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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hinges for Halloween!

I thought it would be fun to teach the song Hinges this week (I actually don't know this one very well) using a paper plate skeleton...kind of bringing in the Halloween theme but not really as you could use this skeleton any time of year to teach the song :).

I made this big guy using brads (found at Wal-Mart in the office section) so it will hinge when you move it.  I made small holes for the brad to fit into using a pencil tip.  I found a pattern HERE and started cutting!

You can print and cut out the words HERE.  Use plasty-tac or masking tape.  You want them to come off easily - and be used again if you do to singing times for Junior and Senior.  I know Junior can't read but it's an easy song and they'll get the hang of it.  I may not even put the words back on for Junior - we'll see!  If I don't, I'll post the words up front for the teachers so they can help me sing (see how I post words HERE).

I'll hang it on the chalkboard using heavy magnets on a few body sections.

To play, I'll pick a child to come up, remove a phrase and put the skeleton in a funny position.  Then we'll sing the song and repeat with a new child until the words are gone.  Once the words are gone, we'll sing it as long as we have new kids to come put it in a new position.

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 2014 Singing Time Schedule

Singing Time Schedule
October 2014

Reverence song:
Scripture song:
Birthday song:  
Welcome song:
Singing Time:

October 12th:
Reverence song:  Home p. 192
Scripture song:  The First Article of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:  Happy, Happy Birthday p. 284
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  *Program songs
Activity: Review primary program in primary room, then color programs (found HERE).

Reverence song:  Family Night p. 195
Scripture song:  The First Article of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:  Happy, Happy Birthday p. 284
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  *Program songs
Activity: Review primary program in chapel.  Hand out reward (cheese crackers and fruit snacks) for "Straight A's" (found HERE) right before Sacrament Meeting.

October 26th:
Reverence song:  Saturday p. 196
Scripture song:  The First Article of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:  Happy, Happy Birthday p. 284
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Songs chosen by the kids
Activity: We'll play Stump the Primary with the older kids (find the activity HERE) and my wiggle worm jar and/or nursery bag with the little ones (found HERE and HERE).

*PROGRAM SONGS: He Sent His Son p. 34, I Will Follow God’s Plan p. 164, I Stand All Amazed, Hymn 193, The Family is of God, 2014 outline, Keep the Commandments p. 146, Family History – I am Doing It p. 94, Baptism p. 100, Seek the Lord Early p. 108

Now on to November for Thanksgiving and Christmas songs!!  Love this time of year in singing time!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Primary Program - Program

Our program is coming along nicely!  We'll be good and ready in a few weeks.  This year the kids are going to be coloring the physical programs.  Each program will be unique and hand drawn by our own sweet kids.  This is what I came up with...

Our ward prints 80 programs and I have about 40 kids so each child will get to color 2.  I have 2 variations...

**If you notice, there is kind of a big space under the words "Families Are Forever."  For my ward, I put the program date, and our ward name below that but I left it blank here so anyone can use it.  If you want to fill it in, do a literal "cut and paste" job by typing up your own date and ward name then taping it in the space provided.  I used the font Cambria, size 14 and centered it.  Sorry, I don't create these using Word and can't share an editable document.

The program that has the black & white picture of the family I'll definitely give to the youngest primary kids who will most likely scribble.  The other kids, I'll let them choose what they want.  Some may want to draw in a picture of their family in the blank square, the others may want to color the picture - they will get to do 2 so maybe they'll do one of each.  Then they can all sign their names.

We will be coloring these on one of the Sundays we are practicing for the program.  We have 2 weeks dedicated just to running through the program - one week in the primary room for the full 2 hours and the other in the chapel for the full 2 hours.  I plan on coloring these the week we are in the primary room.  We always have extra time to fill that week and it will give the kids a nice break from all the reviewing.

Then inside each program will be one of these:

The congregation will be able to leave their comments about our program.  I'll use these the following week after the program and read the answers (we have Sacrament Meeting last).  Maybe we'll sing the most favorite songs listed - or not - we may be tired of them.  I may just do some fun wiggle songs from my wiggle jar (found HERE).

