Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Making The Scriptures Part of Our Lives-Visual Aid

Showing a bottle of ibuprofen, I told my students that my Doctor recommended that I take 2-3 pills for my aches and pains. Then I opened the bottle, took out a few pills, and taped them to my jacket. I told them I have been using this medication for a few days and it is not helping. Of course, they noted the obvious and told me that I need to swallow the medication and put it in to my body in order to receive the benefit.
This opened the door for a discussion on the need to open our hearts and make the scriptures part of our lives, living the doctrines and counsel vs just reading or not reading at all.
We also discussed the need to do things differently if what we are doing every day does not seem to work.
Lots of great discussion with this visual.
It was effective and when class was over, I went on my way to the next phase of my day. I dropped my children at school and ran a few errands. It was not until my final stop a the grocery store that the clerk checking out my groceries asked me WHY I have pills taped to my jacket. 
If you are a Seminary teacher, you can relate to this. 

I am sure I provided some staring entertainment for many people while I was out and about.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Gingerbread Houses and Scripture Mastery

I hosted my Seminary class at my house this week for an evening class activity.
Thursday was a late start for public school and only 5-6 of my 27 students would 
have been able to attend class that day. 
By holding a class activity on Wednesday evening, 
everyone could attend and join in the fun!
We made my specialty gingerbread houses- something I have enjoyed sharing 
with hundreds of children and adults over the past 30 years!
Scripture Mastery verse, Helaman 5:12 - building on a strong foundation was reinforced.
 My students enjoyed spending time talking with each other and just 
getting to know each other better in a different setting. 
I got to know each of them better and I hope they felt the same about me.
 Every house was unique and turned out great!

We enjoyed a bonfire, roasting marshmallows, making s'mores, and singing 
Christmas carols. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Scripture Mastery Obstacle Course

I set up an obstacle course for the purpose of reinforcing the key words in 2 Nephi 31:19-20 (this can be used for any Scripture Mastery passage or Article of Faith)
I used the gym, stage, the kitchen, and our classroom.
It was not as complicated as it may sound and it went quickly. We were able to work on more Scripture Mastery and have a short thought from the lesson.
Here is how it worked:

  • While we were still in the classroom, I assigned everyone a partner.
  • Each student was told to bring their journal and something to write with as they went through the obstacle course.
  • I just used what I had at home to come up with each activity. I got some of the ideas from a fellow Seminary teacher, Katie Gurney, and adapted them to fit this activity.
  • At the end of each activity, students were to look inside a brown bag to find the new key word (s) and write them in their journal.
  • After completing the course and collecting all the key words, students were to return to the classroom, determine which Scripture Mastery verse(s) the key words were from, write the passage in their journals, repeat it to their partner, then go to the kitchen for the final key word (prize) "eternal life" which was a pot with gold foil covered chocolate coins.
  • Here are the activities on the obstacle course
  • Wheelbarrow race through the "strait and narrow" way (I put a long table on it's side up against a wall to create a narrow path)
  • Balance a Book of Mormon on your head (Word of Christ)
  • Balance grains of wheat on a spoon while walking to next table, then pour into a can (unshaken faith)
  • Walk to next station without shoes/feet touching the wood floors-I provided paper plates for them to use however best they felt would accomplish this task (wholly on the merits)
  • Lift hand weights on the way to the next station (press forward)
  • Jump rope on the way to the next station (steadfastness)
  • Use flashlights to go up the stairs to the dark stage and find the next clue (brightness of hope) This was good as I had a black paper pinned to the black stage curtains with the words "Brightness of hope" written in gold. It took some searching and effort to find this clue.
  • Write on a small paper heart a kind word or words about someone in the class and glue it in your journal (love of God and all men)
  • Using 2 forks (1 per team member), without piercing the orange, balance it on both forks as you walk to the next station (feasting upon the words of Christ) 
  • Crawl to next station and do 10 push ups when you get there (endure to the end)
  • Instructions at this station: Return to classroom, determine which Scripture Mastery verses contain these key words, write the passage in your journal, repeat out loud to your  partner, go to the kitchen to receive the final key word and ultimate prize (eternal life)
Here are some additional photos

