Saturday, December 31, 2011

Crafty Crafters: Baptism of Jesus

So how crafty are you?

What is your favorite religious craft you make for the Baptism of Jesus?

Here is a craft I make with my students for the Baptism of Jesus:

Introduce craft: What hovered over Jesus’ head after he was baptized? (A white dove.)

Taking Flight- A bird that can be a dove that you make out of white paper and using the child's handprints. (From the Hands of a Child by Anthony Flores, page 41).

*Every craft in this book is illustrated with materials listed and patterns provided. Very easy step by step directions that even a 1st grader can read and follow and make the craft by himself.

Please leave a comment so others can get ideas for crafts.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Interactive Crafts for Bible Stories

Children love to make interactive crafts for Bible stories. It makes the Bible story come alive and they can reenact the story over and over again. lots of crafts posted!
Scroll down and just click on Activity 1, Activity 2, etc. for printables. Click on Instructions for directions on how to do craft (sometimes directions are posted on one of the activity sheets).

Peter Walks on Water- Glue Peter on a popsicle stick and have him reenact the Bible story.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Church Potluck Recipe: Rocky Road Fudge Bars

This is the BEST fudge in the whole world. My family has been making it for years and everyone just loves it. Great for church potluck or any occasion. I even make these and give them as gifts during Christmas!

Rocky Road Fudge Bars



1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate or 1 envelope pre-melted unsweetened baking chocolate flavor
1 cup sugar
1 cup All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs


8 -oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened (reserve 2 oz. for Frosting)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chopped nuts
6 -oz. pkg. (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips, if desired


2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate or 1 envelope pre-melted unsweetened baking chocolate flavor
2 -oz. reserved cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 13” X 9” pan. In large saucepan over low heat, melt margarine and 1 square of chocolate. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level off.
Add remaining bar ingredient and mix well. Spread in prepared pan.
In small bowl, combine 6 ounces of cream cheese with next 5 ingredients. Beat 1 minute on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, and then stir in nuts. Spread over chocolate mixture.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350° for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and sprinkle on marshmallows. Bake 2 more minutes.

In large saucepan over low heat, melt 1/4 cup margarine and 1 square chocolate, remaining 2 ounces cream cheese and milk. Stir in powered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Immediately pour over marshmallows and swirl together, Cool; cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Yield: 3-4 dozen.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crafty Crafters: Laundry Detergent Cap

So how crafty are you?

What is your favorite religious craft you make using a laundry detergent cap?

Here is a craft your students can make for the Bible story “Jesus in the Temple”.

Introduce craft: When Jesus was a little boy, where did he get his toys? (They made them.) We are going to make us a toy to play with.

Make a hole near the top of the rim using a drill prior to class. Cut twine to about 2 feet long. Have students tie one end of the twine to the lid through the hole you just drilled. On the other end of the twine tie a large bead to it (2 beads if they are small).

To play- Hold the cup letting the string hang down. Swing the bead up and try to catch it inside the cup. For competitive play, whoever gets the most catches out of 10 or 20 tries wins.

Please leave a comment so others can get ideas for crafts.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Behavior Contracts & Behavior Charts

When behaviors become a problem in a classroom an effective strategy is to implement a behavior contract. A behavior contract is a clear, written statement of what behaviors a student agrees to exhibit and the positive consequences (rewards) that will result from fulfillment of the contract. Behavior contracts also state who will deliver those rewards as well. Often the negative consequences of not fulfilling the contract are also specified. Contracts can be a positive way to provide a role for families in improving classroom behavior. Before implementing the behavior contract it should be discussed thoroughly and all involved persons must agree to it and sign it. Anyone can deliver the rewards (the teacher, parent, DRE, etc.), but it must be the same person each time as stated in the behavior contract. Remember to be consistent and praise the child for good behavior choices. When the child does not make a good behavior choice, do not be apologetic; if needed, pull out the contract and review the terms that were agreed upon with the child. Emphasize the positives that come along with good behavior choices and help the child to get used to new habits of good behavior.

The behavior contract should be revised when it is not producing satisfactory results. Therefore your contract should be open to renegotiations at any time. If needed, a new contract replacing the previous one would be written up and signed.

Steps for Developing, Implementing, and Monitoring a Behavior Contract

1. Meet with concerned parties- Everyone who will be supporting the contract need to meet to discuss one target behavior.

