Wednesday, December 31, 2008

To give homework, or not to give homework. That is the question . . .





Homework is a touchy subject concerning catechists. Many regard it as taboo and therefore do not assign any during the year.

Parents on the other hand are divided about this controversy. In a recent survey when parents were asked what their level of expectation regarding homework/family activities from church 38.5% think students should be given homework to support the work in class. 30.8% said they would prefer to have homework once in a while. 30.8% prefer not to have any homework at all.


Additional comments from parents on this subject were:

• Some parents expressed their preference for fun and no homework.
• Some said their children already have too much going on and don’t want to be adding homework from church, specially under 4th grade.
• One parent wrote “it didn't seem to matter whether the kids do the homework or not.”
• Yet another wrote “Reading is sufficient- but I think that it should be expected, not "optional", so that those who read it can build on it rather than reading it again in class.”



So what’s a catechist to do? First, does your DRE allow teachers to give homework? Then ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish with the homework. Make sure the homework is necessary and reviews what has already been gone over in class. All students in your class should be able to complete the homework assigned and in a relatively short period of time.

Assigning homework serves various educational needs. It serves as an intellectual discipline, establishes study habits, and supplements and reinforces work done in CCD. Teachers give homework because the repetition of facts and knowledge learned will have a much higher a percentage of being retained in the mind. In addition, it fosters student initiative, independence, and responsibility and brings home and CCD closer together.


So what do you do in your class?


*In my class my first grade students are given 5 prayers (Sign of the Cross, Grace Before Meals, Glory Be, Hail Mary, and Our Father) to do by the end of the school year. Each prayer the student recites out loud correctly, they will be able to pick a prize from the prize bag. We also have 4 take home tests during the year. The parents will need to help their child study, fill out the test (circle the correct answer), and return it to class.

I also make Take Home Sheets for the students to take home for their parents to go over with them and to bring back the following week. It helps reinforce what they have learned in class and lets the parents know what we are doing. They usually consist of about 10 questions that the parents read to their child. Two answers are provided and the child tells the parent which answer is best so they can circle it. I post all of my Take Home Sheets here (scroll down to Take Home Sheets).

When my students bring in their Take Home Sheets and Take Home Tests they get to play Homeworkopoly which is a fun game that encourages students to do their homework.





Monday, December 29, 2008

Homeworkopoly





teachnet.com- Homeworkopoly (it takes a bit for it to download so please give it some time)
Here is a fun game to encourage students to do their homework.


*I share my classroom and I cannot leave anything on the bulletin board so everything that I use for my class has to be portable. This is my version of Homeworkopoly (game from above link) that some of you might find useful.


Homeworkopoly: The objective of the game is to learn the responsibility of doing your homework and turning it on time.


This game is free, however it is only to be used for classroom and personal use. It may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit.


Title (for both boards)- Print and cut out HOMEWORKOPOLY title and glue in the center of the game board (either straight or diagonally, which ever you choose).

Name Cards (used for all students)- Type in the name of your students on the name cards and print out. Have student color and decorate their name card. Cover with clear contact paper. (I have my Homeworkopoly game board glued to a magnetic board so I attached the name cards to a sticky magnet.)


Younger Students:

Rules (for younger students)- Print out and keep inside folder when not playing game.

Game Board (for younger students)- Print out Game Board, trim, and glue on the inside of the file folder. Make sure the directions are on the front of the file folder. Laminate or cover file folder with clear contact paper to make it last.

Community Chest Cards (used for all students)- (Community Chest Cards are in MS Word and can be changed easily to whatever you want. Feel free to change the cards or use your own.) Print Community Chest Cards out on card stock. Cut out Question Cards. Laminate or cover with clear contact paper to make them last.


Older Students:

Rules (for older students)- Print out and keep inside folder when not playing the game.

Game Board (for older students)- Print out Game Board, trim, and glue on the inside of the file folder. Make sure the directions are on the front of the file folder. Laminate or cover file folder with clear contact paper to make it last.

Community Chest Cards (used for older students)- (Community Chest Cards are in MS Word and can be changed easily to whatever you want. Feel free to change the cards or use your own.) Print Community Chest Cards out on card stock. Cut out Question Cards. Laminate or cover with clear contact paper to make them last.





Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bedtime at Our House/Prayers





Back in the dark ages when my son was small, we had a bedtime routine that we adhered to vigilantly. He knew what was expected each night and it helped calm him down which made bedtime easy and without any problems. At bedtime (specified at a specific time that was the same time every night) we always read a Bible story or short book in his bed. Afterwards we would practice a prayer he was working on by adding a new line each week. Before long he would know the prayer and could recite it by himself. This was a great way for our son to learn about God and to learn his prayers. It also was great family time that I will never forget.





Monday, December 22, 2008

FREE Religious File Folder Games & Lapbooks





It’s amazing what you can find online if you dig around a bit. Here is a comprehensive list that might be of some help.

FREE Religious File Folder Games & Lapbooks





Friday, December 19, 2008

FREE PowerPoint Games









powerpointgames.wikispaces.com- Blank Game Templates (use your own content to make these games in PowerPoint)

internet4classrooms.com- Links to PowerPoint Game Templates

wwild.coe.uga.edu/pptgames- Homemade Powerpoint Games

murray.k12.ga.us- Look under Game Templates
Make your own PowerPoint game (Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?, Password, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Twenty Questions, Guess The Covered Word, variations of the game Hollywood Squares, Weakest Link, Concentration, etc.) to review material and play it with your students.

people.uncw.edu- Classroom Games that Make Test Review and Memorization Fun

wikispaces.com- This site will let you download FREE PowerPoint game templates!

template.net- Besides the jeopardy game, others such as fling the teacher, learn your vocabulary and other cool game templates can be used by teachers in a classroom.

thebalance.com- Free PowerPoint game templates for teachers

templates.mrdonn.org- Free game templates

tidyforms.com- PowerPoint game templates








Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Using Technology In Your Classroom





Today we can use several different kinds of equipment to assist the teaching in our classrooms. What is effective and needed for your classroom depends upon your students and what is available for the catechist to use.