Find all my documents HERE.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Primary Program Report Card

Here's the activity we'll be completing until our program on October 19th...

Primary Program Report Card...

You can access my documents HERE.  I created the 2 main pages for Jr. and Sr. primaries.  If you only have one primary, only print one of the pages.  I printed everything on white card stock and then glued the "Report Card" pages onto a manilla file folder (super easy for storing!).

The song tags are glued on to clothespins...

If you have Jr. and Sr. primaries, you'll need to print 2 sets of this page...
Just make sure when you glue on the clothespins, you glue one set on the right side of the tag and the other set on the left so they aren't upside down!

If you have different songs than I have, there are some blank ones...

The goal is simple: get all the songs pinned in the "A" section by program time.  I have five weeks of actual singing times so we'll be working on roughly 2 songs per week.

Before Primary, I'll hang the manilla folder on our pin board (some super strong magnets or an easel could probably hold it as well) and I'll have all the pins across the bottom.

I'm going to recruit a Primary Presidency member or a teacher and they will grade us as we sing each song.  I created a grading sheet to help them (found HERE).  Using it just takes some of the guess work in giving a grade.  They can sit and observe, make notes and give a final grade.  I'm thinking I'll have them give our final grade at the very end of singing time - give us a little suspense!  I printed off 5 pages so a different grader can use one each week and write notes in the space provided if they want.

Before we begin, I'll discuss the various criteria for each letter grade.  Just for fun, I may have the kids show me what an "F" sounds like!  Then, have them try to show me  their "A" quality singing.  We may have to stop places, work out kinks, learn the words better (post the words then put them away), practice standing and sitting together, use more dynamics, etc.  It's a simple approach because I've found if we have too much going on, the kids tend to focus more on the activity than their singing (okay, and I'm kind of excited to use the same lesson plan for 5 weeks!!)

The week of the program, I'll bring a treat IF (I'll be generous, ha!) all the songs are "A's!"  As for a treat, I'm sure it will be a something-or-other from Costco!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

September 2014 Singing Time Schedule

We'll be practicing for our upcoming program (scheduled for October 19th) from now until then!  My singing time activity will be the same until the program.  It will be something similar to my previous activities HERE or HERE.  More to come!!

Singing Time Schedule
September 2014

September 7th:
Reverence song:  Thanks to Our Father p. 20
Scripture song:  The Books in the Book of Mormon p. 119
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  *Program songs

September 14th:
Reverence song:  The 13th Article of Faith p. 132
Scripture song:  The Books in the Book of Mormon p. 119
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  *Program songs

Reverence song:
Scripture song:
Birthday song:  
Welcome song:
Singing Time:

September 28th:
Reverence song:  I Want to Live the Gospel p. 148
Scripture song:  The Books in the Book of Mormon p. 119
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  *Program songs

He Sent His Son p. 34
I Will Follow God’s Plan p. 164
I Stand All Amazed, Hymn 193
The Family is of God, 2014 outline
Keep the Commandments p. 146
Family History – I am Doing It p. 94
Baptism p. 100, Seek the Lord Early p. 108

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lip Sync Review

A few months ago, Jennifer on LDS Primary Chorister's Facebook Page posted an activity that she came up with:

"...Printed pictures on card stock, cut out the mouths. Put them on the chalkboard backwards so the picture could not be seen. Child picks one, there was a corresponding song to go with the picture. Child got to sing the song with their lips thru the picture... Super easy prep!"

I LOVED the idea, as did 538+ choristers out there!  My only issue with it was the artwork.  Such a great idea needed great artwork!  So I mustered up the nerve to ask Erin over at OCD Primary Chorister to see if she'd illustrate the activity!  And being as FABULOUS as she is, she did it, and even added another fun activity to go along with it.

So, with that said, here's my take on the Lip Sync activity!  I will be using it to review our primary program songs...

