Sunday, January 22, 2012

ctr 7

Last year I taught one of the two Sunbeams classes in my ward. In the new year they moved me from the youngest class in Junior Primary to CTR 7, the youngest class in Senior Primary. When I first heard about the switch I have to say I was a little relieved. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED my 3 year olds. But, as anyone who has had to keep seven 3 year olds quiet, in their seats, and paying attention for 2 straight hours will know, it can be an exhausting job.

The 7 year olds, however, present their own unique challenges. You'd think that since I work at an after school program at an elementary school I would have a better idea of children's attention spans and maturity levels, but apparently not so. The girls in the class are quiet, respectful, sit in their chairs, raise their hands, and follow directions. The boys, while old enough to know that they are expected to sit in their chairs and pay attention sometimes seem to just forget. I'm working on it. Bribing with fruit snacks seems to help.

With the Sunbeams I made them little drawing books to draw in after the lessons every week (their attention spans were so short that we often had between 15 and 20 minutes of free time at the end of every class so I would let them draw in their books or on the chalkboard to pass the time). With my 7 year olds I figured that we could try something a little more sophisticated, so I'm having them write in what I've dubbed "Testimony Journals." The idea is that there is a designated page for them to write what they've learned in class at the end of each lesson. It's been a little slow going (bringing in stickers for them to use for their names on the cover took a lot longer than expected) but I feel like it'll take off soon enough.

Their favorite part? When I took pictures of them with my Polaroid camera to put on the cover and they got to see the pictures develop. It was a first-time experience for them all and it was pretty fun to see how excited they got about it. I had one of the kids take my picture so I can make a journal too. Kinda fun. Here are some photos (some edited to protect the identity of the chillins):
All our journals together (not all the kids have made one yet).
My example title page opposite the Table of Contents.
So we'll see how this experiment goes. It might end up taking up too much time in class so I might give up and just let them take them home and do with them what they will. But I hope they work out. I think it'll be cool for them to take home at the end of the year, full of primary goodness. But we'll see.


Autumn said...

This is such a good idea, how cute! :)

heidi said...

I really like that they can review something each week that they learned as they write or draw and then review it again when they read them later to their parents. In essence teaching the lesson (or concept) to their parents. This sounds like a really effective way to have the children learn through repetition without being repetative. Good luck I hope it turns out successfully.