Sunday School Makeover Story: Part II
Chris Goodrum, one of two art workshop leaders at Goodwood Church of Christ, had shared some additional insight about how they implemented the Workshop Rotation Model at their church. She concludes with TIPS TO PASS ALONG to new startups.
"Rotation has been an answer to prayer"
I have been teaching Sunday school about 30 years, various ages from nursery to middle school girls. This was in traditional Bible class settings until 5 years ago when Rotation began.
When JoHannah saw a need for a change in our Bible classes due to teacher attrition and families with our students moving away, she started researching and found Workshop Rotation Model. She then presented the idea to a core group of teachers to see what we thought. We passed it by the Deacon over education in our church, and our four classes/workshops were decided on. Each Workshop was spoken for by one of the ladies who agreed to make a presentation to our elders. We presented reasons why this would work best for our congregation, who would coordinate each class, how we would handle classrooms, and for the future, how we can modify the schedule when our congregation grows. The change was approved by our elders.
We started our Rotation "trial" workshops with well-known Bible stories. While we worked on our new workshop rooms, each week we organized one Rotation workshop in our large fellowship room with all the children. It went great!
For the Art Workshop, we have moved into a double classroom (2 rooms made into one large one) that has been painted with bright colors and has extra tables for our projects. It’s wonderful to have plenty of room to work.
We strive to have something engaging beyond the old coloring sheets. We have used cooking, crafts, science, and hands-on projects that are then used in the Drama Workshop. We have incorporated take-home projects that help each child remember the lesson or as a gift for others. We teach an application for their lives, and sometimes the craft has to do with that application.
The children benefit from different modes of teaching from four or more teachers. By the time the fourth Workshop comes around, they have heard the story four times, four different perspectives, and four different activities.
Tips I want to pass along:
- We have a set of age-appropriate Bibles, assigned to each student, that travels with each class as they rotate. from workshop to workshop. When the children graduate to the youth group, they take their Bibles with them with notes from the lessons they studied in our Workshops.
- Children’s ages: K – 5th grade. For us, it didn’t really work well with preschoolers.
- Fifth Sunday activities: We have an electronic Jeopardy game that can be programmed with questions and answers. The kids have fun with this game and we occasionally have a square-off between the kids and the adults over that month’s lesson! Great fun!
- We have an Ice Cream Sunday in August (timed with the school year) to say goodbye to kids moving into the youth group, to welcome kids moving up to begin their Rotation experience, and to mark the beginning of a new Rotation Year.
Overall, Rotation has been an answer to prayers for those of us who are dedicated to teaching but would like more time to prepare quality lessons and activities than the weekly class responsibility will allow. At this time, we each teach once a month and we have time to really study and develop our lesson when it’s our turn to present the lesson!