Children's Ministry Volunteer Leader's Handbook


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Children's Ministry Volunteer Leader’s Handbook

Psalm 78:5–7 5 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, 6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, 7 so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; Helping Kids and Families to Know and Grow in God's Story Updated 1/13/2016

Vision & Mission Statement Helping Kids and Families to Know and Grow in God's Story Community Kids is a place where kids can experience unconditional love, community with other kids and the significance of the truth from God's Word and the reality of God's Story creatively. From infants to 6th Graders, our goal is to create environments that engage each age group at their developmental level, while helping them discover and experience who God is and how to join God in His Story through His Son, Jesus. We desire and pray for transformation to occur in the life of a child at CF and then at home with their family. We are convinced that ministry to children is best accomplished by encouraging and offering practical training and tools based in scripture to parents. We know that Parents have a much greater influence over the course of time in their child’s life than we will ever have as a church. George Barna says, "It is the parent whom God will hold accountable for the spiritual maturation of their children." So our goal is to relationally partner with parents to raise children and families who know and grow in God's Story as fully engaged disciples of Jesus Christ. We are committed to families in three ways:  To help equip parents with tools and resources that will set them up to be the primary spiritual influencers in their homes.  To teach God’s Word to kids through the significance of God's Story in the Bible, music, small group discussions, age-appropriate and creative activities for the sake of the Gospel.  To maintain a safe and secure environment for kids and families where all volunteers and leaders are carefully screened and monitored through a stringent security process. Ultimately:  Children need parents who will help them advance in their relationship with God. No one has more potential to influence, observe and guide a child’s relationship with God than parents! 

Parents need the church to help them know how to be the spiritual leaders at home. Perhaps the greatest gift the we can give parents is the confidence and courage to do what God has created and commanded them to do! Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (ESV)You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.



Churches need leaders to do more for Men, Women, Parents and Families who hold the power of lifelong relational influence spiritually in the lives of their children!

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VOLUNTEER SCREENING PROCEDURE In order to ensure the safety of our children and that of the workers involved in Children's Ministries, all volunteers are required to participate in a screening process. It is of the utmost importance that we provide a safe and secure environment for our children to learn about Jesus. It is our hope that you will not be intimidated by this procedure, but that you would understand the importance of this policy for the sake of all those involved with the children of Community Fellowship. Every new worker in Children's Ministries will receive a "new volunteer" packet. Included in this packet are the following:      

A Children's Ministry Application which includes at least two references. A Background Check release form Online Video Child Safety Training Interview Briefed on Child Safety Procedures Given a Child Safety & Security Guide & A Volunteer Leader’s Handbook

We ask that the application and Background Check release form be completed and returned to the Children's Ministry Staff for processing as soon as possible .

CLASSROOM STAFFING GUIDELINES The Children's Ministry team has developed a set of guidelines for all volunteers to follow. Our guidelines are designed not only to promote spiritual growth in our children, but to provide protection for them as well. It is essential for us to provide a safe and nurturing environment. Everyone who cares for the children at Community Fellowship must follow these policies and procedures. The Children's Ministry Staff must approve all volunteers who engage in supervision of children under the sponsorship of Community Fellowship. This process involves each volunteer completing the entire Children's Ministry Application process before they are eligible to serve with any children.  

At least one screened adult (18 yrs. or older) must be in the classroom at all times. Regardless of the number of children present, there is to be a minimum of two volunteer leaders in the classroom at all times. This is for the protection of the worker.

The following are ratios of staffing requirements. Again, a minimum of two workers is required regardless of the number of children present. AGE OF CHILDREN VOLUNTEER/CHILD RATIO Infants (6 weeks - 14 months) 1 to 4 Toddlers (15 - 23 months) 1 to 5 2-3 years 1 to 6-8 4-5 years (preschool) 1 to 8-10 K-1st grade 1 to 10 2nd-6th grade 1 to 10

GROUP SIZE 12 15 18 20 25 30

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FOR SAFETY'S SAKE When serving in ministry to children and families, always be polite, helpful and full of grace. In other words Grace Given & Grace Driven. You never know who might come through our doors. Every person who volunteers in Children’s Ministry at Community Fellowship is a "leader" in the eyes of kids and families. Therefore a leader is called to live a life pursuing the qualities found in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:6-9. A leader is not expected to live a perfect life, (only Jesus pulled that off) however, a leader is held to a higher standard because in children’s ministry leaders are entrusted to help kids and families to know and grow in God’s Story and take their next step towards Jesus Christ…together.

Volunteer Role  Volunteer Leaders are always representatives of Community Kids, Awana, Community Fellowship, and most

importantly Jesus Christ.  All volunteer leaders in Children’s Ministry must wear approved identification at all times while serving at any event. ID’s will be issued after the application process is completed.  Our process includes an application with references, background check, online child safety video training, interview and a briefing on our safety procedures.

General Standards, Expectations & Safety  Be On Time—Volunteers should be in their classroom ready to engage children at least 15-20 minutes before the

start of each service. The children still show up even if you are running late.  Stay till the End—Plan to stay until the next hour teachers are in place or until the last child has been picked up.  Always help clean up and reset the classroom before leaving. Put back resources and equipment. Wipe down and

disinfect all countertop and table surfaces.  Kids and volunteers must wear their nametags and/or security badge lanyards at all times. Please, stop people from 

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entering rooms who don't have a lanyard or a number to pick up a child. If a parent needs to be called to a room, dial 250 on the church phone system located near the Nursery and Community Kids welcome desk or A/V booth in 112B to connect to the main control A/V Booth during a service. They will flash a child’s number on the screen. First Aid kits are located at the welcome center upstairs and at the Community Kids desk downstairs. Each room should have a few band aids and other first aid supplies as well. Follow the Fire & Tornado drill policy and procedure posted in rooms. The AED (Automated External Defibrillator) unit is located at the upstairs welcome desk. Special training required. In case of emergency, dial 911.

Movement & Transition Times  Kids will walk without running in organized lines to rooms along the right side of the hallway.  Kids will be encouraged to use the bathroom during transition times. This happens primarily during Awana. (please

review Bathroom Policy below)

Registration & Check-in Procedures  We utilize a secure check-in system with matching tags for parents and children. Volunteers are stationed at every

classroom's exit. Parents must have a matching tag to pick up their child.  Volunteers will help parents understand and know that our procedures are for their child’s safety.  A child needs to be checked-in by a parent. The parent that picks up the child must have the duplicate number tag Helping Kids and Families to Know and Grow in God's Story

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to enter the lobby restricted area, or enter the room.  In Awana, if a parent is picking up another family’s child must be on the list of approved people to pickup that child.  Siblings cannot pick up a child.

