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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Moses Crafts and Games

Our preschool Sunday School class has been spending the last few weeks learning about God's power through the study of Moses! Here's a look at what we've been learning!

Moses Exploration Stations

The first 15 minutes of our 45 minute class on Sunday mornings is devoted to exploration stations that connect with our big idea.  Our Moses unit is no different!  

Our unit anchor chart doubles as a velcro dot puzzle during stations time!

The top shelf in our library station showcases books about Moses that are easy for our little readers to grab and curl up next to a pillow and read!

Match is always a winner with my preschoolers! :)

Week 1: Baby Moses

Hands down, our favorite part of this week was our Float the Nile game!  It was great comprehension practice for our pre-readers and they loved getting to "float" their baby Moses! :)

Week 2: The Burning Bush

This week, we learned that God is powerful enough to use a burning bush to speak to us!

I wasn't sure how my 3 and 4 year olds would do with the traditional tissue paper craft, but they did so great!  Even my youngest boys were able to do this after I showed them one time!  And they LOVED this and kept begging for more pieces to cover their flames!

Week 3 & 4: The Plagues

We took two weeks to talk about the Plagues of Egypt...even though my SS curriculum guide says just one week.  It's just so much to pack into one week!  The first week, we talked about all of the plagues, but focused in on the frogs!

I totally thought I had frog stickers too and was in a panic when I realized I didn't.  So, at the last minute, I hole punched green construction paper for pretend frogs.  YA'LL... all the giggles!  It was like they had real frogs all over the table or something!  Sometimes our plan B's are just as good or better, right? :)

The second Plague week, we focused the stubbornness of Pharoah and the lengths God's power went to save his people...God will never give up on us!  We matched the pictures to the words.  I did precut the circles for them, just to make it faster.  And we worked on finding the first letter of the words to help us match the pictures!

Week 5: The Red Sea

We had so much fun with our red sea craft!  While I got everything set up, they colored Moses.  Then, I added glue stick glue to the "path" part of the picture and the kids each pinched sand on top.  We poured the extra back in the sand container and had our dry land!

Then, we used puffy paint (equal parts shaving cream and elmer's glue and blue food coloring) to paint the red sea walls on either side of our dry land!

Check out the sea wall on this one!!

Week 6: The 10 Commandments

Our last week of studying Moses, we learned about how God used his power to speak to the Israelites and to write on stone tablets with his finger!

They each chose 2 commandments to trace the words, cut, crinkle up and glue!

All of these crafts and many more activities can be found in my Moses Unit!



Thursday, February 9, 2017

Arkansas History: Flag & Puzzles

State history often gets shoved to the back burner in elementary school.  And that's a shame because our little learners need to have a good understanding of their place in the world!

I love teaching Arkansas history at the end of the year, but really it works any time of year.  I've already blogged about part of our Arkansas History unit with Me On The Map project and our 7 Continents song.  Today, let's take a look at some of my firsties favorite hands on activities and crafts!

Map Puzzles

When we were learning about our country, we spent our snack time cutting apart and putting our USA puzzles together.  This was a real challenge for some of my kids, but so SO good for them.

When they finished their puzzle, they glued it to our "Find My State" printable and added a star over our home state, Arkansas!

We did the same thing when we learned about our state!  Once laminated, these also made great station activities!

State Flag Craft

While we were learning about our state and its symbols, we made an Arkansas flag after studying its history.  We learned what all of the shapes and colors and parts of our flag meant.  Then, we used 3 simple shapes (that I precut quickly with a paper cutter) to make their on Arkansas flags!

My firsties really enjoyed this craft.  And it was really good practice on listening and following directions! ....especially when adding the stars!  And my firsties always seem to need a little extra help in the listening department! #canigetanamen

I think they turned out so super cute.  We just glued straws to them as the flag pole, but they also would make a great booklet cover for the Arkansas, Arkansas, What Do You See? booklet in my Arkansas packet!


Monday, February 6, 2017

Preschool Sunday School Schedule

3 and 4 year olds with free reign and no schedule to stick to? Nobody wants to teach in that classroom!  That's why I made a consistent schedule for my preschoolers at church, even if we are only together for 45 minutes a week!

Here's an overview of our 45 minute class on Sundays that's included in each of my Sunday School units.

And here's a look at each section of our morning!

