PRE-school - 5TH: Remember to take your teaching packets home 1-2 weeks prior to your scheduled week. Packets can be found in your classroom file bin.
Tots & Pre-School
For the time being, we will be combining our Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers. We are short on volunteers and in an effort to provide support from teacher to teacher, we are going to experiment by joining these classes so no one teacher is ever alone. I believe this will allow one teacher to deal with different transition and behavior needs that arise while the other teacher facilitates activities and teaching for the rest of the class. I would also like this class to be open from the BEGINNING OF SERVICE, 10:30 A.M. through the end. I realize it's a big change and we will do our best to work together and see how this works. It's an experiment. Let's work together! If it proves too challenging over the next month we will continue to pray and seek out other options.
We will also begin class time in the Pre-School room with an Opening Activity that is already prepared for them to do. This is a tactic to help the kids adjust to class quickly. If they have something to do immediately, then it helps to remove any worry or anxiety about saying goodbye to mom or dad. These children only come to us once a week, which to them can feel like once a month. Their ability to adjust to Summit Seekers is going to be more difficult than a regular school experience. I recently suggested to a mom whose daughter just likes to know that mom is still there to send in a picture of herself for her daughter to bring to class. I may have all our young kids do this and hang them on the wall as another method for providing security and comfort that mom or dad will come back.
I have prepared 19 different activity options to be stored in class. I have created an Activity Booklet with titles, explanations and pictures of these activities. Most are very simple, some a bit more tricky to put together. Please use this resource and only do activities you feel comfortable running and organizing. You can also make the decision based on the group you have on your particular week. If it's mostly older pre-schoolers, then go for a more complicated activity. If kids are restless and full of energy, try some yoga stretches to release energy. Feel free to create your own activity ideas as well. If they're a hit, pass them along to me and I will add them to the binder.
Due to the combined age groups, lesson time will be simplified. Feel free to look through the lesson options provided below, but you may find yourself only able to read a simple bible story as the kiddos eat their snacks. I always find less reading and more dramatic story telling or explaining helps engage the kids. I often ask kids to show emotion based on the plot of the bible story, which is another great way to help them understand the meaning of the story while also creating more stored memory of it.
Always view the lesson snapshot and you can verbally reiterate the point of the day over and over again in all that you do. Repetition is key in children learning a solid teaching. You can also review the bible verse with the kids each week. I will always have a simplified verse for our Tots & Pre-Schoolers. And there will be take home bible verse cards and review sheets each week for parents who want to discuss the teaching topics with their kids at home.
We've also added classroom transitions to the class time. If this proves to be too difficult for the age group then we will simplify it again. Similar to the VBS format we use in the summer, children are sometimes more engaged by the changing environment. And with the two adult team effort, one can transition kiddos while the other tidies up activity space. While one teacher is engaged with the children, the other can always be preparing or cleaning up from activities and then switching roles when the activity calls for it.
Check out the Schedule below
This winter we are experimenting by combining our Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers. We are short on volunteers and in an effort to provide support from teacher to teacher, we are going to experiment by joining these classes so no one teacher is ever alone. I believe this will allow one teacher to deal with different transition and behavior needs that arise while the other teacher facilitates activities and teaching for the rest of the class. I would also like this class to be open from the BEGINNING OF SERVICE, 10:30 A.M. through the end. I realize it's a big change and we will do our best to work together and see how this works. It's an experiment. Let's work together!
Another change we are making is the format of class. There have been many children struggling with transitions as they move into class each week. We have a unique challenge at church in that we only meet once a week, which to a child can feel like a month. Children take much more time adjusting and trusting new environments and new adults, especially when it is not a daily interaction. To help kids with class transitions we have decided to have children arrive straight to their class rooms, rather than to large group music time.
Receive children into class and prepare the provided game for them or another ice breaker of your choosing. I am providing a binder of ice breaker ideas for kids to help them settle in to class, connect with peers, and feel safe in your care. This game time will allow kids to settle in and get some energy out. Immediately move into your bible time and snack time either combined or back to back. I leave that up to the individual teacher. Most kids are thirsty and hungry by the time the game is done, so I understand the ease in doing snack at the same time as lesson. It also keeps their mouths full and chit chat quiet so they can hear the story. :)
After bible and snack, again you have a choice to use the provided small group discussion questions and continue to dig deeper into the days topic, or to add on your own craft or activity to further the fun and connections at Summit Seekers. Sometimes I make this decision based on the age group I have on that particular week or the energy in the room. Sometimes we have enough discussion in the lesson time that we don't need further discussion. Some weeks when I've had an assistant with me, we've split the group and half went out to play a game and the other half continued working on a craft. If you are able to do this, feel free. As long as all kids are accounted for. We have many craft resources in the bins on the white shelving unit, but I also plan to provide more new crafts this Winter.
As lesson and activities wrap up in the classroom I would encourage you to move the kids out the the Fellowship Hall for closing worship and music. I plan to always have our Summit Seekers Playlist open on youtube for your use. I can offer quick tutorials on how to use the computer if you need it. Please let me know. And allow the kids freedom to dance and worship as parents arrive for dismissal.
Check out the Schedule below