2. Determine conditions- The parties determine when, where, and under what specific conditions the behavior occurs. The contract will be written to address these conditions.

3. Determine who will use the contract and where it will be used- All persons who will be responsible for contract implementation must know their responsibilities.

4. Determine reinforcement- Students should be allowed to participate in developing a set of choices of reinforcers (rewards). Reinforcers should be manageable but powerful enough to evoke the desired response (behavior). The list of rewards should be rotated often to make sure that the student motivation remains high.

5. Determine whether negative consequences will be used- Contracts are written in a positive way to increase behaviors. Negative reinforcers may not be necessary or even desirable if the positive reinforcers are motivating for the student.

6. Take baseline data- Determine the frequency in which the behavior occurs. Data should be taken over at least 3 to 5 days to make certain that the behavior is typical for the student.

7. Determine reinforcement schedule- Everyone who is involved should determine how often the student is to receive reinforcers (rewards). The contract should be structured so that the student has a successful experience; this will prompt the student to further work toward the contract goals.

8. Determine goals- Everyone who is involved should determine the criteria for successful completion of the contract. Realistic and reasonable goals should be set, even if those goals do not represent the final level of expectation for the student. When the student consistently reaches the goals, the contract can be modified to target a higher goal.

9. Write the contract- The contract should be written in terms that specify task and time demands, criteria for accuracy, and available reinforcers.

10. Discuss and sign the contract- Everyone that is involved should discuss the contract to ensure understanding. It might be necessary to supplement a discussion with drawings or icons for some students. All concerned parties should receive a copy of the contract.

11. Monitor the contract- Everyone that is involved with the contract should set up a plan to evaluate and modify the contract if needed. All concerned parties should remain in constant contact with each other to ensure that student progress across setting is monitored. If the contract is unsuccessful, the parties need to address task appropriateness, time allotment, and student or environmental factors that could have impeded student progress (Smith, 1998).

Example: John has been erratic in turning in his homework for CCD. Sometimes John completes his homework and turns in it in on time. Other times John does not turn in his homework and acts defensive and is very irritable when questioned about it. In a written, dated, and signed contract, the parents agreed to take John to his favorite restaurant for dinner if John turns in his homework on time for the next 4 weeks. If John does not turn in his homework assignments, he will lose some of his video game privileges, according to the severity of his lapses (how many assignments missed equals how much video game time is taken away which is stated in the contract).

*Families can be a strong support for CCD. Just ask for their help and you will be surprised on how much they will do.

How To Do Behavior Contracts and Samples How To Create Behavior Contracts A Behavior Contract and Behavior Monitoring Tools Steps in Implementing This Intervention, How to Deal With Common Problems in Using Behavior Contracts Behavior Contracts and Tracking Sheets Behavior Contracts
Blank Behavior Contract, Sample Behavior Contract #1 & #2, Student Contract Form

Behavior Charts

Behavior Charts are a good way of keeping track of behavior. Here are a few online that might help. Check out the left side bar for several different kinds of behavior charts to print out. Behavior Modification Charts for Home and School Behavior Charts for Kids Charting Behavior (3 charts to choose from) Scroll down for lots of different kinds of behavior charts. These customizable behavior charts are available for free. Each chart includes detailed instructions on how to use them. Free Behavior Charts

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Download Your Mass Response Card for Advent

On November 27, the First Sunday of Advent, the Roman Missal, Third Edition will be implemented in Mass across the United States. As our gift to you, we have developed a Mass card with the new prayer and response translations to assist you in this transition.

*Download comes in a bright four color version, and a simple one color version. Download Your Mass Response Card for Advent

Monday, October 31, 2011

Church Potluck Recipe: Tortellini Salad

I wish I had a picture of this tasty dish. Here is an easy tortellini salad recipe that my friend makes that everyone enjoys!

Tortellini Salad

1 lb. tortellini cooked (cheese or meat stuffed)
Cubed cheddar cheese,
Green pepper, diced
Green onions
Black olives
Green olives
Cherry tomatoes, halved

Mix the above together in a large bowl. Then add the following and mix well. Chill overnight.


¾ c. oil
¼ c wine vinegar
2 t Grey Poupon Mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Books I Use In My Classroom

I have a few books I use in my first grade CCD classroom that I can’t live without. I have worn some of their book covers to nothing and the others are pretty dog-eared.

