At our church we always have a Holy Friday retreat for the kids. We have activities planned to help them learn more about the important events of the day and of Christ’s Resurrection. A couple of years ago I had to teach the kids the hymn, Christ is Risen. Since my group was preschool through 6th grade, a lot of the kids may not be reading or not reading well enough to read the bigger words. My teacher brain was thinking of ideas to help the non-readers be able to sing along. I’m sure many of you have seen early reader books where they have the text and a small picture that shows the word. I love how icons tell stories and especially love it when a hymn describes exactly what is happening in the image, so I decided to make a visual version of the hymn for my students. (more…)
Fishing for Hearts
Do you ever feel like it’s difficult to find active games for Sunday School? Kids need to move around and I’m always scouring the web to find things that get the kids up and out of their seats! Well, I have a very fun game with an Orthodox twist to it. It’s perfect to do with your kids or in the church school classroom!
Elevation of the Cross – Peg Dolls
I am so excited to share this activity with you! It was so much fun making these dolls! I wanted my kids and students to have a visual for the Elevation of the Cross story, so I decided to make peg dolls. What is that, you say? It is a doll made out of a clothespin or a wooden peg. (more…)
Mixing Colors in a Bubbly Soup of Goup
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we’ve been talking a lot about the color green. I gave each kid a tray of baking soda and a cup of blue and a cup of yellow vinegar. I wanted them to learn about mixing colors while learning about chemical reactions. (more…)
Engaging Children in Prayer: Make a personalized prayer book!
When my first child was young I had made her a book of photos of the family. She loved looking at the photo book and it would keep her busy for quite awhile. I haven’t gotten around to making an updated one until this week. I was inspired by other blogs that I saw online where they had photos of people that they pray for on poster board. I thought it would be neat to make my kids their own prayer books. (more…)
Transform Your Classroom with Morning Meetings
From my experience being a student and teaching children in a church school program, we often neglect to focus on the classroom community. We focus on the books and what it means to be Orthodox. Oftentimes, we do not teach children what it means to have fellowship. Even though our students may have gone to church school their whole lives, they only see each other for 30-45 minutes per week and may not know much about the person sitting next to them. By having regular Morning Meetings, children will learn to appreciate one another. It can also lay the foundation for the future of our church communities. While you may be thinking that Morning Meetings are for little kids, you are mistaken! Having this type of set up is helpful for all students across ALL grade levels.
Talking Like a Teacher
Have you ever heard the phrase, “put your thinking cap on?” It is a cute teacher saying to help kids focus on learning. Want to know how to grab a group’s attention quickly, without having to yell and scream while jumping up and down? Then get your listening ears on! Um, I guess in this case, get your reading eyes ready to learn some teacher lingo!
Curriculum? You mean I have to teach ALL THAT by May?!? Using the Curriculum & a Lesson Template
Ahh, working with a curriculum. It can be intimidating at a glance but it’s not that bad once you learn how to use it. At the end of this article you will be a pro at dissecting the curriculum and learning how it can help you plan your lessons.
First, let’s take a look at WHY we need a curriculum. (more…)
What’s Your Purpose?
Today, let’s begin by stating your purpose. What is your purpose as a church school teacher? Write down 3 things that are your top priorities. (more…)
Being a Church School Teacher
“Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com“
You may have a lot of thoughts running through your head right now about being a Church School teacher or director, especially if this is your first year. It can be overwhelming. What will I talk about? How do I plan a lesson? What if I forget to follow my lesson plan or forget to ask a question? What if the kids misbehave, how will I handle that? What if the kids don’t like me? Hey, I know. I’ve been there.