Ready or Not, Here I Come. How to Welcome Any Child Into Your Classroom

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1 Ready or Not, Here I Come How to Welcome Any Child Into Your Classroom

2 Mission Statement: To communicate the Gospel and equip Christ-honoring churches worldwide to evangelize and disciple people affected by disabilities.

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4 "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." -Jesus Matthew 19: 13-15

5 Jesus is preparing a place for us We need to be preparing a place for them Prepare buddies with a training time Buddies can set their cell phones on vibrate and be ready to serve when the need arises Got a visual paging system? You can post a secret code on the sanctuary screen when help is needed

6 What does every parent/caregiver want to know before they drop their child off at Sunday School? Will my child be safe? Will my child be included with the other kids?

7 What do kids want to know before they get dropped off at Sunday School? Will I be safe? Will I be included? What will I do if I feel overwhelmed? Is there a place for me to learn and have fun? How will I know what to do? Do you care about my unique needs?

8 What to Expect in Sunday School When I go to Mrs. Smith s class today, I will see my teacher and children in my class. Mrs. Smith will tell me when it s time to change activities. I will listen to a Bible story. It is important for me to be quiet and listen during the story. I raise my hand when I have a question or need something. We will sing about Jesus. I can sing at that time. I will have a snack and do a craft. I like to go to Sunday School at church.

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10 The on-the-spot "need-to-know" interview What do they like to do? What may cause distress or upset? What would that look like? How do we redirect them? What s the best way to comfort them? If our comforting isn't working, when to come get mom or dad? Any food allergies/special diet?

11 Safety Considerations Name tags Transitions Quiet areas Food allergies/special diet Behavioral issues Sensory overload Safety gate or split door Two-way radio or phone Pagers for parents Locks on all cabinets and drawers A two-way window so parents can observe

12 I m Just Me and That s Okay I Need Friends Along the Way I Want to Know God s Word I Like It When You Talk to Me I Won t Give Up Don t You I m Not Sick I Have a Disability I Mess Up Like Any Other Kid I Know God Can Use Me No Matter What

13 Behavior Management in the Classroom Setting A, B, C Approach A (Antecedent) What occurred before in the environment? B (Behavior) What happened? C (Consequences) What was your response?

14 Behavior Management in the Classroom Setting Preventing Behaviors Use a visual schedule to help children with transitions Establish clear expectations, rules, and boundaries Examine the environment for lighting, perfume issues Accentuate the positives

15 Behavior Management in the Classroom Setting Utilize engaging activities Pace lessons appropriately Use tangible objects to enhance the lesson Hand-over-hand activities Limit loudness in the classroom

16 Behavior Management in the Classroom Setting Create jobs for children to do according to their interests and abilities Plan for sensory breaks Establish a buddy system Make eye contact, but keep in mind that some children may not be able to and that doesn t mean they aren t listening Pick your battles

17 Behavior Management in the Classroom Setting Responding to behaviors Have a plan Nonverbal reminders Redirect child s activity and attention Be consistent and follow through In time get you will get to know your student s disability and needs

18 Selecting Curriculum Are the lessons true to God s Word? Are they visually true to Bible sequence? Are lesson activities adaptable to cognitive and sensory levels of students? Are lessons teacher-friendly? Are lessons easily personalized? See Nine Basic Types of Adaptation, Practical Pathways, p. 23.

19 Teaching Memorable Lessons Modify the lesson to accommodate the student s strengths Include each of the senses in the lesson or activity Adjust and Accommodate Simplify or reduce steps in arts/crafts Adapt rules in games and activities Simplify and Repeat

20 Get to Know the Child... A Voice of Experience... The best thing about our church is that the people show a heart for the least of these. They understand that Jesus wants us to love and care for those who are more vulnerable. -David father of a 7-yr-old with spina bifida.

21 Preparing the Classroom to be Inclusive and Conducive to Learning

22 Why Learning Centers Work They are easily adaptable encourage exploration & discovery can be used as individual or small group activities offer choices and provide boundaries

23 Building Inclusive Learning Centers I See I Hear I Touch I Taste I Smell I Giggle

24 The Magic of Music Teaches listening and language skills Adds fun and variety Helps children learn memory verses Some children will respond well to music and the opportunity to play an instrument Some children will become over-stimulated and may need to engage in another activity or wear hearing protection to make it more pleasant

25 Caring for Restroom Needs Talk to parents to determine how much help is needed Show children respect Post visual schedule: pants down/up, wash hands Set restroom policy regarding doors, helpers, etc. Decide location for changing diapers/pull-ups

26 Visual System & Checklist Did you ask the parents take children to the restroom right before dropping them off? Did you check for pull-ups and an extra change of clothes for children who are training? Did two female staff accompany children to the restroom? Was the door left ajar? Did staff wash their hands before and after attending to the children?

27 Playground Dos and Don ts Be Safe - Be aware of surroundings Consider alternatives for inside play Help peers include children with disabilities Make adaptations Have FUN!

28 Helping Children Use Their Gifts They can create a Faith Journey scrapbook Work on talking and listening to God Individualized Christian Education Plan (ICEP) Hold a talent show to showcase their gifting Read Joni s Story for Kids together Practice being a Good Servant by helping others Service Projects Gospel Bracelets Awana Clubs Projects

29 Madison Atwood

30 Willson Kantz

31 Avoid Burnout! Expect IT! Detect IT! Reject IT! Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12:11

32 Appreciate Your Volunteers Hats Off To Volunteers Day Wild About Volunteers Picnic The Best Angel Essay Contest Candy canes: Thanks for shepherding our kids Candles: Thanks for being God s light Chocolate: Thanks for helping students taste and see that the Lord is good

33 From Joni God is looking for people who will go the extra mile, make the extra effort, and do it all in a spirit of humility, and I can t think of a better place to selflessly serve than among families affected by disability. So, if you re a volunteer, Thank you!

34 Resources Practical Pathways by Pat Verbal (JAF) Special Needs Special Ministry co-author Pat Verbal (Group) Children s Ministry Magazine Column on Special Needs Ministry by Pat Verbal (Group) Through the Roof Manual (JAF) Autism and Your Church by Barbara J. Newman (Faith Alive Press)

35 Special Needs Smart Pages 328 page resource includes DVD and CD-ROM 150 reproducible how-to articles, stories, lesson plans, charts, forms, and other resources By Joni and Friends

36 Contact Info Joni and Friends Ohio Xenia, Ohio (937) joniandfriends.org

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