Books I Use In My Classroom- a short list of what I use

What books do you use in your classroom or home that you cannot live without? Please comment so I can add them to the list or the link to your blog to this post.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Church Potluck Recipe: Broccoli Salad

A friend of mine gave me this recipe 20 years ago and I am crazy about it. There are many ways of fixing Broccoli Salad, but her simple version is always so good and everyone just loves it at any church potluck.

Broccoli Salad

1 bunch broccoli
½ red medium onion, chopped
½ c. mayo
¼ c. sugar
1 T vinegar
½ lb. bacon, fried and in pieces
1 pkg. shredded mozzarella

Cut up broccoli and onion. Blend together mayo, sugar, and vinegar for dressing. The day before serving pour dressing over broccoli and onion; cover. Stir in bacon and cheese just before serving.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Catholic Prayers In Latin

Below are some of the traditional catholic prayers in Latin and links to websites that have additional prayers that your children can learn. I also posted some games, songs, and worksheets that might help your child to learn the prayers in Latin.

Signum Crucis (The Sign of the Cross)

In nomine Patris, et Filii,
et Spiritus Sancti.

Gloria Patri (Glory Be to the Father)

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper,
et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Ave Maria (Hail Mary)

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.

Pater Noster (Our Father)

Pater Noster,
qui es in caelis,
sanctificetur nomen tuum.
Adveniat regnum tuum.
Fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in caelo et in terra.
Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
et dimitte nobis debita nostra
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
Et ne nos inducas in tentationem,
sed libera nos a malo.

Links: Prayers in Latin Traditional Prayers, Creeds, and Ejaculations in English and Latin Prayers of the Rosary in Latin Catholic Prayers in English and Latin. Click on the prayer and scroll down and under the English version you will find the prayer in Latin.

Audio: Audio of Catholic prayers in Latin


Write the prayers on strips of paper or card stock. Cut out strips and glue strips of the prayers in the proper order on a piece of construction paper. (For younger students you can do this together as a group activity.) You can also play this as a game by dividing the class into teams and give each team the strips of the prayers. See which team can put it in the proper order the fastest.

Songs: Gloria Patri Hail Mary in Latin (song) with English translation Our Father in Latin (song) with English translation

Handwriting: Scroll down for various Catholic prayer handwriting sheets

*Or make your own personal manuscript or cursive handwriting sheets for your classroom or home:

Handwriting/Copy Work Worksheet Makers- Here are a few of my favorite handwriting worksheet makers that are FREE so you can make personalized handwriting worksheets (print or cursive) for your students. Click on Paragraph Cursive Worksheets and make your own. Just type in sentences and make a beautiful cursive paragraph worksheet appear before your eyes. This generator lets you create handwriting practice sheets with the text you provide. Enter the words you want to practice with in the large text box below and practice writing words in cursive by tracing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Classroom Monthly Newsletter

Yesterday I sent out via email my classroom’s newsletter for September. Many of you have asked what mine looks like and what it consists of. Well, I made up a simple newsletter since I teach first graders and I try to incorporate all my students names on it in a positive way.

Here is a DRAFT of my classroom’s newsletter for October-

What does your classroom newsletter look like? What does it consist of?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Supplementing the Curriculum

No curriculum is perfect and CCD teachers need to from time to time supplement with activities to help teach their students. Using various resources provides your students with a variety of activities that helps enhance the lesson and allows them to understand more and have a lot of fun in the process.

I teach first grade CCD and I use several books to supplement our curriculum. Below are some of the books and links that I use most.

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.

Limited preview- See some of the book.

The Great Bible Big Fun Activity Book by Toni Lind- Lots of great mazes, dot-to-dot, color by number, picture puzzles and more for children to do and learn about the Old and New Testament.

Hidden Pictures: Grades Grade 1 - 3 (Fun Faith-Builders) by Linda Standke- Fun and creative Bible story based hidden picture puzzles that the children love to do. A great fill in activity for CCD.

To see some of the book then click on Sample

Bible Wheels To Make and Enjoy by Carmen Sorvillo- A great way to supplement your Bible stories and help your students to remember the lesson. 14 Old Testament and 16 New Testament Bible Wheels that the children can make. Cutting is simple but for younger students you might want to cut out some of the craft prior to class.

To see some of the book then click on Excerpt.