Exploration Stations

I have 3-5 exploration stations set up around our room each Sunday.  The ideas and signs/task cards are included in each of my units.  Because I teach preK, I keep the stations very simple.  Two of my stations are the same all year long no matter what we teach.  This helps my preschoolers know what to expect and to always have something familiar in our classroom to come in to.  The other 1-3 stations are specific to our unit and are easy to explain or explore on their own.  Many are role play activities, building blocks tasks or matching games that they are already familiar with!  This gives my littles time to play their little hearts out and get out some of that energy before it's time to sit and listen.  But it also introduces them to some ideas and concepts from our lesson that we will be learning about later in the morning.

You can read more about specific stations for my units in this post.

When it's time to transition to our Bible Time, we sing....
Clean up, clean up, 
Everybody everywhere
Clean up, clean up,
Everybody do your share!


Attendance

During clean up, I lay out foam circles in a semi circle shape around our Bible Time area on the carpet.  These are our "sit up ons" where kids will sit.

After we are cleaned, I count down from 10 and kids find a sit up on to sit on.   Then, we do our attendance sticker chart to see who is in Sunday School.  We sing...
Everybody outta go to Sunday School,
Sunday School, Sunday School,
The men and the women and the boys and the girls,
Everybody outta go to Sunday School!
{when we get to the men/women/boys/girls part, they raise their hands when it gets to them...boys raise hands when we sing boys, etc...}

Then, we read each child's name together as they come up and add their sticker to the chart.

When we have added everyone sticker we transition to Bible Story time by remind them to sit criss cross applesauce, mouths closed, ears listening, and we get our hands in the air and chant together...
Open them, shut them,
Open them, shut them,
Give a little clap!
Open them, shut them,
Open, them, shut them,
Put them in your lap! {whisper}


Bible Story

Once our hands are in our laps we are ready for our Bible story.  I use the bible story booklets/posters and script from our units to tell our Bible story adding as many motions as possible to keep my little friends engaged!  This story itself is no longer than 5 minutes just because of our little attention spans! :)  And I'm repeating a LOT of the information multiple times!

When we finish our story, I immediately start asking, "Were You Listening?" questions.  I ask it in a silly voice and they just love trying to answer my questions!  The questions I use are all in the lesson pages of the Sunday School units if you don't want to think of your own! :)

Prayer Time

It's super important to me to teach my preschoolers how to pray and why we pray.  So we transition to prayer time, by first chanting...
God is listening, God is listening,
To every word I say.
God is listening, God is listening,
Every time I pray!

Then I ask, "Who has something we can pray for this morning?"  I ask each kid to share something (if they have a prayer request).  Then, we chant,
Our hands we fold, our heads we bow,
So we can talk to God just now!

And we pray!

Games & Activities

After prayer time, I ask my kiddos to bring me their sit up ons and head to our table.  We do a game that we need to play whole group together, or a cut and glue activity or coloring page together.  I have suggestions for each lesson with our units.

The best thing I've found to work during this time for my preschoolers is to play music while they are working.  If we are playing a game altogether, obviously we don't.   But if they are coloring or gluing, I choose a kids' bible song that goes along with what we've been learning...like "Who Built the Ark?" during our Noah's Ark unit!  The music is perfect for keeping them on task!

Bible Verse Practice

When we are finishing up our activity, we move back to the carpet in front of my pocket chart that holds our unit Bible Verse.  If I have friends that aren't finished coloring, I usually give them the choice to finish and come join us when they finish.  I have the black and white bible verse cards from our unit on the pocket chart.  The color cards are in my hands.

I point to each word as we read our verse and do the motions together (included in the units).  We read it 2 or 3 times and then we match the words.  I pass out a black and white word card to a friend and he/she brings it up and matches it in front of the color card it matches!  Then we reread the verse.  We do this until we have matched all of the cards.



Once we've matched all of the cards, we read the bible verse and do something on each word.  Here are a few examples: (We usually do at least 5 ways!)
1. Clap on each word as we say it.
2. Pat your leg on each word as we say it.
3. Touch your nose on each word and say it in a tiny mouse voice.
4. Claw your hands on each word and say it in a big bear voice.
5. Stomp on each word.
6. Jump on each word.

We practice the same verse all unit long and then they get a treat if they can say it at the end of our unit!

When we finish our Bible verse, we grab our papers and line up to leave!  If we have extra time before we leave for Children's Church, I will ask them our comprehension questions from our story again!

Find these routines and specifics for each Sunday School Unit in my 2 Year Curriculum BUNDLE!