What is effective and necessary in your classroom?

1. Whatever equipment you are using it must achieve your learning objectives for your lesson. Why use the equipment and material if it does not enhance your lesson?

2. Know how to use the equipment. Nothing is worse than getting some technical equipment in your classroom and you do not know how to use it.

3. Have the equipment in your classroom ready before class. Being prepared is essential.

4. Make sure the equipment is running properly before class. Set up the equipment and test to see if everything is working correctly. Test volume, brightness, off/on, pause, and any other feature.

5. Have the equipment and material ready. Make sure that all you have to do is turn the equipment on so you do not have to waste time finding the right place to start on your tape, DVD, CD, etc. This loss time can allow you to lose control of the classroom and disruptive behavior can start. Test run what you are planning to do and make sure all the students can see and hear it the way it is supposed to be.





Monday, December 15, 2008

The Emotions Game



A friend wanted an Emotions Game so I came up with one based on this game. I made a Christian version of this board game for CCD/Sunday School and I hope it is useful for younger students.


This game is free, however it is only to be used for classroom and personal use. It may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit.

*Feel free to modify it to suit your needs. Most of it is in MS Word format and can be changed easily.



The Emotions Game:

Introduction: You need to think before you say or do things because you may hurt someone's feelings. Remember what Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39

How can we show that we love God and our neighbor? We should do what God asks of us to show that we love him. How can we love our neighbor? God wants us to help others and to care about them and we should treat others how we would like to be treated.

Review the emotions with your students (happy, angry, bored, ashamed, scared, anxious/nervous, sad, surprised, confused, and embarrassed). Discuss when and how we express each emotion. Example: How does someone look when they are sad? (Discuss. Have the students point to the sad face on the game board and make a sad face.) When can someone be said? (Discuss). What should we do when we see someone sad? (Discuss).

We should be aware of how people feel and help them when needed.

*This game can be used for many different things (introduction wise).
Jesus loves me when I'm . . . sad, happy, etc.
Jesus is with me when I feel . . .
I should pray when I feel . . .





Place your markers at START. Roll the die and move that many spaces. Follow the directions on the space you land on. If the space has LISTEN on it, the teacher will read you a phrase (with matching emotional inflection and facial expression) and you must identify what emotion is depicted. If you land on MAKE A FACE, you must make a face that shows one of the emotions (happy, angry, bored, ashamed, scared, anxious/nervous, sad, surprised, confused, or embarrassed) and the other players will guess what emotion it is. If you land on a THINK space, the teacher will read a situation and you will have to identify how you would feel if that happened to you.

Give the children emotion stickers and/or stamp smiley faces on the back of their hands for trying or doing well.

Continue game as time permits or until the children’s attention wanes.

NOTE: There are also emotion cards with the pictures of the emotions on them that you can use to help discuss things or you can play Memory with them. If the children do not want to say the emotion during the game, they can hold up one of the cards to answer the questions.



Emotion Cards- Pictures of the emotions on cards that you can use to help discuss things or you can play Memory or Go Fish. If the children do not want to say the emotion during the game, they can hold up one of the cards to answer the questions.

Directions- Feel free to use this game as is or modify it to suit your needs. Print out Directions and put inside folder when not playing game.

Game Board- Print out Game Board, trim, and glue on the inside of the file folder. Laminate or cover file folder with clear contact paper to make it last.

Listen List- Read the phrase (with matching emotional inflection and facial expression) and the child will try to identify what emotion is depicted.

Think List- Read a situation and the children will try to identify how they would feel if that happened to them.





Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bible Stories from A to Z







Bible Stories from A to Z








Here is a wonderful and educational ebook or book that your younger students will enjoy! The book is divided into 26 mini units, each featuring a letter of the alphabet. Each mini unit contains the following:

• A Bible story and questions for discussion
• A craft
• A prayer
• A snack idea
• A take home mini story booklet that the children color
• An alphabet page
• An activity page


Sample of book





Friday, December 12, 2008

Lesson Plan- Wise Men (1st grade on up)



Wise Men


Objectives: The students will be able to
- retell the story of The Wise Men
- explain who the Magi were and what they studied
- explain why the Magi came so far to see Jesus



Review:
Prayer, Take Home Sheet, and vocabulary from last week’s lesson and also Objects Used as Mass cards (show picture cards that we have done thus far)



Vocabulary Words: (Write the words on the board and discuss with class)

Wise Men- men from the East who studied the stars. The three Magi (priests from the ancient Persian religion) who came from the East to honor Jesus when he was born (known as Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar).
Ruler- a person who controls others
Presents- gifts
Jerusalem- the capital of Israel and holy city of the Jews (show students this on a map or have one of the students find it on a map).
Jews- a member of the Hebrew people
Priests- person who is ordained and does the church service
Worship- to honor
Frankincense- incense that makes a sweet smelling smoke when burned
Myrrh- a type of perfume that comes from trees and was used in burying people
Egypt- large country in Africa (show students this on a map or have one of the students find it on a map).
Nazareth- a town in Israel where Jesus spent most of his life (show students this on a map or have one of the students find it on a map).



Plan:

Read story: “The Wise Men” and ask questions from Take Home Sheet that will be sent home today.



