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SSTN # 60 - May 14, 2003

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1) Behavior Problems
2) Two & Three Year Olds   
3) Truthfulness?
4) Rotation discipline
5) Clicker Trainer?

--> Sword of the Spirit - Bookmark

6) Bible Buck system?
7) How do you train teachers?
8) Rotation discipline
9) Planting a Seed?

--> NEW-LIFE PUPPET patterns 

10) Jesus' Ascension?
11) Mother's day program for ages 3-5?
12) Songs for "Buggy for Jesus" VBS?   
13) Graduation gift
14) Fruit of the Spirit?

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1) Behavior Problems

My 4th and 5th grade class last year seemed out of control. After one
particularly stressful Sunday, I went to our Christian Ed Director for
HELP. This was after trying movies, games, crafts, and a host of other
activities to get the lesson across. Their behavior in church was horrid.

My class of 12 had 3 children with ADHD, several with learning
disabilities, one boy whose Mom had just survived cancer, one boy
shattered by divorce, etc. This knowledge enabled me to understand why
there were discipline issues and how to deal with some of them. I learned
who needed to sit close to me. who could only comprehend one task at a
time, who  simply could not read the Bible passage aloud and who needed
some special attention. I also learned how to discipline more effectively.

All in all, it was not an easy year, but at least I managed to keep my
sanity and teach
the lessons. This year, after the first day of class and careful
observation of the individuals, I met with our Christian Ed Director
again. I had been able to spot a few children with problems and we
reviewed any special needs.

Our church is blessed to have leaders who are willing to help the teachers
and the children. One of the younger classes has an autistic child who is
provided with an aide. It's not easy, but we attempt to see each child as

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2) Two & Three Year Olds   

>>"I'm Brenda Childers... the reason for purchasing a computer was to try
>>find new material for my sunday school class.  I teach two and three
>>year olds,

Brenda, I have a list of about 40 ideas to use with 2 & 3 Year Olds. Here
are 10 of them:
-- Play Hot Potato Surprise: Play just like Hot Potato, but pass around a
bag of treats. The child who gets "caught" with the bag when the music
must answer a question about the story or say a memory verse and then gets
to choose a treat from the bag.

-- Tents: Bring a bunch of bed sheets for the children to use to create
"tents". They love this!

-- Play Surprise Boulder Basketball: Before class, fill a plastic grocery
sack full of treats/prizes. Wrap masking tape all around the sack and
it in a brown grocery bag. Tape the bag all around again. Tell the kids
it is a boulder (good to use for the Easter story when the stone was
away). Let them play a game with it (Basketball in a laundry basket is
Then let them open the boulder and share its surprise contents.

-- Let kids "paint" the side of the church or the parking lot with old
brushes and water!

-- Kids love to play with balloons and Punch Balls you can purchase at
local dollar store. (Be careful with balloons for toddlers)

-- Make play-doh creations

-- Sing "Mr. Noah Built An Ark" instead of Old MacDonald Had a Farm

-- Parachute: Use a large sheet. Have children hold the edges of the sheet
and bounce balloons or soft balls on it.

-- Have the children tell you what THEY would like to do in class one day.
Make a list of their ideas and follow it like a schedule. (This is great
when you're called on at the last minute to teach without having time to
plan a lesson.)

-- Make friendship bracelets from toilet paper rolls. Cut a toilet paper
roll in half cross-wise, then in half again. You should have 4 rings. Slit
each ring so that you can place it on your wrist. Let kids decorate them.

If you'd like the rest you may email me at Phoenix01@zoominternet.net


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3) Truthfulness?

I have a 5 yo in my class who tells lies constantly.  How can I deal with

Thanks for your help.

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4) Rotation discipline

Your post stated: “My church is moving to rotation, and I am trying to
decide where I belong in this... I am really concerned because I think I
have made significant inroads with some problem behaviors, and I wonder if
the rotation method will make it more difficult to achieve consistency
with the children who need it.”

Behavior problems are always going to exist, regardless of what method is
used for Sunday school. It is all a matter of how you handle the problems.
Consistency and love are important. As Maurice Sweetsur reminded us in
another post: making your Sunday school fun, fresh and exciting is very
important! Rotation definitely makes Sunday school fun for kids!

In rotation, kids travel to a different workshop every week and thus see a
different workshop leader or “teacher”. An important piece of using the
rotation method of Sunday school is to have “shepherds” who travel with a
particular group of kids. Shepherds don’t do any teaching per say but are
very important as they provide consistency for the kids. You sound like
you would make an excellent Shepherd! You even said so yourself: “ my
strength has been getting to know what makes each child tick, and making
those personal connections so that each child learns and retains well.”

I would urge you to get involved with the rotation planning at your church
and help set up the Shepherds.

