Romans 1-5

After the results of the Basic Doctrines Assessment, I’ve been looking for opportunities to help my students understand some gospel terms better.  The opportunity for covering salvation, justification, and grace has come up in the first part of Romans.  I’ve spent two days covering the first five chapters, and we will spread into a third day to finish talking about these important doctrinal concepts. I am using a handout called Understanding Justification, Sanctification, and Grace to help my students understand these topics.  The handout includes a lengthy quote from Elder Christofferson and a shorter one from Bruce R McConkie to help students understand the topics.  I am using Jigsaw to reinforce.  In this case, I am having students read the handout…

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Acts 21-28

This was a short week due to the President’s day holiday, but we were able to do 8 chapters.  From now on the material is going to go faster and faster.  So far I don’t think that we are having any problems keeping up on the reading.  I did some averaging last week, and our daily reading is 96%.  That means that on an average day, 15.36 out of 16 students have read the assigned material before class.  I am still in shock.  They are doing so great! Acts 21-22 – Report cards This day I was passing out report cards.  When I can, I like to take a minute to hand each student their report card and talk to…

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Thoughts on the Armor of God

I’ve been collecting some links and other information regarding the Armor of God.  As usual, I start out with a very grandiose idea and whittle it down to something simpler.  At first I had planned to have each student make a full cardboard set of armor.  Cool, yes.  Physical reminder of a powerful lesson, yes.  Doable, yes, with difficulty. Cost, manageable but may not be able to be replicated by later teachers.  Trash factor (will it get tossed immediately after the lesson), high probability due to storage difficulty. Essential to learning, no. So I’m not sure now what I’ll do.  Maybe I’ll let kids make a single item of armor, or we’ll work together to make a set of armor. …

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Results of the Basic Doctrines Assessment

Well — that was interesting.  We took the Basic Doctrines Assessment and I have compiled the data.  I sent a copy of the results to the YW President, YM President, SS President, and bishop for their reference. You gotta know, the BDA is difficult.  Really difficult.  The font is difficult to read, especially when photocopied, and the *answers* are written to deceive.  Many answers are “possible” but you have to choose the “best”.  I’d call this a college-level test.  None of my students got 100% on the first 21 questions (I threw out Section 1b for reasons described below), though I did have one that only missed one question. The most valuable part of the BDA was the self-assessment at…

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Seminary Basic Doctrines Assessment

I didn’t realize there was a form for assessing student understanding of Seminary lessons until I accidentally found it last year on the Seminary and Institutes website.  I suppose that this file is mostly used by full time Seminary teachers, but I am going to try it in my class tomorrow to see where I can direct my lessons so that students understand the gospel better. Some of the questions are poorly worded, but I think the assessment has some value.  For multiple choice questions, the test is suprisingly difficult.  I’m using version A, and it gets easier as the test goes along thankfully.  The first time I took the test, I didn’t get a 100%.  It’s not easy.  There…

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Acts 13-20

Monday of this week was a free day.  I planned to celebrate birthdays with a party and watch movies, but my class president didn’t organize the food, so we ended up just watching Bible Video movies.  Not great.   I don’t like wasting time like that. Acts 13-14 – Paul’s First Mission My lesson objective this day was to talk about why some people accept the gospel while others do not, with an emphasis on personal readiness.  A minor objective was for kids to understand why people can not be justified by obedience to the law. In preparation for this activity I wrote on the board: “Why do some people accept the gospel while others don’t?”  I had the missionaries over,…

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This website just got awesomer

Okay.  That’s a terrible title.  But the site did get awesomer yesterday! For years I’ve been collecting and aggregating feeds of several blogs out there trying to send traffic to them.  Smaller websites have fantastic ideas, but often they don’t get enough traffic to let them know their posts are worthwhile and appreciated.  They sometimes lack the time or expertise to get viewers to come to their sites to see the great ideas they share.  Another major problem with feed aggregation is that LDS blogs come and go.  A primary music leader starts a blog, it’s crazy popular, they are released in a year and a half, called as bulletin board coordinator, and the blog dies with no updates.  There’s…

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Acts of the Apostles 1-12

We started out the book of Acts with some excitement — or something like it.  Some terrible weather rolled in to the area, resulting in changes to the student’s exam and class schedules.  We had to cut out several days of class, but it didn’t hurt our reading schedule too much. January is always like this for us.  I don’t know why we can’t start school three weeks earlier so the kids can have finals before Christmas and avoid the nightmare scheduling that comes in January.  There are two regular holidays, plus the end of winter break, plus a week of half days for exams, and there are invariably snow days…. it’s ridiculous. Anyway.   Back to the Acts. We are…

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10 Things I’ve Learned from Teaching Seminary

While researching Skyped seminary, I found this old post on Early Morning Seminary at Segullah.  I got really tickled.  It’s always a pleasure to hear other people’s experiences in Seminary.  It made me think, after a year and a half teaching Seminary now, what can I say I’ve learned? These kids know more than they’re letting on.  I am constantly surprised at the quality of response that my students give during class.  The level of understanding they have has dazzled me.  It’s a real shame that the Primary mantra of “BE REVERENT” has come to mean that kids sit still and shut up while we pour the gospel over their heads.  These kids have so much to say and so…

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