Activities:

Introduce activities: Who was searching for baby Jesus and brought him gifts?

sermons4kids.com- Wise Men Still Seek Him object lesson with coloring page and maze

sermons4kids.com- Seeking the Savior object lesson with coloring page, puzzles, quiz

sermons4kids.com- Seeking the Savior (group activities) games, crafts, songs, etc.

dltk-bible.com- The Christmas Story: The Wise Men #3 lesson includes memory verse, teacher's guide, puzzles, take home sheet, coloring pages, crafts and activities, etc.

kidsclubs4jesus.com- Wise Men lesson with puzzles, coloring sheet, Bible readings, questions, memory verses, key points, object lesson, drama, puppets, etc. (These files are set up and formatted so that they can be easily made into weekly booklets for your children's ministry, youth ministry, etc., with 4 sheets of legal paper and two staples).

calvarycurriculum.com- The Wise Men lesson #170 with memory verses, circle the correct words, true or false, fill in the blanks, puzzles, and color sheets.




Crafts

Introduce crafts: How did the Wise Men find Jesus?

sermonskids.com- Seeking the Savior crafts

hellokids.com- Popsicle Stick Star of David

powerfulmothering.com- Craft Stick Stars
An easy and pretty star craft made out of paddle pop sticks (popsicle sticks), paint, and glitter.

dltk-kids.com- Fold and Cut Star Shape
Take a plain sheet of paper, make a series of folds, snip once, and, presto! You've got a perfect star. (Step by step directions posted.)


Introduce craft: Who was looking for baby Jesus?

dltk-holidays.com- Three Wisemen Paper Crafts

crayola.com- We Three Kings Craft

firstpalette.com- Paper Three Kings Chain

Three Kings Banner- A cute and easy banner of the Three Wise Men. A craft from Kathy Ross' book: Crafts for Christmas, page 12 & 13.

Three Kings Hats- Three kings made out of cone shaped party hats. (Crafts from your favorite Bible Stories by Kathy Ross, page 40 & 41).

Purim Treat Holder- Cute craft to represent the Wise Men. (Crafts to make in the Winter by Kathy Ross, page 58 & 59).

The Wise Men Visit Jesus (Story Wheel)- Bible Wheels to Make and Enjoy by Carmen Sorvillo, page 35 & 36.




Games

Introduce game: Who was searching for baby Jesus?

sermons4kids.com- Seeking the Savior games



Wise Men Search

Need: Clothes pin to be baby Jesus.

Directions: One student is picked to be a Wise Man and steps out of the classroom. Another student is picked by the teacher to hide baby Jesus somewhere in the classroom. When baby Jesus is hidden, the Wise Man comes back into the room. He is to find baby Jesus by directions from the student that hid baby Jesus. These directions are: the star is not very bright if the Wise Man is far away, brighter if somewhat nearer, getting brighter if even closer, and VERY bright if very close. When the Wise Man finds the baby Jesus, the person that hid baby Jesus is now the Wise Man.



Introduce game: What did the Wise Men follow to find Jesus? A very bright star.

Coin Toss- (The Really Big Book of Bible Games, page 139)- You can also draw a star on the board and have the students throw a suction cup toy at it. If it is inside the lines, they get a point for their team.

Finding Flavor (Wise Men Find Jesus)- This game will help students identify how we pursue things that are important to us. (The Encyclopedia of Bible Games for Children’s Ministry, page 68 & 69).





This game is free, however it is only to be used for classroom and personal use. It may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit. Reproduction or retransmission of any materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, is not permitted.




Gifts For Baby Jesus (file folder game)-The object of this game is to be the first to collect gold, frankincense, and myrrh.



Snacks:

Introduce snack: How did the Wise Men find Jesus? They followed a very bright star.


pillsbury.com- Gingerbread Stars

keyingredient.com- Crispy Cheese Stars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Stars- Get a large star shaped cookie cutter and make star shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Spread peanut butter on star shaped crackers.



Puzzles, Mazes, Worksheets:


The Great Bible Big Fun Activity Book: From the Old and New Testaments by Toni Lind
- Wise Men color by number
- Follow the Dots to see what the Magi saw in the sky

More 365 Activities for Kids (do any of the Wise Men puzzles, mazes, dot-to-dot, spot the difference, etc. from August 3 - 8).

Wise Men Visit Jesus- Look at the pictures in the circles. Find the matching picture in the larger picture. Draw lines to connect the matching pictures. (Big Puzzles for Little Hands: Jesus’ Life and Lessons by Carla Williams, page 14).

christiananswers.net- Star (dot-to-dot)

sermons4kids.com- Maze

biblewise.com- Wise Men maze

biblewise.com- Wise Men Visit Jesus maze

biblewise.com- Finding Jesus maze

biblewise.com- Wise Men find the difference

biblewise.com- Wise Men missing objects

sermons4kids.com- Word Search

joanyedwards.com- Word Search (it says Luke, but it is Matthew 2:1-12)

sermons4kids.com- Word Jumble

sermons4kids.com- Crossword

4catholiceducators.com- Crossword

joanyedwards.com- Crossword (it says Luke, but it is Matthew 2:1-12)

WiseMen (fill in the blanks)

sermons4kids.com- Multiple Choice

sermons4kids.com- Fill in the Blanks



Homework: Prayers and Wise Men Take Home Sheet (It is in MS Word and can be changed any way you like according to your student’s abilities.)





Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christian Educational Materials





There are lots of websites that offer FREE Christian educational materials. Here are two lists that you might find useful in locating what you need for your CCD class.


Favorite Pre K – K Websites- Comprehensive list of where to find things (Activities, Bible Verses, Coloring, Crafts, Finger Plays & Songs, Games, Handwriting, Lesson Plans, Memory Activities, Mini Books, Puzzles & Mazes, Worksheets, etc.)


Favorite Elementary Religious Websites- Comprehensive list of where to find things (Activities, Bible Verses, Coloring, Crafts, Games, Handwriting, Memory Activities, Mini Books, Puzzles & Mazes, Quizzes and Tests, Worksheets, etc.)





Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Interest Centers for Preschool or Kindergarten Classrooms





Greet students and parents when they arrive to your classroom. You might have an Open House time prior to when your class starts so the parents and children can meet you and see the room. Have your classroom set up. Have places for where the students store their belongings and coats with nametags on cubbies. (You might just want to put their coats on the back of their chairs because the spread of lice). Show the children the classroom and where their things go.

*Have an organized, warm and welcoming classroom. Hit a religious store that sells stuff for classrooms.

*Make sure you have a paper where parents can sign up to help in the room or by doing work for you at home (cutting things out, make games, etc.).

*You can put names on chairs and carpet squares where you want the students to sit (they will learn their name if they have not already done so).

*Have a schedule posted with what you are going to do in the classroom:

Example:

9:00 – 9:15 Centers

9:15 – 9:25 Circle Time (Bible Story)

9:25 – 9:40 Bible Crafts

9:40 – 9:55 Bible Games

9:55 - 10:00 Snack

10:00 Pick Up


Centers: Focuses for learning areas can include dramatic play, construction (blocks), fine motor (puzzles, pegboards, plastic snap together toys, lacing boards, play dough, etc.), art (water based paints, crayons, etc. or you can just put some crayons in a container with blank paper to color on at a table), library, investigation, etc.

Investigation Centers could be: Art, Block, Book, Creation, Home Living, Manipulative, etc.



First Day

Arrival: The staff greets children as they enter the classroom and exchanges written or verbal communication with the parents. Children are encouraged to hang up jackets and put their things away in the proper place.

Centers: Students then are invited to move from center to center, interacting freely with various environments after they have put their things away.

Circle Time: Say to the students- “It’s Circle Time. Put everything back where you found them and meet me at the circle.” (Chairs or carpet squares that are in a circle). Have pictures on index cards where things go with the word of the object. Pictures can be found at Google. Type in the word and click on images. Or you can cut up a catalog for pictures. Or use these picture cards.



1. Introduce yourself again to the students. Go over your rules for the class and post it. Example of rules:

Classroom Rules
We will be kind to everybody.
We will raise our hand when we want to speak.
We will use inside voices.
We will walk inside the room.
We will listen to the teachers and follow directions.
We keep our hands, feet, and objects to ourselves.
We respect others and their property.
We will clean up after ourselves.


2. Start with Ice Breaker games (getting to know you games). You might want to do these for a few weeks.

scholastic.com- Welcome Back! Give students a warm welcome with these fun getting-to-know-you activities.

awesome-kid-birthday-parties.com- Scroll down to: 12 More Fun & Exciting Icebreaker Games

kimskorner4teachertalk.com- Icebreakers & Energizers

wilderdom.com-Icebreakers, Warmups, Energizers, & Deinhibitizers

mftrou.com- Icebreaker Games for Small Groups


3. Bible Story. Read a colorful Bible story that is easy for them to understand. Example: *The Usborne Children's Bible by Heather Amery. A collection of 44 favorite Bible stories, all very accurate retellings from Scripture that are easy for children to understand and enjoy. Very colorful and beautiful illustrations.

After the story, ask the students questions.

Incorporate music and/or finger plays about the Bible story. Finger plays are a great way for preschoolers to play along. However, some finger plays have so many finger motions that it is difficult for even adults to keep up with them. Here are some easy Bible finger plays that can be used for a variety of lessons. This section also includes standard and play-along songs, most of which are sung to familiar tunes (the songs) so that preschoolers will have no trouble learning them.

Finger plays and songs:

dltk-bible.com- Rhymes and Songs for Kids

preschooleducation.com- Music & Songs: Praise God

childbiblesongs.com- Child Bible Songs

abcjesuslovesme.com- Rhymes, fingers plays, and songs

childrensbiblesongs.us- Children’s Bible Songs (lyrics, chords, and more)


4. Have the students sit at a table with chairs. Do a craft that emphasizes the Bible story. Introduce the art project. Example: Who built the ark? Noah. What did it look like? What was it like on the ark? Let’s find out!


5. Have student sit where it is appropriate to play the game. Do a game that emphasizes the Bible story. Introduce the game. Example: What was on the ark with Noah and his family? Can you find what animal is missing from the ark?


6. Snack Time: Say to the students- “It’s Snack Time. Put everything back where you found them. Meet me at the table.” Have a snack that emphasizes the Bible story. Example: Say to the students- “What was the sign that God did that promised that He would never flood the whole Earth again? A rainbow.

Rainbow in a Cup


7. After Snack Time, have the students put trash in trashcan. Students then get to play in the Centers until their parents come.


*Sometimes what you have planned takes less time than expected. Be sure to have other activities to fill in if you have extra time in your lesson.

dltk-bible.com- Sunday School Time Fillers


Do you have any Preschool/Kindergarten classroom ideas to share?





Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ideas for Preschool/Kindergarten Classroom





Greet students and parents when they arrive to your classroom. You might have an Open House time prior to when your class starts so the parents and children can meet you and see the room. Have your classroom set up. Have places for where the students store their belongings and coats with nametags on cubbies. (You might just want to put their coats on the back of their chairs because the spread of lice). Show the children the classroom and where their things go.

*Have an organized, warm and welcoming classroom. Hit a religious store that sells stuff for classrooms.

*Make sure you have a paper where parents can sign up to help in the room or by doing work for you at home (cutting things out, make games, etc.).

*You can put names on chairs and carpet squares where you want the students to sit (they will learn their name if they have not already done so).

