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Hooray for Seminary Teachers!

So today I feel better that I have in some time about Seminary. My good friend, Brent, taught Old Testament back in the day, and when he heard that I was teaching asked if he could help. We had arranged for our families to get together last night for a Family Home Evening where we'd do Old Testament things. They made a delicious Meditterranean style dinner, and also invited their ward's current Seminary teacher, my friend DeAnn, and her family over, too.

5 hours and 5 pages of notes later....

I'm overflowing with great ideas! I could hardly sleep! Got up this morning after sending DS off to Mississippi to visit the grandparents and called DeAnn again with some questions. Another hour, and 3 more pages of notes!

Then called my friend Jen (Institute) to see if I could get a copy of the contract she uses with her class as a staring point for something written for our class. She is going to send me some other ideas, too. Another teacher in the Inservice meeting, a friend told me his students call him "The Poff" :), mentioned that he uses a 3 page thing to give to parents and students with rules and expectations. I've asked him to send me that, too, for more ideas.

I've received so much valuable help in the past 24 hours! It makes me sad that we don't have the opportunity to do this kind of discussion at our inservice meetings. I have the luxury of knowing 6-8 Seminary teachers just right here in ours and the neighboring unit very well and can ask them for help. We really should be having some sort of sharing time to share ideas and ask questions like "how, exactly, do you assign topics for devotionals?" "how much time do you devote to scripture mastery?" "how are you splitting the scripture block up for lesson scheduling?"

While reading the green book, I learned that students are not expected to memorize all 25 scripture masteries. Ah. Now the little license plate things make more sense. I'm feeling a lot better about Scripture Mastery, and I think I will adjust my lesson schedule so that I don't spend so many Fridays exclusively on Scripture Mastery. I'm a little concerned with my idea of allowing the students to bring electronic scriptures. I really think these kids can rise to the occasion and use their devices as tools appropriately during class. I will keep thinking on it.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to begin organizing my notes into something that will be of help to other teachers. There is such a dearth of information online. I really believe that at least one of the reasons I was called was to improve the help for Seminary teachers. Plus, it will help me to organize these ideas so that I can begin developing the structure I want in my classes.

I did finish (I think) the Apply poster. It's a bubble diagram that I hope will help my students focus on how to apply the scriptures. It's something like this


- Past
-- Feelings
-- Experiences

- Present
-- Relationships
--- Jesus Christ / God
--- Family
--- Friends
-- Trial
-- Temptation
-- Activities
--- Education
--- Church Service
-- Sprituality
--- Character
--- Testimony

- Future
-- Family
-- Friends
-- Temptation
-- Trial
-- Activity
--- Mission
--- Temple Marriage
--- Church Service
--- Education
--- Career

I'm hoping that this will be a helpful visual aid in my classes to help kids learn that scriptures can be applied to their lives now and in the future, and that it's valuable to remember experiences we've had with gospel principles in the past. Will post it when I'm for sure happy with it.

I may make a small version for them to paste in their notebooks for their morning writing exercise. (Gotta come up with a fun name for that.)

Post Date: July 26, 2011
Author: Jenny Smith
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Jenny Smith
Jenny Smith is a designer who started blogging in 2004 to share lesson and activity ideas with members of her home branch Mississippi. Her collection has grown, and she now single-handedly manages the world's largest collection of free lesson help for LDS teachers with faceted search. Her library includes teaching techniques, object lessons, mini lessons, handouts, visual aids, and doctrinal mastery games categorized by scripture reference and gospel topic. Jenny loves tomatoes, Star Trek, and her family -- not necessarily in that order.
Jenny Smith is a designer, blogger, and tomato enthusiast who lives in Virginia on a 350+ acre farm with her husband and one very grouchy cat.
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