Training your Preschool VBS Team Submerged VBS 2016

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1 Training your Preschool VBS Team Submerged VBS 2016 Gather: Giant Inflatable Game Cube (or large square box) VBS 2016 Waterproof Case (or gift bag) VBS 2016 Dive Bag (or gift bag) 8 - x- 11 sheets of paper Index Cards (8) Table tennis balls (8) Marker Prepare: Step 1: Introduction Write the following words (or print from Item 1) on individual sheets of paper and place in a Giant Inflatable Game Cube. (Option: adhere to a square box.) o Kids o Curriculum o Room o Parents o Teachers o Submerged logo Step 2: Characteristics Write the following words on individual index cards and place all eight in the VBS 2016 Waterproof Case (option: gift bag) o Active o Literal Minded o Sensitive o Creative o Curious o Self- focused o Short Attention Spans o Test Limits Step 3: Learning Preferences Write the following words on individual table tennis balls and place all eight in the VBS 2016 Dive Bag (option: gift bag) o Visual o Verbal o Musical 1

2 Teach: o Natural o Physical o Relational o Reflective o Logical Step 4: Conclusion No preparation. Step 1: Introduction (10 minutes) Say: You ve gotten some good training from our overviews and base conferences. I want to encourage you to take those plans home and share them with your leaders. Now we re going to take a few minutes to take a different dive into training your leaders. First, let s talk about how VBS is different from a Sunday morning, Wednesday night, or even weekday. Show the Game Cube and the words on each side. Share that each of these words represents someone or something involved in teaching preschoolers. Ask a conferee to toss the game cube onto the floor. Read aloud the word on top and ask the conferee to name a way the term showing on top is different in VBS than during other teaching times. Explain that if the cube lands on Submerged, the volunteer must name a way that VBS is the same as other teaching times. Play until all terms have been discussed at least once. Elaborate on conferees answers as needed. Suggestions for further discussion: Kids new kids; more non- churched kids; different ethnicities and cultures; more kids; more ages grouped together; fewer ages grouped together; possibly more from broken homes, etc. Curriculum more activities to choose from; more active choices, more supplies needed; more resources (rotation pack, leader pack, kid s learning piece); more biblical information shared in a shorter time; etc. Room decorations; more distractions; more crowded; different area of church (adult or teen spaces used); could be outside; etc. Parents unchurched; absentee (child came with friends); grandparents; new to church; more involved; less involved; different ethnicities and cultures; etc. Teachers more; new to teaching; new to preschool; trained; untrained; teens, etc. Submerged (same) teaching kids about Jesus; sharing God s love; building trust; building foundations; etc. 2

3 Say: Because of these differences, preschool teachers, especially new ones, may need some extra training above and beyond just hearing about the curriculum. Step 2: Characteristics (15 minutes) Say: An important part of teaching preschoolers is to have a better understanding of this age group in general. Let s discuss some of the characteristics of this group. Form eight groups. Ask a volunteer from each group to pick a card from the VBS 2016 Waterproof Case or a bag. (If conference is small, you might consider forming only four groups and give each group 2 cards.) Explain that the words on the cards are basic characteristics of preschoolers. Ask each group how knowing these characteristics should affect their teaching. Give the groups 2-3 minutes to talk and then ask each group to give a report of their discussion. Suggested talking points: Active Preschoolers are by nature, active learners. They learn best by actively participating. Take that pent up energy and put it to good use. Include various stages of motion in each learning activity. Sometimes there will be lots of movement, other times things will move slower because kids are unique. Literal minded Preschoolers can only understand what they ve experienced. They may know a word from hearing it, but until they understand different meanings, they will automatically put the meaning to a word from their own personal experience. Be very careful in choosing words. (Give examples of misunderstanding.) Say the VBS Bible verses, stories and The Point from each day in preschool friendly terms. Sensitive Preschoolers are sensitive to a teacher s voice and to her actions. Be sure to be fair. Have no favorites. Include as many kids in an activity as possible, take turns, and the like. Show compassion. Hold our temper. Use a kind voice. 3

4 Creative Preschoolers love to use imagination. Grow developmentally through creativity. Remember that while crafts are fun and parents like them, preschoolers also need a chance to be creative. Offer blank paper, markers, playdough, and blocks with no instruction, and freeplay when possible. Curious Preschoolers are naturally curious about the world around them. They have new experiences daily. Make sure the room or area is safe to explore outlets covered, cleaning supplies put away, etc. Expect a lot of questions! Be prepared to answer on a preschool level. Be prepared to say That s a great question! I don t know! Let s see what we can find out. Let creativity lead to discovery. When a child discovers something on his own, it makes a lasting impact. Self- focused Preschoolers understand the world by how it affects them. Preschoolers are often the youngest member of a family or perhaps even an only child. The world pretty much does revolve around them at this age! They don t have a clear understanding of how their actions affect those around them. Use names often. Encourage taking turns. Help them use words to interact with friends. Short attention spans Preschoolers can focus for maybe one minute per year of age. Plan more activities than we think we need. Offer multiple activities. Offer activities that are not time consuming. Not expect them to sit still long. Test the limits Preschoolers are not looking to get into trouble, they are testing to see what the limits are. Preschoolers will push to see if an action is permissible or not. Have clear boundaries. State expectations in preschool language. 4

5 Be consistent. Step 3: Learning Preferences (15 minutes) Briefly describe the eight learning preferences. Visual enjoys painting, drawing, imagining what a story looks like, describing activities so that others can see, building with colorful blocks Verbal likes role playing, telling jokes and stories, laughing, hearing stories, negotiating, talking to himself while playing Musical - enjoys playing instruments, singing, dancing, listening to background music, making up new songs Natural likes to play outdoors, measure sand and water, taste foods, care for animals, planting seeds, feel- box activities Physical enjoys rolling a ball back and forth, running, playing games, tossing beanbags, dancing, any movement, playing with blocks, playdough, painting Relational is happiest when playing with a friend, talking, working puzzles with friends, caring for dolls Reflective enjoys drawing a picture, one- on- one time, playing alone, caring for a doll, making a book, drawing while listening to music Logical likes problem solving activities, puzzles, sequencing, matching, comparing, asks a lot of questions o Form four teams. (Either form new groups or use/combine the groups from the previous activity.) Ensure that each team has at least two age- group VBS leader guides. o Ask a volunteer from each team to pull two bubbles (table tennis balls) from the Dive Bag. o Challenge the teams to choose two activities from their leader guides that would appeal to the learning preference listed on their bubbles. o After 5 minutes, ask the teams to report their findings. o Draw attention to the fact that answers will vary because activities may appeal to several preferences. Step 4: Conclusion (5 minutes) Ask for questions as time permits. Thank the group for their commitment to continual learning and training as they teach even the youngest about Jesus and His love for them. 5

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