And then I asked how many times the word “right” was sung: we help up our CTR shields every time we heard the word “right” there are 6 in the first verse and chorus. I think we did it twice. Then I asked them if they remembered any signs from “As a Child of God” that we could use in “Choose the Right” I had them start doing it in their seats when they though of one and called the volunteer up to the front to show everyone. So we did the signs for choose, right, and light while we listened to the song again. By this time the teachers were all singing pretty confidently and some of the kids too even though I didn’t ask them to.

Next I taught them the sign for forever and evermore. we talked about how they mean approximitely the same thing and so have the same sign. And that was as far as we got with Jr Primary.

For Sr Primary I had planned on teaching “The Books in the Book of Mormon,” but the President’s lesson took much longer…So I only got my usual 20 mins instead of the extra time I had in Jr. Everything was the same except I used less repetition and made them color fast. I taught them forever/evermore and had a flash of inspiration: I asked them what signs they wanted to learn to sing with the song! So the kids had to listen the the song and go over the words in their minds to ask me for a word’s sign! It was pretty amazing. When they asked for a sign we weren’t doing in the song I was able to give it to them (inspiration!!) and once we had 2 new signs we would sing the song again, using the signs we just learned. So there are still about six signs throughout the 1st verse and chorus that we will need to learn next week, but we made great progress and the kids were singing it really well by the end. My favorite part was when a boy wanted to know the sign for “confides” we had a great discussion about what the word means and learned the sign and sang the song…it was really fun.

My least favorite part was when I realized that none of the 11-12 year-olds were participating at all…going to have to pray about that.

And then I remembered to bear my testimony at the end!!! Finally!

It was a great day.


Teaching Choose the Right

I promised the Sr primary we wouldn’t sing “As a Child of God” AT ALL this next week, since we really beat it to death last week. Jr Primary is still going to get about 1/2 the time working on cementing  ACG, but mostly we’re going to learn CTR! The PP is in charge of the lesson this month and she graciously decided to do a mini-lesson this week so I can have more time!! Yay!

We have been humming and laa-ing and Loo-ing with the piano playing CTR for the last 3 weeks. I have those Preston Blair faces signs that I have a helper hold up and direct the kids how to vocalize. So they should all be familiar with the melody.

I will start by pointing out all the “choose the right” phrases. Since my piano player is about to have her baby any day now and gets really sore if she sits at the piano for too long, I’ll just sing acapella or maybe use a cd.  The kids will hold up mini CTR shields every time they hear “choose the right.” (I will print out 12 B&W mini CTR shields to a page make copies in the library and cut them out square with the paper cutter–I’ll let the kids take them to class to color. I am way too lazy to make popsicle sticks or anything like that).

Then we’ll put away the shields for a while because we already learned the signs for choose and right when we did ACG! So we’re going to do it again!  First we’ll listen to it and sign the signs we already know (choose, right, light). Then I’ll teach them the new signs while I sing. The more times they listen to it before trying to sing it, the better they’ll know it. So then, after I’ve taught all the signs, I’ll have them sing too.  Just break it down and teach the kids each line, talking about the meaning and pointing out principles, bearing testimony when appropriate. For Jr we’ll at least work on the chorus for Sr we’ll do the whole thing.

1. Choose the right when a choice is placed before you.
In the right the Holy Spirit guides;
And its light is forever shining o’er you,
When in the right your heart confides.

Choose the rightChoose the right!
Let wisdom mark the way before.
In its light, choose the right!
And God will bless you evermore.

I am still practicing this…I may come back and edit. For verses 2&3 click here. If you want to see the official version here it is or find it on this page,17631,7208-1,00.html

PS I am so excited to have the 10/11 year-old class play the tenor line with my handbells! I hope they learn it fast so we can play around!

Plan for Jan 22

Same as last week, but I am going to teach vs 2 (again) and vs 3 of As a Child of God to Jr primary, and I have two modifications of the game for Sr from last week.

1. I’m changing the die out for a spinner with numbers on it that refer to a list I’ll put on the board. That way the kids in their seats know what the options are and can be in suspense. 2. No matter what, the kid picked will spin and then we’ll sing the song in that way–even for helping the kid figure out the answer to the question. Some of the spinner options involve funny voices or humming, so it’ll be harder.

Also, no rhythm instruments…the kids need to do the hand signs for a while longer until they learn the song better.

Also, put a new category on my planning sheet: “bear testimony of:” right before the closing song so I’ll remember.

Review of Jan 15

It went well.

However, For some reason (maybe the cold weather) the Jr primary was really hyper, so I didn’t give them noisy toys to play with :?. They also didn’t remember the song as well as I had hoped, so instead of moving on the the 3rd verse we did the picture game and reviewed the 1st verse. It ended up being more of a put the pictures in order game than a millionaire game. They certainly enjoyed themselves! And we sang the first verse many, many times.

