Except for Bathroom Breaks…

Except for an excessive number of requests to go the the bathroom, last night’s class was extremely successful! 🙂

Although I had informed the kids on the first class that they needed to go to the bathroom before coming to class, last night at least 5 kids asked to go at separate times! It breaks up the momentum and takes my aide out of the classroom.

Other than that, however, the class was extremely successful. The kids enjoyed the Geico Gecko and Charlie Brown video clips that introduced the concept of trust. This established a good foundation for talking about the story of Adam and Eve and how human beings disobeyed and broke trust with God. The activity with popsicle sticks went nicely as a way of introducing the concept of reconciliation.

We had a very nice guided reflection in which the kids talked with Jesus about the times they felt they broke their promise to follow him and listened to Jesus tell them that they can find forgiveness in him.

We finished by watching a YouTube video of On Eagle’s Wings which refers to God as “my rock in whom I trust.” As the kids left, I presented each of them with a rock on which I had written the words, “Blessed by the LORD, my rock. Ps 144:1”

Now, I have to go to the bathroom!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. I had the bathroom problem too with my class, but I came up with an idea that seemed to do the trick. As soon as they came in to the room each Sunday I told them to go to the restroom now or they will miss some activity that they would like to do. I have lots of different kinds of activities during class like you do so this seemed to get the idea across. Not one of my students wanted to miss out on something the rest of the class was doing. 🙂

  2. you sound like youare really enjoying the challenges of a younger group of kids in your 4th grade class.
    do you miss your 8th graders?

    • Dianna, yes, I am truly enjoying the 4th graders. What I miss most about the 8th graders is some of the examples I can bring in for them that the 4th graders are not mature enough to get.

  3. Joe,
    I am in my second year teaching 6th Grade. So far I am pleased with the way my classes are going but last night I couldn’t finish my lesson. The students kept asking questions. Some relevant and some not so. How do I keep them on task and even limit my answers. It seems that there’s a lot of material to cover and I really want them to get it. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Brian. It’s not unusual for kids to ask questions and that is usually a good thing. Be on the lookout, however, for the attempt to ask questions just to keep you off subject…some kids know how to play that game. If a question is not pertinent, simply say, “that’s a good question, but we’ll have to save that for another time.” Also, at times, you simply have to say, “Hang on to your questions for a few moments until we get through this next part and then we’ll try to address some of them.” Most of the times, the questions are very sincere and can create some of the finest teaching moments because the interaction is so authentic. Use your judgment to determine which questions can and should be dealt with now and which need to be “shelved” for another time. Answering questions is indeed part of the task of catechesis and for most of us catechists, is a very welcome part of our job (especially for those catechists whose students resist participating in class discussions). I hope this is helpful. Anyone else want to add something?

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