About Barb Gilman
Barb Gilman is a wife, mother, and third-grade Catholic school teacher. She is the winner of the 2014 NCEA Distinguished Teacher Award for the Plains States. Active on social media, @BarbinNebraska is the co-organizer of the #CatholicEdChat on Twitter.

How to Learn the Paschal Greeting with a Tech Twist

April 8, 2015 Barb Gilman 2

I love seeing my students after our Easter break. They look fresh-faced with that “I-just-got-a-haircut” look, they seem taller, and they are sporting a new pair of shoes! I greet them with with colorful Easter decorations, which include my table-top sized Easter tree. Each Easter I love teaching my students about the Orthodox paschal greeting. You say, “Christ is Risen!” Your neighbor replies, “Indeed he is Risen!” What a great way to greet your neighbors […]

Teaching about Holy Week

April 1, 2015 Barb Gilman 0

After leading my students through a prayerful Lent, Palm Sunday is finally upon us. There are important days to be noted in Holy Week and I don’t want to miss an opportunity to teach them to my students. After teaching for many years, I’ve collected quite a few resources for Holy Week. I’ve grabbed them from magazines, current religion textbooks, old religion textbooks, and websites. On the Friday before Palm Sunday, our seventh graders perform […]

Teaching the Great Commandment

March 11, 2015 Barb Gilman 1

This school year, our third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students all received their own copy of a children’s Bible. This has been a great experience. In the past, each classroom only had a few copies of the Bible, and the students had to share them. But with their own Bibles, students have ready access to look up verses on their own, which is something that they really enjoy. With this added flexibility, I decided that we […]

A Culture of Service

March 4, 2015 Barb Gilman 4

Joking with my students one day I said, “Jesus didn’t gather his apostles around him and say, ‘Lets do a service project!’” Jesus gave us an example of how to serve one another, and I like to encourage a culture of service in my classroom. Teaching service as a way of life can be challenging with younger children. Our students are very empathetic, and I find that having many service projects throughout the year uses […]

Sacraments and Stories: Reasons to Celebrate

February 11, 2015 Barb Gilman 3

I really enjoy teaching my students about the sacraments. After all, the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Jesus Christ through the sacraments. How could I not enjoy teaching them? In fact, I like to teach my kids that they don’t “do” the sacraments, they celebrate them! This can be a challenge when teaching the Sacraments of Healing. How can I teach my third graders to approach Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick with […]

40 Fun-Filled Days of Lent

February 4, 2015 Barb Gilman 2

The 40 days of Lent can be a long time for any Catholic. It᾽s even longer for third graders. I’m not one to take any number at face value, so I always ask my class to count the days between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday. They are shocked to learn that there are actually 44 days! That seems to make Lent even longer. Working with younger students, I always include some fun activities in our […]

Themes for the Classroom

January 14, 2015 Barb Gilman 3

With each new class of students I teach, I always have the same classroom theme. Having a theme has been a worthwhile and unifying activity. I have adapted this theme from a speech given by Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, in 1973. Fr. Arrupe’s speech was called Men for Others. Our theme is Third Graders for Others. My class works to help others in our world, community, classroom, and home. We have many opportunities to practice this theme. […]

Holy Patrons for the New Year

January 7, 2015 Barb Gilman 6

A few years back, I read about a tradition that St. Faustina had with the sisters of her convent. On New Year’s Day, they would gather to pick a holy patron for the new year. Here is an excerpt from her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul. There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Year’s Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year. In the morning, during meditation, there […]

Advent in the Classroom

December 3, 2014 Barb Gilman 4

Advent is one of my favorite liturgical seasons. I really enjoy the many activities that the parish, the school, and my classroom use to prepare children for the birth of Jesus. Our parish has a “giving tree.” We have a large Christmas tree near the altar. The tree is decorated with paper ornaments that list the age of a child and Christmas gift. Families take an ornament off the tree and buy the gift for […]

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