Preschool Leaders

Missions Explorers

Missions Explorers

Project Learning

Preschoolers can do project learning. In Mission Friends project learning is what Missions Explorers is all about. It’s fun, and it’s easy. And it’s optional. Here are some things to remember when doing projects with young children:

Set up a special area in your classroom for project learning. Include necessary supplies and additional materials such as brochures, books, teaching pictures (many are on the Internet), and a box, pocket folder, or large envelope where preschoolers can keep their work.

Label supplies and keep them in separate boxes such as one for crayons, one for scissors, one for paper, etc.

As preschoolers investigate and learn more about their project, make a list of what they have learned on chart paper. Or have them draw what they have investigated and done on butcher paper. Preschoolers can draw or write about their findings.

Be sure to have a time for sharing what preschoolers have learned while working on their project(s). Invite parents and guests to attend the Project Presentation.

Top 5 Tips for Telling a Great Story

Storytelling

Don’t you sometimes wish that the missionaries you are highlighting in Mission Friends could just stop by and visit with your preschoolers? Well, the next best thing is for you as a Mission Friends teacher to introduce those missionaries to your preschoolers through stories.

Here are 5 top tips for taking the words off the printed page and turning them into fun and enjoyable times of learning.

Teaching Tools

Three Teaching Tools

Everything is easier if you have the right tools. For example, the thimble is one of the basic tools for any quilter. I was updating a fellow quilting buddy that I was hand-sewing the binding on a quilt. I must have mentioned using a thimble, because that is when she told me she has never used a thimble. I was so surprised and wanted to react, “What?!” I still cannot imagine doing all that hand sewing without using a thimble. This little tool is such a help on the tip of your finger as you pull the needle and thread through the fabric over and over. It keeps your finger from getting sore, too. My friend said that no one ever showed her how to use a thimble when she was starting out, so she had just never picked one up.

Celebrating Mission Friends Teachers!

Preschoolers and teacher

As we celebrate preschoolers during Week of the Young Child, we also celebrate you for all you do as a Mission Friends teacher! Thank you for investing your time and efforts to teach preschoolers by doing all of these things.

Does It Matter that I Teach Preschoolers in Mission Friends?

Teaching preschoolers matters

One of the advantages to being—um, seasoned—in life is that I have been able to watch children around me grow up. Well, OK, granted, it’s a little less than flattering when your dental assistant turns out to be your former student—when she was in elementary school. Or when you call for an appliance man to fix your freezer, and the young man who shows up at the door says, “Oh, hi. Weren’t you my librarian in sixth grade?”

Children do grow up! But maybe you have discovered, as I have, the feeling of gratification that comes as you realize you had a small part in helping that grown-up become what he or she has become.

By All Means

show Christ's love

One evening as I pulled into the church parking lot on my way to teach Mission Friends, I prayed, “Lord, Help me to just love our preschoolers tonight. Help them to see Your love in me.” I always want my preschoolers to enjoy learning about missions. I prepare for the sessions in Mission Friends and choose activities from Mission Friends Leader that I think will be just right for my preschoolers. I tote some supplies from home and gather other materials at church. We have a good time learning about missions through the activities and stories. But on that night I was convicted that all of it was for naught if the preschoolers didn’t experience God’s love in our Mission Friends sessions.

The Third Teacher

preschool classroom teachers and kids

Have you ever thought of your Mission Friends classroom as your third teacher? A few weeks ago I visited the Early Learning Demonstration Classroom at Childcare Resources, a local agency that provides training for child-care teachers and directors. They have recently opened a model classroom to provide hands-on training for teachers in understanding how to provide a classroom setting that encourages learning. When I visited the demonstration classroom, people from several local agencies gathered for our first visit and introduction to the classroom. As we walked around the classroom, two Childcare Resources consultants described the setup and uses of the learning centers and Group Time area. One of the consultants made the comment that the classroom really is the third teacher in the room. The classroom makes a difference in the ways preschoolers learn as well as what they learn.

Using Technology with Preschoolers

sharing screen time

The preschoolers we teach today are called digital natives because they are growing up using technology. They know which apps are their games or stories on mom or dad’s phone. They swipe a tablet to read a preschool book, and they turn on the audio to hear the book being read to them. Technology is part of their everyday lives. How do we incorporate the use of technology in our Mission Friends classes?

Can We Talk?

Can We Talk?

Four-year-old Ellie and I were watching a stink bug crawl up a window frame.

“Where do you suppose he’s going?” I asked.

She paused. Then she said, “Probably to find some food.”

“Probably so,” I agreed. “I wonder what he eats.”

“I don’t know,” she replied.

“Me, either.”

She brightened. “Why don’t you Google it?”

She looked around, then brought me my phone, and we did, indeed, find out what stink bugs eat.

It was one of those wonder moments. Have you noticed that whenever there is a real conversation with a preschooler, a wonder moment is often involved? Funny how that works.

Meet the Writer: Janora Skeens

Janora Skeens

In our ongoing "Meet the Writer" series, we would like to introduce you to Janora Skeens. Janora has written for Mission Friends for many years. This year, she has written the International Mission Study 2017 Preschool Teaching Guide: Russia. Thank you, Janora, for sharing your heart for preschoolers with us!

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