Monday, February 22, 2010

Mormon Monday: Primary Tri-Fold

In our Primary (children’s Sunday school) I teach the 5 year olds, one of whom has autism. But five year olds in general have a hard time sitting still, and this class is no exception. Towards the end of last year my teaching companion and I found ourselves struggling through the lessons. It just wasn't very reverent at all.

We both felt strongly that we could, and should, do better. Our main concerns were:
  •  maintaining reverence in the classroom
  •  keeping their attention
  •  keeping them in their seats, except when appropriate
  • helping each child obtain the goals our Stake Primary Presidency had set forth for them
  • and, most importantly, ensuring that each child feels special and loved 
After praying about what we could do to make their experience in Primary better and help them begin to gain their own testimonies of Christ we came up with this:

The middle section displays this year's Primary theme, I Know My Savior Lives, in combination with my version of the CTR chart suggestion in the lesson manual we are using this year (Primary 2: Choose The Right A). The bottom right displays the class rules we agreed upon as a class.

Each time we catch them being reverent, following class rules, etc. they get a bean put in the jar. If someone is out of their seat or shouts out, etc. a bean is removed. We told our class that if they would "Choose The Right" in class each week, we would have an ice cream party once the jar is filled.

On the back of one panel is a felt board. We use this to display pictures that apply to the lessons. This not only helps keep their attention on the lesson but allows them to be involved in a hands-on manner.

Our class thought it was so funny when my companion told them to, "Sit on your biscuits!" So we made these Sit on Your Biscuits papers for them to place on or underneath their seats.

We now begin and end each class with a song: one is the monthly song we are learning for the program and the other is the corresponding song for the Article of Faith we are working on. The display has pockets to hold flip charts for the songs and charts to track our progress. I also bring in my mp3 player with the music downloaded for these songs (from lds.org) to help us. 

Last year someone would always feel hurt when it wasn’t their turn to say a prayer. Now we just flip over their stick to show them praying once they’ve had a turn. 

The whole thing folds up and fits easily in a bag with my manual and is ready to use every week.

Although a tri-fold board is not very expensive, you needn’t necessarily use one to have similar results. You could use a poster board or even a piece of cardstock and only apply the elements that your class would benefit from.

This idea could also be easily adapted to fit a Young Women’s class, Cub Scout den, etc.

Our entire class has noticed the change. We all feel the Spirit so much stronger and I am amazed by how well this worked (even beyond when it was just ‘something new’!). I hope you find it useful, too!

4 comments:

Misty said...

Hey Kristal - glad to find your blog! What a cute idea this is!

LISA said...

Totally Awesome! Gonna pass it on...

I wish I could draw.

AZSMITHS said...

That is such a great idea! And I think it's great that you are actually doing something about it instead of "dealing" with it!!

flowermom said...

Hey Kristal! how would you adapt this for kids at home?

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