Number System (Nursery-4th Grade) 



All children, infants through 4th grade, will be given a name tag and a security number tag. The parent will receive a claim tag with the same security number. The primary purpose of this security number is to identify the child with the parent when the child is released. No child is to be released unless the child's name tag matches the parent's or guardian's claim tag. This security number is also used to call a parent (flashed on the screens) from worship if the need arises. The child's number will appear on the screens located at the front of the worship area. Children in JAM 56 (5th-6th grade) are allowed to check themselves in and they will be dismissed at the conclusion to the service.

Two Person Rule  Two-Person Rule: Staff and Volunteers are Never allowed to be alone with a child. This applies to children in your

own family while serving in Community Kids or Awana.  The “Two-Person” Rule is designed to protect both children and adults by not giving opportunities for adults to have

sustained time alone with a child or student. It also protects staff and volunteers in situations in which a child or student with some significant emotional needs may misinterpret adult interaction or may make false statements about an adult’s behavior toward them. By following this rule, many potential problem situations are prevented.  Never go behind closed doors or into a restroom with a child without another adult present. One adult can stand in the doorway creating a balance for integrity and being respectful to the child.  This will require an intentional focus for married couples or family members to hold one another accountable to the highest standards for integrity and trust. Even when you volunteer with someone you trust [spouse, parent, sibling, etc.], the two-person rule is non-negotiable. If volunteers are related, the presence of a 3rd volunteer is preferred.  Teen volunteers can serve with kids in the presence of a screened adult.

Game Times  We will avoid games that tend toward physical roughness or tend to get out of control or have a high risk of collision

between Kids.  If adults take part in the games (Awana/VBS), they should remember to never use full speed/force against any child or group of children. If adults participate, they should do so in a “mock” fashion to promote fun, involvement and good sportsmanship.

Behavior Problems  Build relationship with students and parents. Give them reports often about their children, both good and bad. 



 

Behaviors are a sign of what is going on in the heart. One of our goals is Heart Transformation. Always be encouraging even when you must ask a child to stop a negative behavior. Allow the Children’s Pastor, Awana Commander, Early or Late Childhood Coordinator to handle any hard discipline issues. They must always be informed of discipline issues. Never shout at a child or raise your voice. Always be firm but gentle. You may give a child a choice. “You can stop that behavior or we can talk to your parents when they come to pick you up.” Then follow through on that statement. Never shout “shut up” or yell in an effort to gain the attention of a group. Use the number system 1-2-3-4-5 or wait quietly for everyone’s attention and then begin. If a child needs help sitting still, the volunteer leader should move next to the child. Maybe even touch them on the shoulder to get their attention. If they persist, remove them from the group and sit with them in the back. They have a choice to make: Behave appropriately or the parent will be told at the end of the class. In some cases we Helping Kids and Families to Know and Grow in God's Story

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may need to call the parent to the room. Please, don’t use this as an idol threat. Always follow through.  Remember, never use sarcasm with a child or ridicule them in any way. Any discipline should take place in the

presence of another adult.  Never use any kind of physical discipline or any action that could be misinterpreted to be physical punishment.

Under no circumstances will spanking, neck or choke holds, ear or hair pulling or any other corporal punishment be used.

Appropriate Physical Touch  The “Two Person” rule must be in effect at all times.  Any touch should be age-level appropriate and for the purpose of encouragement and affirmation.  An appropriate touch should:  Be a non-demanding touch of shoulders, hands, arms, head, or back.  Be in public view of the class and other volunteer leader.  Never be behind closed doors  Be age appropriate – child may sit on your leg (knees), not your lap (Kindergarten and younger only)  The expressed affirmation of the child should never be done for the satisfaction or pleasure of the care provider.

Bathroom Policy  Please remind Parents to have their child “Go” before Check-In.  The “Two Person” rule must be in effect at all times.  During time of transitions to different rooms, children will be encouraged to use the bathroom while the group

waits orderly in the hallway. This happens primarily during Awana. Infants—3 year olds  Volunteers must change a diaper in the presence of other adults.  Only volunteers 16 and over may change a diaper.

Preschool (4 years old) through 6th Grade—Public and in Classroom Restrooms:

 Adult volunteers must escort a child to the bathroom or to get a drink. There must always be at least three people in the group.  Unless impossible, it is strongly recommended when taking children to the restroom, adults should only take children of their same gender.  Adults may enter the restroom with the children (2 or more) of the same gender only, but not the bathroom stall. If the adult is not the same gender as the children, stay outside of the restroom and prop the door open with your foot.  Confirm the bathroom is empty before allowing children to go in the bathroom while you remain outside with the door propped so you can hear them inside. Do not allow anyone else to go in the bathroom until the children you have sent in come out.  Older preschoolers should be able to use the bathroom by themselves with the door closed. If you need to enter the bathroom, please leave the door partially open.  If there is an emergency or a child needs assistance with wiping or a zipper, a volunteer may not help. Please, call for the parent.  Children in 5th and 6th grades with permission may be sent in pairs to the restroom without the supervision of an adult. All other children must be accompanied by an adult and at least one other child.  Bathroom visits during the last 10-15 minutes should be very rare. They tend to complicate the check-out process.

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Our Child Protection Policy Recognizing Child Abuse

 A first step in helping or getting help for an abused or neglected child is to identify the signs and symptoms of child abuse. www.safehorizon.org/page/10-signs-of-child-abuse-58.html  Child abuse is the mistreatment of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caretaker, someone living in their home or someone who works with or around children. Child abuse can be physical (such as burns or broken bones), sexual (such as fondling or incest), or emotional. Neglect happens when a parent or responsible caretaker fails to provide adequate supervision, food, clothing, shelter or other basics for a child.  All volunteers are instructed in recognizing the signs of abuse and are trained to contact and report to Community Kids staff immediately to initiate a report to DCFS. For more information, visit the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Stop It Now organization at:  www.state.il.us/dcfs/child/index.shtml  www.stopitnow.com

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PROMOTION PROCEDURE Nursery Infant Nursery The Infant Nursery will care for babies until they begin to actively crawl Crawlers/Early Walkers The Crawlers/Early Walkers Nursery will care for children who are actively crawling. Older Walkers The Older Walkers Nursery will care for children who are walking up to two years of age. Preschool and Elementary 2-3 Year Olds The two-three years old class will accept children the Sunday following their second birthday. 4-5 Year Olds The four-five years old class will accept children the Sunday following their fourth birthday. Kindergarten through 6th Grade Children that will have turned the appropriate age by September 1 st and are entering the corresponding grade in school will be promoted to the proper class on the Sunday following labor Day in September.

