Our process is similar to the ones detailed above. We used the excellent article at from Kirk of Kildaire Church, Cary North Carolina, as the starting place for our process and adapted their lesson template to our needs.
We are a new church with a part-time person in charge of children's ministries. I am a volunteer and have taken on the coordinator role.
It takes a fair amount of time to do the planning and coordinating and final edits so everything is consistent format (I don't like to think about exactly how much). I review this web site and forward lesson plans that look like they will be helpful to the other members of the writing team (right now we have a small team with just 3 people, counting me. I have generally been the one to write the extra workshop, as we have 4 workshops per rotation. I recommend having at least as many writers as you have workshops -- a few extras would mean more ideas during brainstorming and a rotation off on occassion).
In theory, our process should take four weeks, since we start a new rotation every four weeks. We have a teacher Bible study about 2 weeks before the rotation and I like the teachers to have the lesson plan at least a week before that, so I count backwards from that date to set the deadlines.
We have a six year scope and sequence, which is posted here.
The theoretical process:
1. E-mailed Bible study notes from pastor.
2. We individually do our own Bible study and share thoughts and questions via e-mail.
3. E-mail brainstorming (be sure to copy all committee members): rotation objectives, memory verse, workshop ideas. Also, check internet and your personal library for ideas and lesson plans that can be adapted. Suggest related music/songs.
(I set the schedule so steps 1-3 overlap wrapping up the previous rotation)
4. Agree on workshop objectives, memory verse, and which four workshops are to be included.
5. Team members select for which workshop(s) they will write plans. Write a brief summary of the workshop idea and share it so we can be sure our workshops are complementing each other.
(one week for this step)
6. Write lesson plans. E-mail other team members with questions, run ideas past them, etc. If you get really stuck, ask a team member for help. A phone call may result in some productive brainstorming.
7. E-mail first draft lesson plans to committee members for comments.
(about 2 weeks for this process)
8. Committee chair writes background notes and parents's flyer.
9. Make any needed revisions and submit lesson plan to committee chair for final edit and to pastor for theological review.
(about 1 week for this step)
10. Lesson plans distributed to teachers.
Note: our lesson plans are posted here at rotation.org.
We agreed that meeting monthly for Bible study and brainstorming would be ideal, but may not be practical each month. We have been trying this e-mail model to see how it works. So far, the Bible study and brainstorming has not been good (mostly nonexistent). We really need face to face meetings to get people to focus. We are thinking about trying to set face to face planning meetings for every other month and plan two rotations at a time.
The length of time spent writing one lesson plan varies, depending on how much research needs to be done (I spent some time finding out about Michelangelo for the Creation Art lesson plan), whether or not a video has to be watched and how often, and how complete a lesson plan I can find at this site to adapt. We write detailed lesson plans, because as others have noted above, we have inexperienced teachers who like things written out in detail. I would say I spend about 8 hours on one lesson plan, start to finish.
We have been doing rotation since March of this year, so we are still in the trial and error process. If we have any great revelations, I will share them, but as others have noted above, your process will depend on your church's staff and volunteers' gifts. And also on the Holy Spirit. There have been many times when I have gone back to re-read something I wrote (usually late at night) and I don't know where it came from --certainly not me! There is a reason the word Spirit can be found in inspiration! (well, it's sort of misspelled, but you know what I mean....)
(who is very tired this week and needs to finish off David and Goliath so we can move on to the next story)
[This message was edited by Amy Crane on August 11, 2003 at 12:49 AM.]