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Scripture Mastery Game

My class needed a little kick-start to re-kindle their enthusiasm for Scripture Mastery.
This game sparked that enthusiasm:

I chose all the Scripture Mastery selections that have only 1 verse ( I left out 1 Nephi 3:7 and 2 Nephi 2:25 because most of them know those two scriptures)
Using the Scripture Mastery cards, I wrote the key word/phrases for each scripture on a word strip.
Place the word strip inside a balloon, blow it up, and tie it.
Before class, I scattered the balloons all over the Cultural Hall (my students meet across the hall and did not see this prior to class)

Each student was instructed to get a partner and depart for the Cultural Hall
Once there, each partnership could choose 1 balloon.
When I said "GO" they were to pop the balloon using these guidelines:

  • No touching the balloon with Hands or Feet
  • Both partners must be touching the balloon
  • Once the balloon pops, they were to open the strip of paper and read the  key word or phrase 
Once they have the key word or phrase, they were to return to the classroom and determine which scripture reference it matched.
Each person was to write the scripture in their journal and then, with their partner, develop techniques to practice and memorize the scripture.
It was amazing to see how quickly they memorized a scripture and could pass it off to me.
When they passed it off, they marked our classroom Scripture Mastery Chart and got a treat from the Scripture Memorization jar.

  • Everyone memorized at least 1 scripture today.
  • For 2 students, it was the first time they memorized a Scripture Mastery verse.
  • About half of the students memorized another scripture once they had gained confidence by memorizing one.
  • And the real BONUS? 3-4 students memorized three scriptures.
Of course, the true BONUS is that these scriptures become part of them and as Elder Richard G Scott teaches, to memorize a scripture is to gain a new friend. These are the best friends a person can have, especially a teenager who is faced with so much temptation.

As a follow up, I will call on each partnership at the beginning of class over the next days and ask them to give tips on how they memorized the scripture and any techniques they find helpful

Having them teach is a very effective way to reinforce the scriptures they are learning.

You may adapt this and put the same scripture clue in each balloon.

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Late Students

Something that sets the tone for the entire Seminary morning is my early arrival. It is something I am committed to and I can count on one hand how many times I have arrived in the parking lot and had students or parents waiting for me. This is such a tender mercy for me as I have struggled with not being a "morning person" for most of my life. My class starts at 6am and my goal is to be there by 5:40am. I know it is the Lord who is making this possible and, most of the time, waking up at 4:45 is easy (not always- but most of the time) It makes such a difference in the spirit when I arrive early and set up details for the lesson without rushing or pushing. As my students arrive, I like everything to be ready and waiting for them-no rushing around on lesson set-up. When the classroom and lesson are ready for the students in advance, it provides me with the opportunity to greet them and let them know I am happy to see them. I like to get a feel for their spirit, tone, mood, etc. Many times I will see one of them and know exactly which part of the lesson I need to spend the most time on.
Most of my students arrive early and are in their seats ready to start at 6am. The students who are on time are rewarded with a treat from the "on-time" jar,  however, there are still a few who push the late arrival limits on a regular basis. My class is so large the room set up has the students facing the entrance doors that any late arrivals is very disruptive. 
I don't like giving attention to this situation, but at the same time, the students who make the effort to arrive on time are affected by the interruption of late arrivals. The spirit leaves and it it difficult to get back on the flow of our lesson when students are trickling in and trying to get settled.
Right now,  when the students arrive excessively late (much after 10 minutes), I send them to the Bishop who is in the building each morning. They get to sit with him and read and discuss scriptures. It has been very effective and the late arrivals stop for a few weeks and then the same students start slipping back to their old habits. The Bishop is very supportive and he makes sure to speak with their parents and discuss how to get their children to Seminary on time.
It is painful for me to send these students to the "Bishops class" because I want them with us, yet it is the right thing to do for our situation.  I am grateful for his support.
Other than the sending them to their Bishop, I am not sure of an effective way to address late students without giving it too much attention.
Ideas? Thoughts?
What has worked or not for your class?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Scattering and Gathering

This was an effective way to teach Scattering and Gathering of Israel:

We went in to the Cultural Hall and I asked them to gather in the center for an important message.
I gave them a few lines from a quote in our lesson ( you can use any message from Prophets and apostles)
then I instructed each student to get as far away as possible from each other and from me without leaving the room/overflow/stage areas . (scatter)
Once they were scattered, I continued with the quote in a low voice. I purposely did not adjust my volume to match the distance of most of my students.
I stopped and asked who could hear me.
Of course very few could hear me.
Some could pick out a few words but no one could tell me what the message was.

