Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Getting back to business - Tentative Schedule for 2010

What follows is my tentative schedule for next year. I know there will be a Stake Conference, probably in February and I don't have the date on that yet. Other than that what follows should get me through the program songs and Mothers and Fathers day. Please keep in mind that I have to teach all the songs by June, because of our year round school and extreme summer heat we lose about 1/3 to 1/2 of the primary during the summer months as they travel to cooler climes.
3 Begin I know that my savior loves me (Jr. Primary just the chorus) In Sign Language
10 2nd verse with Sr. Primary, 1st verse and chorus with Jr.
17 review with Sr., teach 2nd verse to jr.
7 He Sent His Son (First half with jr, whole song sr.)
14 2nd half jr, review sr.
28 Teach Latter Day Prophets (We know Follow the Prophet, so I'm adding this in)
7 Teach On A Golden Springtime (3 verses - optional song for August)
We know The Church of Jesus Christ in English and Spanish.
4 General Conference
11 Teach Come follow me (not sure how many verses yet)
25 Start Mother's Day Songs #202 and 203
2 Review Mothers Day songs
9 Sing in Sacrament meeting Teach Keep the Commandments (optional song)
30 Teach The Holy Ghost
6 Begin Father's Day Songs #209 and 210
13 Review Fathers day songs
20 Fathers Day Sing in Sacrament Meeting

On the days that I am not teaching a song we review the other songs. Each program song needs to be sung at least twice a month. Add them in as opening or closing songs, as long as you keep singing them. Also keep singing last years songs, add those in as often as you can because the kids love to sing them.

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Brother Makes me look Boring

A New Year's Singing Time

Subtitle: My brother makes me look boring

Nat sings Stars Were Gleaming
"Hearken We Can Hear it Still"

Nat said he wanted to do something really spectacular. He did. Inside each balloon suspended from the ceiling was confetti, a song and small gifts like plastic whales, lizards and snakes. He attached pins to the end of the Nerf darts so the child would shoot the balloon, the confetti would come out they would search through the confetti on the floor for the song and the "gifts". The children were sitting away from the balloons so they wouldn't get hit.
Shaking the bells during Jingle Bells and Christmas Bells.

While this is something I will probably never do, it certainly was a huge hit. My son who is impatiently waiting for the computer is suddenly disappointed that I won't be doing this. I can see my Dad at the piano watching in amazement at my brother. I think I have forever lost the coolest singing leader in the family title. Way to go Nat!!!!
(As a side note, he brought his vacuum from home and had quite a time vacuuming before coming over for dinner).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Gift of Song

The photo shows the gift bags on the bottom and some of the items that I used in Jr. primary. My husband wouldn't wear the tie, but it was perfect for my activity today.

In Junior Primary this morning I had gift bags with items in them. Each item corresponded to a song. I had a child pick a gift bag, figure out which song it went to, then we sang the song.

popcorn - Popcorn Popping
Shepherd - Shepherd's Carol
Family photo - The Family is of God
Necktie - Daddy's Homecoming
Hand - My Hands
Book of Mormon - Book of Mormon Stories
Bell - Christmas Bells
Telephone - Called to Serve

In Senior Primary we gave the gift of song. I admit that the original idea came from Sugardoodle, I changed it up quite a bit though. We all had a hymn book, we picked one Christmas song and sang it once as a practice. Then I sent a child out into the hall to find someone and bring them back in because we had a gift for them. Then we would sing the song we practiced for that person. It really was a gift! The people the kids found were surprised and bewildered (mostly Dad's with babies, and a bishopbric member) but it was fun to give a different kind of gift. Each time we picked a song, we would practice then sing it to someone. We didn't get through as many songs as we usually do, but today really was special.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Carols

In senior primary this week I made 50 Christmas songbooks. There were two pages double sided with Christmas songs from the primary songbook, Hymn book and some assorted favorites. We sang carols for 25 minutes, it was wonderful!

