Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's official: LIFE IS CRAZY

Just wanted to write my late-Saturday-night thought real quick since this is as close to a journal as I've got.

Life is crazy...

So many aspects of life are hard. Most everything in life that is worth doing requires hard work. I'm no busy ant lifting 1,000 times my bodyweight or anything, but I do realize that the things in my own life that are worth my time and energy are very tiring. Exhibit A: my child. Exhibit B: my husband. Exhibit C: my education. Exhibit D: my calling. Exhibit E: my physical fitness. And I can't even remember what comes after E in the alphabet, so I'll stop there.

...but it is worth it.

I've had more ups and downs over the past 3 years than I know what to do with. But guess what? The downs are totally worth the awesome ups. I just need to remember that. I thank my Heavenly Father so much for both my ups and my downs. I pray for forgiveness for not thanking Him enough, but I know He loves me enough to put up with my self-inflicted downs. For instance, if I wasn't staying up until 1:18 am to finish my lesson for the following day, then I might be a little more rested when the time comes to share my lesson. Or not. Who knows?

10.26.08 - Repeat Parakeet and Sudoku

I promise one day I'll post all the pictures I've taken of my lessons. I'm sure of it. Just don't hold your breath.
JUNIOR: We just gotta keep plugging away at really learning the program songs, so we'll hang out with "Pete the Repeat Parakeet" again. I'm pretty sure I have a picture of him several posts ago. The kids loved him and I even had a teacher compliment that one, so I think it's time he came back to say hello. EDIT: INSTEAD OF PARAKEET, I JUST DID AN EASY SUDOKU FOR JR. THEY LOVED IT, BUT WERE CRAZY, SO WE TRIED TO JUST FOCUS ON THE REVERENCE. I WAS WORRIED IT WAS EITHER TOO EASY OR TOO HARD, BUT IT WORKED OUT OKAY.

SENIOR: My dad's a primary teacher (lucky) and his chorister created a giant Sudoku game board. The kids were to figure out the covered numbers. I will probably put all 9 up on the game and we'll try to cruise through as many as possible. If it's a game, then senior is in. They're awesome with a little competition... (shh, don't tell). I'll choose one or two numbers from most of the groups of 9 to a square. Each will match up to a program song. If we sing the song well, we can uncover and move on. If we sing the song poorly, we'll recover and move on. They should love it assuming they're not too crazy. If we're out of hand, we can just continue with the scrambled song titles from last week or just simply sing praises. Whatev.

Just for my own info, here's a list of who's singing what for p-day (i originally put d-day but thought that was a little awkward):

1. young 5-yr-old girls
2. whole primary
3. whole primary

1. whole primary
2. not sure yet
3. whole primary

1. whole primary
2. whole primary

1. whole primary
2. whole primary
3. whole primary

1. duet
2. family? or activity day girls (8+)?
3. whole primary

1. whole primary
2. whole primary
3. congregation with primary

1. whole primary
2. whole I think - ASL?

1. whole primary
2. whole primary

4. whole primary - THE END

10.19.08 Lesson Overview

10.19.08 was backward day. Or crazy mixed-up day. I can't remember what I called it. Basically, we sang the program songs in the backward order.

In junior for our wiggle song(s), we sang "Head Shoulders" backwards and "Roll Your Hands" as backwards as can be. If that doesn't make sense, then I'm sorry. It was a silly singing time, but effective. The kids were rowdy if I remember right, so we had some very reverent music to wind down (I am a Child of God), then we sang that (IAACOG) several times until the rowdiness mellowed a bit. In both junior and senior we worked on IAACOG with a simple cue card I made for each verse. We're singing the 4th verse separately from the other 3 verses, so I want to be sure they know what we sing when.

verse 1: envelope with "sent" written on it
verse 2: the letters "GR" with an "8" next to them (get it, gr8=great? i was tired)
verse 3: dollar bill with "blessings" (yeah, I know that's a poor way to symbolize "rich blessings", but I'm exhausted with these program songs)
verse 4: a gold crown with "promises" written under it

The only variation in senior primary was that I had all the song titles scrambled up and I gave a chosen reverent helper to try to unscramble and figure out which song was last/second to last/etc. They LOVED unscrambling the song titles. And they sang super well today, too.

