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SSTN - Number 169
March 21, 2001

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1) Teacher appreciation skits?
2) Sign language video songs?
3) Problem kids
4) Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you
5) Communion Ideas?
6) Books of the Bible
7) Disciples Song
8) Iron ons for youth
9) Recommendations?
10) Christian iron-on
11) Problem kids
12) Decorating a classroom (A must read!)

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*************** SSTN HEADS UP MESSAGE *****

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Why Do We Pray? - by Sharon Reichwald and
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1) Teacher appreciation skits?

I am looking for ideas for skits for children to do for a teacher
appreciation dinner. If I can find a good skit, we would like to base our
theme around that. Any ideas? Sue

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2) Sign language video songs?

I am looking for a video of songs that include sign language for our
children's choir. I've found a couple where I live, but they're for
secular songs. The kids range from 3 to 13 in the children's choir, so
the songs need to be relatively simple. Any help would be greatly
appreciated. Thanks! Patti from New Mexico

--from SSTN: here are some sign language websites that may help you:

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3) Problem kids

>Problems in class (not problem kids!)
>Maybe all children's workers should pray for teacher's everywhere
>on Wed.! Rene'

AMEN Rene! A great book that really gets to the root of discipline in the
church is Group Publishing's The Discipline Guide for Children's Ministry
by Capehard, Gordon and Becki West. It is excellent!
I've been working in Children's ministry for 10 years (VBS, Sunday school,
Wednesday nights, etc.). I've tried many things. I do believe that
rewards are really just short-term fixes. Here are the things that help
me the most:

1. have lots of adults (kids are starved for attention these days, just
to an elementary school and try to have lunch with your own child and
how many kids are attracted to you like a magnet!) I've had success with
really troubled kids by having an adult buddy come and just be there with
that one child one on one.
2. make it exciting. Kids learn differently than we did. They learn by
doing! Keep it moving and fast-paced
3. involve them in setting up the rules (we call it covenant at our church
-- a good introduction to an important biblical doctrine) as well as the
consequences (good suggestions in the book I mentioned) We also have a
church-wide discipline policy so we are consistent in all places.
4. use positive reinforcement -- not prizes whenever they do something,
but perhaps surprise treats for the whole class when they've learned
something they've been working at, individual or group praises for
accomplishments. I try to write to my kids (postcards are easy!) or call
them on their birthdays at least once a month. This has probably made
more difference in my relationship with my kids than anything else I've
done except prayer!
5. Use humor -- not sarcasm, or hurtful to kids ever, but sometimes when
get really frustrated it helps to joke about MY attitude to lighten the
6. Be unpredictable to add to the fun. this doesn't mean that you throw
away your rules or let them run wild, but always keep them guessing about
what might happen. Turn out the lights and do the lesson by flashlight,
on a scavenger hunt for clues about the story,etc. (hint: you need lots
of adults to do this!)
7. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! I try to always remember that God is responsible
reaching these children's hearts. I can only plant seeds, water and
nurture, but He is the one who will ultimately transform their lives.

Blessings to children's ministry workers everywhere! We should pray for
teachers everywhere on Wednesdays. I for one will begin this Wednesday!
Jaymie Derden, Bristol VA

--from SSTN: the Discipline Guide book is available in the Christian
education section of the Bookstore at: ChristianCrafters.Com.

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4) Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you

I also teach 7, 8 & 9th grades. I have taught for over 5 years. I love
age. They need us to care and love them. They are an in-between age. This
year has been my most trying. I had all boys (4) and only two came on
Sunday morning,and one of these 2 learns a little slower than the other.
So I started having Tuesday night Sunday school and they all came. We did
this because the boys played sports on Sundays. Now that they are
interested, they coming on Sunday mornings again and have bought 2 more
boys with them. (6 in all) I also changed the teaching material. I let
the Holy Spirit lead me on what to teach. We just finished a study on
Jesus. I told the boys that they could not love Jesus it they didn't know
Him. We had and great study. Now we are going to study the Tabernacle and
how it pointed the way to Jesus. We are planning to build a model of the
Tabernacle. I also tell the boys that the Holy Spirt is the teacher and
that we are learning from each other. Some years are harder than others,
but O what a blessing when we working hard for the Lord. I wasn't sure how
to teach a class of all boys after years of boys & girls. This is a
wonderful year. Sometimes what looks like a huge stone is really a huge
loaf of bread full of blessings. I said all of this to say, ask for the
Holy Spirt to guide you and be willing to do something different.Find what
helps them learn and do that, games, Bible search, or pictures, make them
teachers too. May God bless you with ideas and helpers. Joyce
<>< playerjl@lejeune.usmc.mil

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5) Communion Ideas?