In junior primary I brought in my little 3 foot tree. I plugged it in and had the kids decorate the tree. Each ornament had a song written on it, so we would sing the songs as we decorated. It looks a little sad, after all we only hung 8 ornaments but it was a lot of fun. We had the nursery kids in again and so we also sang the sunbeam song and a few others that they knew.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jingle Bells and Snowballs

For Senior Primary, I wanted something fun. I had prepared to do the same thing in Sr and Jr, but I just needed to do something different. I pulled out the snowball idea that i've read about a bunch but never used. I got one sheet of paper for each child and had them write a song they wanted to sing today. I gave them 30 seconds, because otherwise they would spend all singing time choosing. I had them each crumple the paper like a snowball, and throw their first snowball of the year (towards the front of the room). Then I picked up one snowball at a time and we sang the songs. The results were interesting:
11 votes for Love is Spoken here
3 for I am a Child of God
4 for Jingle Bells
3 for Snowman
2 for How Firm a Foundation
2 for Silent Night
2 for Child's Prayer
and one each for 10 other songs.
Also, this must have been a group of boys in the back, there were 4 votes for "I love Chicken". Figures. I brought all the papers home, so my kids can make snowflakes this afternoon. The snowballs were actually really fun, and it was something different and unexpected. I was worried the kids would get too rowdy, but it was okay.

For Junior Primary we sang a lot of the songs that we can use bells for like Christmas Bells and Jingle Bells. They really enjoyed that. Then I had them help me by guest conducting with my light up oven mitt. This thing has been popular for as long as i've used it. They like the lights turned off and they will sing their hearts out to the waving lights.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The 12x12 Cube

This is made from a box from the U-haul store. The original idea was to take any square shaped box and cover it with colored paper, but this box happened to be red so it made the job easier. Using clear shipping tape, page protectors are taped onto every side. That way whatever you are working on can be changed in and out. There's nothing inside the box so it's lightweight and transports back and forth to Church really easily. Hope this helps Torri!

A Shepherd's Carol

This week I taught A Shepherd's Carol. I put all the words up on a poster and then we practiced singing it a few times. Once the kids were singing it well I held up boy and girl signs so they had to take turns. Then we sang it with teachers and children. I had kids come up and hold the signs so that they could choose who was singing. It was fun, and a great way to practice the song. After we had sung it that way a few times, we started practicing singing it in a round. It's difficult because the accompaniment doesn't give anything for the other parts, but everyone was really trying hard and it sounded wonderful. I haven't ever taught this song before, I was thrilled at how quickly they picked it up, and they wanted to sing it again and again.
We aren't singing in Sacrament Meeting for Christmas so we can just have a good time with the Christmas songs.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Thankful Singing Time

Today I pulled out a Thanksgiving singing time where you put the pieces of food on the table. I've had it for a long time, and told the kids it was older than they were - so it's vintage. They thought that was funny. We sang mostly songs about gratitude, but they got to pick some fun songs to sing. It was a really fun singing time. I only just laminated it this morning, and I realized afterward that I had never colored the S on thanks. Just one of those funny things.
Next week: Christmas songs!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This morning we attended and participated in the program at my brothers ward. It was absolutely amazing! All these children from wards all over the valley, and some from farther away read parts and sang songs in the program. They did an amazing job! It is a real testament that the spirit really strengthens and shines through children. The Bishop stood up and thanked all the primaries who had prepared these children by teaching them songs and about our Eternal Families so that they would be prepared to come and provide a program for this mostly elderly ward. It was very touching to hear him thank the children for serving them. I know my testimony was strengthened from this experience, and I hope my children learned from this experience as well.

This week the kids in primary wrote their name and their favorite song on a piece of paper. We sang the song and then the kids had to guess who had written that as their favorite. A few clues had to be given but it was a lot of fun. When they discovered who the child was, that child could choose how to sing the next song - in a style, loud, soft, fast etc. It was really fun. I just can't say it enough - I love NOVEMBER!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Program

This week we'll be visiting my brother's ward. He lives in a high rise and his whole ward is comprised of the families in the building. There are two children in the primary. Every year the grandparents in the ward round up their grandchildren and bring them to church for the primary program. Almost all the kids come from a variety of wards around the city, and in our case much farther. Tomorrow morning we go to the program practice and then Sunday my kids will have speaking parts and be singing in their program. This will be our first time participating and I have no idea how it will go. Logistically it sounds like a nightmare, but apparently everyone in the ward loves it because their grandchildren come to them. We'll see.
At home we are enjoying a wonderful November of fun songs with the kids picking songs and reviewing fun things. I have found that my daughter LOVES singing My Heavenly Father Loves Me. I am so glad I taught it, it is delightful to hear her sing that song. November just makes me so happy and thankful! I'm thankful that the program is over, i'm thankful to sing fun songs, and i'm thankful we can start Christmas songs soon. I'm just thankful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Keep singing those songs!!!