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DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES 1. Behavioral expectations must be communicated regularly. State clearly the consequences for inappropriate behavior as outlined below. 2. If a child breaks a rule, immediately give a verbal warning. 3. If a child breaks the rule again, separate the child from the rest of the group by leading him/her to a chair away from the group, but within the realm of an adult's supervision. 4. If the child continues to disrupt the class, inform the Community Kids Staff. A Community Kids Staff member will then decide if the child's behavior warrants notifying the parent immediately in the service, or waiting to discuss the situation with them after the service. 5. Discipline must always be carried out in a kind and quiet manner. Point out the negative behavior without demeaning the child personally. Kind words and emphasis of good behavior is always encouraged. 6. Invite the child to return next week, expressing unconditional love to them. 7. All disciplinary action must be carried out by an adult and always in the context of the Two Person Rule.

DISCIPLINE SUGGESTIONS 1. Speak quietly, yet directly to the child, using silence, if necessary to get the child's attention. 2. Never belittle a child; rather, express disappointment over the child's negative behavior. 3. Don't forget to look beyond the behavior to the root cause. 4. Always remain calm and in control. Your conduct speaks volumes when you are under pressure. Firmness, not anger, should be communicated. 5. Establish and communicate expectations and rules of behavior early and often. Be Proactive as opposed Reactive. 6. Provide opportunities for children to move and have fun. Children were not created to always sit still and be silent. 7. Reward appropriate behavior. Rewards can be in the form of verbal praise, small tangible prizes, and candy always works, too. 8. Communicate with the parent early if a negative or inappropriate behavior becomes persistent. Speak with the parent in a positive manner, asking for their suggestions and opinions in an effort to help their child enjoy Community Kids and ultimately grow closer in their relationship to Jesus.

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FIRST AID POLICY AND PROCEDURE First Aid Safety Tips A First Aid Kit and a box of latex gloves are kept in a container located near each area of ministry.  Preschool - First Aid Kit is located at the Information Desk nd th  2 - 4 Grade - First Aid Kit is located in the file drawer th th  5 & 6 Grade - First Aid Kit is located in the classroom  A box of latex gloves must be kept in each teacher's supply box in the classroom. Please notify the Community Kids Staff of any First-Aid supplies that need to be replaced.  Wash your hands.  Avoid direct contact with blood, vomit, or excrement.  Report all incidents and minor injuries to the parents as soon as possible after class by filling out and “Ouch Report”.  In the event of a serious emergency, please call the Community Kids Staff, the parents from the service and 911. A volunteer will be assigned outside to wait for the ambulance to direct the paramedics to the child. Another designated adult will locate and communicate with the parents.

First Aid Emergency Procedures Cuts & Scrapes  Use latex gloves.  Apply firm, but gentle pressure over the wound with gauze until the bleeding stops (2-5 min.)  Gently wash the wound, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover with a bandage.  If the bleeding continues, elevate the affected extremity and apply pressure for another 5 min. Nosebleeds  Use latex gloves.  Keep the child in the upright position.  Firmly pinch the outside of the nose directly above the nostrils until the bleeding stops (5 min.).  Have the child sit or play quietly for 5-10 min. Foreign Body in Ear or Nose  If the object is loose and you can see the entire object, tip the child's head to see if the item falls out.  If the object is tightly wedged and you can't see all of it, do not attempt to remove it.  Keep the child quiet, and locate the parents Human Bite  Use latex gloves if the skin is broken.  Wash the area with soap and water.  If the area is only bruised, apply ice or a cool cloth for swelling. If the skin is broken apply antibiotic ointment and bandage.  Notify parents of the incident Helping Kids and Families to Know and Grow in God's Story

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Insect Bites/Stings 1. Wash area with soap and water. 2. Elevate the affected extremity and apply ice or a cool towel to prevent swelling. If available, apply a paste of baking soda and water. 3. Watch the child closely for signs of a generalized allergic reaction. SYMPTOMS: Flushed red rash or hives Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath Puffy eyelids or lips Sweating Vomiting 4. If any of the above generalized symptoms occur, please call the Community Kids Staff, the parents from the service and 911 immediately. 5. Locate the parents. Electrical Shock or Burns 1. Separate the child from the electrical source. Use a broom or some other type of not conductive material, do not use metal. Do not directly touch the child with your bare hands. 2. If the child is unconscious, call 911. Check for a pulse and respiration. If necessary and if trained, begin CPR. 3. Announce to the congregation the immediate need for medical help. (MD, RN, or Paramedic). 4. Locate the Parents. 5. Cover the burn with sterile gauze. 6. Cover the child with a blanket, if available. Convulsions/Seizures Although a seizure can look very frightening it is usually not dangerous. During a seizure the child may stiffen, fall to the ground, froth at the mouth, have his eyes roll upward, be incontinent of bowel or bladder, or lose consciousness. 1. Keep the child from hurting himself by removing any objects near to him/her, especially furniture. 2. Do NOT attempt to restrain the child. 3. Loosen any tight clothing. 4. NEVER attempt to pry open the child's mouth. Not only could you break his/her teeth and possibly cause the child to aspirate, but you could receive a severe bite. It is not unusual for the child to bite his/her tongue during a seizure. 5. If possible, try to turn the child on his/her side to keep the airway clear, occasionally the tongue can obstruct the airway. 6. After the seizure the child may seem dazed, confused or very weak. This can last anywhere from several minutes to several hours. Comfort the child until the parents arrive.

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IN CASE OF FIRE OR OTHER EMERGENCIES Classroom Evacuations 1. Acquaint yourself with the evacuation route for your classroom. It is posted near the exit door of your classroom. 2. Acquaint yourself with the evacuation route for adjoining classrooms should your primary exit be blocked and you need to evacuate through an adjoining classroom. 3. Before evacuating count the number of children in your class. If you have an attendance sheet with names, take it with you. 4. Turn off classroom lights as you leave. 5. Evacuate to the area designated on your evacuation route chart. Upon arrival, take a head count to insure all your children are with you. 6. Await further instructions from a member of Community Kids Staff or emergency personnel. 7. First Aid will be brought to you as needed. Do not leave your group to obtain First Aid. 8. Remain calm and help keep your children calm. Keep them informed as you have information to share with them. 9. In case of a weather related emergency (tornado warning, etc) remove children to interior rooms away from windows. A supervisor will advise you on evacuation route. 10. Release children only to their parents and only after you have been given the okay to dismiss by a member of the Community Kids staff. Early childhood parents must have their child's claim check. Do not dismiss any children, including elementary age, to go on their own.