More 365 Activities for Kids- 365 puzzles, mazes, dot-to-dot, spot the difference, put in the correct order, find the mistake, etc. of Bible stories activities from the Old and New Testaments. Tons of fun for the kids!

Limited preview- See some of the book.

Mini Bible Story Books: (children make and color)

christianpreschoolprintables- Several to choose from (5 pages). Adam & Eve, Creation, Life of Jesus, Lord’s Prayer, Men of the Bible, Noah and His Ark 20 Old and New Testament mini books Several Old and New Testament mini books. Click on black & white cover and booklet to print out for the children to color.

What do you supplement your curriculum with?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bible Memory Verse Activities

Trying to teach your students or your child Bible memory verses can be quite a challenge. Here are some activities that might make it easier and a lot more fun. Assorted Ideas for Memorizing Verses (Part 1) Bible Verse Activities Memory Verse Activities (games and handouts) Scripture Memory System Bible Verse Memory Games Bible Verse Memorization Using the Memory Cross & Bible Verse Hand Picture (scroll down to these) More than 100 Missions Bible Memory Games and Other Activities Bible Verse Memorization Games Memory Verse Activities Bible Memorization
They have free, printable: Bible Verse Charts, Bible Verse Tune Charts, Bible Verse Copywork, and Bible Verse Strips. This scripture memory kit also has introductions and descriptions of each, suggestions for use, free printable Bible verse materials, etc. Puppets Help Teach A Memory Verse Bible verses beginning with each letter of the alphabet

Printable Bible Verse Material Scroll down to boy cards and girl cards Free Printable Bible Verse Materials Various Bible verse cards that you can print out and memorize. Bible Verse Cards Cute Bible Verses For Today’s Young Children A B C Printable Scripture Cards Bible Verse Memorization Card Maker (scroll down to this)
Make several different kinds of cards. Verse Card Maker


Memory Verse Crafts- crafts, banners, bookmarks and doorhangers, etc. Bible Memory Verse Crafts by Teacher Created Resources, Mary Tucker (preview) Memory Verse Craft Ideas

Activities, Games, Coloring Sheets for Prayers:

Activities, Games, Coloring Sheets for Prayers

Memory Activities and Games for Prayers and Scripture Scripture Memory Coloring Sheets & Activities

Handwriting/Copy Work Worksheet Makers:

Handwriting/Copy Work Worksheet Makers- To learn various prayers, liturgical objects used in Mass, and other church activities, having the students write it down is a good way for them to remember. Here are a few of my favorite handwriting worksheet makers that are FREE so you can make personalized handwriting worksheets (print or cursive) for your students.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Monthly Progress Reports

Last year I started sending home monthly classroom newsletters to keep in touch with parents and help them be a part of their child's education. This year I will also be sending home individual student monthly progress reports that will let parents know exactly how well their child is doing in class (work habits, attendance, prayers completed, etc.). I will also send home an Assignment Sheet each month to let parents know which assignments their child has turned in. Our parish sends out report cards 4 times a year, but I think parents need more frequent feedback to keep everyone well informed.

These activities are free; however they are 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.

Assignment Sheet- Student Name, Date, Assignment, Turned In (2 pages) Editable

Assignment Sheet- Student Name, Date, Assignment, Turned In, Grade (2 pages) Editable

CCD Student Monthly Progress Report- (2 pages) Editable

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Church Potluck Recipe: Pancit

A friend of mine makes this great dish for church potluck and it is such a hit that he makes a HUGE double batch for us to enjoy. Here is his recipe of Pancit that is a must for any church potluck!

Pancit Bihon Recipe

Estimated cooking and preparation time: 45 minutes


1 (8 oz.) pack pancit bihon noodles
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 cups of chicken broth or 2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups of water
1/4 cabbage, sliced into strips
1 onion, pealed and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
1/3 cup scallions, cut into pieces
1 carrot, sliced into strips
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
3/4 cup diced celery
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
5 pieces of calamansi or 1 lemon, sliced

Cooking Instructions:

Soak the pancit bihon noodles to soften for 10 minutes. Grease a large pan or wok with oil. Sauté garlic and onions. Add the chicken broth, the shredded chicken breast and all the vegetables until cooked. Mix in the pancit bihon noodles and add the soy sauce, cook for about 5 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with sliced calamansi on the side.

Note: Calamansi or lemon is to be squeezed into the pancit bihon before eating.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How do you organize your lessons?