I got a call last night from a good friend of mine who is a Primary President, they had their review for their program yesterday. She said something that really surprised me . She wished that the kids could still sing Scripture Power. That was one of the songs not reviewed after the program a few years ago and so the kids can't sing it anymore. That was really sad to me, because my kids love that song.
I work really hard to review songs so that they aren't lost and forgotten. I do have two songs that were program songs that I wish the kids still knew - The Holy Ghost and Holding Hands Around the World. I really wish that they could still sing them. If the program had allowed for songs out of the songbook I would have re-taught Holding Hands. As it is, these are the two that haunt me, thankfully the Holy Ghost made another appearance this year!

The moral of the story is:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Sunday of Classics

This week I taught My Heavenly Father Loves Me (page 228). It was sung by the Tabernacle Choir during the last Conference and I got to thinking what a shame it was that the kids don't know that song, especially since it was a primary staple when I was growing up.
I made up some illustrations on a board, the song really lends itself to visual aids, then I made up some signs and I was ready to go. The Jr. Primary and Sr. ate the song up. They learned it so quickly. Nothing like signing to make the learning go faster.
We sang the song several times and then we turned to other classics - Give said the little stream, Wise man/foolish man, Primary Colors, Book of Mormon Stories, Once there was a snowman and Popcorn Popping. It was a lot of fun to sing a bunch of songs all at once that I loved as a child. The kids really got into it and were surprised how the teachers were suggesting songs that they loved as kids. I had never thought to have the teachers pick songs that they loved, I always ask the kids, but the kids were really excited about singing their teachers favorite songs. Wow! I struck accidentally upon a great new idea.
November is such a great month! I am thankful for November every year, when we can learn a song for fun, have singing times that are fun with no rigorous practicing and just enjoy the love of singing. Hooray for November!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stake Conference

A short break of Stake Conference the week after the program was so very needed. Back to it tomorrow. I am going to teach a song, a bit crazy I know, but that's the plan. More in a bit when I get everything together.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's over!!!! It was wonderful.

It was amazing, it all comes together in the end. The program was beautiful, the kids sang like angels. Wow. It was fabulous.

For singing time we played plinko, if the disc landed in 1 I got to pick the song, if 2 the kids picked the song, if 3 the pianist picked the song and if #5 they got the song in a bag for Book of Mormon Stories. Photos to follow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Singing Time after the program

Tomorrow, after the program, there is still Singing Time. Impossible to imagine, but I have to be prepared for the singing time after the program. Generally the kids are restless, tired, worn out from singing the same songs over and over and they are ready for something new. I bought this disc game from Oriental Trading and a very clever friend of mine did some vinyl lettering to change it from "Halloween disc game" to "singing time plinko". So the numbers represent either the chance to pick a song, a style of singing or if they get number five the new song in a bag. The list of songs will all be fun songs and activity songs. They need a break. Hopefully they will really enjoy this, and the song in a bag, which I will post tomorrow.

Program Practice

The kids in CTR8 signing and singing Help Me, Dear Father. Their teacher taught them to sign this song. They also taught it to the primary during sharing time. I wish I could remember the signs better, I have to have the kids come up every time we sing it to remind me.
I had my fabulous nieces there to help. Michelle was in the back of the chapel with the balloons. They go up when the kids sing loudly but reverently, and go down when they sing too quiet.
The kids really watched her to gauge how well they were singing. It was fun.
After practicing the program twice, we went outside for pizza. Yaaay! Everyone was starving.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Practice (of sorts) and a Photograph

After Sacrament meeting we stayed in the Chapel to practice going through the program. We only had about half an hour because the next ward began at 11am and so we didn't sing any of the songs while we practiced. After the "practice" we all went outside to take a group photo. The primary does this every year to put on the cover of the program. It's really nice, and the kids like seeing their photo on the program. I was glad I brought my camera because it was a great opportunity for me to take photos of the kids, individually and with siblings and friends. These are great in visual aids!!!!
The last photo is the primary room right after closing prayer.
By the time we got back to the primary room it was 11:05am and the presidency had told me I would have whatever time was left for singing. Ummm, that's kind of a lot of time, with 80 kids sitting on the floor. So we sang. We went through all the songs, and I even had each class perform one song while the rest of the primary was the audience. I have to admit, by the end my voice was croaking and I was exhausted. 55 minutes is a long singing time. At the end I finally gave up on the program songs and we sang about 5 activity songs, then Scripture Power and I handed it back over to the President for closing exercises. Whew. Still, I am extremely concerned that we haven't had a proper run through of the program, the kids haven't even practiced saying their parts, just standing at the microphone. So unless the kids all come to Saturday's practice, I think we are going to be in trouble. I just need to have faith.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Elder Eyring's Talk

