3 Nephi 1-10

3 Nephi 1 This morning I didn’t prepare a lesson.  A family in our ward’s house burned to the ground the afternoon before this lesson, and not everyone survived the fire.  I expected to have to answer some pretty serious questions from students related to the fire, and so I prepared by reading a couple of articles on grief and tragedy; however, it didn’t seem to be as much of an issue.  Frankly, the kids seemed to not want to talk much about it.  I did handle a few questions and we did have a brief discussion, but it was not was I was expecting.  Maybe our family was just hit harder because we know the family well and because…

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CSI Zarahemla Dead Body

Helaman 1-16

 Helaman 1-5 Had to combine this day due to snow. We continued with March Madness.  Kids shared “what did you learn”s with the class from the reading. On the board I wrote the following words: trolling, bullying, picking, teasing, joshing, joking, criticizing, gossiping, ridiculing, make fun of, judging I opened with a short discussion about what God sounds like (Helaman 5:28–31) and what that teaches us about God.  One point I made was that in this passage God speaks to those who need to repent in a kind tone of voice.  He could be shouting “repent”, but he isn’t.  He speaks in a way that pierces souls. After that we read Helaman 3:25, 25.  Things are going well, but then…

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Jenny's blog

Alma 32-58

Believe it or not, I can totally sum up the rest of Alma in one blog post.  Since last I posted we’ve had Seminary less than 10 times.  Last week we met only once due to another snowstorm and another freezing rain event. At this point I can’t even remember which days we met and which we didn’t without looking at our attendance sheets, which I have ignored entering in the computer because it’s so depressing. School was canceled so late twice last week that kids showed up for Seminary and let themselves into my house or were locked out. It’s been ridiculous.  And we were supposed to have another two day ice storm this weekend, but it looks like…

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Alma 32 plus disaster recovery

Well.  This was not the best Seminary lesson.  I was so excited, too. I have to say that I’m not quite sure what went wrong. I have two new students, one of whom is testing me, another student who is trying to get the new student to notice her at any cost, another whose feelings I must have hurt but who wouldn’t talk to me about it, and I let myself get hijacked by kids who had no idea what they were talking about and who were speculating or guessing about their friend’s motives and feelings.  Plus, it later turned out TesterKid did not understand the difference between accountability and consequence, and so that added to the confusion.  I should…

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Jenny's blog

Alma 31

Today’s lesson went well despite a minor snafu — I nearly slept in! I woke up rested, which as all you Seminary teachers know is an unusual and unfamiliar state in your life during winter.  It took a few moments to register that I was probably feeling good because somehow I had slept in.  It took another few minutes for Jared to find a clock and check the time — 5:36.  First Kid arrives about 5:50.  So, I put my clothes on, grabbed my lesson stuff, and pretended I was alert.  First Kid was late this morning, but I had plenty of time to write my opening phrase on the board: “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior.” by Elder…

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Alma 27-30

These past few days are the first I’ve felt I had both feet solidly undeneath me since November.  Just when I thought I was getting a grip, our family careened headlong into another crisis. The strain has just been so much.  I collapsed again into a deep depression with a short triggered relapse while Jared and I were on our trip to the Bahamas. Who knew you could be depressed on a cruise ship?!?!  Well, now you know that you can.  My heart has been so heavy. Anyway, I am finally doing better enough to take on again some of these extra things that I’ve been ignoring for the past several months, like the website.  I’ve been in maintenance mode…

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Jacob 5 Part 1 and 2

I did Jacob 5 differently than the manual.  The manual is set up for students who have not read Jacob 5, but as you know, the kids in my class read the text and so “discovery” type activities just don’t work for them.  How horrible would it be for me to ask kids to slog through Jacob 5 and then make them reread it again in class??? So anyway, I took the two days for Jacob 5 and changed it into a two part lesson with day one focusing on helping kids understand what they would read, and day two hearing their observations on what they read.   It took some finessing of my Seminary lesson chart to make this happen…

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Cell Phones in Seminary Class

Electronic Device Use of Electronic Scriptures Survey Report, 2012-2013 By Jenny Smith Note from the Author: I originally gave Russell Simon permission to publish this paper on his blog this past summer. Due to some (frankly silly and inconsistently applied) requirements from Seminaries & Institutes, Brother Simon set all Seminary related items on his blog to private.  I’ve decided to post the document here in case it offers any help to teachers who are wondering if they can or should allow the use electronic scriptures in the classroom. Introduction: I am a Seminary teacher in the Fredericksburg Stake located in the commonwealth of Virginia.  My current class of sixteen LDS Seminary students meets daily in my home before the regular…

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2 Nephi 31-Jacob 4

This has been a fun few days for me in class.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m back in the groove or because the stress level is back down or what, but things have been good.  The only issue has been that I’m barely keeping ahead of the lessons.  I did get two lessons planned yesterday, so I am now a single lesson ahead.  I’m hoping to get some more lessons planned today so that I can get back on track and stay ahead.  This last minute stuff has got to go. 2 Nephi 31 On the board I drew the gate with the path from the manual.  I followed the manual pretty closely on this lesson, but I…

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Hey, God

So this was quite a day.  My investigator asked to be included in our devotional and prayer rotations, so I added her name to our prayer bucket.  Today her name was drawn for opening prayer.  I asked if she was okay praying, and she said “Yeah, but don’t be expecting a fancy prayer.” I laughed and said we don’t have any fancy prayers in here — had she ever heard one?  The kids all agreed that we have a few kids who do give fancy prayers.  I think they meant formally-worded.  None of the kids give insincere prayers. Anyway, she opened up her prayer with “Hey, God.  So I don’t know exactly how to do this except that I should…

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2 Nephi 29-30, Flex Day

2 Nephi 29-30 Today I used the ideas from Teaching the Book of Mormon Part One to teach my lesson.  I loved the Fred example from the book and modified it into a comic strip form so that every kids could participate in finding a respoonse to someone who may not be interested in the BoM because they believe God has not shared any of His word anywhere besides the Bible.  I also used the twisty wood object lesson from the book (page 145), too, to show how the Bible and Book of Mormon work together to anchor the Word.  I had a couple of shims around and so I used those.  Easy.  I love TTBoM1! I used a couple…

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2 Nephi 27-28

2 Nephi 27 Due to some unforseen circumstances, I was completely unprepared ahead of time for this lesson. I had prayed to the Lord to let him know I had been doing my best, but I just could not get the lesson prepared, and went to bed.  I HATE having the kids come without a real lesson prepared. I just feel if they are willing to come sacrifice at that hour of the morning, I ought to have some spiritual meat to help them prepare for another day of school.  I was concerned, but I slept like a baby. Then I woke up fully awake and alert at 4am. I was able to prepare a solid lesson from the manual…

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