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OUCH REPORT Date:__________________________________ Time:__________________________________

Dear:__________________________________ (parent's name)

___________________________cried "OUCH" (child's name)

This is what happened: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Room or place where it occurred: _________________________________________________ Here's how we treated it: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _________We feel your child is OK now. Room #_____________ _________Further medical attention is advised Sincerely, ______________________________________ Date _______ (teacher's name)

The above Community Kids or CF Awana representative has discussed with me how this “ouch” occurred. Signed, ______________________________________ Date _______ (parent or guardian)

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Children's Ministry Job Descriptions

Community Kids Staff Joel Sisson—Children's Ministry Pastor Margaret Bangert—Early Childhood Coordinator Sandy Dimas—Late Childhood Coordinator

Loving Arms Nursery ?—Nursery Coordinator Room Supervisor Helper Laundry

Early Childhood Teacher Small Group Shepherd Helper Check-in/Greeter

Late Childhood Teacher Small Group Shepherd Helper Worship/Drama Team Check-in/Greeter

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NURSERY COORDINATOR Key Relationships:

Reports to the Early Childhood Coordinator; close coordination with other staff and ministry leaders; volunteer leaders/helpers in the children’s ministry program; parents and children

Scope of Job:

The volunteer, part-time (10 hours) Nursery Coordinator position will provide regular supervision to the operation of the CF nursery. The goal is to provide a safe, clean, well staffed and welcoming nursery environment. This position may also support and assist other needs within the Children’s Ministry department too. This will be done by fulfilling these responsibilities.

Primary Responsibilities:  Assist in coordinating volunteers on a weekly basis for the nursery as well as the early and late childhood ministries. Assist in securing substitutes when needed.  Assist with training, equipping and appreciating nursery volunteer staff.  Help create a welcoming environment in the nursery for parents, children and volunteers.  Assist in making a welcome packet for new families that connect with children’s ministry programs.  Follow up with all new families that enter the church through the nursery and/or through the early and late childhood programs by making an initial contact call to welcome and provide next steps.  Assist in tracking attendance and make follow up calls to families whose attendance has decreased.  Assist with facilitating a plan to encourage families toward more regular/consistent attendance.  Visit or contact families with newborns to congratulate them and inform them about the nursery and child dedication as well as other pertinent information.  Meet occasionally with the early and late childhood coordinators to plan, coordinate and evaluate progress against the department and church goals.  Ensure organization of supplies, equipment and furniture and maintain cleanliness in the nursery.  Assist with ensuring that safety and security standards are maintained in the nursery. Help provide nursery service for CF church wide special events as requested and as resources and volunteer staff allow. Qualifications: A suitable candidate will meet these criteria. A passion for young children and their families. Prior experience working with children, preferably in similar church children’s ministry program. Ability to build teams relationally by encouraging and equipping others for volunteer roles. Self-starter, good communication skills, organizer, administrative skill, team player. Evidence of a growing and mature relationship with Jesus Christ. Agrees with the vision, purpose and direction of Community Fellowship and specifically of the Children’s Ministry program. Bilingual abilities a plus.

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Nursery Volunteer Description A Nursery Volunteer is a proactive caregiver, assisting other volunteers throughout the morning. Responsibilities 1. Commit to arrive prepared and ready to minister to children and families no later than 15-20 minutes before ministry start time. Communicate (call/text/email) with Community Kids Staff, if I will be late or absent. 2. Upon arriving at least 15-20 minutes before the service begins in the nursery, sign-in on the attendance check-in sheet, wash your hands, and put on your CommKids ID. 3. Come prepared to help. Help care for babies and toddlers, help with checking in and out the kids, help label all items belonging to a child, help with snacks and/or feedings, help change a diaper, help with crowd control, help moms feel more comfortable, etc. 4. Refer frequently to the instructions given on the registration card/label for the appropriate care of each child. Be alert to any name tags of children who have special concerns (allergies, medical conditions, etc.). 5. Label all items taken from diaper bags with the child's name/number. 6. Put chewed/dirty toys in the dishwasher after use. 7. Complete the Community Kids communication note to every parent so they can know how their child's morning went and what care was provided (ex: time of diaper change, snacks, etc.). 8. Clean up and reset room.  Empty trash,  Put clean toys away,  Put dirty toys in dishwasher and start it,  Clear countertops,  Place used burb cloths in bin,  Sweep up any crumbs,  Lock the door on your way out. 9. Remain in the nursery until all the children are checked-out. If one baby remains, two workers must stay in the room at all times. 10. Finding a sub – If you know you will be gone, please notify Community Kids Staff in advance that you will be gone even if you are running late. 11. Serve an Hour/Worship an Hour – We desire for all our volunteer leaders to Gather, Grow and Go together in community.

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Early Childhood Job Descriptions

Welcome Desk Greeter

Along with Security Hall Monitors Responsibilities 1. Oversees Sunday Mornings. 2. Greets and welcomes parents and children - registering new children and families. 3. Monitors each classroom to make sure it has the proper amount of workers. 4. Monitors the "worker to child" ratio per classroom and communicates with the Children's Ministry Director when new classes need to be opened. 5. Gathers the attendance sheets and leaves them at the Information Desk for ushers to gather. 6. Finding a sub – If you know you will be gone, please notify Community Kids Staff in advance that you will be gone even if you are running late. 7. Serve an Hour/Worship an Hour – We desire for all our volunteer leaders to Gather, Grow and Go together in community.

Early Childhood: Teacher Descriptions The Teacher is responsible for his/her particular classroom and for teaching the lesson. In addition, he/ she oversees the small group leaders and helpers, making sure each worker knows their responsibility for the morning. Responsibilities 1. Prepare the story, songs, and finger plays for the morning in advance. The Teacher is responsible for the "Bible Story Time" and "Together Time" on Sunday morning. Pray to God for wisdom and pray for the children as you prepare for this teaching time. 2. Communicate with the small group shepherds and helpers about the morning program. 3. Arrives early to set-up the activity centers and make sure the classroom is ready for the children. 4. Oversee the Sunday morning schedule by directing the small group shepherds to their activity centers and keeping the morning on schedule. 5. Develop close interaction with the children, overseeing any required discipline, or involving a child in an activity if necessary. 6. Help reset the classroom once all children have been checked-out. 7. Finding a sub – If you know you will be gone, please notify Community Kids Staff in advance that you will be gone even if you are running late. 8. Serve an Hour/Worship an Hour – We desire for all our volunteer leaders to Gather, Grow and Go together in community.

