Friday, August 24, 2012

Song Review Day!

Sunday is going to be Singing Time Review Day.

In Junior Primary, I want to especially work on our new song, "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus," since I didn't have much time to review it.

In Senior Primary, I want to review songs where I know we have the most trouble remembering the lines of the song.

It's time for Helmet Hero, shared here. I might mix it up by associating a different hat with each song, and letting the child choose a hat - and then lyrics (which they can't see of course), to play the game.

In Junior Primary, time pending, I will do Helmet Hero, except I will send two children out of the room and tell the children the missing lines of the song, since they can't all read yet.

This was a popular activity and it's been close to a year since I did it, so I'm excited to do it again. I might also bring back the Singing Elephant for Junior primary.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Our Primary Colors

I just posted what I am teaching this Sunday, but I decided to add a comment about the song I selected for opening exercises ... because I decided to save it for a new Wiggle song in Junior. We can just sing it with a flip chart in Senior.

Although I remember singing many different songs in primary when I was a child, "Our Primary Colors" is the only one that I vaguely remember learning!

I was looking around today for a pre-made flipchart, since I just didn't want to make my own this time, and I ended up reading this cute idea about the song, from Sugar Doodle, buried in the blog comments section!

#1 Guest 2010-02-12 22:12
I use this as a wiggle song. I hope I can explain how we do it. If it is a girls choice she gets to decide if the girls are red or blue. Teachers are always yellow. So if the girls choose red they stand up when you say one and red and when they get to the message of red only the girls stand and sing, the teachers stand when we sing 2 and yellow and stand and sing the yellow message. Then the boys would stand on 3 and blue and stand and sing the blue message. Then everyone stands and sings the last line all together. This is one of the favorites.

So cute!

I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus - Focusing on the Savior

I mentioned earlier that I was waiting until this upcoming Sunday to teach "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus," and that this time, I would like to use the excellent recommendation given in the primary manual, especially since the manual rarely suggests how to teach that month's song. This month's recommendation follows a lot of the music teaching principles I've read about and even learned about in our stake primary chorister training (which hardly anyone attended - it's really a pity because even though I heard a lot of things I was already doing, every tiny small thing I didn't know has been a BIG help in improving how I teach music and the gospel to these children).

I sent people to the PDF online last time but there's a good link that's not in PDF form here:

To what I've taken a screen shot of here:

I realized the link I posted previously had a link that didn't work so if you want to teach the manual-recommended lesson for this song, you can print the images here:

It's nice because the images are offered in black and white AND color so you can print according to your print preferences.

I have been having so much fun with elaborate Olympic activities though that I think I need to go back to some basics and keep it simple this week, especially for a song like this where I really want to focus on the Savior.

I will simply put up various pictures of Christ and depending on time, share a couple of short stories of things that Christ did and how we can be like him. I might liken them to at least one modern-day example in the news. I am tempted to ask children to volunteer their own stories but we have done that twice recently just with the regular sharing time, and frankly, it's kind of stressful because the children ramble and throw out really incoherent stories sometimes. I think it might work better if the child is asked in advance and has time to prepare their thoughts with a parent.

I will delve further into the meaning of this song the following week. I also want to play Helmet Hero again soon (a previous post of mine, taken from a great idea that's made the round on various blogs, and that was very effective for reviewing songs before the program last year).

P.S. I had two blog comments mentioning that they incorporated the American Icon singer, David Archuleta, (who is serving a mission right now) by playing a video of him singing this song. I think that's a great example of a way to tie something current that the kids can identify with to the gospel. You can read the comments from Connie and Michelle about this here.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Singing Time Olympics, Week 3

** I added a new section called, "Another Idea" if you return to this post after Friday afternoon.

Week 3 of our Singing Time Olympics came much too quickly for me, not in terms of preparing a lesson, but I wish I had more time to practice the feedback from the judges with the children. Sigh.

So, for Week 3, I will do the same thing I did for Week 1 - which is to bring back the Olympic judges to have them judge us on our performance.

The great thing is that if you haven't been following my Olympics theme for the last few weeks, you can just do this on this upcoming Sunday! I had fun with this but the "I didn't plan ahead" version of this activity is to grab a few friends to come be judges, have the kids sing the songs you are preparing for the primary program, and have the judges gives scores on well the kids sang each song, and what they need to improve.

Since I did plan ahead though, my version will be to put up all the decorative props I made for the first week of our Olympic games. The difference is that I will place a black box in the middle of the judge's table with a prize hidden inside (the gold medals that I ordered online). I will let the children know that I have something for them but that they need to score some 10s from the judges to see what's inside. Consider it to be a little mystery and motivation for the classroom, and also, something that to change it up from Week 1. Our kids are smart though, so I assume they'll know its medals. Any suggestions for a different way to handle this? I want them to know they are going through a second round of judging for a reason, and to feel excited and motivated, but not bribed.

Another idea:
I decided not to do this for various reason but I'll still share that:
The Idea Door had some great idea on the Olympics, that may have given me the solution for how I want to handle keeping children motivated and making the second round of judging seem especially different from the first. Her idea is about singling out three medalists to sing in the front of the room. I love that idea of how to single them out with the medals, but from there, I would bend it to this activity, which is: I might start handing out medals early, by having the judges each pick a gold medalist (or three, since I don't have any silver and bronze medals) to come up to the front of the room and receive their medal early after each song.  We can have surprise categories for the singled out medals for each song, like, "For this song, the judges picked 'most improved' or 'reverent.' The three surprise medalists are ..." Then, at the end, everyone else gets a medal, too so ultimately, nobody is left out.

(P.S. I really had four weeks of Olympics since I sneaked some of into singing time on July 18, when I invented the game of participating in an Olympic sport while you sing a song, e.g., be an Olympic archer and pretend to shoot an arrow while you sing. I've noticed at least one popular blogger copied this idea so this is a proud moment for me ... although of course, I am sad I wasn't given a credit, especially because I have seen other bloggers crediting her for my idea! I can't tell you how exciting it is for me when someone becomes a follower of this blog or leaves a nice comment. It keeps me blogging!)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus

I am working on reviewing songs for the first two Sundays of this month (see previous post), so I will not be teaching "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus," until Week 3. However, I want to remind Singing Time choristers that the primary manual has some great suggestions this month for how to teach this song, if you want to go ahead and teach it this Sunday.

This takes little advance preparation time, too:

Go to Page 17.