For Sr primary I had the 10/11 year old class put the questions and pictures on the board and pass out the rhythm instruments. Then I used my popsicle sticks to draw names of kids to come up and choose a question. After two kids’ turns I had to have them pass in the instruments because they were too noisy and the kids couldn’t hear the questions. I didn’t comment on the noise, I just asked everyone to please pass in their instruments and then went on with the game explaining that they would have to raise their hands when they heard the answer the the question. We did two more rounds after that before it was time to sing the closing song. I think that the kids really enjoyed the game. I think it did help them to think about the meaning of the words. We did sing the entire song about six times until the piano player was sick of it. Was it enough? I can’t wait to see how well they know the song next week!

I wish I had more than 15-20 minutes with the kids every week!

Plan for Jan 15

The lesson for this week has a lot of singing in it, but our pianist is very pregnant and can’t sit at the piano for the whole sharing time and singing time. So we’re singing some of the songs suggested in the lesson for opening/reverence/closing songs and the teacher will just teach. The game we’re playing will cover almost all of the concepts in the lesson, so the kids will get the repetition they need.

Sr Primary learned all of “As a Child of God” last week and Jr just needs to learn the last verse. So this week is time for repetition and meaning games.

For Sr primary we’ll play a variation of that millionaire game. I have some questions (here) that can be answered using lines from the song. I will print them out and put them on the board for everyone to see. everyone will get a shaker (I have 15 eggs and a lot of shakers I made out of paper rolls). A child will come up and choose a question to answer they must answer using a line from the song–exactly word for word. They can come up with the answer on their own (in which case they can roll a die to see how the primary will sing the song) or they can ask for help (in which case the primary will sing the song and emphasize the line they think answers the questions by shaking their rhythm instruments while singing the words). 

This game will allow us to sing the song again and again while thinking about the meaning of the words. Before we sing the song each time I plan to bear testimony of the principle/idea we just answered the question about. I think I’m going to put a sticker on the back of my hand, I’ll hopefully remember to talk first then sing.

If we have extra time we’ll do some other songs and have one child up at the front making a rating for how well the primary knows the song. My helper will rate each song we sing on a scale of 1-5 by putting 1-5 snowmen up on the board. This will help me know how well the kids know some of the songs we haven’t sung together yet.

For Jr primary first we need to learn the last verse. I’ll see how well they remember the other verses and then review or continue as needed. I am confident we can get through the whole song pretty quickly.

Then we’ll move on to the game. Instead of putting questions on the board I’m going to use pictures but we’ll do the same matching game and I’ll ask the questions before we sing the song. So I should have the same opportunity to bear testimony of each principle as we sing the song over and over. You can grab the  CTR picture on the left and here’s a link to the helping family picture all the other pictures are from the gospel art picture kit.

Hope it goes over well!

Year at a Glance

My friend B and I got together today to plan out the year! I loved the 2012 year at a glance that Adri Johnson posted on Sugardoodle. I used it as a template to make a year at a glance for the chorister. Here it is in Excel and here it is in PDF. It has the monthly theme, song, a place to record the opening/reverence/closing songs, the lesson general idea for each week, songs suggested in the lesson, and holidays. Let me know if you think of anything else that should go on it!

Simply lovely @>–

Sunday was lovely. We played the Hidden Consequences game again but with breaks to teach new parts of the song.

My learning moment for the week: don’t let the game run the class. Last week the game was in charge, this week I was in charge and the game was helping me. Practically speaking, I mean that I taught some of the song and when the kids were doing it well enough, then we played a few rounds of the game. Then we stopped and learned some more, repeat. Last week I didn’t get enough teaching done because the game told me when it was time to teach. 😕 Also because we played with the rhythm instruments for too long. Also because I forgot that the first Sunday a Bishopric member comes in to teach the kids.

Jr primary has vs 1&2 down, and Sr has all of it. We still need to cement it by repetition of course. I love the part where everyone is signing light together-it almost makes me cry it is so beautiful.

It is fascinating, the differences between Jr and Sr Primaries. Jr was so calm and docile this week. I complimented them heartily after we played the balloon toss game. They were all IN THEIR SEATS the whole time!! And quiet (for excited kids)! Sr got a bit out of control… But we brought it back down again.

My goal for self-improvement this week is to bear testimony more. When I’m up in stage I am very in the moment, and often forget my plans to stop and talk about this principle, or ask this question. It will come with practice I’m sure, but I’m going to try an experiment. For some reason there is always an awkward pause after we sing the closing song and before the prayer. I’m going to try bearing my quick testimony of the principles taught that day while we wait for the closing prayer.

The next two weeks are going to focus on the meaning and expression of the song (and play with the rhythm instruments since the kids loved it do much). I’ll be back when I have a plan 🙂