*Have a schedule posted with what you are going to do in the classroom:

Example:

9:00 – 9:15 Centers

9:15 – 9:25 Circle Time (Bible Story)

9:25 – 9:40 Bible Crafts

9:40 – 9:55 Bible Games

9:55 - 10:00 Snack

10:00 - Pick Up


Centers: Focuses for learning areas can include dramatic play, construction (blocks), fine motor (puzzles, pegboards, plastic snap together toys, lacing boards, play dough, etc.), art (water based paints, crayons, etc. or you can just put some crayons in a container with blank paper to color on at a table), library, investigation, etc.

Investigation Centers could be: Art, Block, Book, Creation, Home Living, Manipulative, etc.



First Day

Arrival: The staff greets children as they enter the classroom and exchanges written or verbal communication with the parents. Children are encouraged to hang up jackets and put their things away in the proper place.

Centers: Students then are invited to move from center to center, interacting freely with various environments after they have put their things away.

Circle Time: Say to the students- “It’s Circle Time. Put everything back where you found them and meet me at the circle.” (Chairs or carpet squares that are in a circle). Have pictures on index cards where things go with the word of the object. Pictures can be found at Google. Type in the word and click on images. Or you can cut up a catalog for pictures. Or use these picture cards.



1. Introduce yourself again to the students. Go over your rules for the class and post it. Example of rules:

Classroom Rules
We will be kind to everybody.
We will raise our hand when we want to speak.
We will use inside voices.
We will walk inside the room.
We will listen to the teachers and follow directions.
We keep our hands, feet, and objects to ourselves.
We respect others and their property.
We will clean up after ourselves.


2. Start with Ice Breaker games (getting to know you games). You might want to do these for a few weeks.

http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/k_2theme/bktoschool.htm

http://www.awesome-kid-birthday-parties.com/icebreaker-games.html

http://www.kimskorner4teachertalk.com/classmanagement/icebreakers.html

http://www.wilderdom.com/games/Icebreakers.html

http://www.funattic.com/game_icebreaker.htm

http://www.mftrou.com/icebreaker-games.html

http://www.funandgames.org/Games_icebreakers.html


3. Bible Story. Read a colorful Bible story that is easy for them to understand. Example: *The Usborne Children's Bible by Heather Amery. A collection of 44 favorite Bible stories, all very accurate retellings from Scripture that are easy for children to understand and enjoy. Very colorful and beautiful illustrations.

After the story, ask the students questions.

Incorporate music and/or finger plays about the Bible story. Finger plays are a great way for preschoolers to play along. However, some finger plays have so many finger motions that it is difficult for even adults to keep up with them. Here are some easy Bible finger plays that can be used for a variety of lessons. This section also includes standard and play-along songs, most of which are sung to familiar tunes (the songs) so that preschoolers will have no trouble learning them.

Finger plays and songs:

http://www.dltk-bible.com/poems.htm

http://www.geocities.com/buildakid/fingerplays.html

http://www.preschooleducation.com/sgod.shtml

http://www.preschooleducation.com/sgod.shtml


4. Have the students sit at a table with chairs. Do a craft that emphasizes the Bible story. Introduce the art project. Example: Who built the ark? Noah. What did it look like? What was it like on the ark? Let’s find out!


5. Have student sit where it is appropriate to play the game. Do a game that emphasizes the Bible story. Introduce the game. Example: What was on the ark with Noah and his family? Can you find what animal is missing from the ark?


6. Snack Time: Say to the students- “It’s Snack Time. Put everything back where you found them. Meet me at the table.” Have a snack that emphasizes the Bible story. Example: Say to the students- “What was the sign that God did that promised that He would never flood the whole Earth again? A rainbow.

Rainbow in a Cup


7. After Snack Time, have the students put trash in trashcan. Students then get to play in the Centers until their parents come.


*Sometimes what you have planned takes less time than expected. Be sure to have other activities to fill in if you have extra time in your lesson.

Sunday School Time Fillers


Do you have any Preschool/Kindergarten classroom ideas to share?





Monday, December 8, 2008

Lesson Planning





Before you do anything you must plan and prepare. When you go grocery shopping, you make a list of the food you want or you will buy things you don’t need and you won’t have what you want to eat for the week. You do the same thing with planning what you will teach in your CCD class. You plan what you are going to do and you prepare.

Having a well planned and prepared CCD class is essential. Without this your students cannot learn to their fullest potential. A well planned and prepared lesson plan will also help to avoid possible behavior problems that could arise in your class as well.


Tips For Planning and Preparing Your Lessons

1. Know your curriculum. Read, study, and learn. A good lesson depends on how well the catechist understands the material.

2. Prepare ahead. Take your class CCD schedule and plan for the whole year what lessons (chapters from your curriculum) you will do. It does not have to be elaborate, just jot down the chapter and/or subject for each Sunday you have CCD.

3. Formulate objectives for your lesson (what you want your students to learn). That will determine what you will teach.

4. Select what activities you will be doing with your students. Find various activities (crafts, worksheets, games, coloring sheets, puzzles, etc.) that go with your lesson. Review the objectives of your lesson to determine if the activity is appropriate for your students. Remember that the activities must relate to the lesson. Only do crafts, games, and activities that emphasize the lesson and the objectives of what you want your students to learn. These activities make your lessons more concrete and easier for the students to understand and also a lot of fun. Keeping the students busy with relevant activities also helps eliminate discipline problems that might erupt due to the students being bored.

*Be sure to list all the materials for each activity needed in the lesson plan.

5. Adjust lesson plan to your students. Be sure to take into account that every year each group of students is different and can learn differently than previous classes. What activities worked one year might not work this year. Take into account the unique needs of your students or how they learn best to make your lesson as effective as possible. Example: If your students learn better when they are in small groups, make sure you have an activity planned for your students to break into a small group and work together.

6. Have alternative activities. Sometimes what you have planned for the class does not work out so have alternative activities to accomplish your objectives for the lesson.

