Counselor's update, March 2006
Notes by Ann Hoole

Please don't use rewards for children if it excludes other children.
The Primary Presidency is thrilled that ward primaries are encouraging children to bring their scriptures each week; however, they are concerned that reward programs are focusing on rewarding one child over another.  Primary is not the place for that type of reward.  A better way would be for a leader to look out over the children and say something like, "I see lots of our Primary has brought their scriptures to church today.  Let's put some more pennies into our Book of Mormon jar."  Then the leader grabs a handful of pennies without counting one for each person who has their scriptures and puts them into a jar.  These pennies then go towards purchasing missionary Books of Mormon.  That was just an idea they gave, but they really don't want a contest made out of bringing scriptures to church, reading scriptures, or anything that singles children out at the exclusion of others.  This can create bad feelings.
  
When using rebus pictures
Please only use pictures that actually represent the word.  For example, don't use a bumblebee for the word bee or an eye for the word I.  Use pictures that go with the word they represent.  Children are literal learners, so it is really confusing if the words and pictures aren't the same!
  
They touched on the letter from the First Presidency regarding men in primary*
Sister Matsumori was funny when she referred to the part of the letter about windows in doors, saying that didn't mean the sisters needed to go and get chain saws this week and make our own windows!  They highly suggested that primary presidencies visit ALL of the classrooms regularly and that we NEED worthy priesthood holders in primary so do what we can to have them still called to primary.
  
They asked us how our primary callings can strengthen our own families
Reminding us to use our sharing time materials and outlines and the lessons that we put together for primary in our own homes as well. 
  
We have a shepherding responsibility with the primary children
How can we use Scouting, Activity Days and the Faith in God program to reach out to rescue?  Scouting in the Church is meant to include a gospel focus!  It has the power to build testimonies and becomes a tool to reach out to rescue.  Audience members shared examples of how this has worked in their lives.  In order for us to make the Scout program all that it can be, we need to each learn the program, attend basic trainings, go to www.scouting.org, keep updated on the primary website at lds.org, promote priesthood previews, know which awards are available and what the requirements are (On My Honor for 11 year olds and Faith in God knot for 8 - 10 year olds), and train all ward and stake leaders. 
  
People were asked if they had any questions about primary
Lots of people asked questions and Sister Lifferth wrote them all down.  Then, they taught how to find answers to these questions through counseling with priesthood leaders, prayer, using inspiration in our callings, reading the handbook, etc.
  
They ended by asking us to think about what we are going to focus on in the next six months of our callings, and to reflect on that question as we attended other workshops.

 

* A letter was send out February 23, 2006 to English speeking areas only.


  
  * Please don't use rewards for children if it excludes other children.  The Primary Presidency is thrilled that ward primaries are encouraging children to bring their scriptures each week; however, they are concerned that reward programs are focusing on rewarding one child over another.  Primary is not the place for that type of reward.  A better way would be for a leader to look out over the children and say something like, "I see lots of our Primary has brought their scriptures to church today.  Let's put some more pennies into our Book of Mormon jar."  Then the leader grabs a handful of pennies without counting one for each person who has their scriptures and puts them into a jar.  These pennies then go towards purchasing missionary Books of Mormon.  That was just an idea they gave, but they really don't want a contest made out of bringing scriptures to church, reading scriptures, or anything that singles children out at the exclusion of others.  This can create bad feelings.
  
  * When using rebus pictures, please only use pictures that actually represent the word.  For example, don't use a bumblebee for the word bee or an eye for the word I.  Use pictures that go with the word they represent.  Children are literal learners, so it is really confusing if the words and pictures aren't the same!
  
  * They touched on the letter from the First Presidency regarding men in primary.  Sister Matsumori was funny when she referred to the part of the letter about windows in doors, saying that didn't mean the sisters needed to go and get chain saws this week and make our own windows!  They highly suggested that primary presidencies visit ALL of the classrooms regularly and that we NEED worthy priesthood holders in primary so do what we can to have them still called to primary.
  
  * They asked us how our primary callings can strengthen our own families, reminding us to use our sharing time materials and outlines and the lessons that we put together for primary in our own homes as well. 
  
  * We have a shepherding responsibility with the primary children - how can we use Scouting, Activity Days and the Faith in God program to reach out to rescue?  Scouting in the Church is meant to include a gospel focus!  It has the power to build testimonies and becomes a tool to reach out to rescue.  Audience members shared examples of how this has worked in their lives.  In order for us to make the Scout program all that it can be, we need to each learn the program, attend basic trainings, go to www.scouting.org, keep updated on the primary website at lds.org, promote priesthood previews, know which awards are available and what the requirements are (On My Honor for 11 year olds and Faith in God knot for 8 - 10 year olds), and train all ward and stake leaders. 
  
  *  People were asked if they had any questions about primary.  Lots of people asked questions and Sister Lifferth wrote them all down.  Then, they taught how to find answers to these questions through counseling with priesthood leaders, prayer, using inspiration in our callings, reading the handbook, etc.
  
  *  They ended by asking us to think about what we are going to focus on in the next six months of our callings, and to reflect on that question as we attended other workshops.
  
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  The Teaching Workshop was awesome!  They'll put the handout on the lds.org website soon, so instead of retyping the whole thing, I'll just give you the bullet points if that's okay!
  
  Living Water
  Primary Teaching Workshop March 2006
  Objective:  Primary leaders and children are strengthened by the scriptures.
  Presentation Outline:
  1.  Primary leaders are strengthened by the scriptures.
     - Story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.
     - Elder Holland message from Ensign, Nov 1993
     - "How Will They Know?" - song from songbook
     - "The Water Bucket" - story from New Era Aug. 1987
   
  2.  Children are strengthened by the scriptures.
      - One thing they talked about here was how to enhance the monthly scripture repetition in opening or closing exercises.  Instead of having the primary children just read and repeat it, have the child give some background information on the scripture and share a personal application of the scripture.  It was much more effective and makes more sense to the children to have it done this way. 
     - They showed a fun way to tell the story of Samuel the Lamanite.  While sharing the story from the back of the GAK picture, have the children raise their arms in the air as he is doing in the picture and say "Repent!" every time they hear Samuel's name in the story. 
  
  I hope this helps!  It was well worth the time and I plan on going again on Wednesday for the Music Workshop too.  They're introducing a new song at the Music Workshop with the words by President Hinckley.
  
  Ann in utah