Then I asked them to gather back in and I read the quote.
Once they were re-gathered, we discussed their  scattering and gathering  and compared it to the scattering and gathering of Israel and how it is happening right now. They brought up the new buzz words, "hastening" and "hasten the work".
This created some effective discussion and provided a change of pace, something that is difficult to get with my large class size.

The lesson did not call for this, but I used Article of Faith #10.

After class, one of my students said,
"I finally understand scattering and gathering. I will always remember this."

Monday, October 7, 2013


You know you are a Seminary teacher when you are walking through Michael's Arts & Craft store for a completely different purpose and you spot an intricately carved metal pumpkin that would make a great liahona...
Immediately, your mind goes in to high gear trying to turn that pumpkin in to a liahona.
And that is what I did.
That very afternoon.
I bought the pumpkin and used supplies I already had.
My first obstacle was getting this thick metal stem off. Finally it would not budge, hence, I used the styrofoam cone to cover it up. I would have preferred to not use that tall of a cone, but in the end, it was ok.
The Pumpkin before painting and removing the leaves...
 The styrofoam cone covered with newspaper. I know that if I had applied spray paint directly to the cone, it would have disintegrated 
(voice of experience after my son spent days carving a pyramid out of styrofoam 
only to have it dissolve right before his eyes as he sprayed spray paint on it)
 My daughter followed me outside with the camera 
(she is well-trained, glad she thought to snap a few pics of the paint stage)
 More paint layers
 The 2 Spindles
 More ...
 Jewels attached and the liahona is ready to be found outside 
the door of our "tent" aka classroom
 Lots of pictures...
 And More...
And that is a typical afternoon in the life of an early morning Seminary teacher. 
When the day started, 
I was thinking about copying a picture of a liahona rendering from the internet.
By late afternoon, I was painting, gluing, and planning how to have my students
find the liahona outside our "tent" aka classroom door.
If you are a Seminary teacher, you understand.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

General Conference Preparation

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year!
LDS General Conference preparation.
I was in the LDS Conference Center on Saturday evening for the General Relief Society Broadcast and it elevated my already high level of excitement for LDS General Conference.
Now I am back home and the preparation is in high gear.

In recent years, there are so many ideas about LDS General Conference preparation all over blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Too often the ideas are fun, but not necessarily focused on the most important preparations, those of the heart, spirit, and mind. I am the first person to say that I like the fun as long as it is not the main focus.

For LDS General Conference preparation in April 2013, I showed this message from Elder Jeffrey R Holland,
  "An Ensign To The Nations"
I made a copy for each of my students and asked them to follow along as we watched. I encouraged them to underline, mark, highlight, and make notes as they watched and read along. After this, I suggested that they place their highlighted, marked copy of this message in their General Conference packet.  I will be doing the same this week.
As for the fun, I will make "Pull Aparts", something we enjoy on General Conference Weekend.

Please share some of your LDS General Conference preparation ideas.
Happy Teaching.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lehi's Vision Activity

I adapted this activity on one I have used in the past.
Click HERE for details
Today, it was all about avoiding the Large and Spacious Building (aka-the floor)
If you look closely, they are all standing on a paper plate
 When my students entered class, they had a paper plate and a marker at their seat. As we discussed ways to protect ourselves from being  distracted by the world, staying focused on the Tree in Lehi's Vision (God's Love and the Atonement of Jesus Christ), etc.,  I had them write those things on their paper plate. Some of them took it very seriously and wrote specific things like what type of friends they need, who they should/should not date, caution in media choices, etc. Once we were done, we went into the Cultural Hall for this game. I altered it by requiring them to keep their arms linked to the people on both sides of them. This made them work together and support each other on their journey through the mists of darkness and finally to the Tree of Life. At the end, we returned to the classroom and discussed the parallels of this activity to real life, staying close to positive peers, staying on the path, focusing on the end, avoiding the distractions of the world, etc.

