A few years ago member Kidsmin asked a question about "# of Weeks in a Rotation" and "class sizes."  Others chimed in, and since then, this discussion has been edited for the sake of brevity and readability.  You are welcome to post your insights.




Member Kidsmin originally posted:


Hey Everyone!
We've been teaching rotation and have usually done 6 weeks on one story with three groups rotating or three weeks with three groups rotating.


But this year, due to some changes, we will only have enough kids to do two groups.  I'd like to do 3 groups, but I'm afraid we won't have enough kids PER group to make it work.


We're thinking "two groups, two workshops per story."   


Do you think two weeks is enough time?? 


When is a small group TOO small?

Original Post

Our rotations TYPICALLY last a calendar month--which means they are 4 (and sometimes 5) weeks long and very occasionally 3 weeks long (when a special event takes up one of the Sundays of the month).


I would be reluctant to have a rotation lasting only 2 weeks. One of the basic philosophies of WRM is repetition and you can't get much repetition in 2 weeks.


Even though a story might be "small"--at least as far as the number of verses in the Bible--there can still be a lot of good concepts to explore, and those concepts need to be explored through MANY different mediums and weeks in order for it to really sink in.


(If a story is really too short and has less meaning, you should probably question why you're teaching it.)

SIZE of class is a good question. I've taught 2 children and many more. Sometimes those small groups turn out great.

Hi Kim,

You certainly could do two week rotations, but from the standpoint of learning and recruiting, plus preparing, that is going to be a lot of work, and maybe not the learning results you're hoping for.

Here is something to consider:

Week 1
Group 1: art
Group 2: cooking


Week 2:
reverse the above


Week 3:
Group 1:drama/movie theater
Group 2: computer/music/movement


Week 4: reverse
Week 5: review games/activities with everyone together OR make week 5 the week when everyone attends worship together, if your worship service is at the same time as education.

One of the great gifts of WoRM is the opportunity to be creative, think outside the box, and make it work for your church.

Have fun!


Note: See examples of Workshop Scheduling for small churches here.
Jan S

Moderator's Note:

I've moved the following related post into this topic thread.


More on class size



ZBCC had asked...


Just curious about the class sizes that other rotation model coordinators are working with.  


We currently have fairly large sized classes for our preschool and early elementary age groups. I say large knowing that this will be a completely relative term!  We are a small church with large attendance in a particular group. We average of 15 age 3-4 year olds each week and about the same in our Kindergarten to Grade 2 class.  


Here's the twist:  We are limited on the number of adult volunteers we can find so are sort of stuck with this arrangement.  


Furthermore, I am finding it challenging to get really hand's-on at this age with art projects, computer lessons and special projects. So much of rotation.org's lessons are aimed slightly above my two biggest grades.


We've found that games, drama and guided cooking lessons are easy to adapt and seem to work ok,  but other workshops, such as computer and art that require some assistance seem to be quite overwhelming with this size of our younger groups, let alone their age.  


Any wisdom, advice or experience people could share with me would be great.




Neil MacQueen replied to the ZBCC:



"Many kids" is a great problem! .


I've taught rotation (and other) classes with as few as 2 and as many as about 18. Sometimes you have no control over who or how many show up. In that scenario, you have to plan for more and expect less.  If you CAN predict attendance, and you are doing rotation mainly with preschool and early elementary, then maybe you need to rethink what workshops you offer, and maybe even invent some new ones that are designed to handle the needs of that age group and size of your class.  


For example, I always wanted to do a "lego building" construction workshop. That medium adjust to age and size pretty well, and the little guys love duplos.  


Puppets would probably be a disaster with large groups, but having a few teens put ON a puppet show could work nicely, and then add music workshop elements to the lesson. Music works especially well for younger kids and isn't so size sensitive.



re: computer lab.... It's one of the few workshops that's very sensitive to "too many" kids. And that gets worse if you don't know how many are going to show up.


One way to solve your "too many" problem is to split the younger kids into two groups. Half uses the computer lab for 20 minutes, then switches with the other half. This assumes you have space and help.


You might also think of NOT using your computer lab for your very youngest students. They still like to eat paste. Instead, give the computer lab time to your older students. Their class sizes are probably smaller anyway, at least for now!




Rotation.org Moderator updated this post by adding material from the Help forum to consolidate this topic.

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