Wednesday, February 10, 2010

1st Sunday of the Month- GRRRRRR

I am SERIOUSLY considering starting the new song on a different week than fast Sunday. It is just too hard. Here are the reasons why.....

  1. Fast and Testimony Meetings ALWAYS runs way over. Sure other Sunday's run over too, but Fast Sunday it ALWAYS does. So Jr primary starts late, way late!
  2. Because of baby blessings and visitors we have to help them find there class...., RS bringing in this months announcements..... it takes us longer to get started.
  3. We always have visitors to sing "Welcome" to. 
  4. Since its a new month we sing "Happy Birthday" to all the children who have a birthday this month.
  5. Its a new theme and a new scripture for the month, so they are introduced.
  6. AFTER all this then I get to do "Singing Time" and teach the song. By now I only have maybe 10 left  for ALL of JR primary's time (for Singing and Sharing times). How am I suppose to TEACH in that time, let alone turn the time over for "Sharing Time."
  7. Also after all this, long sacrament meeting, starting late, introducing a scripture- those little 3 yr olds (and we have a ton of them) and all the other little children (oldest we have are 6 and there are very few of them) are done, they don't want to, can't, and will NOT sit still or pay attention. They NEED a wiggle song, they need activity. But I am so frustrated because I don't ever feel like I have any time to do help them with that need.
So not only do I have to plan completely different lessons for JR and SR due to JR's inability to read yet, and because of the learning speed. But I also have to do it because SR has the time on fast Sunday to learn the song, so they always have an extra Sunday of productive time above the JR primary. I am having to do twice as much work preparing a lot of extra lessons. I have spoken to the Primary Presidency a number of times about my concern for the time. I have suggested that we do birthday's another Sunday of the month. We talked about the idea of not doing "Sharing Time" more than just introducing the new theme on the first Sunday. It has been suggested to me to more the room around for JR primary to make it a horseshoe so that I'm closer in proximity to ALL the children than the long room way. I am considering just making the first Sunday review the previous month's song and play a song game, rather than start the new song. Then I would start the new song the next Sunday. I don't know what the solution is, all I know right now is that what we are currently doing is stressing me out.
Problem 2: I need ideas for teaching JR primary. I do actions/ASL with them regularly. I use LOTS of pictures when I'm teaching them. I'm not real good with little children. I am at my best with ages 7-9, but they are all in SR primary.What do you remember from your primary days. What kept your attention? What have you seen that works with very young children (nursery too)? How do you teach a song in nursery? Is there anything better, or as good, out there as good old fashion relation? Please any help ya'll may have. Thanks.


anne said...

First of all...THANK YOU for taking the time and coming up with these amazing ideas for not so creative choristers. :) It makes singing time prep SO much easier.

As for your problems with jr primary...I would say that if reviewing the previous months song on fast Sunday is what is going to work then do it. You have to work with what you got and if the presidency isn't really willing to help then you're going to have to take matters into your own hands. I was having some problems with that in Jan. The presidency was going over with sharing time every week and leaving me with 10 min. :( So we talked and now I have singing time first. :)
Second, After Jan and the first week of Fev I have some to realize that Jr. primary NEEDS and incentive to sing. Whether it's a silly singing hat that the teacher has to wear because that class sang so well, or stickers, they need something. Otherwise I'm singing solos up there.

Hope that helps a little. :)

Kathleen said...

I think you are onto something here! I would just wait a week to start teaching. I hope your presidency is sympathetic!

As far as Jr. Primary goes, you've already discovered the benefits of actions, I would try to add movement to about everything. Eye contact really helps too I think. The little ones often just don't have a vocal singing voice, but they love to be sung to! Just look at them and give them some movement to copy.

Shantommy said...

I actually remember poster boards that had like a string mechanism...You know, like there is a big hill, and a hiker (like on the price is right) and the string that the chorister pulled on the back made the hiker move toward the top of the mountain the better we sang. There were a lot of fun boards like that. My mom also had a fun thing she used to do.She used to get those little googley eyes, the ones that go over your middle finger so that when you open and close your hand its like a puppet. She used to have him come out and sing with the kids...I thought that was a cute idea. I've only been a chorister for one week and it didn't go so well, so I'm in your same boat!

Jenni Taysom said...

I only briefly intro the new song on the first Sunday, enough so the tune starts to be familiar and then I use the second Sunday to really focus on the new song. I had the same problems you described with the first Sunday, and ever since I have switched it has worked out great.

Janelle Dobson said...

Jr help? Movement! Clap your hands, wiggle your hips, march, jump, do the chicken dance, do the macarena, trace an arch in the air to show each phrase- anything- they love any and all kind of movement. Ask them what they would like to do next- you'd be surprised what they can come up with. Another fun game- add on. Have them add and action to each word each time you sing it. The action doesn't have to signify the word at all- they just have to move.

Alicia W said...

One thing I've done is do an echo. Sing and then have them echo you. Do anything with a helper and they'll pay attention. I also have a stuffed animal that if they sing so well, they get to hold until the next great singer is announced. Repetition is also the trick. Good luck. Thanks for posting. I love being chorister, but junior is the most challenging. :)

Nan and Aaron said...

I hear ya. Although, I struggle much more the the Sr primary than with Jr. With the little kids, you can be totally silly, cheezy and corny and they think you are awesome. But Sr. Primary is often "too cool" for my fun ideas. If you don't have time on fast Sunday, I would just wait until the second Sunday. And play a more complicated game with Sr so they don't get too far ahead. Thanks for all your ideas. I use them ALL THE TIME!

Scooterdoodah said...

Same frustration! So... the counselor over us talked with us about trying a new idea. On the first Sunday, the Primary Presy is giving us the ENTIRE time. While at first I wondered about it, I think I may like it because it will give me a chance to include some songs that I would never be able to teach - like Armies of Helaman or Hum Your Favorite Hymn, etc. We just did our first one in February, and I'll keep you posted.

Also... I was doing both Sr and Jr until a couple of months ago, and they brought in another gal for Jr. It has been kind of fun to have someone to brainstorm with. But, I have to admit, I miss some things about Jr. Primary. I'm there, though, because we accompany each other! So I still have the chance to be around the liddle kiddles!

Good luck!!!!

Scooterdoodah said...

P.S. Some of you choristers might want to suggest to your Primary Presy that Sing Time come FIRST - then you always get your time. That is what our ward does, and I'm respectful about their time whereas it doesn't always happen the other way around!!! My understanding is that the General Primary Presy would like more emphasis to go toward music, because that is what most of us remember.

Arizona Girl said...

I just wanted to clarify-- Our Singing Time is 1st right after opening exercises. But on the first Sunday opening exercises takes so much time away from the rest of JR primary that there is not time left for Singing Time, let alone Sharing Time. We don't have this problem in SR. I use to be last and that didn't work. Our Pres changed that to give me more time, is just on the first Sunday it doesn't make much difference.

Richelle said...

I just found your blog, I'm excited to get some good ideas! I've decided with Jr. primary that they need tons of repetition. Of course you can't just stand there and sing the song over and over, so have to find creative ways to do it. I've also decided that even if it doesn't seem like they are learning and singing, they are still internalizing it, and it will come out sometime. :)