7. Have extra activities. Sometimes what you have planned takes less time than expected. Be sure to have other activities to fill in if you have extra time in your lesson.

8. Review lesson plan. Go over it thoroughly. Practice doing the lesson plan and picture yourself doing it. Make adjustments if necessary.

9. Make sure you have enough materials for all students. Have enough books, pencils, craft supplies, worksheets, puzzles, etc. for each student. Have a few extra for any new students or if they bring a friend to class.

10. Have materials and classroom ready before class. Make sure you arrive early to set up your classroom and to make sure all the materials and equipment you need are there, easy to access, and ready to go.





Friday, December 5, 2008

Advent Wreath- (file folder game)





I got the idea for this game from: cajestl.org- Chanukah Candles


Advent Wreath: The object of the game is to color all of the Advent wreath correctly.


This game is free, however it is only to be used for classroom and personal use. It may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit. Reproduction or retransmission of any materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, is not permitted.


Directions- Print out Directions, cut it out, and glue on front of file folder.

Directions- Print out Directions, cut it out, and glue on front of file folder. (For younger children.)

Game Board- Print out Game Board, trim, and glue on the inside of the file folder. Make sure the directions are on the front of the file folder. Laminate or cover file folder with clear contact paper to make it last.

Advent Wreath coloring sheet- Give a copy to each player.

Question Cards- (Questions are in MS Word and can be changed easily to whatever you want. Feel free to change the questions or use your own.) Print Question Cards out on card stock. Cut out Question Cards. Laminate or cover with clear contact paper to make them last. Use only the questions that reflect your students abilities.

Advent Wreath Cards- Print several Advent Wreath Cards out on card stock. Cut out Advent Wreath Cards. Laminate or cover with clear contact paper to make them last. (For younger children instead of question cards.)





Lesson Plan- Birth of Jesus (1st grade on up)



Birth of Jesus


Objectives: The students will be able to
- retell the story of Jesus’ birth
- identify where Jesus was born and in what town
- identify that Jesus was born on Christmas
- identify Bethlehem on a map



Review:
Prayer, Take Home Sheet, and vocabulary from last week’s lesson and also Objects Used as Mass cards (show picture cards that we have done thus far)



Vocabulary Words: (Write the words on the board and discuss with class)

Expecting- going to have a baby soon
Emperor- the male ruler of a group of nations or states
Register- a book containing a written list or record of names
Taxed- a payment toward the running of a country
Journey- a long trip or adventure
Bethlehem- a small town in Israel where Jesus was born (show students this on a map and have the students find it on a map)
Inn- like a hotel where you can sleep and eat
Stable- where they keep animals
Manger- a trough where animals eat out of
Flocks- group of something



Plan:

Read story "Birth of Jesus" and ask questions from Take Home Sheet that will be sent home today.



Activities:

Introduce activities: What day was Jesus born?

sermons4kids.com- Christmas object lessons

creativebiblestudy.com- A Christmas Object Lesson ...or Two

beau.lib.la.us- The Best Gift (object lesson)

christiancrafters.com- Christmas Lessons & Advent Season Talks

dltk-bible.com- The Christmas Story lesson with memory verse, teacher's guide, puzzles, take home sheet, coloring pages, crafts and activities, etc.

kidsclubs4jesus.com- To Bethlehem, Birth of Jesus, Mary and Jesus lessons with puzzles, coloring sheet, Bible readings, questions, memory verses, key points, object lesson, drama, puppets, etc. (These files are set up and formatted so that they can be easily made into weekly booklets for your children's ministry, youth ministry, etc., with 4 sheets of legal paper and two staples).

calvarycurriculum.com- The Birth of Jesus, Angels Appear To Shepherds lesson #167 with memory verses, circle the correct words, true or false, fill in the blanks, puzzles, and color sheets.



Crafts:

Introduce craft: Where was Jesus born? In a stable.

billybear4kids.com- Christmas Nativity
Scroll down to Christmas Nativity (Paper Doll Cut Outs)

mssscrafts.com- Stable background

Directions: Print out Christmas Nativity and stable background for students. Have students color Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, and the lamb and cut out. Glue characters on stable background.


fcpeace.com- Paper Bag Manger Scene
Preschool Christian Crafts by Linda Standke, page 49 – 52

catholicicing.blogspot.com- DIY Printable Nativity for Kids by Lacy
Complete directions and printable templates


Other crafts-

Shine On- Students make punched-tin candleholders. (Bible Story Crafts & Projects Children Love by Kathy Ross, page 71).

The Catholic Toolbox- Punched Tin Candle Holder

noelnoelnoel.com- Festive Candle Holder
Cute, easy craft made out of a baby food jar and tissue paper. Tip: Make a mixture of half water and half glue in a paper cup. Paint with a paintbrush or a Q-tip a small area on each jar with the glue mixture, then cover the area with small pieces of tissue paper. Use a variety of colored paper to cover the entire jar with two or three layers of tissue paper. Coat the finished jar with thinned glue to seal.

Glitter and Sugar Ornament- A fun and easy way to make lots of pretty ornaments to decorate your Christmas Tree. A sample craft from Kathy Ross' book: The Best Holiday Crafts Ever!, page 144 & 145.

christiancrafters.com- Scroll down to Christmas & Advent

Birth of Jesus Story Wheel- Children turn their story wheel dials to retell the Bible story they learned over and over again. (Preschool Christian Crafts by Linda Standke. Directions on page 37 - 39, craft template on page 40 & 44.)

Christmas- Bible Story Wheel (Bible Wheels to Make and Enjoy by Carmen Sorvillo, page 33 & 34.)