Happy Teaching

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Class and a Seminary Miracle

This year, I have 25 students. Many of them attend early morning Seminary against great odds. They travel through unsafe neighborhoods in the dark early mornings and many of their families do not always have dependable, if any, transportation. Last year, some of them walked** and some used public transportation. This year, no one is walking and public transportation has only been utilized a few times.
In spite of obstacles, they make great sacrifices to attend early morning Seminary. The majority of them arrive on time and ready to participate every day. They love the gospel and I love them!

After Seminary, my students depart for 10 different high schools (9 public, 1 private), 1 is home schooled, and 1 has already graduated and will be attending BYU-I in January. Of the 9 public schools they attend, 4 are some of the toughest school environments in our county.

Two thirds of my students are the first generation in their families to be educated in the US and to learn the gospel in English. They all speak, read, write, and memorize in English. In addition to English, 4 of them speak Creole (they are from Haiti) and 19 speak Spanish. Only my daughter and 1 other student have English as their first language.
As I marvel at the strength of these students, I am humbled to be their teacher every day. They are beautiful reminders that Jesus Christ is our common bond and that we are all more alike than we are different when we understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father's plan.
Tomorrow starts week 6 and I feel so much responsibility to nurture and teach these amazing students!
I know Seminary saves lives now and eternally. (read below)

**Last year, as I arrived at the building at 5:40 to teach each morning, one of my students would be sitting on the ground near the entrance door waiting for me. When I would say things like, "Wow, you are early" or "You got an early start" etc. He would respond with things like, "Yes, my ride dropped me off early" etc. It was not long before I realized that he was waking up at 4:30 and WALKING*** to Seminary. He did not live too far away, but the area he had to walk through was not any place to be alone on an early dark morning, let alone a bright sunny day. He had to go through an industrial warehouse section and under the Interstate over pass before he got to an area that was "safe" and close to the chapel. I know angels protected him on his way to Seminary.

Shortly after this discovery, a family in our Ward invited this young man, who is the the only LDS member in his family, to live with them so he could get to Seminary safely and on time. He ended up living with this family until the school year was over. They were instrumental in helping him pass High School, obtain a drivers license, and prepare for a full-time mission. In December, he leaves for a full time mission to Brazil.
He graduated from Seminary, earned the Master Scriptorian and Superior Attendance awards and has continued to be a faithful and dedicated student of the gospel.
Seminary and the loving arms of his ward family saved this young man's life. I am grateful for the view the Lord has given me at this season of his progress.

***Often, I have people offer bikes for some of the youth in our Ward or ask why they don't ride bikes instead of walking. The simple answer is, even if finances would allow for some of these kids to have a bike, it would be stolen or vandalized the moment it was out of their sight-in spite of a lock. This isn't true in any case, but it is a reality for most of them.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Scripture Mastery Ideas-Part 1

"To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship.
It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, 
give inspiration and comfort and a source of motivation for a needed change."
-Elder Richard G Scott-
This quote by Elder Scott is one I use when teaching my students the importance of Scripture Mastery. Last year as an end of year gift, I printed this quote and framed it for each student. I encourage them to recognize the importance of surrounding themselves with the scriptures as friends.