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5) Clicker Trainer?

>I use a "clicker trainer" that is used by dog trainers, and I "click" for
>good behavior. >Since I teach alone, I did not want to stop my lesson for
>positive or negative discipline,

This sounds like a real workable idea. However, when do you dispense the
tickets? Do you do so as you continue to teach? If not, how do you keep up
with how many clicks each one gets? Would love to hear more about how this
works. Thanks!

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Sword of the Spirit - Bookmark

The Old and New Testament books are listed on either side of the sword's
blade. A great Scripture memory tool from ChristianCrafters.Com.

Children can make it and take it home. Print out as many patterns as you
need for a one-time fee of only $3.00. To see a picture and to learn more,
go to the following webpage:


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6) Bible Buck system?

>We also are on the Bible Buck system and if they really  don't listen
>pay  5 Bible Bucks.

This sounds like fun. Do they get to redeem the Bible Bucks at the end of
the session for prizes, or how is it handled?

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7) How do you train teachers
There are as many ways as there are times. Since different age groups use
different curriculums in my parish, I like to divide my first training by
this. Then I can focus on specific issues for each. (Such as 3K is 1 group
just because of their specific needs, 4's - 1st grade - we use Catechesis,
2nd - 5th grades - another Curriculum). I begin with a short Bible study,
introductions, and then address specific age characteristics for each age
group - where they are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
We then look at the overall yearly calendar and finally the layout of the
curriculum. I have information available for those who have never taught
before on some basic steps, just something to help make them feel
comfortable. Also talk about their responsibilities - prepare the lesson
in advance, make the children feel welcome, share God's love with
everyone, be creative....Then about your responsibilities - how you are
there to help them make their job easier and times you are available.
Since we have several teachers in each room, they spend the rest of the
time talking dividing up the lessons and looking through our resources.

I schedule training in August and a shorter version in January. These have
usually been done at night but depending on my teachers, I have done some
right after church, and provided a snack to tide them over. Flexibility is
the key. I also use a monthly teacher newsletter with teacher training
tips and information.

Another idea - it is not really training but is critical - have the
teachers do an end of the year evaluation. This would include things like
did they feel supported by the church, by you at Director, how the
curriculum worked, did they need supplements, ample supplies and if there
were any issues that arose during the year and how they solved them. This
is great to pass along to the next year's teacher and helps refine your
own program.

Hope this helps - Sabrina

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8) Rotation discipline

Part of the rotation method is having "shepherds" that rotate with each
class or group.  They are the ones that establish the close on-going
relationships with the students and provide consistency.  Teachers focus
on the lesson.  Your shepherds could carry the "clicker" (which is a great
idea). Your attitude toward the students is right.  You need to recruit
committed people to shepherd the classes.

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9) Planting a Seed?

I would like to start a group of lessons on "Planting a Seed".  If anyone
has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.   Thank you!!!

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When assembled, New Life Puppets turn inside out to change from a tadpole
to a frog, or a caterpillar to a butterfly. They're easy-to-make and
children will learn about becoming new creatures in Christ! Get a free
puppet skit too! In our Curriculum section:


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10) Jesus' Ascension?

Hi,  Do any of you have attention-grabbing ideas that help kids understand
Jesus' ascension?  Thanks  Sharon

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11) Mother's day program for ages 3-5?

I could really use some ideas as well!  Except ours is for the mothers of
the Daycare children.  And we'll have littler ones, babies included.
Doesn't have to be exacly a "program"  perhaps some "theme" ideas.
Debbi  (www.cortlandtrinity.org)

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12) Songs for "Buggy for Jesus" VBS?   

We are using the "Buggy for Jesus" Curriculum for VBS and need songs to
go along with the themes.  Our nightly themes are:
Bees, Ladybugs, Butterflies, Caterpillars, Grasshoppers.  Can anyone help
us?  Thank you!

--from SSTN: I'll be interested to hear everyone's suggestions and will
add them to the website at:
ysic, sarah keith <><

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13) Graduation gift   

At our church we give the seniors a graduation sash that they wear at
their graduation. The school system allows them to do this. They are
satin, with their initials embroidered in them... much like the ones given
to the pastors at the time or their ordination. the grads treasure these
and they feel special at graduation cause their church gave them to them.
We give these in church and the pastor prays over them as they are placed
around their neck.... or at a dinner in their honor... we have used both
ways.. my daughter treasures hers

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14) Fruit of the Spirit?

Hi to all you Sunday School Teachers,
I was wondering if anyone has some cute ideas for kindergarten students to
learn the lessons on fruit of the spirits?

Gwen German
Sunday School Kindergarten Teacher 

--from SSTN: there are a ton of ideas in the Archives:

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