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Early Childhood: Helper Description The preschool helper is there to assist the Teacher and Small Group Leader throughout the morning. This would include responsibility for activity stations and sitting with the children during the song and teaching time. Responsibilities 1. Arrive 15-20 minutes before class starts to receive the children. 2. Assist in setting up the different activities for the morning. 3. Play and interact with the children, encouraging them to participate in the morning activities. 4. Help to clean and put supplies away at the end of class. 5. Finding a sub – If you know you will be gone, please notify Community Kids Staff in advance that you will be gone even if you are running late. 6. Serve an Hour/Worship an Hour – We desire for all our volunteer leaders to Gather, Grow and Go together in community.

Early Childhood: Small Group Shepherd Description The Small Group Leader is responsible for his/her particular activity center. It is the Small Group Leader's responsibility to involve the children in the activities and build a relationship with the children at the centers. The Small Group Leaders also supervise the children during story time. Responsibilities 1. Read the entire lesson ahead of time and be ready to lead and apply the lesson each week. 2. Arrive 15-20 minutes before class starts to receive the children. 3. Be familiar with the activity center you are responsible for, and know the Bible story being taught each week 4. During activity time, while you are doing your assigned activity, talk with the children in an attempt to develop relationships. 5. Help during story time to keep the children quiet, seated, and listening to the teacher. Encourage the children to participate in the songs and finger plays. 6. Assist the children to the washroom. 7. Help to set-up and tear down the classroom, including clean up. 8. Finding a sub – If you know you will be gone, please notify Community Kids Staff in advance that you will be gone even if you are running late. 9. Serve an Hour/Worship an Hour – We desire for all our volunteer leaders to Gather, Grow and Go together in community.

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LATE CHILDHOOD Job Descriptions

Elementary Teacher Description The Teacher has the responsibility of teaching the children God's Word through the Bible lesson of the day, always emphasizing the "key verse" and the "key concept." Working closely with the Late Childhood Coordinator, the Music/Drama coordinator, and the Activities Station Coordinator, the Teacher is encouraged to bring creativity and relevancy into every lesson. Responsibilities 1. Entrusted to teach God's Word, prayer is the first and most important responsibility of every teacher. A growing personal relationship with the Lord is crucial in order to be used by Him to communicate His Word to the children. 2. Prepare the story, songs, and finger plays for the morning. Responsible for the "Bible Story Time" and "Together Time" on Sunday morning. Pray to God for wisdom and pray for the children as you prepare for this teaching time. 3. Prayerfully read and meditate on the Bible story throughout the week. 4. Arrive 15-20 minutes before class starts to receive the children. 5. Communicates with the small group leaders about the morning program. 6. Arrives early to set-up the activity centers and make sure the classroom is ready for the children. 7. Oversees the Sunday morning schedule by directing the small group leaders to their activity centers and keeping the morning on schedule. 8. Develop close interaction with the children, overseeing any required discipline, or involving a child in an activity if necessary. 9. Help reset the classroom for the next hour/class. 10. Finding a sub – If you know you will be gone, please notify Community Kids Staff in advance that you will be gone even if you are running late. 11. Serve an Hour/Worship an Hour – We desire for all our volunteer leaders to Gather, Grow and Go together in community.

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Late Childhood: Small Group Shepherd Description The purpose of a Small Group Shepherd is two-fold. 1. To develop strong relationships with the children within their group. 2. To help guide the children how the "key concept" and the "key verse" taught by the teacher can be applied to their lives in a very practical way. The Small Group Shepherd has a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child by developing relationships that will lead the child to a deeper growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Responsibilities (During activity station and large group teaching time) 1. Welcome the children and encourage them to participate in the morning's activities, particularly those children who are visiting or who feel shy or timid. 2. Read the entire lesson ahead of time and be ready to lead and apply the lesson each week. 3. Arrive 15-20 minutes before class starts to receive the children. 4. Assist the children with crafts, etc. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the children through fun activities and games. 5. Encourage the children to participate during the worship/singing time by setting an example. 6. Supervise the children during the large group time by sitting with them and reminding them to sit quietly and listen. 7. Set-up ahead of time your small group table with the supplies you will need for that morning. 8. Finding a sub – If you know you will be gone, please notify Community Kids Staff in advance that you will be gone even if you are running late. 9. Serve an Hour/Worship an Hour – We desire for all our volunteer leaders to Gather, Grow and Go together in community. (During small group time) 1. Guide the children, giving them an opportunity to share any "news" or prayer request they may have. Take the time to review the "key verse." 2. Engage every child in preplanned activities that encourage relationship building within the group. 3. Emphasize the "key concept" that was taught by the teacher and discuss how they can apply that concept in a very practical way in their lives. Make it relevant. 4. Celebrate birthdays within your small group. This could include a card and small treat. 5. When possible, develop your relationship with the children outside of the church setting. Some suggestions might include:  Send them a note or a postcard, especially if you go away or they are absent.  Send the children within your small group a letter introducing yourself before your fall class begins.  Encourage any child who you know is going through a difficult time at home or at school. This can be done by a note or phone call.

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Late Childhood: Check-In/Greeter Description A Greeter is crucial in helping the child to feel welcome each Sunday morning. The purpose of the Greeter is to greet the children as they arrive. Because the Greeter is usually the first person a child comes in contact with, the Greeter has a wonderful opportunity to help the child feel welcome, loved and accepted; setting a positive tone for the rest of the day. Responsibilities 1. The Greeter is to arrive twenty minutes before class begins and stay until everyone has arrived. 2. Greet the child by name and provide the child with his/her name tag. The emphasis is to greet the child, conversation with the parent should be kept to a minimum. 3. Record the child ID number on the attendance sheet. Add any visitors to the list. 4. If the child is a first-time visitor or timid, the greeter is to make every effort to help the child feel comfortable. (ex: asking a small group leader, or another child to escort the child to the activity stations). 5. Finding a sub – If you know you will be gone, please notify Community Kids Staff in advance that you will be gone even if you are running late. 6. Serve an Hour/Worship an Hour – We desire for all our volunteer leaders to Gather, Grow and Go together in community.

