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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Swan Song

Today was my swan song.  Yes, I was released as primary chorister.  It's been a rough week for me as I have prepared for today, knowing it would be my last day in primary.  I have really loved this calling.  It's been nearly 3 years and I have just learned so much from the children.  They all came up and gave me hugs today and it was hard to not cry...I will miss them a great deal.

I am now Camp Director. I really loath Girls Camp.  OOOPS, did I say that out loud?  Sorry, TMI.  I was also put in as the Additional Relief Society Meeting leader.  Relief Society isn't nearly as fun as primary.  So 2014 will be a year of growth for me.  I am trying not to have a pity party but sadly I feel very sorry for myself today. 

I appreciate all of you who have read my blog and given me nice feedback.  I appreciate all the blogs I have visited and gleaned ideas from.  It is what has made this calling so rewarding.  Your ideas have made me dig deep and come up with new and inventive ways to teach songs and get the kids to really love singing the gospel.

Thank you.  Good luck with the new season of songs.  I hope I get back in the saddle some day but until then, I bid you all adieu.

Love,  Brittany

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Caroling

So I decided to make caroling books for the children this year.  It is hard when you sing these songs only once a year (if that because you never get to them all).  I know the kids are familiar with the tunes but not the lyrics.  So I typed up the Christmas songs in the song book and put them in a little pamphlet book.  We will be using these pamphlet books all month long, so I pass them out at the beginning of singing time and then collect them at the end.  This doesn't really help the kids who can't read but it does allow me to do a lot of fun things with the seniors and in junior primary, the back row can read and the teachers can follow along which might be enough help to do more songs this month than I would typically do.

So along with my books I have created some singing cards.  These cards can be used for several Sundays in a row because they are all different and you won't get to them all in one Sunday.  Just make sure you pull the cards out that you used in the previous weeks so you don't repeat in the following week.  I like to keep it fresh for the kids. 

Note you can put the song title in the card stack more than once, just make sure you present it differently.

Jesus Is Born (to the tune of Follow the Prophet - see older posts under CHRISTMAS lable for lyrics) - clap out rhythm and have the kids guess song - then sing

Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus- Name this tune in 5 words of less.  Have the kids read off the clues one by one 1. waiting 2. prophets 3. Book of Mormon 4. signs 5 overseas  Can they guess the song?

Have A Very Merry Christmas-  Hum this song, without piano, and have the kids guess what it is

Once Within A Lowly Stable -  Looo-Looo this song, without piano, and have kids guess what it is

The Nativity Song-  Using a bag of props that you give to the helper, have him/her pick some out and act out this song and see if they can guess which song it is.  (note:  my helps are like pieces of the nativity, a picture of the new star, or a stable, ect... nothing big)

Picture a Christmas-  Pictionary, with chalk, have the helper draw this song on the chalk board and see if the kids can guess what it is.  Hint, have the kids draw a camera or a picture frame (if they need help)

Away In A Manger-  Pictionary, with chalk, have a helper draw this song on the chalk board and see if the kids can guess what it is.  Hint, draw a manger far away with an arrow pointing towards it(if they need help)

Little Jesus -  Pictionary, with chalk, have the helper draw this song on the chalk board and see if the kdis can guess what it is.  Hint, draw a teeny tiny Jesus (if they need help)

Shepherd's Carol-  AROUND WE GO!  This is a COOL song, have you ever sung it?  Have the kids sing this in a round.

When Joseph Went to Bethlehem -  Name that tune, have the pianist give a few notes.  Have the helper tell the pianist how many notes to give and then the helper can give more notes if the audience isn't getting it.

Christmas Bells -  Clap out the rhythm to the audience, can they guess it?  Then have helper pick other helpers to ring the bells while singing this song

Stars Were Gleaming -  Name this tune, have helper tell the pianist how many notes to give...

Again if you think of other things to do with the songs you can vary the activities on the back of these cards as much as you want, thus songs can be in the pile more than once.  Like you can do Pictionary for one song and also name that tune for that same song, this just allows you to sing these songs more this season.  The goal is to give a variety of activities while singing ALL these songs. I did eliminate a few songs in the Christmas sections because my kids are totally unfamiliar with them and I felt it was not a good fit for my kids but you can include them all if you like.  You can also include the well known Christmas hymns.  How I have been doing this is that we sing the Christmas hymns for opening and closing songs and then the primary Christmas songs during music time.  Perhaps this singing time idea will give you a few weeks of activities and you won't have to continually be preparing every week, which is why I did this, to simplify my December.  I am using it for the next 2 weeks. 

I have loads of other Christmas ideas under my CHRSTMAS label at the bottom of my blog as well for those of you stuck without ideas this holiday.  Also, SUNBEAM SINGING always posts cute, cute things.  Good luk.