As we get into the school year, I will be giving more lesson ideas with the New Testament and scripture mastery game ideas…things like that. But this week, I felt like I needed to give out some basics to help make your calling a little easier. Things like: collecting Student Information, Attendance, and Reimbursements.
During the First week of seminary, you should have your students fill out the Student Information Sheet (click on image). Once this is filled out give the information to your coordinator or his support specialist. This is so your class information can be put on C-STAR or WISE. Then you will be able to have your class made and access that information. You also need to do this so that attendance can later be entered for the month. So don’t forget to do this.
Keeping track of absences, tardies, and personal scripture study (as the Brethren have asked us to do) can be very challenging. Teachers have found that this weekly attendance sheet can do the trick of all of those things quite easily.
The best way I have seen this used is that the teacher will have this form by the door where all of the students come in. Then the students just write down what time they got there (have a clock near the sign in place). I like this better than having a secretary or the teacher mark it because it helps the kids realize what time they are actually getting there. In the students mind, they might be thinking “I’m not too terribly late” but when they are marking down 6:11 (when seminary started at 6:00 am) then they will realize better how late they really are. I have found kids are surprisingly honest with this. And for the few who are not, it is so easy to catch and call them on it. It also makes things easier on you. You just have to put the paper out each morning. Notice that in the grey area, they mark if they read the scriptures and there is a place to also put it if they read on the weekend.
I am sending this as a Word document (instead of a PDF) so can insert your kids names once, save it, and then just print a copy each week. At the end of the month, you can just take those few weeks’ papers, and enter your attendance in.
Travel Reimbursement can be a PAIN. Here (click on the image) is a new form that will make it easier (really). They best part of it is that once you have put in how many miles you usual commute, then after that, you only have to check the boxes of the days you did that, and it calculates all the rest for you (Ahhh, much easier). Click Here for some more instructions that my support specialist put together. You can also do it manually if you prefer. CLICK HERE for the PDF of that form.
Here’s a tip - with reimbursements, have an envelope set aside to put all seminary related receipts. This will help you stay organized so that at the end of the semester, you aren’t confused or looking for receipts. Your Coordinator will let you know what can be reimbursed or not.
One last thing, I made a mistake on the scripture mastery helps for Matthew 6:24. I have that fixed now. See: http://www.johnbushman.com/4/post/2012/08/scripture-mastery-weekly-handout.html And http://www.johnbushman.com/4/post/2012/07/5-day-a-week-scripture-mastery.html .
At the beginning of each new school year, I try to do a lesson that helps the class get a vision how their seminary class can be powerful this year. Here is the general lesson plan for that lesson and click on the picture here to download 3 graphics that go with this lesson.
I start out by asking the class who’s class this is. Answers may be “Your class” or “Our class” but help lead then to see that it is the Lord’s class and He described in the scriptures how he wants his class to go. Then I ask them what is the first thing that happens after the Welcome, and then the next. That makes the outline on the board of:
-THOUGHT & LESSON
Then next to those items on the board we dive into the scriptures where the Lord has outline how he wants each one of those to go.
-SONG -D&C 25:12 -Look for how we should sing in seminary.
o What is the difference between a “song” and a “song of the heart”?
o What is the blessing we will get upon our heads?
-PRAYER –D&C 42:14 -Look for the role of the Spirit.
o What are the common things we should pray for in our prayers in Seminary? (list)
o What is the difference between a “prayer” and a “prayer of faith”? (Actions back up what you are praying for”) How can our actions back up those specific things on the list?
o The next part of the verse bringo up the only rule I have in seminary. So I ask them:
o What do we have to have to teach?
o What if it isn’t there?
o What does this mean the one rule in seminary should be? (See handout).
o Then I show how everything can be answered by this one rule.
THOUGHT & LESSON–D&C 88:122 -Look for things we should do as a class.
o What are some things we should be doing? How?
o When “Listening” comes up, show the Chinese graphic (See handout) and show how the wise Chinese put many elements into this one word. Point out each element individually and ask why that element was included. It hopefully will teach how to listen to each other effectively, one at a time, and edify each other.
o Go through verses 123-124 also and have them look for how those things would bless the seminary class. With this I like to share the graphic how “Seminary is a Safe Place” and how we should not feel threatened to share our thoughts with the rest of the class.
I also like to share Matthew 18:20 and ask, “What does it mean to ‘gather in his name’? Then I challenge them to live the principles we learned to make this an incredible seminary class this year.
The last page is a cell phone policy that many have adopted. Use if you like.
Hope this helped.
Here are a few great resources that I have found very useful so I wanted to pass them on to you. In this post you will find 3 different reading chart book marks you can pick from, the link to the Sons of Ammon Scripture Mastery music, where to get the big 18” by 24” Scripture Mastery posters, and the reward pins & necklaces. I have no connection to any of the follow products or people who produce these items. But I did want to pass them along to you in case they would help you in your teaching:
Many students like to have something they can mark off as they progress with their reading through the New Testament. When you challenge them to read the whole New Testament, give them one of these book marks. The Three Wise Men is nice to use as you teach about them in Matthew 1. The Reading with Pacing one is not small enough to be a bookmark, but I love that it has the student marks the days they read, and it keeps pace with the lessons. I would love for someone to make this into a bookmark size. If you know of one, please send it on to me.
· Three Wise Men
· Reading with Pacing
Here is the “Sons of Ammon” group that for FREE created and produced songs that go with every New Testament scripture mastery verse. It can really help your students memorize. The link is: http://lds.about.com/od/seminary/a/scripture_songs_5.htm or Click Here. Some teachers just have the music playing as students come in and other have the student sing along when they spotlight the new verse that week. It will probably be most useful to make a CD of the songs. If you are not sure how to do this, I guarantee there is a student in your class who would LOVE to do this for you. Just give them the link and they will do it for you. Here is a scripture mastery musical chairs game that uses this music.
Musical Chairs -October 2010
The idea is pretty simple. Have one less chair than students in a circle. When you give the clue, they walk around the chairs while chasing to the place in their scriptures. When they have found it, they can sit down. The student who is last to find it and sit down won’t have a chair so they are out. Then you take out another chair after each round. Fun.
Another variation is to get the Sons of Ammon CD that we made for you and randomly pick SM songs. They can chase as they recognize the verse. So the faster they become familiar with all 25, the faster they can chase. For this reason, this variation of the game might work better for later in the year. Let me know if this is confusing and you need some clarification.
Carr Printing Co. makes great 18” by 24 inch scripture mastery posters that you can hang up as you spotlight that scripture for the week. It costs about $20 for the set of all 25 posters. Some share with other teachers in the building to reduce the cost. This can also be reimbursed from your teacher supplies budget. Click on the picture to go to their site.
Latter-day Editions is a company that makes tie-pens and necklaces that can be used as part of a program to be recognized for “Lettering” program or great accomplishments in seminary. They are about $1.50 per pin or necklace. We use them as part of the “President’s Award” with my stakes. Click on the picture to see their site.
Again, I have no connection to those who have products here. I’ve just been asked where to get these this often enough, that it is easier to post here.