Worship and Drama Leader Description The Worship and Drama Leader oversees and coordinates the children's worship time during the large group time. Worship may include the following: singing, drama and puppets. Creativity is greatly encouraged. The Worship/Drama Leader would work closely with the Teacher and CommKids Staff to develop a meaningful time of worship that would helps children to connect with God. Responsibilities Worship Leader 1. Attend meetings with the Teacher and CommKids Staff to plan worship that would emphasize the key concept and the key verse for period of time related to the curriculum unit. 2. Attend meetings with the entire team to discuss the following month's cue sheets. 3. Coordinate the worship time by contacting and organizing the necessary people to lead worship. 4. Pray for the worship time to be meaningful to the children each Sunday and that God would use this time to touch the hearts of His children. 5. Finding a sub – If you know you will be gone, please notify Community Kids Staff in advance that you will be gone even if you are running late. 6. Serve an Hour/Worship an Hour – We desire for all our volunteer leaders to Gather, Grow and Go together in community. Drama Leader 1. Develop a drama team that would prepare dramas during the week to be presented on Sunday mornings, once or twice a month. 2. Help to develop student knowledge in drama and participation.

***It is our desire to eventually develop a music team to serve on alternate Sundays.*** Helping Kids and Families to Know and Grow in God's Story

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Age Group Characteristics Baby/Crawler Characteristics PHYSICALLY Because a baby is born like this: Born with the ability to hear, feel, taste and smell, but motor control is limited. In early stages a baby has a startle reflex which can be a source of concern for the caregiver, but the baby usually grows out of this stage by the time he/she is three months old. Begins to recognize familiar faces. Has a great need to suck and sleep. Crying is his/her main method of communicating until he/she is older. Teach them like this: Promptly and regularly meet the baby's signs of discomfort. Provide a calm and pleasant environment which a baby can feel safe and secure. Provide a mobile and pictures to stimulate vision and focusing skills. Cuddle, hold or rock the baby often for comfort. Verbalize to the baby on a regular basis in a gentle and pleasant tone. MENTALLY Because a baby is like this: Beginning to develop simple problem-solving behavior such as pushing aside obstacles in order to get at a desired object. Stimulated by signs and sounds, especially the pleasant ones. Can locate sounds and can respond by turning head. Begins responding vocally when played with. Teach them like this: Place within the baby's reach objects such as a rattle or a toy that he can touch. Begin to show him appropriate books and talk to him about the pictures he sees. Place the baby where he has room for action, such as a jump seat, walker, swing or play pen. Play pleasant music for him/her to listen to. SOCIALLY Because a baby is like this: Begins to focus on people. Will smile at familiar faces and pleasurable gestures. At about six months baby is usually friendly, happy and alert to his/her own name. Teach them like this: Smile often at the baby. Also, verbalize the specialness of the baby to him. Begin playing simple games such as "pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo." These games help the baby to develop socially and create situations that aid the baby to respond to people.

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EMOTIONALLY Because a baby is like this: Gaining a strong attachment to his/her parents, so the baby will exhibit momentary loss of security when parents leave him. Responds to what makes him/her comfortable. Begins to respond to the world around him/her. Can show pleasure as well as anger. Teach them like this: Comfort the baby quickly as parents leave. Provide interesting toys for the baby to look at and play with. Meet that baby's immediate needs so trust can be maintained. Give the baby a sense of being valued and loved by talking, smiling, and cuddling. SPIRITUALLY Because a baby is like this: Is building a sense of trust as immediate needs are met. Is building a foundation of God through what he/she hears and experiences at church. Teach them like this: Respond to the baby's needs in a loving and consistent manner. Verbalize often Bible truths such as "God made the flower, God made the trees. Thank you God for eyes that can see what you have made." Spend time with the baby so his/her sense of self worth will grow. Positive attitudes of love, acceptance and security are formed through experiences in the baby/crawler rooms.

Toddler Characteristics PHYSICALLY Because the toddler is like this: Developing large muscles. Has learned to walk, but may not be steady. Active, but tires easily. Has some small motor skills and an ability to grasp small toys and be able to feed themselves. Probably not toilet trained. Uses taste and touch to explore their environment. Teach them like this: Provide a safe environment where the child is able to move about freely. Provide activities that utilize their large motor skills rather than small motor skills. Encourage learning, allow the child to do as much for themselves as possible. Provide a balance of active play, rest and quiet activities. MENTALLY Because the toddler is like this: Have a very limited vocabulary made up mostly of nouns and verbs. Can combine words into simple sentences. Has no concept of time. Has a short memory and short attention span. Needs positive directions. Teach them like this: Change pace frequently using a variety of brief activities. Choose stories that can be taught utilizing a simple vocabulary, in a short amount of time with lots of action. Repeat the story frequently. Use taste and touch experiences to enhance the learning environment. Encourage the child to participate in firsthand experiences giving positive feedback rather than using the "no" word all the time. Helping Kids and Families to Know and Grow in God's Story

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SOCIALLY Because the toddler is like this: Enjoys being around other children but may not play with them. Concerned primarily with self and wants to do things for themselves. Can indicate physically, or verbally, their wants. Can help with simple tasks and imitate the actions of others. Teach them like this: Activities in which several children do the same things simultaneously provides the toddler with independence and a group activity. But don't expect the toddler to remain in the group for more than a few moments. Focus more on individual activities. Don't interpret the toddlers selfcenteredness as selfishness. Their world has just not expanded to the point of including others. EMOTIONALLY Because the toddler is like this: May act out emotions in play. Can show a wide range of emotions. Is more secure with familiar people, surroundings and structure. Fears separation from parents. Teach them like this: Provide a secure environment with familiar people, surroundings and structure. Consistent workers are a key. Love expressed by the worker to the toddler is related to an understanding of God's unconditional love. SPIRITUALLY Because a toddler is like this: Directly relates experiences at church with beginning concepts of God. Believe what they are told as the toddler is typically receptive. Does not understand concepts. Teach them like this: The child sees God and the church through the modeling of the teacher. Positive attitudes of love, acceptance and security are formed through experiences in the classroom. Bible stories, Bible verses and songs should be repeated on a regular basis.