Last Sunday I was really touched by Elder Eyring's Sunday afternoon talk "Our Perfect Example". To quote just a bit:

"any believing Latter-day Saint is an optimist about what lies ahead for him or her, however difficult the present may be. We believe that through living the gospel of Jesus Christ we can become like the Savior, who is perfect. Considering the attributes of Jesus Christ should quash the pride of the self-satisfied person who thinks he or she has no need to improve. And even the most humble person can take hope in the invitation to become like the Savior.

"How that wonderful transformation will happen is captured for me in a song written for children. I remember watching the faces of a room full of children singing it on a Sunday. Each of the children was leaning forward, almost to the front of the chair. I could see light in their eyes and determination in their faces as they sang with gusto. You may have heard the song too. I hope it will sound forever in our memories. I only hope I can give it the feeling those children had.

I’m trying to be like Jesus; I’m following in his ways.
I’m trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say.
At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers,
“Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.2

"It seemed to me that they were not just singing; they were declaring their determination. Jesus Christ was their example. To be like Him was their fixed goal. And their eager looks and their shining eyes convinced me that they had no doubts. They expected to succeed. They believed that the instruction of the Savior to be perfect was not a hope but a command. And they were sure He had prepared the way."

Today, for our opening song we are going to sing this wonderful primary song. We are practicing the program today, hopefully i'll get some photos posted this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Program Idea

At my Mom's ward this week they passed around the Primary Program outline. It was unlike anything I have seen before and so I want to share. The program goes like this:

CTR 5 class: I am a spirit Child of Heavenly Father
Song: I lived in Heaven
Family: I came to earth as part of a family
Song: How Firm a Foundation
Family: Family members have important responsibilities
Song: My Eternal Family
Girl: Jesus Christ made it possible for me to live with my Heavenly Father again
Song: I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ
Family: Baptism and confirmation are ordinances that bless my family
Song: Baptism
Class: Faith, prayer, repentance and forgiveness strengthen me and my family
Song: Seek the Lord Early
Family: I will strengthen my family
Song: Give said the little stream
Family: temple blessings unite families
Song: Families can be together forever
Valiant A: Prophets teach me how to strengthen my family
Family: My family is blessed when we remember Jesus Christ
Song: As I have loved you (English and Spanish)

As I looked around their primary I realized that with just 20 kids most of them had siblings in the primary and they had divided most of them up into speaking parts that they write with their families, and their family presents their parts together. The few kids who didn't have siblings spoke with their class. I thought this was such an interesting idea especially because this year's theme is about the family. Instead of individuals they will have families speaking. I think it's a great idea! We have way too many kids to do that, but it's a great thing to note for the future.
They sang the Eternal Family song all through singing time and they really struggled with it. They haven't sung it since they learned it a few months ago and that's probably why. It's so important to keep singing the songs, even last years songs and from the year before. It's repetition that helps them learn (okay, I'm off my soap box now).
Enjoy General Conference!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Great thing about my Mom

The great thing about my mom is that she is always sending me ideas that they are doing in their primary. (Of course, there are lots of great things about her). This week we have all but two birds in the nest, and the Sr. Primary have just six marbles before the jar is full. We reviewed the program songs and had a great time, but this idea was lots more fun.

Sister Webb reviewing a song using a balloon. The children sing the song. She says the words and pauses and they say what comes next. If they are correct, she blows some air in the balloon. If they are wrong, she lets air out. When the balloon is full (or at the end of the song or verse) she chooses a child to decide whether to let the balloon go, or pop it. The kids chose popping it about half the time. She had the child hold the balloon and use a push pin to pop it. Very popular activity. They loved it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

3 Sundays and counting.......

We have 3 Sundays left. Two singing times, and the last Sunday is the program review. The Sr. Primary is coming along nicely. The Jr. Primary has a little more work to do.
The idea with the birds is to get all of them into the nest. They all started at the top and have been working their way down. We have two in the nest.
I'm not super huge on endorsing products but these have been wonderful! I have been using the double sided permanent tape to affix the marbles. They stay on and I don't have to make loops of tape during singing time. The removable tape is for the birds - this way I can move them around the board easily. It seems to be about the tackiness of a post-it note and so it's easy to peel and stick where I want them. They made this job easy! All I had to do was sing.
Now, I just have to think of my next trick, for next week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Have a Very Happy Birthday

I taught a new birthday song this week. I used four pictures to represent the four parts of the song. It's a really short song and since we only did the first verse the kids picked it up really quickly. I also wore the birthday cake hat, so did Shannon, and the kids thought that was wonderful.

