Catechists on the Move

January 18, 2007 Joe Paprocki 6

Do you sit still when you teach? I can’t and almost never do. Part of it is just my own style…I like to move around. But I also recommend it to catechists for several reasons. One, I think it keeps kids more engaged if you are “on the move.” Visually, if you are moving around, you are creating a sense of energy and enthusiasm. If you’re sitting still, it is more likely to look tired. Two, […]

Honoring Dr. King

January 15, 2007 Joe Paprocki 0

Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I think that this is a wonderful opportunity to explore various aspects of the Gospel, in particular: love of enemies, turning the other cheek, social justice, and non-violence to name a few. I know that some catechists resist connecting their lessons to Dr. King because he was not Catholic. To me, that’s not only a missed opportunity, but a shame. Dr. King’s life and legacy represent a […]

Memorization and Catechesis

January 11, 2007 Joe Paprocki 1

I mentioned recently that I will be checking to see if my students have memorized (taken to heart) certain prayers outlined in the parish curriculum. I grew up at a time when memorization in catechesis had fallen upon hard times. Sure, I learned the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be, but not much else. As a result, I grew up deprived of quick access to a major part of our Catholic Tradition. I recall […]

What's This Obsession with FUN?

January 10, 2007 Joe Paprocki 2

As I surf around various web pages and blogs where catechists are in discussion with one another, I can’t help but notice an obsession that many catechists have with the idea of making their classes FUN. Now, before you start thinking that I’m some kind of sourpuss, let me explain that I know what catechists are talking about. They are concerned when kids are bored and rightly so. However, I think that our goal is […]

Assessment in Catechesis, Part 4

January 9, 2007 Joe Paprocki 0

Authentic assessment is exactly what the name implies: it is genuine and real. Authentic assessment is performance-based: learners put into action what they’ve been learning about. Beyond being able to speak or write about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, learners must have opportunities to live out the call to discipleship. Service Experiences – provide suggestions for specific ways that your learners can put their faith into practice serving others, either individually […]

Assessment in Catechesis, Part 3

January 8, 2007 Joe Paprocki 0

Informal assessment asks the question: What can you do with what you know and how do you do it?   Ongoing – Include opportunities to assess your participants’ grasp of concepts by observing their participation in discussions, group work, prayer/reflection, and service to others  Specific Tasks – Include specific opportunities to evaluate verbal (oral and written) and non-verbal (drawn, crafted, etc) expressions and responses. These need not be quizzes or tests but may simply be […]

Assessment in Catechesis, Part 2

January 7, 2007 Joe Paprocki 0

A formal assessment asks the question: What do you know/understand?  This type of assessment, accomplished in either written or oral forms, models Jesus’ attempts to assess his disciples’ understanding of his teaching and actions. When using quizzes or tests, keep the following in mind: Make sure that the items included on your quizzes or tests are consistent with the learning outcomes for your lesson. Provide your learners with opportunities for self-assessment. In other words, ask […]

Assessment in Catechesis, Part 1

January 6, 2007 Joe Paprocki 2

How do we measure effectiveness in catechesis? How do we know whether or not we have achieved our learning outcomes? We may feel as though we’ve had a very good session. One catechist I know judges success on whether or not the participants “had fun.”  That’s not a very reliable method of assessing whether or not someone has been further equipped to live as a disciple of Jesus. In catechesis, we are constantly assessing whether […]

Traditional Prayers – "Family Heirlooms"

January 3, 2007 Joe Paprocki 2

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be taking aside each student and checking to see if he or she has taken to heart (memorized) a certain number of traditional Catholic prayers as spelled out by the parish curriculum. Before I do that, however, I plan to explain to the young people the importance and the value of knowing traditional prayers. Kids sometimes think that memorizing is a waste of time. But taking to heart […]

How Do I Get Them to See?

January 2, 2007 Joe Paprocki 0

One of the frustrations I experience as a catechist is trying to get the young people to recognize the gravity of the material we are covering. One week, we were learning about the cross of Jesus. What could be more profound? A couple of students had the giggles that night and couldn’t seem to control themselves. I try to handle discipline problems with an even hand and a calm demeanor, but I admit that inside […]

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