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2's and 3's Characteristics PHYSICAL Because the 2 and 3 year old is like this: Large muscles continuing to develop. Although extremely active, will tire easily. Activity limited to one movement at a time. Small motor skills not developed so has difficulty with scissors and crayons. Vocal chords not fully developed. Teach them like this: Provide a variety of learning experiences balanced between active and quiet activities. Pictures hung on the wall, size of chairs and tables should keep in mind the height of the child. Toys and movement should focus on large motor skills. Do not encourage loud singing. MENTALLY Because the 2 and 3 year old is like this: Attention span is 2-4 minutes. Memory abilities are limited. Learns best through repetition, imitation and asking questions. Literal thinkers, therefore do not understand symbolism, time, distance or space. Teach them like this: Repeat Bible stories, songs, etc. often. The child does not tire of favorite toys. Use pictures to illustrate, let the child tell what is happening in the picture. Do not combine Biblical and fictitious characters within the same story, as a child cannot distinguish between the two. SOCIALLY Because the 2 and 3 year old is like this: Self centered. Typically play alone, even in a group. Possessive of toys and may physically protect them. Sometimes timid. Desires attention and wants to please. Can help with supervision. Relies on others to help them as they are just learning to do things themselves. Teach them like this: Focus on individual activities with a limited amount of time devoted to large group. Introduce concepts of taking turns but don't expect the child to share easily. Encourage the child to do things on their own, but be ready to assist them as needed. Show appreciation to the child for helping. Let the child know Jesus is pleased when he/she does good things. EMOTIONALLY Because the 2 and 3 year old is like this: Easily frightened and upset by noise and confusion. May have many fears and cry easily. Familiar people, surroundings and routines provide needed security. Actions are based on feelings. May "act out" in an attempt to get what they want.

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Teach them like this: Arrive early to be well prepared so the child arrives to a peaceful, calm room. Overall consistency is important. Make effective use of transition times. Soft music helps to set a peaceful mood as the child arrives. Avoid loud talking. Minimize any fearful elements in the Bible story. Reward appropriate behavior with an appropriate touch, smile to praise. This minimizes "acting out." If the child "acts out" remove the child from the room until calm. SPIRITUALLY Because the 2 and 3 year old is like this: Beginning to develop concepts of right and wrong and to ask questions about God. Can begin to pray simple prayers. Responds to external motivation. Developing trust, therefore believes what the teacher and parents say. Does not understand religious symbolism but can learn simple Bible truths. Teach them like this: Since the child is easily moldable and looks for "models" to imitate, the child learns love for God, respect for the church and the Bible and other concepts from the teacher. Use simple prayers that the child can repeat. Answer questions simply and honestly avoiding confusing religious symbolism or Bible verses beyond the child's understanding. Do not use statements like, "Jesus won't like you if you do that."

4's and 5's Characteristics PHYICALLY Because the 4 and 5 year old is like this: Very active, restless, on the go but still tires easily. Large muscles and corresponding motor skills are developing rapidly. Runs and jumps moving quickly. Small muscles and corresponding motor skills are developing at a slower pace. Cutting, coloring, and printing skills are developing yet still experiences difficulty in this area. Proud of his/her growth and may view themselves as a "big" boy or girl, but keep in mind they are still little. Teach them like this: Provide lots of space to move about and large sturdy equipment and materials. Change activities frequently interspersing opportunities for rest and slower paced activities. Encourage the child to participate in things he/she is big enough to do but provide help as needed. Encourage experimentation with material but avoid criticism of the child's efforts or undue requirements for the "finished product." MENTALLY Because the 4 and 5 year old is like this: Curious. Asks many questions. Has an increasing vocabulary and is able to put thoughts and ideas into words. Attention span still relatively short, 5-6 minutes. Cannot distinguish between fact and fantasy. Does not understand symbolism and has limited concepts of time, numbers and space. Learns best through imitation, play and using their senses. Forgets easily. Helping Kids and Families to Know and Grow in God's Story

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Teach them like this: The child can memorize but does not easily understand the meaning so use verses and stories that are literal rather than symbolic. Take time to help the child understand the meaning of the verse or story. Be patient with all the "why" question the 4 & 5 year old asks. This is an important way they learn. Provide a variety of sensory learning experiences; touch, taste, see, hear and do. SOCIALLY Because the 4 and 5 year old is like this: Imitate adults. Can play in small groups and learn to share. Still self-centered, more aware of their own needs rather than the needs of others. Tends to conform. Wants the approval of adults but may "test the waters" to see how far they can get with their behavior. Needs boundaries to feel secure. Teach them like this: Be a good role model. Couple Bible stories with contemporary stories to help children begin to understand the needs and feelings of others. Provide group activities where all children can get involved. Encourage the child by praising their efforts. Be firm with the child when needed, but be fair and consistent in your discipline. EMOTIONALLY Because the 4 and 5 year old is like this: Appears more confident but emotions may be intense and near the surface. Expresses anger, love, laughter and tears easily. Adult approval is very important. Need affection and security, as fear is a main emotion. Teach them like this: The child needs a calm, secure, unhurried environment to help keep emotions in check. Don't rush the child through an activity. Show attention equally to all the children. Do not show favoritism. Encourage all the children especially the shy ones but don't focus attention on them. Do not show your own emotions to an extreme as the child quickly imitates the same emotion. SPIRITUALLY Because the 4 and 5 year old is like this: Developing concepts of right and wrong but may blame others for wrongdoing. May confuse God and Jesus. Thinks of God in a personal way and of Jesus as a friend. Influenced by external rewards and punishments. Can pray. Spiritual maturity directly related to the child's emotional maturity. Teach them like this: Let the child know that doing what is right pleases Jesus. Use stories that emphasize the difference between right and wrong. Help the child understand Jesus as a personal friend they can talk with. Encourage prayer as a time of talking to God as they would a friend. Let the children know you can forgive them when they do wrong because God forgives us. Helping Kids and Families to Know and Grow in God's Story

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1st AND 2nd GRADE CHARACTERISTICS PHYSICALLY Because 1st and 2nd graders are like this: Full of energy and active but growing at a slower rate. Small motor skills are developing. Girls are ahead of boys in small motor development. Willing to try most anything, often overestimating their own physical abilities. Easily distracted. Easily catch childhood illnesses. Teach like this: Put lots of activity in your teaching. Allow for plenty of movement involving a variety of motor skills. Provide opportunities for slower-paced activities and rest as the child still tires easily. MENTALLY Because 1st and 2nd graders are like this: Eager to learn, therefore likes to read and write. Enjoys games involving words and numbers. Thinks in concrete terms, beginning to develop reasoning skills. Likes both fact and fantasy. Has good imagination. Has ability to memorize. Attention span 10-15 minutes. Teach them like this: Provide opportunities to read and write, but do not force the child to read as reading skills are just developing. Provide Bible games involving words and numbers. Avoid symbolism. Distinguish between fact and fantasy. Teach memory verses. Change pace several times during the hour using a variety of activities. SOCIALLY Because 1st and 2nd graders are like this: Desires to please the teacher. Acceptance by peer group is important. Wants to make friends. Dislikes criticism. Winning and being first are important. Self centered, taking turns is difficult. May try to dominate social situations. Likes to talk. Teach them like this: Provide non-competitive activities where child can interact with others with minimal amount of criticism. Provide opportunities to take turns. Show equal amounts of attention and praise to each child. Praise the group as they work well together. EMOTIONALLY Because 1st and 2nd graders are like this: Easily excited. Experiencing new and intense feelings. Moves between emotional extremes. May have difficulty controlling behavior. May resist personal demands. Shyness and fear can be overcome with familiar surroundings and routine.