Over the years I have tried several different ways of organizing my lessons that I bring to class each week. Each time I think it is the way to go, but alas, it always falls short of what I consider efficient and effective. Last year I came up with this method and I plan on using it again this year. Now I finally have something I can use that keeps me from leaving things behind and I can find what I want when I need it.

How I organize my activities:

• Large 2 inch binder with a clear pocket on the front where I store this month’s lesson schedule and activities.

• Avery #11907 Tab Dividers. You can print your inserts on the computer by using the Avery perforated tab insert sheet that is provided in the packet to make it nice and neat.

I label the pockets:

Daily Schedule

Substitute Feedback Form

Objects Used at Mass Cards

People at Church Cards

Celebrating the Mass (lesson)

• Celebrating the Mass (activity)

Lesson Plan

• Activity

• Craft

Mini Book or Story Wheel

• Game

• Puzzles/Worksheets

• Take Home Sheet (last week)

• Take Home Sheet (today’s)

Class Contact List

How to you organize your CCD activities? Please leave a comment for others to get ideas.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mass Lessons for the New Missal

The celebration of Mass is a hard concept for younger students to understand and with the new Roman Missal being implemented on the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2011 makes it even harder. I posted 22 lessons to help students learn the parts of the Mass. The lessons will provide catechists, teachers, or parents with activities, crafts, games, puzzles, worksheets, etc. to use with their students or child to learn what goes on during Mass and what they should do. This will be geared for students first grade on up.

Celebrating the Mass Lesson Plans- All 22 lessons

Monday, August 22, 2011

Catholic Blogs

Who has a Catholic blog? Please comment so I can add the link to your Catholic blog. We would love to see it! Faith, Family and Food of a Catholic family in the heat of the lowcountry Holy Family Classical Academy I am a homeschooling mom who writes mainly about the day to day life of being a Catholic, pro-life, pro-marriage mother and wife. My blog is the musings of a Catholic Mumma.... :) and We have a catholic blog that offers fun free printable learning resources for catechists, homeschoolers, and other educators. I have a catholic blog but It´s in Portuguese, because I'm Brazilian. If you don't mind to visit me, there is a translator in the page! My blog is "Musings of a Catholic Mom” For the Eastern Catholic variety :-) I like to share hands-on ideas for teaching the faith to our kids (either at home or in a catechism class). I'm a trained catechist (Level I & II) for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program, so I try to share some of the ideas I learned in CGS plus mix in some of my inspirations. We offer Catholic teaching tools and gifts, celebrating the Sacraments, Seasons and Feast Days with activities and crafts. Check out our books, craft kits, and cards! Talking to Jesus on his turf from the heart with both ears and the Holy Spirit. Our Catholic Family apostolate My greatest wish is that this blog will help you find practical ideas to help you celebrate with your families our Catholic faith, following the major feasts of the liturgical calendar. (Use Google Translate if needed.) Is a blogger who is starting with the collaboration of some friends who we hope will be helpful for the formation of the children in catechesis. (Use Google Translate if needed.) Created to share teaching experiences with teachers of religious education. Blogging about Faith, Food, Family, and all things Green I am dedicated to spreading the thought of GK Chesterton, defender of the Catholic faith. Try to focus on the situation that exists in Spain, especially aimed at the Catholic and the current crisis. (Use Google Translate if needed.) Personal blog, where it has experience of everyday life in relationship with God, with family and friends. (Use Google Translate if needed.) Religious Education Blog: For kids in the house who want to know Jesus in a fun, learning things from him in relation to us. This blog is also for parents and catechists who can serve as a reference. (Use Google Translate if needed.) My daughter Lucia is eight years old and also has her own blog. I try to create a constancy and responsibility for it at the time of sharing and blogging is a great way to share experiences and his link is Jesus Christ. (Use Google Translate if needed.) I'm Silvia del Valle. I am a homeschooling mom and my blog is about Catholic homeschooling. (Use Google Translate if needed.) Special children who like to study at home. Resources and materials to support your work. And with games that you'll love with which you can strengthen and reinforce your knowledge. (Use Google Translate if needed.) I have a Catholic social network where you can make friends, share photos, videos, comments, etc. We also have an agenda of activities for the day about our faith and ministries. (Use Google Translate if needed.) My blog is about the presence and action of God in my life. Eventually I put the activities I use in the School of Religious Education classes with my students in preschool and Primary Grade 4. The blog is in Spanish. (Use Google Translate if needed.) I am a Catholic Mommy Blogger Catholic Mom raising her girls with faith, love, and joy. Blog which contains all the news concerning the area of religion and its faculty, teaching and pastoral resources, relevant news of the ecclesiastical world, ICT resources, etc. . (Use Google Translate if needed.) Life in general, heavy on homeschool, books and homemaking. I blog about couponing and my Catholic faith. Rosary Mom
I blog about my faith, family and what's happening in the world coming from a Catholic perspective. Married and father of 4 children. Just started back up blogging after being gone for awhile. My wife and I have 8 children and I like to write about arguments I have with people about Catholic culture which is so juxtaposed to the prevalent culture in the USA. I am trying to provide a blog site that is less geared towards another opinion, and more focused on what The Catholic Church truly teaches. I will provide short, but thorough catechesis on all subjects Catholic, starting with The Apostles Creed. Working through all twelve articles in a systematic, ordered way. All material is available for reprint, to be copied, forwarded or used in anyway to help advance The Truth of The Church, please just give a mention if doing so. I welcome questions and comments also.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ideas To Decorate Your Catholic Classroom

