1. Best Practices for Preschool Sunday School
  2. Purpose Statement
  3. Before the Conference
    1. Focal Wall, Room Setup, and Decoration Ideas
    2. Audio/Visual Needs
    3. Preparation Steps: Resources to Collect and Prepare
  4. During the Conference
    1. Procedure Steps
    2. Teaching Preschoolers
    3. Reaching Preschoolers
    4. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and serious of your teaching

Best Practices for Preschool Sunday School


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Purpose Statement
This conference is designed to focus on two of the best practices for preschool Sunday School—teaching and reaching to help teachers:

§ Determine what needs to be done before, during, and after Sunday morning.
§ Consider ideas and resources to get organized and stay organized.

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Before the Conference

Focal Wall, Room Setup, and Decoration Ideas
Choose a focal wall in the conference room—the place conferees will notice as they enter the room. Set two tables in front of this wall and arrange the chairs in a U-shape facing the tables.

§ Consider using two black twin flat sheets for tablecloths. To add color, use four 45-inch fabric squares in primary colors (blue, green, red, and yellow) to drape across the black tablecloths.
§ Use plastic tablecloths in the conference room to cover or hide things, as needed.
§ Purchase a white display board (36 by 48 inches) and request cutting the board in half to make two boards. (Cutting the board in half will make it easier to carry.) The display boards have scored foldout panels for quick setup. The boards will create backdrops for the tables and help conferees focus on the tables rather than other things in the background. Purchase two header boards to attach on top of display boards, if desired.
§ Locate two copies of Read-to-Me Bible for Kids (HCSB®) for the tables.
§ Gather pictures or photographs of preschoolers to attach to display boards or for use on the tables.

If tables are not available, place three or four chairs together and cover with a tablecloth to create a table space. The floor can also be used to display conference items.
Decorate and prepare the tables as follows:
Table 1 (on left side), the “teaching table”—blue and red fabric draped across black tablecloth:

§ Place a display board with header board in the center of the table. Print the word teaching in large black letters on the header board. (If the header board is not used, the word can be printed in the center of the display board.)
§ Open the Read-to-Me Bible for Kids (HCSB®) and place it in the center of the table.
§ Attach pictures or photographs on the display board to show preschool boys and girls involved in Bible-learning activities to emphasize teaching preschoolers.

Table 2 (on right side), the “reaching table”—green and yellow fabric draped across black tablecloth:

§ Set a display board with header board in the center of the table. Print the word reaching in large black letters on the header board. (If the header board is not used, the word can be printed in the center of the display board.)
§ Arrange a Read-to-Me Bible for Kids (HCSB®) on the table, closed to show the cover illustration of Jesus and a child.
§ Display individual pictures or photographs of preschool boys and girls to emphasize reaching preschoolers.

Audio/Visual Needs

§ CD player 
§ Bible Teaching for Kids: Music and More Enhanced CD


Preparation Steps: Resources to Collect and Prepare

1. Print Preschool Sunday School (Item 1) handout on card stock and cut apart the Bible marker at the bottom. Print Items 2a, 2b, 3a, and 3b handouts on white or colored paper.
2. Place a copy of Preschool Sunday School (Item 1) handout and Bible marker in each chair with items facing the front of the chair. Provide pens or pencils for conferees.
3. Review the information suggested for the focal wall to visualize the room setup. Gather and prepare resources to display on or near each table.
§ For the “teaching table,” provide the basic resources suggested on How to Organize for Effective Bible Teaching? (Item 2a) handout. Collect a set of Bible Teaching for Kids current curriculum for each age group represented in the conference. Prepare at least one set of the curriculum as suggested on the handout. Pack a “Sunday stuff” bag (suggested on the handout). Consider adding items to represent resources used in preschool rooms such as books and items from the learning centers. Teachers also enjoy seeing teacher-made resources.
§ For the “reaching table,” prepare samples of the suggested items for organizing information on the How to Organize for Effective Outreach? (Item 3a) handout. Think about displaying stamps, cell phone, and car keys to emphasize mail, telephone calls, and visits.