Games:

Introduce game: What town was Jesus born in? Bethlehem

mormonshare.com- Nativity Matching Game
Play Memory with these nativity cards.

lds.about.com- Nativity Cards
Go Fish game using pictures from the nativity including the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the angel, shepherds, wise-men, and more. The object of the game is to get the most sets of four to win. More directions are at website. Open and print the pdf files either the two part color files or the b/w file. There are 8 different sets (four cards each) for a total of 32 nativity cards. If you have a large family/group print two sets and combine.

learningtreasures.com- Nativity Dominoes to print out and play

diva-girl-parties-and-stuff.com- Right, Left, Christmas Game
A fun way to review the story of the birth of Jesus.

sundayschoolnetwork.com- Christmas Games (8 Christmas games posted here)



Snacks:

Introduce snack: Where was baby Jesus laid into?

dltk-kids.com- Edible Manger



Puzzles, Mazes, Worksheets:

More 365 Activities for Kids (do any of the birth of Jesus puzzles, mazes, dot-to-dot, spot the difference, etc. from July 29 – August 2).

Shepherds Find The Baby (find the hidden pictures)- Hidden Pictures Explore Hidden Treasures in God’s Word (Grade 1 – 3) by Linda Standke, page 17

sermons4kids.com- The Birth of Jesus (maze)

fcpeace.com- The First Christmas Book
A book for you to make and share.

lambsongs.co.nz- 9 Christmas booklets
Print these out for the children to color or print them in color

The Angel Said to Them . . . (find the hidden pictures)- Hidden Pictures Explore Hidden Treasures in God’s World: Grade 1 – 3 by Linda Standke, page 16.

Shepherds Find the Baby (find the hidden pictures)- Hidden Pictures Explore Hidden Treasures in God’s World: Grade 1 – 3 by Linda Standke, page 17. (Click on Sample)

comingtofaith.com- The Birth of Jesus
Number each picture as it happened in the story. Then color the pictures.

dltk-holidays.com- Christmas puzzles
Scroll down to Christmas Themed Printable Games and Puzzles for anagrams, bingo, crosswords, cryptograms, dominos, jigsaw puzzles, mazes, Memory cards, riddles, word-mining, word searches

teacherhelp.org- Christmas Themed Worksheets, Puzzles, and Games (scroll down near bottom)

sermons4kids.com- The Birth of Jesus (word search)

sermons4kids.com- Christmas (crossword)

sermons4kids.com- The Birth of Jesus (word jumble)

sermons4kids.com- A Christmas (spiral)



Homework: Prayers and Take Home Sheet (It is in MS Word and can be changed any way you like according to your student’s abilities.)





Thursday, December 4, 2008

People at Church



Who are the people at church? What do they do? Here are a few games for students to learn about the people at church.



These games below are free, however they can only to be used for classroom and personal use. They may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit. Reproduction or retransmission of any materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, is not permitted.


People at Church Cards- Show each People at Church Cards to the students and have them identify the person(s) and what they do. (Altar Servers, Cantor, Choir, Eucharistic Ministers, Greeter/Usher, Lector, Musicians, Priest). They can also play Memory or Go Fish with these cards.

If the students need help:

*Give them a clue such as saying out loud the first syllable of the word.

*You can lay all the pictures out and ask a question from below. Have the students point to the person(s) and say what they are called. Have them repeat the word after you say it if necessary.


Questions:

Who are the boys and girls that help at Mass? (Altar Servers)

Who are the group of singers? (Choir)

Who is the person who sings solo (alone) and leads special parts of the Mass? (Cantor)

What do you call the people who play musical instruments? (Musicians)

Who helps the priest administer (give out) the Body and Blood of Christ? (Eucharistic Ministers)

Who reads the first and second readings? (Lector)

Who says hello and make us feel welcome in the church? Who guides us to our seats and helps collect our offerings? Who hands out the church bulletins? (Greeters/Ushers)

Who leads us to celebrate Mass? (Priest) What is his name? (Father _______)



Who am I?: (Card Game)

Directions- Children can play Memory or Go Fish with the cards by matching the pictures of people from church with the correct name.

Blank Cards- To use to play the game.






Who am I? File Folder Game: (for younger students)- Place your markers on START. The player rolls the die and follows the directions. If you land on a space with a person’s job description (even if you were told to go back) you read it out loud and you must say who that person is. (If they cannot read, the teacher or someone else can read it for them). If you are correct, you stay where you are. If you are not correct, you go back two spaces and read that job description and say who that person is. If you are correct, you stay where you are. If you are not correct, you go back two spaces, etc. If you land on a picture of a person(s) you must say who that person is. Same rules apply for the picture identification as well. The first person to move around the board and land on FINISH wins. Continue playing to find out who comes in second, third, fourth, etc. place.

Directions- Print out Directions, cut it out, and glue on front of file folder.

Game Board- Print out Game Board, trim and glue on the inside of the file folder. Make sure the directions are on the front of the file folder. Laminate or cover file folder with clear contact paper to make it last.






Who am I? File Folder Game: Identify the person at church by their job description.

Place your markers on START. The player rolls a die and follows the directions. If you land on a space with a person’s job description (even if you were told to go back) you read it out loud and you must say who that person is. If you are correct you stay where you are. If you are not correct you go back two spaces and read that job description and say who that person is. If you are correct you stay where you are. If you are not correct you go back two spaces, etc. The first person to move around the board and land on FINISH wins.



Directions- Print out Directions, cut it out, and glue on front of file folder.

Game Board- Print out Game Board, trim and glue on the inside of the file folder. Make sure the directions are on the front of the file folder. Laminate or cover file folder with clear contact paper to make it last.

Spinner- Make spinner according to the directions.





Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Organize Your Materials





Knowing where your activities are and keeping them organized is critical for a CCD teacher. Having all of the materials you need for each particular lesson in a well organize and an accessible place makes it easier for you to find it quickly so you can use it with your students within a moments notice. This will also cut down stressful times for you while you look for a certain activity and allow you to plan your lesson the way you want it to be.