Print the 9 documents found HERE on OCD Primary Chorister's page on card stock (I also wrote the name of the scripture hero on the bottom) and laminate (you'll probably want to laminate this one so you can wipe it off, just in case!!).  Cut out the mouths (I used an X-acto knife).

To play, place up to 9 of the characters on the floor in the front of the primary room, facing downward.  Call up the same amount of kids to come grab a picture and place it over their face.  Their goal is to make their character sing the very best that they can.

All the primary kids (including the ones seated) will sing the first verse of the first song (I'll probably work January - August in order).  After each verse, we'll try to quickly discuss how certain characters sang well:

"Look how Joseph knew the words!"
"Mary sang out so beautifully!"
"Noah was never louder than lovely!"
"Esther was so reverent!" 
And so on.

When finished, the kids will put their papers back on the floor face down.  I will switch up the order so they can't pick certain characters.  Then I'll call up 9 more kids and we'll repeat with the 2nd verse/song, talk about how well they sang, and keep rotating.  I'm hoping lots of kids will get lots of turns to lip sync with various characters.  With this week being a 5th Sunday, this could easily take up the whole time!!

I had to try them out with a few of my own kids (oh, what fun!!)...

Again, a huge thank you to Jennifer and Erin!!

Starting next week I'll begin a program-ready activity that will take us until the program to complete.  More to come!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Primary Birthday Party

Primary is celebrating its 136 birthday August 25th so I thought it would only be appropriate to wish it a happy birthday this Sunday in singing time!  We have PLENTY of time before our primary program (scheduled for October 19th) so I'm glad to take a break!!

Our primary sings We Welcome You to all the visitors and we LOVE it.  However, we only sing the first half of the song and don't know the 2nd portion.  So this Sunday we'll sing the first half using NEW "birthday" words and then learn the 2nd half by having each phrase placed in balloons that the kids will get to pop.  Along with the song phrases are 3 paragraphs that tell a little bit more about our Primary's history that will also go into the balloons.  I found the information HERE if you are interested.

Now for the party the prep!:

Decorate the chalkboard (I'll be using our push-pin board with pins instead of the chalkboard just because it will be easier to hang balloons)...
(Print my document HERE on card stock and place in a sheet protector.)

(Download and print this picture found HERE on card stock and place in a sheet protector - it's a little small but oh well)

(Print these words HERE and place in a sheet protector.)

Then You'll need at least 14 small balloons (28 if you have Jr. and Sr. like I do!) that will each need to be filled with a slip of paper (found HERE).  Number each balloon using a sharpie marker to match the number on the slip of paper inside (example: a balloon containing #1 slip of paper should have "1" written on it with a marker  - just so you know what order to pop the balloons).  TIP:  to carry them to church, place them in a large garbage bag(s), keeping Jr. and Sr. balloons separate!

Hang the filled & numbered balloons all around the 3 pictures posted above using tape or push-pins.  I also have some crepe paper that I'll decorate the very edge of the board but totally optional.

Then make a balloon popper using some sort of stick or dowel with a pin taped to the tip.  I think the kids will be more comfortable popping balloons with the stick.

For the party!:

Tell the kids that the Primary's birthday is August 25th, 1878.  Sr. Primary can figure out how old that makes it (136 years old).  Sing Happy Birthday to the Primary by using the "birthday" words for We Welcome You posted on the board.  Tell the kids that there is more to this song and it's all about the the purpose of primary.  To find out more about Primary, you will need helpers to come pop the balloons (in numerical order).

Have kids come pop a balloon, read the slip, sing or read the phrase that comes out.  Continue until all the balloons are popped, the phrases have all been sung and the paragraphs all read.

UPDATE:  There was some discussion about balloons being irreverent, distractive and maybe scaring the kids by the loud popping.  Today, after the activity (at least for our primary), none of the above mention happened.  I was able to maintain reverence and not have any crying, kids!  I did, however, make sure that when I blew up the balloons that they weren't filled to capacity.  It made them a little harder to pop but when they did pop, it was a lot softer.  Hope that helps!!