I was wondering if anyone out there has any ideas on teaching children
(k-6) about communion. Thanks for your help. Holly

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Players push their discs onto the animal scoring zones, while attempting
to BLAST their opponent's discs of the mat, or into the alligator pit. For
more info, go to: www.todaysfitnessforkids.com Click on "Products" when
you get there!

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6) Books of the Bible

There is a cassette tape called "Bible Break". It has really upbeat songs
that help you learn the books of the bible. I bought it a few years back
and I loved it. If you can't find it locally then check out the website
www.christianbook.com. I know they have itand it's inexpensive.

--from SSTN: You can find it in the Music section of the Bookstore at:
www.ChristianCrafters.Com ...Remember, ALL sales HELP support this

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7) Disciples Song

Here's a slight variation to the Disciples song published in your recent
newsletter. It's also sung to the tune of Jesus Loves Me.

Jesus called them one by one, Peter, Andrew, James, and John,
Then came Philip, Thomas, too, Matthew and Bartholomew,

CHORUS: Yes, Jesus called them,Yes, Jesus called them,
Yes, Jesus called them, And they followed Him.

James, his brother, Thaddeus, Simon, then came Judas,
Twelve disciples here in all, Following the Master's call.

Cathy Bodell-Frankfot, Michigan-Benzie Area Church of Christ

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8) Iron ons for youth

I had a similar problem when my daughter wanted an iron-on of Jack & Rose
from Titanic! What I did was enter a search on the internet-you can do
this with any Christian Clipart- and then we printed the image we chose
onto Iron-on paper. You can find this at almost any computer supply or
office supply store. We were done in ten minutes!
Good luck! Christine from Mass.

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9) Recommendations?

We are restructuring our Sunday School program beginning Fall 2001 with a
new "hands-on" cirriculum, crafts, skits, puppetry, and games. It's not
going to be full rotational Sunday School, but very close. Right now we
are working on plans and looking for good and very useful resources to use
as we begin this program. If anyone has any recommendations on a good
craft, skit, game or puppetry book I'd love to hear about it. There's
nothing I hate worse than purchasing a $15-$20 book of 101 games, but only
4-5 that actually work well with the kids. If you have something you've
used and know is good, please pass on the title (author if applicable) and
publishing company. Also any ideas or hints as we go about changing from
traditional sit down Sunday School to this active Hands on approach... let
me know! Thank you! Kristan Keith, Our Savior's, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

--from SSTN: Amen, I hear you Kristan, that is exactly why I am requesting
book reviews for the ChristianCrafters.Com Bookstore. I haven't used
every book, but I have chosen resources from publishers that I know to
have sound Biblical doctrine.
Sarah Keith <><

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10) Christian iron-on

Many paper suppliers such as PaperDirect, Inc. sales iron on paper. Use
christian clip art, whatever wording you desire and customize your iron-on
shirts for your group.

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Have you visited the 'FREE FEATURED RESOURCES' section this month?

It's only some of the new stuff...so check out all the other new ideas!

Find it on the home page of: www.ChristianCrafters.Com

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11) Problem kids

> I also struggle with a group of kids on Wed. evenings that range 1rst-6th
> grade(about 26 of them)the majority of them only come on wed. evenings
> and their family does not attend church. many are from at risk homes. i

I am living in South Africa and I've been receiving your letter for a
while now. It really is very interesting and it helps a lot. I read that
quite a lot of people have problems with some or all of the children that
they are working with. I just want to know what the motivation behind the
solution of letting the children earn a blessing (sweets etc.) is. It
just seems so unfair to me. Jesus told us to let the children come to
Him. I really feel that we are now learning the children to earn Jesus's
love. All children are a hand full, and we were that age as well. I
guess what I'm saying is that we must rather try and understand what there
problem is and how to solve it from there and not to earn something. We
don't even deserve God's love but He still gives it to us - in ubandince.
I realy liked the idea of sending the children home or to there parents
in church and aplied it one Sunday and it realy worked. After we were
done with the lesson I said thanks to children for being so aubedient
during the lesson and then I let them go. I think that we should be more
loving and open to there needs and not ours. Thank you very much. Sandra
- Upington RSA

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12) Decorating a classroom

Our church is revamping its Sunday School program and I am blessed to be
the coordinator. We are starting by removing the walls between two of the
teeny square classrooms to make a larger room. Next the floor is being
tiled. Then the walls will be repainted, white. It is so exciting to
have this empty canvas to work with!