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Teach them like this: Maintain a calm atmosphere in the class and be calm yourself. Establish boundaries and guidelines for the class and review weekly with the class. Don't allow an activity to get out of control. Teach cooperation and obedience. SPIRITUALLY Because 1st and 2nd graders are like this: Beginning to understand concepts about Gods love, creator, his greatness but has difficulty with not seeing a physical presence. Has faith in prayer. Understands Jesus as their friend and may be ready to accept Jesus as their personal Savior. Has questions about death and heaven. Teach them like this: Help the child see God in nature, in answered prayer and by modeling faith in God in your own actions. Provide opportunities for prayer and acknowledge answered prayer. Be sensitive to the developing spirituality in a child but do not "play on emotions" to lead a child to Christ. Answer questions openly and honestly as they arise keeping in mind the child's limitations in grasping concepts that are not concrete.

3rd AND 4th GRADE CHARACTERISTICS PHYSICALLY Because 3rd and 4th graders are like this: Greater stamina, tires less easily. Highly active. Enjoys physical games and may play rough. Small and large motor skills are more developed, refined and improving in speed. Steady physical development with girls ahead of boys. Teach them like this: Without getting out of control provide a more active classroom. Games and activities can be more physically involved and can go for greater length of time. Plan hands on activities. Because they child may overestimate their abilities keep games and activities safe in nature. MENTALLY Because 3rd and 4th graders are like this: Has a higher level of creativity but may be self-conscious. Increasing independence. Expresses curiosity. Attention span is 10 –15 minutes. Likes fiction, adventure, and fantasy. Has difficulty understanding symbolism. Learning to reason things out usually with a trial and error approach. Teach them like this: Provide opportunities for dramas. Have students act out the story especially those with adven - ture. Plan a variety of activities. Give beginning opportunities to investigate situations and reach a conclusion. Avoid abstract concepts. Continue to distinguish between fact and fantasy.

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SOCIALLY Because 3rd and 4th graders are like this: Participation in and approval by peer group is very important. Still desires adult approval. Can work together in a group. Enjoys competition. Looks up to "models" or "heroes". May not like members of the opposite sex. Teach them like this: Plan activities where they can participate in a group giving their input to the group. Affirm the child. Make sure competitions are equal and fair. Give examples from your own life. Be a worthy model to your students and direct them in who they look at as "heroes." EMOTIONALLY Because 3rd and 4th graders are like this: Can empathize with others. Enjoys challenges. Sensitive to criticism, nicknames and teasing. Emotions vary widely from shyness to exuberance. Feelings easily hurt. Vents anger verbally and physically. Teach them like this: Provide opportunities to help others. Do not allow students to criticize or tease other kids. Affirm the child and affirm positive behavior. Help child discover healthy ways to deal with anger. SPIRITUALLY Because 3rd and 4th graders are like this: Can recognize need for forgiveness of their sin and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Developing consciousness of right and wrong and able to make deliberate choices. Has an interest in God, Jesus and the Bible. Teach them like this: Talk with your students about forgiveness for sin and a relationship with Jesus allowing them opportunity to ask questions and to make a personal decision without pressure from peers. Provide opportunities for prayer and resources for Bible study.

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5th and 6th Grade Characteristics PHYSICALLY Because 5th and 6th graders are like this: Slow steady growth but may experience a growth spurt at 11 1/2 -12 years old. Girls are growing faster than boys. Some are entering puberty. Good motor coordination. Strong and healthy. Noisy, likes lot of activity especially out of doors. Enjoys competition. Teach them like this: Use creative techniques that challenge the 5th and 6th grader. Avoid childish techniques. Use active learning whenever possible. Provide times where students can be noisy perhaps during music time. Capture the student's attention from the very beginning. MENTALLY Because 5th and 6th graders are like this: Transitioning from concrete to abstract thinking. Can think and reason but has difficulty with symbolism. Attention span is 15-20 minutes. Likes talking, memorizing, collecting things, decision making, reading and writing. Has good vocabulary. Teach them like this: Provide opportunities for discussion and questioning that requires the student to think. Use thought-provoking techniques. Challenge them to memorize, write and collect through classroom projects. Provide choices. SOCIALLY Because 5th and 6th graders are like this: Can accept responsibility. Peer relationships are very important. Pulling away from parents and adults in desire for independence. Loyalty to peers increasing while loyalty to adults is decreasing. Wants to belong to a club or group. Prefers same sex groups. Hero worshipper. Teach them like this: Give students specific duties to help them feel ownership of the class. Build on group identity with class leaders, class projects, class name, activities, etc. Don't play the heavy authority figure, but guide your students with lots of love and concern for them. Don't force opposite sex groups. Provide lots of positive role models of adults and teens. EMOTIONALLY Because 5th and 6th graders are like this: Sixth graders may experience more moodiness as they enter puberty. Typically are happy, easygoing, friendly, well-balanced emotionally. Dislike outward displays of affection. May be quick tempered. Can be very cruel to others at times but also developing social consciousness for others.

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Teach them like this: Use humor when appropriate in your lesson. Emphasize we don't have humor at the expense of another person. Avoid displays of affection. Build value and esteem by listening attentively, focusing on the student, remembering their birthdays, etc. Avoid flare-ups by having a well organized lesson plan. SPIRITUALLY Because 5th and 6th graders are like this: Understands concepts of sin. Asks many questions about spirituality. Faith becomes more personal, ready to accept Christ as their personal Savior. Can develop spiritual disciplines of Bible study, worship and prayer. Capable of sharing Christ's love with others. May set high standards for themselves. Teach them like this: Answer questions openly and honestly. Use scriptures to help answer their questions developing the understanding of Biblical authority. Provide opportunities for students to pray to receive Christ and equip them to grow in their faith through instruction in Bible study, worship and prayer. Provide opportunities to learn how to share their faith and service projects to help others in need.

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