Weekly Thoughts and Tips

January 2013


Scripture Figures

By Marissa Widdison
January 25, 2013

Are you looking for a visual aid to help with a family home evening or Primary lesson? We've recently updated our collection of scripture figures with art that could work for a variety of stories. Try covering these figures with contact paper to make them durable and reusable. 

Building Confident New Readers

By Hilary Watkins Lemon
January 18, 2013

In the January 2013 Friend story “Ready to Read,” a child named Mary struggled with dyslexia. Not surprisingly, she experienced some anxiety when asked to read aloud. All children, regardless of whether they have learning disabilities, acquire reading skills at different paces. Here are a few ideas for helping students become confident readers:

  • Ask parents ahead of time if their children have any particular reading needs.
  • Wait a few moments before helping a child who seems stuck. Sometimes children need to work out a word in their mind before saying it out loud.
  • Encourage an atmosphere of patience and kindness. Explain that while each boy or girl may read differently, it is important that everyone have a chance to participate.
  • Consider reading out loud as a class. Listening to group reading reinforces new words as children read them on the page.
  • Know when to condense your lesson. Young readers often need more time. Prioritize your students’ success over getting through all your prepared material.
  • Praise your students when they successfully read even a short verse. Positivity is contagious!

Taking Time to Prepare

By Erin Sanderson, Primary General Board
January 11, 2013

Years ago, when I was teaching Young Women, I spent hours every week preparing visual aids, handouts, and object lessons. I was trying to be an effective teacher. At some point I realized (or remembered) that the Spirit is the real teacher. In order to have the Spirit help me reach the girls, my spiritual preparation was more important than spending my time on all the extras.

On page 96 of “Teaching, No Greater Call” Elder Dallin H. Oaks reminds us:

“As we devote ourselves to the Lord’s work, we must be involved in the hard work of preparation. . . . The Lord’s instruction to teach by the Spirit does not relieve us in the slightest degree from the necessity of making personal preparation. . . . We must study the scriptures. We must study the teachings of the living prophets. We must learn all that we can to make ourselves presentable and understandable. . . . Preparation is a prerequisite to teaching by the Spirit.”

Model FHE

By Tiffany Lewis
January 4, 2013

If you’ve never done family home evening before, getting an idea of how it works can be tricky. A few weeks ago we reached out to a family in our ward and invited them over for FHE. We wanted to model for them what a family home evening could look like.

We kept it simple. I told a scripture story, and we played charades using scenarios from the Bible. And yes, by model I do mean there were kids rolling on the floor and acting silly. It was good for our friends to see that we’re a normal family and that the purpose of family home evening is to gather, teach, and have fun. It doesn't have to come with frills or great fanfare. For those who are intimidated by family home evening, combining with another family is a great way to start.