Tips for Leading Application Time #1

December 18, 2012

Teacher Training

#1 – Be Okay with Silence

Children's Ministry Application Time Silence

My first tip for those who lead application time is this: be okay with silence!

Often silence makes us uncomfortable so we try to fill it. But silence can be an important part of application time.

Research shows that teachers typically wait 1 second for students to respond to a question. 1 second!

Students need longer than 1 second to process and answer a question. Especially if the questions asked require a personal response.

It is important to give students a chance to think carefully before answering a question. We want application time to be a time where students choose to respond personally to the Biblical truth taught during the lesson. To help them understand what that response could be, we need to ask good questions. Good questions usually take time to answer.

As teachers we need to teach ourselves to give our students time to think carefully before they answer. We also need to teach our students how to think carefully before they respond.

Here is one way to accomplish both of those goals.

Tell your students that you are going to try something new during application time. When you ask a question, you want them to really think about the answer before they put their hands up. So, you are going to show them a picture. The picture is a boy thinking. This is to help them remember to think (and for you as a teacher, it’s to help you to remember to increase your wait time!)

Tell them that you are going to wait about 5 seconds (I know this doesn’t sound like very long, but it is longer than 1 second!) When the time is up, turn the picture around. The other side is a picture of 3 students, one of whom is raising his hand. When your students see this picture, they can also raise their hand and share their answers.

This resource is called the Application Time Answer Prompt. Please download it and print it on card stock. Fold it in half. If you use card stock it will be sturdy enough to stand on its own on the table or floor.

This simple resource should help you remember to give your students time to consider before they respond to a question and help you train your students to take the time to think deeper before responding.


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About Janelle

I am passionate about Jesus and kids and the people who work with kids in the church. I want to help empower children’s ministry volunteers – especially those who work in small and rural churches.

View all posts by Janelle

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