Sunday, June 14, 2009

Memorial Church of Christ Field Trip

Today, a group of KWCOC teachers and parents attended services at Memorial Church of Christ to watch their Sunday Bible Class program in action. Memorial began using the workshop rotation model of teaching about a year ago. For those that have not heard me talk about it, the workshop rotation model works a little like an overgrown VBS. Each week the children visit a different "workshop", which is much like the 15 minute centers in VBS. However, these workshops last one hour and are designed to draw in children through different learning styles. Examples of workshops include: Theater, Storytelling, Maps and Geography, Crafts, Cooking, Science, Games, Computers, and Music.

The curriculum presents the Bible stories in chronological order through the use of large themes. Each themed unit has workshop material for six centers. Each theme, such as Creation, is then broken down into smaller bits, such as God creates the world or Cain and Abel. Since the pieces of the story may not be presented in chronological order, two centers focus on review of the stories in order to help children solidify their learning and comprehend the Bible story in the overall time line of the Bible. Each theme has six centers, meaning each rotation lasts six weeks.

It seemed that the KWCOC parents and teachers were very excited about this style of ministry. They saw the stregnths of the model to be: 1) teachers prepare one lesson and teach it six times, 2) it's creative and draws in the kids, 3) the Bible story can really be emphasized while still teaching creatively, and 4) it plays on the children's stregnths in learning. There were probably some other ideas mentioned, too, that I'm not remembering right now. Some negatives that we noticed: 1) it is slightly confusing for the kids to figure out where they go each week, 2) spaces have to be creative and thought through, which does take a lot of help and support, 3) slightly more help volunteer help is needed each year. Jennifer Reinsch, the Children's Minister from Memorial, spoke to each of these issues.

The KWCOC children that attended Bible classes also seemed to enjoy themselves! They asked if they could come back again and said the class was really fun! We even had one youth group member with us and she asked if she could help teach one of the workshops if we were to do this at Kingwood.

When we get back from camp, the children's area should be nearing completion. At this point, we need to make a definite committments as to which curriculum or style of ministry we will use for our elementary classes, begin organing the teaching teams, as well as to design the decorations in each classroom.

Lastly, I noticed, and maybe others did too, how willing the teachers at Memorial were to "show off" their classrooms and children during Bible class. We were invited to sit in part of one lesson. Every teacher seemed to love what they were doing and seemed VERY EXCITED to share that passion with our crew.

Thanks, Jennifer, for showing us around your wonderful program. And, thanks KWCOC members for taking the time to drive down to Memorial and take a peak at what could be next for us. It was so exciting to see you all there!

For His Kids,
Shannon Rains
Children and Family Minister
PS - Pictures will be coming soon!

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