I wanted something to conduct with that was a little different so I used a wrapping paper tube and covered it with scrapbooking paper. Then I made a flame out of yellow paper, stapled it all the way around and stuffed it with batting. I made my own giant birthday cake candle so that I could point to the different parts of the song. The Jr. Primary used the candle for conducting. The Sr. Primary wanted to the hide the candle so that we could sing loud/soft while another child found it. That way we sang the song over and over until they had it down really well. We reviewed the other birthday songs and ironed out some kinks that some of them have and overall it was a really nice Sunday. It's good to review the songs they know and just make sure everyone knows them. It was nice to go over Feliz Cumpleanos again, some of the younger ones really benefited from the review.

And now, it's time to get ready for the program.....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's Almost Time!!!

Today I picked out a few fun songs, and a couple for the program that they are working on that needed a little review, like I'll Seek the Lord Early. I let the kids guest conduct so each song had a different conductor. They absolutely love to conduct the songs and it's fun for me to watch them lead the song.
I was looking at the schedule and realized it's almost time to pull out the chart and prep for the program. So the next few weeks will go quickly.

September 6 - Next Sunday is my birthday so we are going to sing birthday songs and learn a new birthday song "Have a Very Happy Birthday" pg 284. I know I probably shouldn't, but the kids know the songs really well and I don't want them to get too burned out singing those program songs too much.
September 13 - This is the week I pull out the motivational posters and we sing all of the songs to see how well they know them.
September 20 - review week
September 27 - review week
October 4 - General Conference
October 11 - This is the Sunday we don't go to class and spend the two hours rehearsing the program. We might do a few wiggle songs, but we'll only sing the program songs and they need to be perfect by then.
October 18 - PROGRAM

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Motivational Charts for the Program

When it's almost time for the program its time to get out some kind of motivator to get the kids prepped for the program. I've seen many different motivators, usually a poster with ice cream cones and the scoops of ice cream are added to the cones as the children improve in their proficiency in a song. When they have added a certain number to each scoop, essentially learning all the songs they are awarded a prize, such as an ice cream party.
Personally, i'm not a huge fan of food as a motivator so the ice cream idea and other "food" related ideas were out for me (like earning toppings for pizza, or fruit toppings for fruit pizza).
This year I traveled over to the local teacher supply store (i'm at my parents this week so it was good old Utah Idaho Supply, but if I had been at home I would have gone to Learning is Fun). I picked up two different kinds of motivators, one for Jr. and one for Sr. I had the marble jar laminated so I can use it again. They only charged $2.00 to laminate a poster, I was really happy about that.

For the Jr. Primary each bird will represent a song, and when the bird lands in the nest they are ready to sing the song for the program so the object is: to get all the birds into the nest.
For Sr. Primary I got the marble jar, although part of me still wishes I had gotten keys and locks, and they had to move the key toward the lock to unlock it. At any rate, There are ten rows/columns which is perfect for the 10 songs we're doing so I'll put a song at the top of each column and as they get better at a song I'll add marbles to that column. Some columns they will fill up the first day and others will take a little longer.

Now for the motivator - what will they get if they get all the birds in the nest and all the marbles in the jar. I didn't want to do food. I thought about trinkets or something from Oriental Trading, I thought about stickers or pencils that say primary from Deseret Book, but I finally settled on a new song in a bag. They loved the last song in a bag so i'll have another one ready when they have completed their charts. We have 10 weeks until the program, one of them General Conference, so only 9 working Sundays. We should be ready.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Families Can Be Together Forever

While reviewing this song Sister Webb made papers listing family members such as:
hoarse uncle
great grandma
humming sister
cowboy cousin
grandpa (sing low)
whistling brother

Sister Carson, who played the piano also played in the style of these family members. It was wonderful, and the kids didn't notice singing the song over and over. They all enjoyed the cowboy cousin best. (And yes i'm visiting family again - aaaaah it's finally our summer).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Review Week

