Daily Do Now and Friday Lottery

By Eric Jorgensen Eric Jorgensen: — A daily learning + get-to-know-you activity — I thought I would share a teaching practice that has been working really well for my class this year. I call it the “Daily Do Now and Friday Lottery”. It provides a social learning activity at the start of every class which provides a double incentive to come to seminary on time. (Credit: This idea is a…
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Handling Disruptive Students

From the Gospel Teaching and Learning Handbook: Correct disorderly or inappropriate behavior. There are some general principles to keep in mind that will help a teacher invite proper order and respect in the classroom. To have order does not always mean having complete silence; nor does it mean that a class cannot be enjoyable and fun. But a disorderly or irreverent student or group of students can have a negative…
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Red Card

From Jamon C: This is a little bit like a nuclear weapon …. I have 5 active seminary students, so this works better in small environment. I had a college professor give every student a red card and if they wanted to take over the class for 20 minutes they can (as long as gospel appropriate). They only get one red card for the year. I talked about it an…
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Between the Prayers

If you’re struggling with students getting into sidebar or off-topic conversations during your lesson, you may try teaching them this phrase that has worked for me: “between the prayers”. The concept is that once we’ve said the opening prayer, our time has been consecrated for the worship of God. We focus on the lesson at hand “between the prayers” because that time is set apart for a certain purpose. Cell…
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Asking better questions

The following is a report I wrote after a Seminary inservice meeting where I attended a class on Asking Better Questions: I had the good fortune of being in Brother Baraclough’s class on Asking Better Questions. Watching him teach was at least as instructive as the material, if not more, and so I really enjoyed this. Improving the Set Up First Brother Baraclough demonstrated a common mistake teachers make (one…
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Jesus and Disruptive Questions

In Luke 10:25-37, we find a lawyer trying to trip up the Savior with his disruptive questions and justify himself in sin: And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He [Christ] said unto him [the lawyer], What is written in the law? how readest thou? [Here, Christ is establishing a starting point. He’s asking the lawyer to…
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Interrupting or Know-It-All Student

“What do you do when you have a student who answers all the questions or who speaks up just because it’s quiet?” one teacher asked. Bro B taught us that teachers should first determine if you are dealing with a smart kid or a smartaleck kid. Your response to interruptions will be different based on the reason the student is always responding. Bro B said you can set up the…
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Let’s talk about that

If you’re teaching youth, you know that on occasion, students will ask disruptive or off-topic questions. I am always trying to encourage my students to ask questions, and I am always worried that shooting down a question too hard will frighten off others who have questions. I have made the mistake before of shooting down a question that I felt was off topic only to realize later it was a…
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