Need FREE ideas to decorate your Catholic classroom? Well, here are a few links that might come in handy. Decorating Classroom Wall

Bulletin Boards- Religious Classroom Bulletin Boards Daily Bible Poster
The posters change every day. Bookmark this page to return to it often. Click on the image to get the poster size version and print. 23 timelines to print out for your classroom

Friday, August 19, 2011

Free Kindergarten Worksheets

Need some worksheets for your comprehensive kindergarten classroom? Here are a few links to FREE kindergarten worksheets: Kindergarten worksheets for language arts, science, concepts and basic skills, thinking skills, fine motor, etc. Collections of worksheets for learning the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, math, phonics, etc. alphabet recognition and printing practice, math, reading, science, thematic units, etc. Free preschool and kindergarten worksheets and printables, coloring pages, activities, connect the dots, graphics and anything to help children learn their abc. alphabet, colors, handwriting practice, numbers, shapes, etc. worksheets Kindergarten math and reading worksheets, Kindergarten alphabet, fine motor, auditory processing, visual discrimination, letter/word awareness, phonic awareness, math/number, gross motor, social/emotional, kindergarten themes, etc. math, letters and reading, concepts, etc. math, English, general learning, holiday, etc.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Free Preschool Worksheets

Need some worksheets for your comprehensive preschool classroom? Here are a few links to FREE preschool worksheets: Preschool Worksheets: colors, letters, concepts, numbers and pre math, fruits and vegetables, weather, fine motor, shapes (identify, label, draw shapes. and more), thinking skills (matching, find the difference, and more), etc. Collections of worksheets for learning the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, math, phonics, etc. Free printable preschool worksheets and activities that includes teacher resources on math, counting number, writing skill, alphabet literacy, reading phonics, coloring, crafts, stories, dot-to-dot, cutting skill, shapes, song, and educational games. Alphabet recognition, hidden letter worksheets, learning letter sounds, pre-printing practice, tracer pages, colors, scissor skills, shapes, math readiness, reading (Dolch words & reading readiness worksheets), etc. Free preschool and kindergarten worksheets and printables, coloring pages, activities, connect the dots, graphics and anything to help children learn their abc. alphabet, colors, handwriting practice, numbers, shapes, etc. worksheets Fine motor skills, pre-writing activities, counting/number, letter recognition, etc. Lots of different kinds to choose from!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Good Behavior Classroom Strategies & Games

Classroom management is rather tricky and teachers need ideas and strategies on how to manage their classroom effectively and efficiently. (Below are some notes from a class I took in a class at Notre Dame that I thought I would share.)

Encouraging Appropriate Behavior: Criterion-Specific Rewards

Criterion-specific rewards can be used as part of a proactive intervention for managing classroom behavior. Students may earn criterion-specific rewards such as activities, privileges, and tangible incentives after the occurrence of an identified target behavior(s) at a set level of performance.

Tips For Implementations

• Identify Specific Behaviors

a. Identify and list behaviors that need to be increased for the student to be successful. Begin with the behaviors likely to have the most significant impact for the student’s success in learning.

b. Describe in specific terms the behavior and criteria necessary for the reward. Make sure to address the “what”, “where”, “when”, and/or “how” in describing the behavior.