This week we reviewed reverence songs. For the Sr. Primary I put one word clues in the jar and they had to guess the song. For the Jr. Primary I put the songs on the back of the animals on Noah's Ark and we would sing the song that was on the back of each animal. Both of these activities came from the Super Singing Activities book and the Super Little Singers book (Covenant).
I put 10 songs on the list and one of them was If The Savior Stood Beside Me. It has been a while since we sang that song and I had forgotten how much the children like it, they really sang and I was impressed how well they remembered the words considering I messed up a whole bunch of times.
I noticed that the children struggled with the Baptism (100) song and I decided to make a chart that will show them their progress as they get ready for the program so that we can work on the songs that they are still struggling with.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lift Up Your Voice and Sing

Today I taught a fun song. I spend so much time on program songs it was nice to teach something fun to sing. I told the kids I had a surprise for them if they sang well. This is a really catchy songs and I only used the pictures for about the first four times they sang it. Once they had it down I pulled out my surprise, a song in a bag - see the next post. After Popcorn Popping I used one of the arms that I had made and we sang this song some more by hiding the arm and having a child find it by singing louder when they are close and softer when they are far from it. One child leaves the room and another hides it. One boy pulled his arm into his shirt and stuffed this arm up into it. What a fun singing time. They sang the last three "Lift up your voices" each louder than the last so it was a really great song for a Summer day. We did this about four times so that we ended up singing the song about 20 times, a great way to learn a song is by repetition.
After this I started calming them down with Book of Mormon Stories, I love to See the Temple and Love is Spoken Here. By the time we got to the last song the spirit was back and the room was quiet.

A Song in a Bag

Nat asked if I ever used props for songs that the kids know, or just when I teach new songs. I got the props together for Popcorn Popping, a song they already know really well so they weren't expecting what I did. It was a big hit! In fact, there was applause, that's never happened before. One of the teachers told my husband I was "the Master". Anyway, doing it at home wasn't nearly as exciting as watching the kids faces while I did this. This was their big reward for learning a song today - I taught "Lift Up Your Voice and Sing".

Friday, July 17, 2009

Little Pioneer Children hunting chips for fuel

Thanks to my fabulous brother Nat, and his clever ideas, i'm making Buffalo chips for singing time. Not real chips of course but something the kids can actually gather. The chips appear in the Little Pioneer Children song and I love to explain to the kids what chips are and how they were used. Finding real ones would be impossibly difficult (and a little gross) so my brother invented a recipe.

Making Buffalo Chips
Make a recipe of salt dough. I then poured it into a big bowl. I added very dried weeds that I had torn into pieces. I also added a few cups of coffee grounds that were donated by Starbucks (apparently all you have to do is ask and you get them free! although they didn't seem super excited that I was using it to make "poo" if I ever go in again i'll just say it's for the garden).

I also added some lentiles and oatmeal and mixed them up. It looks pretty bad in the picture, and smelled like the dried dill and coffee grounds and salt, not very appealing.
I sort of shaped them into nuggets and placed them in the backyard. I figured the sun would pull all the moisture out of them by early afternoon, Nat baked his in the oven.
This is how they looked after a few hours of desert sun (it's about 113 degrees today).
I am going to have the children gather the chips as we sing. I have this great apron that my mom made when I was a little girl and I often pull it out in July for pioneer occasions. It is a small apron that converts to a bonnet using only two buttons. It's perfect to put on the bonnet, talk about pioneers and collecting chips and berries, then take it off, tie the apron on and I have the perfect place to put the chips as the children gather them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Guess the Song

This week I wanted the kids to guess the song. I made up pictures for the Jr. primary that they could use to guess the song. I backed the pictures with cardstock so the kids couldn't see through to the next picture since they were in a stack. Some were easier than others but it was still really fun. They loved that the Book of Mormon was for Scripture Power and we sang it twice. It worked out perfectly with Sharing time because that was about scripture study, so we sang it again before dismissing for class.

For the Sr. primary I made clues for each song. Things like the scripture reference, who wrote the words/music for the song, and clues about the content or principles. They were a lot more challenging but I was pleased to find that they enjoyed the challenge.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's July! Time for fun songs!

