Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Singing and Sharing Time

This past Sunday my chorister was out of town, so I was planning on filling in and doing singing time. The counselor that was going to be doing sharing time was not going to be able to be there Sunday either so I turned it into a combined Thanksgiving lesson that worked out great. 

I came across THIS BLOG from Pinterest and thought it was a great idea. I printed out the turkey pages she made and colored them. I had some balloons that I started to blow up and attach the turkey pieces to but my balloons were so old that they kept POPPING. I hate balloons popping and it was stressing me out!!! To the point that at 9:30 at night, I drove to the dollar store to get fresh balloons. As I was prepping my turkeys, I had the great idea to use a nerf gun to shoot the turkeys rather than use a bean bag. I texted my bishop to see if he was ok with me letting the kids shoot a nerf gun in the building. I wasn't sure if it was considered a weapon. I didn't want his son going home and saying that I let the kids shoot guns in Primary and be released (shortest Primary Presidency ever, ha!). Luckily he was cool with the idea and even offered to bring one to church for me to use!

I had originally planned to follow her idea of writing songs on the back and then have the kids shoot the turkey and sing the song on the back of the one they hit for the singing time portion. I'd planned on doing another activity for sharing time, but Sunday morning while getting ready, I thought of another idea to combine it all. 

Junior Primary
I had 6 balloon turkeys. On the front of each turkey I wrote a way to sing a song: girls only, boys only, hum, fast, slow, and spinning in circles.
I brought my brother's nerf gun (holds 6 bullets), you could use a bean bag too
I printed out pictures to represent different things I am grateful for: family, friends, Jesus, scriptures, temple, my home, food, doctors, animals, electricity, the earth and teachers
I wrote song titles and page numbers on slips of paper. (If I had the idea early enough, I'd have made another turkey out of construction paper and wrote the songs on the feathers for the kids to pick)
I cut printer paper in half, enough so that each child could have half a sheet as well as crayons
Have a blanket, sheet or towel. (Our primary room is often freezing so we always have blankets in there already)

Singing and Sharing Time
I started by showing each picture and saying why I was grateful for each one. After I talked about each one, I put it on the board. 
Then I told them that I would have a helper (my secretary) hold up the blanket and I would take away one of the pictures. They would raise their hands and when called on, tell me what was missing. If they were right, they would get a chance to shoot a turkey.
They stood only a few feet away and I gave them 4+ chances.
I picked a song paper up (looking back I really wish I could have had the kids pick the songs off of turkey feathers but you can't win them all)
Whatever turkey that shot, we would sing the song that way.
It was a blast. Especially singing/acting out head shoulders knees and toes while spinning in circles wearing new 4 inch stilettos :)
We had lots of time and not a ton of kids so we shot turkeys until everyone had a turn.
For the last 5-10 minutes, I told that kids that I had shown them a lot of pictures of things I was grateful for but I wanted to see a picture of what they were grateful for.
We passed out the papers and crayons and each drew a picture that I will be displaying on the wall for a little while.

Senior Primary
I used the same turkeys with the same action words
I used the same nerf gun as well
I changed up some of the songs
I planned on one of my senior boys being my cohost and bringing papers, a timer and the letter dice or letter scrabble tiles to play scattegories but I forgot to text and remind his mom. So I quickly wrote and cut out letters on paper, used a cell phone as a timer and used the back of the pictures I'd printed from JR primary.

Singing and Sharing time
My SR primary is much rowdier than JR so I warned them that we would be playing a really fun game, but if things started to get out of control and they started to get too loud and crazy, we would have to stop. They were very attentive after that!
Since it wasn't a huge group, I had them break off into pairs (we had one group of three). I gave each group a piece of paper and pencil.
We played gratitude scattegories. I picked out a letter at random. They then had one minute to write as many things they could think of that they were greatful for that started with that letter.
Then we went pair by pair reading out their list. Just like in scattegories, if another group had written the same thing, they crossed it out and they wouldn't get a point for it. For everything they wrote that no other group wrote, they got a point. 
The team with the most points won that round and they would get to pick the song and shot the turkey to see how to sing it.
Since they are bigger, I had them stand a lot farther away and only gave them two shots. If they missed, we sang the song normally.
 We were able to get about 5 rounds in and the kids loved it! Some of them had some creative answers. My favorite had to be for the letter P-paradisaical glory! I would have never thought of that in a million years!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Primary President

I always say that I am going to start blogging again, but it only lasts a week or two and then months and months will go by with no posts. We'll see how long I can last this time. :)
Last month, I was called to be the Primary President of our ward. At the age of 25, I feel like I have been in Primary most of my life, 10 years as a child, 5 years as a leader. I've been a primary teacher, secretary, 1st and 2nd counselor. But being Primary President has been a bit of an adjustment.

The Sunday of our Primary Program, the bishop saw me in the hall and asked me if my husband and I could meet with him after church. I was curious what it could be about. It was rumored that the current primary president would be released soon because she had been in the calling for three years. I assumed we would be getting a joint calling after I was released from Primary because of the release of the presidency. Why else would he want to talk to both of us? Right? As we were waiting in the hall with my little brother, Paul, we were joking about what calling it would be. Paul asked what I would do if I was being called to be Primary President. I laughed and said, "I would so not a chance and walk away" Wouldn't you know that's what I was being called as? When Bishop Swan said it, Patrick and I looked at each other and just started laughing. Of course I didn't really say not a chance.

I am nervous and excited and overwhelmed and anxious and just really want to do the best that I can in this new calling. It is certainly the biggest responsibility I have had thus far in the Church, especially since our ward combined with the Atlantic City Spanish branch at the end of the summer. Our primary has almost doubled and the dynamic is very different with the new children. My goals are to 1. get to know all the kids names! 2. Get them to open up, Some of the kids are so shy that they won't say a word. I want them to comfortable and happy with us. 3 Get the kids to intermingle. They sit with their class, but they still seem so separate. The Spanish kids sit together and the English kids sit together. They all speak English so luckily that is not much of a problem. Overall, I just want everyone to feel included and loved in our Primary, including our teachers.

Please join me on this new journey. I will try to post my thoughts, ideas, lessons and activities regarding Primary as well as my personal life here on this blog weekly. Hopefully I will be able to make this a habit and it will last longer than a month :)