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!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Classroom Behavior Expectations

Every classroom needs rules so that everyone can learn to their fullest potential and the class can run smoothly and effectively.

When establishing classroom rules you should identify behavioral expectations for your classroom. For each expectation you need to identify management strategies to address the expectation while promoting a positive environment in your classroom. As much as possible, keep your management strategies simple and to the point. Remember, to have effective classroom management you need to familiarized all your students with your classroom rules the first day of class and post them in a place where all students can see them.

What to consider before you write your classroom rules:

• List only a few rules and write them as positively as possible.
• Describe the rules carefully to the class.
• Model the behaviors covered by the rules.
• Ask students to give their own examples.
• Discuss examples of following the rule.

You may also give each student a copy for them to sign as well as their parents to return back to you to let you know they understand the rules and what is required of the student. You should also discuss the rules thoroughly so all the students understand and know what they are supposed to do in your classroom. Remind students of the class rules when needed and ask the students to come to you if they have any questions.

Here are my Classroom Behavior Expectations for my first grade CCD classroom as an example. I use this chart to help me address the expectations of my students the first day of class. I write up and post the classroom rules after we have gone over them in a place where all students can see them.

*So what behavioral expectations should you have for your students? They may be similar to mine, but you should also take into consideration the age and maturity of your students and how you expect them to behave. What behaviors do they have problems with? What behaviors are important to you so you can have effective classroom management? Remember to write the behavioral expectations as positively as possible. Describe the rules carefully and give them examples. Have the students give examples and discuss.

Example of a good behavioral expectation: We respect others and their property.

Example of a bad behavioral expectation: Do not tease others.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Catholic ABC's (The Book)- A Catholic Preschool Curriculum

Lacy at has just came out with a Catholic preschool curriculum that you have to check out. It includes separate teacher scripts for both homeschoolers and classroom teachers. You could use this book to teach your child, a group of children in your home, a class at a Catholic preschool co-op, or a whole preschool CCD class- your options for teaching are limitless, and this book makes everyone a teacher. This book has new crafts, 5 brand new unit studies, guides for setting up your classroom and organizing your materials, bible verses that go with each lesson, visual aids of full color artwork from the religious masters, and more! It also has unit studies, to learning the alphabet, to crafting, singing, and counting- this book strives to make learning (and teaching) fun! All the templates, coloring pages, etc that are needed for Catholic ABC's are included in the "Master Copies" section of the book. They're bound in so they won't get lost. Catholic ABC’s (The Book) Preschool Curriculum