I teach using activity stations which easily accomodates the wide age
range 3 1/2 to 10. First I will paint a timeline going around the room
from creation to revelation on the longest wall. It will be child level.
In the future, the children and I will free paint flowers, butterflies,
animals, etc. under the timeline. The other long wall is paneled. On
that wall chalk boards, bulletin boards are hung at child height. Book
cases and shelves are also along that wall. On one short wall, there are
3 shelves above child level where I keep my purse and supplies for the
lesson of the week out of reach, until ready to do. The other short end
wall will be painted with magnetic paint. Over the magnetic paint we will
paint a mural of Bible scenes. Then we can use magnets made from old SS
curriculum to tell the Bible stories (Variation of flannel boards).

In a corner will be a bathtub, painted to look like a boat in water. When
we do sensory activities water or sand table (this past lesson was baby
Moses in the Bulrushes- we had a dish pan with water, plasticine clay, a
plastic baby and other sink and float items. The children were challenged
to create baskets which would keep baby Moses afloat) placing the
materials in a dishpan in a tub works better for clean up than a table.
When the bathtub is not being used for sensory stations, it can be filled
with pillows and books for the reading station. (I check out books from
the public library that compliment the lesson. For Moses
and Passover, I have children's books about Moses, ancient Egypt, and
Passover in the reading station). The bath tub will be a dramatic play
prop when we study Jonah, Noah, Jesus calling fishermen to be fishers of
men, and when Jesus sleeps in a boat in a storm. The tub has non skid
strips on the bottom for safety.

Old sheer curtains and yards of fabric will be used as canopies, hung from
the ceiling with fishline, over old desks, the kind with flip lids without
attached chair. This creates a sense of boundaries for the station at
that desk.

The top of the old table will be painted to be a holy land map. (I wanted
to paint the entire floor to be a holy land map, but the elders vetoed
that idea)Instead I will paint a floor cloth to be a holy land map, so we
can play living travel games where the children are the pieces of the game
instead of a marker. We will use markers to play travel games on the

The old metal folding chairs will be sanded and repainted with colorful
rustoleum, they are rather rusted now. We will make tie pillows for the
seats. I am seeking out bean bag chairs and throw pillows and floor
pillows and even sleeping pillows to create a cozy reading corner.

We are collecting old end tables, night stands and coffee tables to be
used for stations. The children and I will paint and decoupage them. I
have rapturous memories of an old coffee table I painted and decoupaged in
Jr high. These are perfect for stations. I store materials in the desk
or drawers of the furniture.

At another church the youth group and I built a 5x5 foot cube playhouse
for the preschool room. It had a door and a half circle window high on
one side, high enough so children could not climb out but it made a dandy
puppet window! We may do this in this church, either in a classroom or
outside. We also have a garden patch outside.

In the fellowship room our space is defined by bookcases on coasters, so
they can be rolled into the classroom when all the space is needed in the
fellowship hall. There we have a worship station. It is an old sewing
machine table covered with a cloth. The children will be making an alter
cloth to replace the cloth there now, my granny's tea cloth. Someone gave
us wonderful potted palm trees which make our worship area beautiful and
also double as dramatic play props. We have an open Bible, the offering
bank, electric candle, and flowers on the table. Here we start class by
praying, reading the Bible and then our lesson, taking offering and
singing. When there is serious conflict between children , we go to the
worship center to pray and work it out. There is a comfortable chair for
the teacher and another for the honored guest. We invite every member of
the congregation who is not involved in SS to be a guest at least once.
They come to enjoy Sunday School, play with children at the stations, and
just enjoy. We have only been up and running one Sunday, but my hope is
this will recruit teachers or helpers.

I also suspend alligator clips from the ceiling to hang children's art
work. Paint the windows with washable paint like stores do at Christmas
every so often to compliment the lesson. Or display children made
suncatchers or stained glass windows for a few Sundays before children
take them home. We have a Christmas tree to display our work year round.
We use a calender bulletin board which juxtaposes the Gregorian calendar
with the Hebrew, also the dates in our timeline are both in Gregorian and
Hebrew. Hope this inspires! Wendy O, Minnesota

--from SSTN: WOW, Wendy! Thank you...but I think everyone has two things
to say...we want pictures! and the rules to play that neat Holy Land map
game! If you send me pictures, I'll post them in the NEW Bulletin Board
Ideas section of the site! ;o))

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