Okay, I know i'm a little behind. It's been a holiday weekend and even though we didn't go anywhere I have no idea how the time passed so quickly and how so many dishes ended up in the yard. Somehow though, I managed to find the time last week to get the next three months scheduled.
I don't teach songs for the program in the summer, we are in year round school and the kids are in and out all summer long and I just feel like summer is the time for review. Each song for the program is now scheduled to be sung twice a month. This way it stays in their minds and we still have time to sing lots of fun songs during the summer. I have mostly incorporated them into opening and closing songs, but also reverent songs.
The kids had a blast singing the Patriotic Songs again this week and I let them take their booklets home. They asked to sing "It's a Grand Old Flag" three times! I love to sing it so it was wonderful! We also raced Brother C. at Popcorn Popping - he beat me again. Honestly, I just don't know anyone with fingers faster than his.
We had two kids who are moving this week (it's always devastating and I love them dearly) and the President said that we were going to sing a goodbye song to them. I looked at her blankly. Goodbye song? Okay, I do hello, welcome, birthday, baptism, etc., but goodbye? What's a goodbye song I asked? Apparently, it's when you let the child choose their favorite song. I can do that. They chose the Snowman song - naturally because it's July. So what is a goodbye song? Because I still have no idea what I would have picked. Maybe Onward Christian Soldiers? Maybe Nephi's Courage? Home? Sing Your Way Home? Help!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Patriotic Songs

It's almost the 4th of July (almost refers to the fact that there is only one Sunday left before the 4th). I like to sing patriotic songs with the kids. This year I made 30 little quarter page books with songs out of the primary book, the Hymn book and also two personal favorites "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "I Love my Land". There are seven songs, which is about perfect for Senior primary, we'll have time to sing all of them. I also have a few dozen flags that they can wave, although I mostly use these for Jr. Primary. With the younger kids we'll probably only do one or possibly two songs, we'll wave flags and sing "My Flag".
I thought about putting the words to the songs on posters but I do that a lot and the idea of little books just seemed so different. At Christmastime I had them singing out of the Hymn book so I know they can do it, and it's nice not to do the same thing every time.

Recently I have not been able to find the original file, so I have remade the books.  This time they are half-page.  When you are putting them together remember to put the Star Spangled Banner in the center of the book.  It is the only song which takes two sides.  I am trying something new here, a google doc, so hopefully you should be able to access it and print it out.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's Fathers Day! It's Fathers Day!

Today I asked Brother Gibson to come in to singing time to help out. Although his wife had him in a fabulous shirt and tie, I had him put on a dollar tie from the D.I. We went through I'll Seek the Lord Early and they sang it, but not really great. So he held up his hand and kind of showed how they sang it about so good, about an inch. They didn't know I was going to cut the tie, so they were surprised when I whipped out the scissors and snipped off the end of the tie. His daughter looked a little upset, so maybe next time I should give some kind of warning. Still the primary kids got the hang of what I was doing and they sang their hearts out. After each song he would show how much he thought it was worth based on how well they sang until we had that tie cut off just below the knot. Then we sent him off to Sunday School with plenty of giggles from the kids. He was kind enough to come back for Sr. Primary with another tie and we did it all over again.

Shannon suggested next year we tell the kids that it's fathers day, and he shouldn't have to wear an ugly tie, so we would sing well so that we can cut that tie off and put on a nice one. Sometimes doing the activity is the best way to learn. So we managed to sing I'll Seek the Lord Early a whole bunch more times today, plus some fathers day songs (by the way they sang like angels in Sacrament Meeting) and then I let them pick fun songs. I shouldn't have been surprised, but about 5 of them asked to sing Book of Mormon Stories while running laps. Not on Sunday. So we did I hope they call me on a mission, Golden Plates, Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam, A Child's Prayer, etc. What a fun Fathers Day, next week: Patriotic songs.

I'll Seek the Lord Early

I taught I'll Seek the Lord Early at the Primary Activity yesterday. I took those Scotch sticky hooks and put them on either side of the room, then I ran a rope across the room about my eye level and hung the pictures from them. It made it really easy to see the visual aids, they weren't wiggling and I could point to them as we went along. The kids picked it up really quickly.
The theme of the activity was Dads. I had fifteen minutes with each group and after we had sung this song a few times, plus some Fathers day songs, I wanted to do some fun activities that we can't do on Sundays. We have two doors in the primary room that lead into the same hall so we did laps jogging and singing Book of Mormon Stories. We sang Follow the Prophet, spinning on "the", and jumping and clapping on "prophet". We did Do as I'm Doing leaping and clapping and moving around. It was a serious workout for me, I did it with all five groups. It was so much fun.