We had good singers, so I guess I can't ask for more!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10.12.08 Singing 10K Race

Boy, was that break for conference nice or what? I got to enjoy talks without thinking, "Oh snap, did I remember to pack the broom for the junior primary singing time activity?" or "I don't remember filling up the sippy cup, the baby's not going to like that," or "Wait, will senior primary really respond well to my puzzle activity or should I change it to the backup straw activity?"

And now, we're back to real life. This lesson was great in theory. Senior responded okay, junior didn't totally understand I think (but got a kick out of counting 10 "k"'s all over the room). The biggest problem was that half the primary was out of town. But oh well, it was still fun.

I told the kids that I was running a 10k race next month (then quickly changed my terminology to "finishing" rather than "running"). To finish, I had to work hard and train a little bit every day so I could do well. Similarly, they've been training for 10 months for our primary program. Around the room I had 10 K's, each with a program song written on them in the order we'll sing them in the program.

To keep our place in the activity, I made a giant shoe connected to a sock-covered broom (I actually used some old school pink leg warmers - it was awesome). Half way through JR, I told them I was tired and needed a drink, so I had one helper choose a number off my water bottle. We sang the wiggle song that was found at that number. It was a nice little "water break" in our race. We ran a 5k in junior and an 8k in senior. It was fun. Neither made their way to the 10th "K", which had a finish line that we wanted to cross, but it was still fun.

Senior really knows all the songs very well, but there aren't very many in senior primary. Our bulk is in junior. Junior knows all the first verses to songs, but then they falter a bit after verse 1. I think we'll be fine in the long run (plus when have you ever seen a primary program not go well?), but I'd like to cram some more words into their heads. I gotta keep thinking of ideas to repeat the harder songs. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

9.28.08 Tentative Primary Music Plan

JR: 3:10-3:30

We will borrow from Sugardoodle’s “Dusty songs on a washday” idea that said:

Write the names of songs being reviewed on a different piece of wallpaper (or scrapbook paper or fabric) cut in the shape of little dresses, shirts, shorts, socks, etc. Place these items in a laundry basket. Tie a small rope clothesline at the front of Primary and be sure to include some clothespins for hanging the items on the line. Explain that we've waited so long to practice some of our songs they have become dusty and dingy. We've got a whole batch of songs that we will need to wash up and hang out to dry. Have children take turns selecting an item out of the basket on the clothesline to determine which songs will be practiced.

…But will have just program songs. Each verse will have its own piece of clothing. If a song has one verse, it will be a dress. If it has 4 verses, it will have shirt/shorts/socks/hat or something. One per verse. If we don’t clean the dusty song, then it’ll go back to the hamper! They also choose one clothespin per article of clothing, which has a way to sing on it (like a capella, upd/down, legato, strong/soft, hot/cold, etc.).

When Jesus Christ was Baptized x2 (p. 102)
Home x3 (p. 192)
I Love to See the Temple x2 (p. 95)
We thank Thee O God x1 (H19)
Called to Serve x2 (p. 174)
If the Savior Stood x3 (book)
Tell Me the Stories of Jesus x 3 (p. 57)
I Am a Child of God x4 (p.2)

TO do before primary:
Tape articles of clothing all around the room
Hang up clothesline (one side)
Prep help for 2nd verse of “tell me the stories”

SR: 3:55-4:14

Borrowed from Christy's Clipart:

APPLE BASKET TOSS: Using an apple basket with 5 plastic cups glued to the bottom, the children toss a Ping-Pong ball in hopes it will land in one of the cups. Each cup except for the center cup has a color on the bottom. The center cup is a free choice. When the ball lands in the "red cup", the player selects a "red song". Write songs on different colored pieces of paper, (4 of each). Some days it is very hard to have the ball land in a cup. This is a perfect game to learn a song with. If they miss the cups, we learn another line of the song! The children love this! -Danae Leavitt

Changed this one up a bit, but it's pretty adaptable to any primary. I couldn't find a ping pong ball (weird, I know) so I wrote each verse of each song on a strip of paper and folded them up into those mini footballs. They were just like the ones I used to do with my brothers during general conference when we were "listening" growing up. I would never do that now that I'm an adult, though...