I will call this list, Scripture Mastery tips, Part 1, as I will add to it as the year progresses. 
  • Make sure each student has a set of Scripture Mastery Cards. When my students register for the new year, I give them a set of cards when they return their completed registration form. The cards are hole-punched and held together with a metal book ring, see a photo HERE. Students are encouraged  to carry their set of cards in their pockets, back-packs, etc. and become familiar with all 25 scriptures, one at a time.
  • The first week of class, I introduced all 25 Scripture Mastery selections. On the wall, I have posters with the references, keywords, and picture clues for each scripture. They are posted in order.
  • Each student is encouraged to choose a specific color and method for marking the Scripture Mastery verses that is different that any other marking in their scriptures-something that will catch their attention immediately when they flip through their books. 
  • Students are encouraged to mark all 25 scriptures with the key words written on the same page. This is a personal choice and each student will approach their scripture marking a little bit differently than their peers. Encourage them to do what works best for them.
  • I gave the students 1 week to complete the scripture marking assignment. Those who completed this assignment were rewarded with a treat (a giant cookie)
  • After the first week, we work on 1 scripture per week, going in order.
  • For each scripture, I make a poster with the full verse(s) and a poster with just the first letter of each word.
  • We ALWAYS STAND when we recite Scripture Mastery verses. It gives more attention and emphasis to the verses as well as it gets the students more involved and engaged. The more senses involved and more emphasis given, the better students will learn.
  • If a student can say the verse without looking, I tell them to turn around and face the back wall. As the week progresses a few more students gain enough confidence to turn around and face the back wall.
  • During the week, I plan a reinforcement activity for the scripture of the week, such as the Scripture Scramble Post-It Note activity seen HERE and HERE
  • In a few weeks, I will plan Scripture Mastery activities that include all the verses we have worked on up to this point and add those we have worked on as the year progresses. 
  • In the Parent-Student Back-To School Meeting and during the first week of class, I introduce the qualifications for Master Scriptorian, Scriptorian, and Scripture Scholar Awards. Students are encouraged to memorize the scriptures in a manner that they are comfortable with. I tell them that I want the scriptures to become part of their hearts. More information HERE, HERE or HERE
  • We have a chart for students to put a star or happy face sticker near their name and the verses they memorize. 
  • Each time a student memorizes a scripture, they have the option to choose a treat from a jar of treats that is a little more special than the "on-time" to class treats.
  • Students know that they are welcome to recite scriptures to me any morning before class from 5:45-5:55 or after class or by appointment on Sundays, Tuesday or Wednesday evenings, or they are welcome to stop by my house. I make myself available as best I can. Since my class covers 2 wards, it can get a little busy sometimes.
  • Students who don't think they can memorize gain confidence and make progress as the year goes forward. It is a blessing to watch the "lights turn on" in their minds and hearts.
  • I do all I can to help students taste and feel success. If they struggle with memorization, I help them see that they can earn the Scripture Scholar Award just by participating in the weekly Scripture Mastery class activities.
I have an average of 25 students per day. Even with this large number of students, Scripture Mastery is a priority and the majority of the students have "caught the vision" of Scripture Mastery with only 5 weeks of class behind us.

As the year goes on, I will post additional Scripture Mastery helps.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Teacher to Teacher Question

Someone asked me for my "Seminary Casserole" recipe, which reminded me of a question I would like to ask other teachers. This mostly applies to the early morning teachers, but I would like to hear any input out there.
How often to you serve food in Seminary-not the object lesson type food, but a treat or breakfast-y food?
What types of food do you serve?
Do the parents help?
Do the students take turns bringing a treat?
Does your ward help with budget money to reimburse?

We generally have a treat on Fridays after our activity or game, but I don't like the kids to just expect that we will always play a game and have a treat that day so I have been mixing it up.

Our treats are simple, like donut holes, juice, muffins, granola bars, milk, etc. Sometimes we have milk and cereal when there is a good BOGO sale on cereal. It just depends. Twice a year (Christmas and Graduation) we have a sit down warm breakfast and serve Seminary Casserole (or something similar)

My kids love having a once per week breakfast-type treat. I would just like to hear how it works or not in other areas.
Happy Teaching!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Frankly Forgive

