August 9, 2007: ~1 hours, 4 children, average age 8. Outreach class. We basically took this class straight out of Ruhi Book 3 with very few modifications, and it went alright. The boys in our class, including one who seems to have something similar to ADHD, had some trouble staying still—and hence participating—so it wasn’t perfect. To accomodate, we introduced a new type of movement-based activity to help them have the patience to memorize quotes and prayers: the “step game“, in which children stand in a line and slowly advance one step at a time, each saying one word of a quote in sequence when they step ahead, continuing until they cross a finish line. We used bristol board to write out quotes and prayers in large print so that they can easily be seen from a distance; the kids love this game, and always want to take turns holding the bristol board for the others. We’ll be using this game a lot in future.
December 2, 2006: 2 hours, 10 children, average age 6-7. Pretty good class this afternoon; our only hang-up, lesson-wise, was that I didn’t prepare the craft in time, and we ended up cutting out the triangles at the last minute. Miraculously, the kids didn’t implode out of impatience. I was surprised to find such an amazing retelling of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, too. The kids weren’t looking forward to the story too much today—too much sitting quietly, I guess—but all of them got into it and could empathize with the main character. The story focused on the consequences of the boy’s actions (which were mainly along the lines of disappointing his family and his community and losing their trust) and wasn’t cheesy at all. I was afraid that telling that story would elicit groans from the kids—everyone’s heard that story way too many times, right? I was happily mistaken.
A quick word about our renewed focus on discipline: we have been taking certain steps to quiet the children down at the beginning of the class, and it seems to be paying off. While the children aren’t necessarily at their best every moment of each class, the class seems to be more manageable now. We haven’t yet had the need to apply a punishment (what Ruhi Book 3 refers to as “sanctions”—in our case, sitting apart from the class during the colouring period that now follows prayers); God willing, we won’t have to, but in the meantime all of us (the co-teachers) have to be ready to do so if disruptive behaviour arises.