Here are some examples on how to keep your materials organized:

1. Keep it in a binder with dividers for each subject.


2. Have a small portable file box container with a handle so you can carry it easily and have everything in individual files.


3. Have color coded dividers/files for the binder or file box for keeping materials organized. A color coded dot can be placed on a unit of your teacher’s curriculum book that match the corresponding dividers/files. That way, the chapters that cover that unit will be together and in order.


4. Have your activities grouped accordingly for each subject with what you need to teach the lesson. For example:

Lesson Plans
Activities
Music
Worksheets
Coloring Sheets
Puzzles
Crafts
Games
Skits
Quizzes/Tests
Bulletin Boards
DVDs, Videos, PowerPoint presentations, Flannel Boards, Transparencies, etc.
Journal Writing
Take Home Sheet/Homework


5. Have all materials and lesson plans backed up on a CD so you can make extra copies whenever and wherever you want or need them.


How do you organize your materials?





Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Classroom Tips For Any Classroom





All teachers need new ideas on how to teach and to keep their students involved. Below are a few suggestions that you can use for your classroom:


Teaching Aids- lots of useful ideas for your classroom

How To Encourage Sunday School Class Participation- easy tips to incorporate into your classroom

Ideas For Many Areas of Classroom Management- lots of great ideas for you to check out

Classroom Management- for all grades

Forms and letters- Free downloads of forms and letters for Discipline, Academic, Communication, etc. Tons of forms and letters provided. Just click on "Forms and Letters" on the left and it will take you right there.

Homeworkopoly- a fun way to encourage students to do their homework





Monday, December 1, 2008

An Advent Gift from the Curt Jester



Jeff, Curt Jester, has kindly created a wreath complete with lit candle(s) to share (see my sidebar?) with those of us who want to celebrate Advent on our blogs. Also, if you want, he has a countdown to Christmas to go along with the wreath.

Thank you Jeff!


Disability Resource Manual: A Practical Guide for Churches & Church Leaders





Disability Resource Manual: A Practical Guide for Churches & Church Leaders






This guide was created by Ashley Peterson. It includes definitions of different disabilities, suggestions for relating to that person, and accommodations that can be made within the church. It also provides information for starting a disability ministry, providing care, the theology of disability, and the spirituality of disability. Included is an annotated resource list.

There are now three versions of this text. The first includes more graphics and the second one has clear formatting to make it easier to read. The third version is in a .txt file for increased ease of use with text reading software. You can also peruse the table of contents before downloading the entire manual for free.





National Organization on Disability





Religion and Disability Program- Encouraging faith communities to remove barriers to full religious participation.

The Religion and Disability Program of the National Organization on Disability (NOD) is an interfaith effort urging national faith groups, denominations, local congregations and seminaries to identify and remove barriers of architecture, communications, and attitudes. The program reaches out to congregations and people of faith through publications, information referral, and various program initiatives.

The Religion and Disability Program has much to offer you in your journey towards building a faith community that is welcoming to all:

• Access to the Religion and Disability Program E-Newsletter, sent quarterly, a source of valuable resources and information for those working to include children and adults with disabilities in their religious communities.

• Enrollment in the Accessible Congregations Campaign, a campaign that seeks to partner with congregations of all faiths who commit to identifying and removing their barriers and welcoming people with all types of disabilities.

• Several publications, including our very popular That All May Worship: An Interfaith Welcome to People with Disabilities, which offer advice on becoming more accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities. Our other publications include Loving Justice, From Barriers to Bridges and Money and Ideas.

• Information on That All May Worship conferences, conferences that bring together people with disabilities and lay or ordained religious leaders to plan improved access—both physical and spiritual—in houses of worship.

• Access to the Interfaith Directory of Religious Leaders with Disabilities, a directory that provides contact information for over 130 religious leaders with disabilities who wish to foster communication with others in the religious community and the disability community.

• Assistance from the Congregations Who Care—Prepare project, a project to advise congregations on how to assist people with disabilities in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

• Participation in the Seminary Project, a project that provides information to help seminaries welcome people with disabilities, and to better equip future religious leaders to serve, and serve with, children and adults with disabilities.

To find out more about the Religion and Disability Program contact us by phone at (202) 293-5960, or e-mail at religion@nod.org. You can also write us at Religion and Disability Program, National Organization on Disability, 910 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.





Ministering to Children with Special Needs- books






*Here are a few books I found that might help you in ministering to children with special needs.



Welcoming Children with Special Needs: A Guidebook for Faith Communities by Sally Patton

Limited preview- See some of the book.



Special Needs, Special Ministry by Jim Pierson

Limited preview- See some of the book.



Children Matter by Scottie May, page 311

Limited preview- See some of the book.





Sunday, November 30, 2008

Confused





I’m still wondering about the lurkers that visit my blog. Why do they come, what are they looking for? Lots of questions inundate my mind and I’m baffled as to what the answers could be.

So here is your chance to comment what you like the most and what you would like to see on this blog. This will help me so I will know what to post and I will try to accommodate you ASAP.


Friday, November 28, 2008

What To Give For Christmas



I’m not much for shopping and I really don’t need anything, but Oprah has the right idea about what to give for Christmas . . . love.

These heartfelt gifts are the ones you will cherish forever and will never forget.




Gratitude Boxes

All you do is get a container or box and decorate it. Then have everyone write a special note for that person to put inside. To make it easy, Oprah has made printable note cards for you.

What I love about you . . .

Thank you for . . .

My holiday wish for you . . .


Print these notes out and write your special message to that “special” person.


'Tis the season to let someone know how much you appreciate them and making it a wonderful Christmas for years to come.