• Select Rewards

a. Brainstorm a list of rewards that are feasible, affordable, age appropriate, and complement your learning environment and teaching style.

b. Check school and district policies regarding the use of any activity, material, or edible rewards. You will also need to verify any individual student needs, health, or otherwise (example: food allergies), which may limit your use of these types of rewards.

c. Validate your reward possibilities. Use multiple means to garner input: seek student input on possible rewards; observe students during activities and free time (note types of activities, interactions, and materials they select during these times); and get input from significant others (family members, other teachers, etc.) about student preferences and interests.

d. Match rewards to behaviors. The reward must have adequate value for the student, yet must not be too easily earned.

• Implement Rewards

a. Present the reward program. Students should understand the target behaviors, expected criteria or performances, and corresponding rewards in advance.

b. Deliver rewards as planned and scheduled. Remain consistent.

c. Always state the specific behavior that is being reinforced when delivering rewards.

• Evaluate and Adjust Rewards

a. Maintain records. Institute a record keeping system where you record the delivery of your rewards (or the behaviors demonstrated). Verify if your reward system is working.

b. Vary rewards over time. This will ensure students won’t tire of your rewards.

Keep In Mind

• Plan time in your weekly schedule for rewards. Provide time as appropriate for: 1) activity and privilege rewards; 2) selection of tangible rewards; and 3) individual student conferences to review progress and to adjust personal behavioral goals or rewards.

• Avoid compromises where a reward is present prior to the appropriate expected behavior. This encourages students to use future manipulative interactions.

• Verify the effectiveness of potential rewards so they are indeed reinforcing behaviors for individual students. Ensure that the rewards selected are more powerful than other competing reinforcers that sustain misbehavior.

• NEVER use access to basic personal needs as a reward (water, meals, restroom, etc.).

• Rewards can be used for the whole class or for small groups.

Encouraging Appropriate Behavior: Group Contingency

A group contingency is a group reinforcement technique that capitalizes on peer influence by setting a group goal and/or implementing a group consequence for behavior. The purpose of this strategy is to prevent behavioral problems, increase appropriate behaviors, and/or to decrease incorrect behaviors, depending on how the contingency is engineered.

Types of Group Contingencies

Dependent- One individual (or a small group) earns a privilege or reward for peers by behaving appropriately. (Example: Susan earns five minutes of free time for the entire class because she did not argue with her partner during reading.)

Independent- Individuals earn reinforcement when they achieve a goal established for the group. The same contingency applies to each student. However, one student’s behavior does not impact the group outcome. (Example: Every student who achieves 90% or better on the spelling tests gets a homework pass.)

Interdependent- The class, or a group within the class, earns a special reward when every individual in the identified group meets and established goal. (Example: When the entire class is on time and seated at the beginning of class for one month, every class member earns 10 bonus points on the weekly test.)

Each type of group contingency has possibilities and pitfalls:

Dependent groups contingency is helpful for a student with low social status because the student can earn rewards for the group. However, the student’s standing will worsen if he/she does not earn the reward; therefore, ensure that the student is capable of the behavior.

Independent group contingency has little risk of peer pressure. However, it also has minimal peer momentum, modeling, or camaraderie to support the target behavior.

Interdependent group contingency can apply positive peer influence. However, students may complain about sabotage or harass others if they believe there is unjust accountability for the behavior of others or uneven composition of groups in skills, abilities, etc.

Tips For Implementation

• Identify the Target Behavior & Contingency Type

a. Select the behavior that needs to be changed.

b. Select the appropriate and most advantageous contingency for the behavior.

- For changing a single behavior of one child, consider the dependent group contingency.

- For changing the behavior of a group, select the independent or interdependent group contingency.

c. Establish a reasonable performance standard for the attainment of the reward.

• Prepare the Plan

a. Identify the reward. Solicit student input in choosing an appropriate reinforce.

b. Schedule when students will receive the reward.

c. Communicate your plan with the class/group. Seek student commitment.

• Implement the Plan

a. Begin using the contingency plan, remaining consistent with your expectations and consequences.

• Evaluate and Adjust the Plan

a. Collect data on the effectiveness of the plan.

b. Determine how or it you will continue to use the plan. Ask yourself:

- Should I change the behavior(s) addressed? Decide if your plan has been successful in improving the behavior and consider other behaviors that need to be targeted.