1 Nephi 7
The phrase that touches my heart in this chapter is "frankly forgive"
After Nephi's brothers and some of the sons and daughters of Ishmael tied him up in the wilderness with the intent to leave him for the wild beasts to devour, his faith enabled him to loosen the cords and be set free.
His brothers were still hard hearted, but eventually, they bowed down to him and asked for forgiveness.
Nephi said he did "frankly forgive" them. Meaning he honestly and clearly, with no  strings attached, forgave.
At the beginning of the lesson, I had "Nephi" come to the front and sit in a chair. Then I invited "Lamen", "Lemuel" and the "rebellious daughters and sons of Ishmael" to tie Nephi to the chair (use good judgment if you try this and make sure the "Nephi" you choose is good-natured (mine was) We talked about the natural man reaction to being tied up and left in the wilderness to die vs Nephi using his energy to call on the Lord for a miracle and extending forgiveness.
After this discussion on 1 Nephi 7, I reinforced the principle of forgiveness with this beautiful message by President James E Faust relating the tragedy of the Amish school killings in Pennsylvania and how the Amish community extended pure Christ like forgiveness and love. It is an example of forgiveness that is not often exhibited in the world today.
Because my husband has Amish "roots", I have had the blessing of being around the Amish community up close and personal over the years.
I set up 2 Amish quilts in front of the class today and displayed small painted wood blocks with scenes from the small town of Sugarcreek, Ohio where there is a large Amish population. I explained how the quilts were made by hand and that a true Amish quilt is always made purposely with a flaw that is not easy to detect but the creator knows it is there. (I have never found them in my quilts). This is a reminder that we all have flaws and need to be forgiving of each other.
This set the tone for watching this message from President Faust.
This is a great message to use during the Book of Mormon study this year any time the subject of forgiveness and love is addressed.
Here is a post I wrote a few years back with this same theme
Happy Teaching!
*Amish quilt image from HERE

Friday, September 6, 2013

Seminary Mornings

You know you are an early morning Seminary teacher when you enter the building with the moon still out and when you exit, you are greeted by amazing skies like in the photos below.
Each morning after Seminary, as I am filled with the spirit and my mind is on the tender mercies of God, nature seems more beautiful. I try not to rush too much to the next part of my day or I may miss the beauty around me.

This was from the Church parking lot right after class:
 I saw this rainbow from the main road next to my house.
It was a tender mercy for me that morning.
I love the clouds and sky in South Florida. I love them even more during the Seminary year when I am out early.
Happy Friday to a my fellow teachers!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Student's Role in Learning and Seminary In My Pocket

Using The Proper Tools
The first week of class, we discussed the each student's role as they attend/participate in class, read scriptures, and study the gospel.
The following activity illustrates the importance of using the proper tools of prayer, obedience, an open heart, an open mind, inviting the spirit to our lives,listening to the spirit, an application of the principles taught in the scriptures
When you use the correct tools, you will get the full blessing.
Just having the scriptures (the pudding) is not enough.
We need to open them, pray, invite the spirit, apply the principles, etc.

I asked the class if any one would like to have some pudding. They could even choose...chocolate or vanilla. After the enthusiastic hands went up to volunteer, I chose 3 students to come up front to eat the pudding.
I gave each student a container of pudding that was still sealed tight and told them to go ahead and start eating.
Make sure whatever food item you use is still closed and needs to be opened and eaten with a spoon in order to get it all out of the container.

The obvious was first: They need to open the pudding before they can eat (compare to opening their hearts and minds when they open the scriptures)
Once they were open, I told them to go ahead and eat.
The next observation: They need something to eat with. So I gave them some utensils (tools) that I brought from home and told them to go ahead and eat...

Of course I gave them utensils (tools) that were larger than the opening of the pudding cup and were nearly impossible to eat with.
Next I gave them utensils (tools) that were somewhat smaller but still awkward.
Finally, I gave them a small plastic spoon and they were able to eat all of the pudding.

At the end of the lesson, each student received their first
 *Seminary in My Pocket item for the new year...

Yes, plastic spoons (your local ice cream shop may give you a few of their small sample size spoons if you say please and buy a scoop of ice cream in the process)

*Seminary in My Pocket is back by popular demand. I had almost decided to NOT continue with this but how could I not when most of my students brought their pocket filled with items from last year on the first day of class. They were explaining each item to some of the new students. So, yes, it is back, and yes, it must have been effective.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What Did The Golden Plates Look Like?