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During the Conference

Procedure Steps

1. Play instrumental music from the CD as conferees arrive. Introduce yourself and greet conferees to model greeting preschool children on Sunday morning. Invite the conferees to be seated and begin working on Preschool Sunday School (Item 1) handout.

Teaching Tip: Make eye contact when greeting a child at the door on Sunday morning. Welcome the child by showing a picture or something that will be used in the room. Consider personalizing a Bible verse (God loves Mark) or singing or speaking a greeting to a child. (I am happy; I am happy; Mark is here today.)

2. Move to the front of the conference room after conferees are seated. Explain that you will whisper something to the person on your right and ask that person to whisper the words to the person on her right and continue around the circle. Whisper a welcome (I am glad you are here), and then wait for the last person to whisper the statement to you.

Teaching Tip: Preschoolers enjoy whispering a short Bible verse to each other. Suggest trying this idea in group time for 3’s-K.

3. Ask for a volunteer to read the paraphrased Bible verse on the Bible marker. Pause to thank God for choosing men and women to teach Bible truths to preschool boys and girls.
4. Invite conferees to share responses to the statements on the handout (Item 1). Emphasize the reaching part of this conference by saying, “We know about the importance of teaching, but we need to understand the importance of reaching. We will discover the answer to a question: After Sunday, what next?”

Teaching Preschoolers

1. Distribute How to Organize for Effective Bible Teaching? (Item 2a) handout. Choose five conferees to be helpers. Describe each of the basic resources on the handout: leader guide, learner guide, leader pack, enhanced music CD, and Childhood Extra! (from LifeWay Web site, www.lifeway.com ). Pause after each description to ask one of the helpers to find the resource to hold. As the five helpers stand at the front of the room, holding the resources, say: “These are the basic resources we use for effective Bible teaching. You will need to gather and prepare the resources to make them useful for you and the preschoolers you teach.”

Teaching Tip: During group time, describe things in the room and choose helpers to locate the items.

2. Emphasize that organizing for Bible teaching includes planning. Distribute Sunday School Checklist (Item 2b) handout. Review the information on the handout. Suggest using a checklist for Sunday School plans to gather items and prepare activities. Encourage conferees to use this checklist to prepare for the next Sunday School session.
3. Call attention to additional items displayed for teaching.
4. Conclude the teaching emphasis by telling a Bible story, preferably one for next Sunday. Model holding a Bible open to the correct passage and telling the story in your own words. Identify the age group and date for the Bible story. Consider opening the leader guide to show where to find the Bible story, personal Bible study, and suggestions for telling the story.

Reaching Preschoolers

1. Distribute How to Organize for Effective Outreach (Item 3a) handout. Show samples of ways to organize information for outreach.
2. Mention ways to acknowledge birthdays. Suggest singing to preschoolers during the Sunday morning session.
3. Distribute After Sunday…What Next? (Item 3b) handout. Describe three ways to contact preschoolers: mail, telephone calls, and visits. Ask conferees to look at the handout for specific information about these methods.
4. Emphasize the importance of outreach for regular attenders. Tell about a child who attended Sunday School regularly:

A preschool boy told his mother that he did not want to go to Sunday School that week. His mother listened and heard his explanation: “If I am not there, I will get a card from my Sunday School teacher.” The child had learned that those who are absent receive mail. The child wanted to be an absentee!

5. Challenge conferees to choose one idea for contacting a preschool child before Sunday.
6. Read the Bible verse on the bottom of Item 2a, adding words about reaching:

Let everything you do reflect the integrity and serious of your teaching
and reaching (Titus 2:7, New Living Translation).

7. Sing new words to the tune “God Is So Good”: “God will help us; God will help us; God will help us; He’s so good to us.”
8. Thank conferees for attending. Offer to remain at the front to answer any questions

.After the Conference

1. Pack conference resources and supplies. As much as possible, return the room to the way it was when you arrived.
2. Plan follow-up after the conference such as contacts to conferees or the host church.
3. Thank God for equipping you to lead the conference. Pray for the conferees and the preschoolers they teach.


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One Day Training Conference Plan 10