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Sunday, January 4, 2009

First day with my CTR 8 Class

I am a new teacher of CTR 8 class. Sunday was the first day of the new year and teaching these beautiful children. Stacie and I teach 10 children.

I found several good ideas on and thought I would share what I did for my class. I loved an idea from Maria Eckersley / and started the badge system with my class. After sacrament meeting primary stays in the chapel for opening exercises. I gave each of the children a badge and told them how much fun we are going to have this year. The goal is for them to keep their badges for the full 2 hour block. They keep their badges by participating in sharing time and class by keeping our class rules. When I spot them breaking a rule, we will give a quick warning. If they continue, they have to give me their badge. They can earn it back as soon as they show me they can keep the rules again without reminders. At the end of class, the children that still have a badge will receive points for a class party.

Our class rules are: Keep your hands to yourself, If you want to talk, you must raise your hand, we are not monkeys but ladies and gentlemen and I expect them to sit correctly in their chairs. So far, these are the only rules we have talked about.

Link to badges here:  (at the bottom of her post is the link to download the badges)  On the back of the badges are feet (she used stars on hers) I used feet because I already had these stickers and felt it represented us following in Jesus' footsteps by choosing the right. The footsteps have numbers on them to help us manage volunteers as well. When we need someone to hold a picture, answer a question or say a prayer, we simply call out a number. the children flip over their badges and check to see if they're my secret helper.

There was another idea I loved on sugardoodle too from Nanci Jarman: Every week we will post a picture of the Savior on the outside of our classroom door. Before I let the children into the classroom, I ask them to enter one at a time, reverently, and then the LAST in line gets to "invite" the Savior into our classroom to join us. Then we tape the picture up on the wall where the Savior can see us. We hope this will help the children feel special that they got to invite the Savior to be in our class and to help keep reverence and the spirit into our classroom. I also made each child a binder as they attend this special class all year long. I told them it was very important that they learn as much as they can as they prepare to get baptised this year. We would treat this as a class and have a binder to help them remember everything we teach them. The front of the binder - Jesus with children picture - and I will Choose the Right.
The back is a picture out of the new nursery manual showing Jesus being baptised and a girl being baptised. This will help them remember that we are following after Jesus' example to be baptised, like he was.
Inside the manual is what follows: Each month I will add a sheet with the theme of the month, the scripture and song for sharing time. I will also add a picture to the sheet that represents the theme for that month. If we have time in class, we will review these items and sing the song. I am working on getting a CD to give the children with the songs so they can practise them at home. I think it is easier to participate if they know the songs and what the theme is.

Here is a close up - of the theme, scripture and I put the words to the song for "I Lived in Heaven".

Each week will will give them a paper with a description of the lesson to review with parents or to give a family home evening lesson on what they were taught. I include lines at the bottom for them to write their thoughts on the lesson or journal anything important that happened this week. If the child is absent for the week, we will mail them this sheet and a short note on how much we missed them.

The lesson was about choosing the right and honoring their name. I found this great maze (which the children LOVED) off of sugardoodle (I'm pretty sure it originally was in the Friend).
I also included is the CTR Shield to color from the lesson manual. This particular picture was printed off of sugardoodle too - it says on the bottom "I will choose the right". I loved that they made this hand out ready to print off of their site.
It is going to be a fun year and I am very excited about all the great things we will do. I am planning my first party around Valentines Day. I'm going to check out oriental trading for a cute craft to do with the children.
I also told the boys and girls that we really won't have many treats in class, we would have parties instead. One little boy, A.J. said that was OK that he would rather have binders and these fun things instead. It was really cute!


Cherie said...

You are just great! There is no other word for it:)

Tiffany said...

I am a Primary President in Utah and I just want to say that I wish all primary teachers were like you. What you are doing is so very important. Thank-you for your example.

Debbie said...

I just got called to be a primary teacher and I found your blog. You inspire me. Are the kids good about remembering to bring their binders each week? I LOVE the binder idea.

Sondra said...

Debbie, Yes! They bring them every week. They are very good about bringing them - it makes them feel big - plus, they can work on coloring and journaling during sacrament meeting.

This year I have also started a warm fuzzy jar. They can earn three pom poms each week. One for bringing their journal, one for bringing their scriptures and one for writing in their journal.

I need to do a blog on it. They earn the pom poms for their quarterly class party. If they are bad and talk, then I take some pom poms out and put it in my jar - it quiets them up real quick.

Being a teacher, loving the children and making it fun for them is the best. I have been teaching this class for two previous years, and the kids in the older classes still miss me and give me hugs every week. I sure love it!

Debbie said...

Wow, that is really neat. I love the warm and fuzzy jar. How great is that. That has got to be a great feeling to have your older class still love and miss you. I hope I am able to be as great a teacher as you. Thanks a bunch for your awesome blog full of great ideas!

Debbie Sweet said...

I love the journals. I plan on making them for my kids, Did you put all the journal pages and activities in plastic sleeves? I also LOVE the warm fuzzy jar. I think it will help my class with our various reverence issues.

Sondra said...

No I only put the monthly theme and song pages in the sleeves. The journal pages and activities are just 3 hole punched and put in the binder so they can work on them and journal without having to take it out of a sleeve.


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