This article from the July 2007 New Era is a wonderful resource as an introduction 
to the Book of Mormon study.
Several of my students are very creative and artistic. Based on the descriptions given in the New Era article, I gave my students the challenge to draw, paint, sculpt, build, etc. a replica of the golden plates. Some of them are running with this challenge and it will be exciting to see what they do.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Moroni 10:4-5 Activity

Post-it notes are this teacher's best friend. 
Every word, comma, semi-colon, period, and number is on a separate post-it note. I bought the 3x5 size at the dollar store over the summer so that large words would not be crowded on a square post-it. For smaller words and punctuation, I cut them in half.
I place the Post-it notes with all over the wall in random order and they have to place them in order on the wall next to them.
Two other ideas using this same concept:
1)When I do this again, I will hand each team a Zip-loc bag with the Post-it notes mixed up in random order and placed inside the bag. 
2)I have also done this in "Scavenger Hunt" style where I tell the students that there are 45 (or whatever number there are) Post-it notes hidden around the building. They have to find them and bring them back to the Cultural Hall where they must put them in order to determine what the scripture is and that all the words and punctuation marks are in the correct place. (This works better with shorter scriptures as it can take too long if there are a lot of words to find and put together)

I find it is important that the students work in smaller groups so everyone participates. Because it is the beginning of the year, I allowed them to use their scriptures to put the words in order. No, wait, I required all of them to open their own copy of the scriptures and check their work. No looking over someone else's shoulder or depending on your team mate to do all the work. Once they had their scripture words in order, they rotated to the next group to check their work. Several of the students have memorized this scripture already as we started the year with reading Moroni 10.

Scripture Mastery Wall and Room Set Up

I bought the download for these Scripture Mastery Cards from
Shannon at The Redheaded Hostess. It was worth every penny to have
great color and picture clues to go with the key words.
Above the Scripture Mastery Cards is the Book of Mormon timeline.
In a perfect world,  I would love to leave my classroom set up all the time but this
is the Relief Society Room so everything (except for these cards and the timeline)
is stored in the cabinets. 
Below  is how our room looks each morning as the students enter and exit.
The exception is if they want their journal locked in the cabinet, they place it in
a bin near the door and I lock that bin up each night. When they enter, they retrieve
their journal from the bin rather than having it sit at their seat.
I tell the students that if they leave the room neat and orderly, others will respect
our room during the week and leave it the alone. Generally, this is true.
Our building is used by two wards, but the members and leaders are very 
supportive of Seminary and keeping our room neat and clean.
Below is our white board easel. 
This greets the students each day with a quote, questions, or review facts.
We usually read the quote together and underline key words or phrases.
Tuesday, starts week 3, already! 

Welcome To Seminary 2013

Seminary is in session!
Below is the quote that met my students on the first day of class.
As they arrive each day, they open their journals and copy down the quote and questions I have posted on the easel. Usually the quote is something from our lesson that day, but I thought that this was a great thought as we start the early morning Seminary routine. Each day, I feel like I am getting a better sense as to how to incorporate classroom journals more effectively.  They are taking notes during class discussions and many are taking their journal and note taking very seriously. I expect that several students will fill more than one journal during the year.
 This is how my students were greeted on the first day.
(Scriptorians Trying Out Moroni's Promise)
 Above the drinking water fountain
 On the way to a fabulous year!!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Book of Mormon Testifies of Jesus Christ

We are off to a great Seminary year!
Studying the Book of Mormon-Another Testament of Jesus Christ brings a power to my life like nothing else does. I know the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ and I want my students to know the same for themselves.
I asked my students to guess how many times Jesus Christ is mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
This was an interesting activity for those who like numbers and statistics. It also helps those who need concrete facts in front of them.
I used the following links to answer that question:
Jocelyn Christiansen shared a beautiful message HERE at her blog, BeingLDS and she linked to this wonderful  article by Susan Easton Black, a BYU Professor of Religion.
I am so grateful to be teaching at a time in history where information is readily available. Thank you for sharing, Jocelyn and Sister Black.