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4th-5th Grade Sunday School Class Routine

Routine

This is the way we usually do things, but sometimes changing things up is a huge help, so this is a guideline, not an absolute necessity.

Before Class

  1. I try to arrive by 9:30 to receive early students and prepare the classroom. I check and make sure the layout is fine (six tables in a horseshoe) and that the room is clean.
  2. Students who arrive early typically will draw on the board while they wait. I note their names on the left as they come in and I make an effort to greet every student verbally too.
  3. At 9:40 I clean the board and start writing notes on the board. At the top I put the lesson title and the passage. I also note the page number since we all use the student study bibles.
  4. Under that I write the main points (usually three) along with any prompts or questions I plan to focus on. Sometimes these are part of the lesson plan and sometimes they are extemporaneous.
  5. On the right side I write down the catechism prompt(s) that I want to review. Up top I note any points the class earned for memorizing verses.
  6. As students arrive I remind them to get a Bible and a notebook. If they’re a visitor I usually have someone lend them a piece of paper and if they return they get their own notebook.
  7. Typically Mae marks the attendance sheet while I keep names up on the board.

During Class

  1. First I offer students the opportunity to say any verses they’ve memorized. We get a new verse sheet each month and they can say any of these verses, but I always ask them to say all the verses they know each time. So if they memorize one verse the first week and then another the next week, they would say both the second time. I typically just note who has said what verses in my own notebook but this isn’t something I emphasize to an extreme. I just want to make sure they’re reinforcing previous memorization. I only allow students to say verses at the very beginning of class because I don’t want to encourage cram-and-forget strategies.
  2. While this is happening students will start to write down the main points and find the passage, but after students say verses I verbally go over the main points and have them find the passage.
  3. Once everyone has found the passage we read it together. Often I assign a verse or verses to each student to read aloud by writing the verse number next to their name. Sometimes, especially if it’s a challenging passage, I will read it or ask more fluent readers to take larger chunks. I try to read through with as few interruptions as possible but sometimes it’s necessary to pause and explain things. This is just a judgement call.
  4. After we read, I have two to three students get the snacks, water pitcher, napkins, and cups from the cabinet in the lobby. The students pass out supplies, but only the teacher pours the water. We’ve just had too many spills and so they have to ask for more water instead of pouring it themselves.
  5. Then they eat the snack while we discuss the passage and the main points as they correlate with the passage. Sometimes this means we jump around the passage and often they have questions that are related but take us in new directions. We almost always have time to pursue these and I try to as often as possible since I want to encourage curiosity about Scripture and theology. I try to be careful not to speculate though and sometimes I have to table a question so that I can study and find a sound answer to bring back the next week. The lesson plan provides a good summary of each point to help anchor the discussion if needed. This should take the bulk of the class time because it’s the most important part.
  6. If we have time I will play a review game and if we can I take them to one of the empty rooms to get some physical activity in. One game they enjoy is when we take a prompt and pass a ball to each other to take turns answering. Sometimes the questions are reviewing the lesson and sometimes they’re just for fun, to get to know each other better.
  7. At 10:40 we begin to clean up, and I emphasize that we can show virtues like humility in this process by cleaning up things we might not have been responsible for and by caring for the property of others. All bibles should go on the right side of the supply shelves and notebooks go in the bin. Once all trash is cleaned up and chairs are pushed in we close in prayer. Often I will do this but sometimes a student will ask to close or I will ask them to.

After Class

  1. After the students are dismissed I take a picture of the board so I know how many points they had and to refer back to in case there were notes added spontaneously that I might want to reference next week.
  2. I make sure the tables and chairs are neat and wipe up any remaining crumbs or water.
  3. I clean the board, make sure the air conditioning is turned off, and shut off the lights as I leave.

Teacher Tools

  1. I note the class attendance on the left side of the whiteboard and write a check next to a name when I’ve asked that student a question. This is not dependent on whether they answered correctly. It’s just a tool to help me make sure I interact with each student at least once per lesson.
  2. If the class is getting to rowdy, I raise my hand and say “High five please!” and wait for each of them to raise their hand, stop what they’re doing, and look at me. Typically they will remind each other if someone is not paying attention, but I absolutely don’t move on until everyone does it.
  3. At the top of the board on the right side I keep track of class points. I want to recognize when kids put in effort to memorize, but I am trying to create a culture of teamwork and encouragement, so all points are collectively put toward our goal. Right now that is when we earn 50 points we have a class party the following week. Other than verses the only other thing I give points for is memorizing catechisms.
  4. I allow and encourage doodling in notes as long as it is not disruptive. It helps get nervous energy out and some of the students can focus more easily while they draw.
wiki/4th-5th_grade_sunday_school_class_routine.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/30 13:12 by john

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