- Should I adjust or change the contingency? Find out which students were successful in achieving your standards. If some were not successful, examine your plan carefully and modify it.

Good Behavior Classroom Games

Here are some suggestions that might be helpful. Bible Bucks
Bible Bucks are a great way to reward kids for good behavior, completing memory work, bringing their Bibles to Sunday school or even inviting their friends to church.

Once the kids have accumulated two or more Bible Bucks they will be allowed to trade them in for assorted prizes or tasty treats from the "Bible Buck Market." Many inexpensive items can be found at Dollar Stores. You may like to offer slightly better prizes for more Bible Bucks, but always ensure that you have rewards available for two or three Bible Bucks so that children do not become discouraged. Here are some games that you can play with your child everyday as a fun way of learning good behavior. These games are also quite helpful in making your child a lot easier and end many of the power struggles with your little ones and make them do things quickly and much more efficiently. Based on child psychology, they help you to raise well-behaved and happy kids.

In a place in the classroom away from little ones’ reach but so everyone can see, light a taper candle. Tell the class that when the candle burns down completely, the class will get a treat (ice cream, cupcakes, Holy Card, whatever). As long as the class is quiet and listening the candle will burn but if the class gets disruptive, the teacher will call on someone to blow the candle out (or blow out herself). I usually call on the one who is leading the disruption. Then the next class is the next time when you try again. Peer pressure will begin to work in your favor as the children quickly see that they must behave to have the candle burn down and then get their long anticipated treat. (Great idea from Lise) The Good Behavior Game is an approach to the management of classrooms behaviors that rewards children for displaying appropriate on-task behaviors during instructional times. The class is divided into two teams and a point is given to a team for any inappropriate behavior displayed by one of its members. The team with the fewest number of points at the Game's conclusion each day wins a group reward. If both teams keep their points below a preset level, then both teams share in the reward. The Good Behavior Game Manual The Teacher/Student Game: Competitive Behavior Management Variation of the “Good Behavior Game” Ideas to Encourage Good Behavior Behavior Game Behavioropoly Game and Cards (editable) First-Grade Classroom Prevention Program (Good Behavior Game plus Enhanced Academic Curriculum) The Classroom Prevention Program is a first-grade intervention that combines (i) the Good Behavior Game – a classroom management strategy for decreasing disruptive behavior; and (ii) an enhanced academic curriculum designed to improve students’ reading, writing, math, and critical thinking skills.

The Good Behavior Game rewards positive group, as opposed to individual, behavior. The teacher initially divides her class into three heterogeneous teams, and reads the Game’s rules to the class. Teams receive check marks on a posted chart when one of their members exhibits a disruptive behavior (e.g., talking out of turn, fighting). Any team with four or fewer check marks at the end of a specified time – ranging from 10 minutes at the start of the year to a full day later on – is rewarded. Tangible rewards are used early in the year (e.g., stickers, activity books). As the year progresses, intangible rewards (e.g., designing a bulletin board), delay in reward delivery, and fading of rewards are used to generalize behaviors. The Game is supplemented by weekly teacher-led class meetings designed to build children’s skills in social problem solving.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Church Potluck Recipe: Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Cake

It’s hot and you need to bring something cool to potluck at church. Here is a favorite at our house that we make year around. This is also great to serve at CCD Open House Potluck Dinner!

Oreo Cookie Cream Cake

*I got this recipe from Tupperware years ago and it was the reason I bought their Pie Taker. LOL! It’s fantastic and easy to make!

1 16 oz. package Oreo cookies (42 cookies), crushed
¼ c. butter or margarine, melted
½ gal. vanilla ice cream, softened (Breyer’s works very well)
1 16. oz. jar choc. hot fudge topping (I use Hershey's Hot Fudge Topping)
1 12oz. container of Cool Whip

Mix crush cookies with melted butter. Press into bottom of a 12 inch Tupperware Pie Taker. Spread ice cream over top of cookies. Pour hot fudge topping in an even layer over ice cream. Spread Cool Whip over fudge. Garnish with chocolate curls or cookies if desired. Put in freezer for 2 hours. Serve with a slicer utensil to prevent damage to Pie Taker.

*My Mom doesn’t have a Pie Taker so she puts the above recipe in two different containers.

*Make this with different kinds of ice cream and see which one you like best!