Assessment in Catechesis (Video)

If we are to teach as Jesus did, we must constantly be assessing, in a variety of forms, whether his present-day followers are grasping the knowledge and skills needed to be disciples in today’s world. In general, assessment takes three forms: formal assessment (quizzes, tests, essays), informal assessment (observation of each learner’s grasp of concepts by observing their participation in written work, group work, and group activities), and authentic assessment (providing opportunities for participants to […]

How Do We Know If We’re Teaching Effectively? Authentic Assessment in Faith Formation

When I speak at catechetical conferences, I try to sit in on other speakers’ presentations to learn and to see what’s hot and what’s not in the world of catechesis. I usually try to be a fly on the wall, but occasionally I feel compelled to ask a question. Once, I unwittingly and unintentionally brought a workshop to a screeching halt by doing just that! The presenter was a prominent figure in the world of catechesis […]

Tonight’s Session: What’s Your Story? “This is MY Story!”

This evening is the last chance I have this year to review with my 6th graders so I’m going to make the most of it! Here’s my plan: Big Idea: What’s Your Story? (This is MY Story!) Preliminaries (15 mins) Collect permission forms for Ronald McDonald House Mercy Experience Go over details for the upcoming Mercy Experience Opening procession and prayer ritual Engage (20 mins) Do “What’s Your Story?” ice breaker in which you ask questions […]

Reaching Out to the Lost Sheep – Assessment and Redemption

I have long been an advocate of assessment in catechesis. At the same time, I have always made it clear that assessment in catechesis is to be used as a tool to address needs (both individual and corporate) and to address deficiencies in the catechetical program. I don’t advocate using assessments to assign report card grades to kids in religious education and certainly not to determine if they are to “pass or fail” or to […]

Closure

Tonight is the last session that I will be teaching for my 6th graders this year (next week is our closing Mass). I’ll reflect soon on what this experience has been like for me (in brief, it’s been wonderful!) but for now I’d just like to offer a glimpse of what I’ll be doing tonight. Preliminaries (15 mins) Gather, attendance, misc. – young people write prayer intentions Opening prayer ritual/procession Engage (10 mins) I plan […]

Final Assessment Results

So last evening, I conducted a Jeopardy-like review with my 6th graders and then followed it up with a final assessment. Here’s a summary: As part of our opening prayer, we included prayers for all those affected by the bombings in Boston. It is lamentable that, in the course of several months, we catechists have had to talk to our young people about the Newtown tragedy and now this. Let’s pray for an end to […]

End of the Year Assessment

This coming Monday, I will do a formal assessment to see to what extent my 6th graders have grasped the BIG ideas I attempted to teach them this year in religious education! First, we will do a Jeopardy-like review using a Powerpoint version of the game that I found online a couple of years ago. You can manipulate this according to your own needs, changing categories, questions, and answers and hyperlinking from the “game board” […]

Catechists in Action – Len Astrowski Teaches About the Sacraments of Initiation

In this segment of Catechists in Action, 7th grade catechist Len Astrowski discusses the Sacraments of Initiation with his class. Watch for the following: Len asks if anyone can recall the 3 Sacraments of Initiation a student responds correctly Len joyfully and enthusiastically affirms her correct answer!!! Len reviews other important points from the chapter, explains them in his own words, and asks students to explain their understanding. This is a good example of informal […]

Assessment Results…So Far, Not Too Bad

On Monday, I gave my 4th graders an end-of-the-year assessment. Unfortunately, I did not leave enough time for all of them to finish so I will allow some time this coming Monday for the rest of the group to complete the exam. I have no doubt that part of the reason that we had such a robust conversation about the 1o Commandments last Monday was because the kids knew that the more they talked, the […]

End of the Year 4th Grade Assessment

Tonight, I’ll be giving my 4th graders their “end of the year” assessment, as I mentioned last week. Before I do so, I’ll spend some time reviewing some of the major categories of learning from this year: the 7 Sacraments, Parts of the Mass, and the Ten Commandments. I plan to do so using lots of half sheets of paper, markers, masking tape, and the chalk boards. For the Seven Sacraments, I’ll tape 7 blank […]

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