More About Pretzels

In my 40 Ideas for 40 Days of Lent calendar, Monday, March 14 is an activity titled “What’s with the Pretzels?” which goes into the meaning of the pretzel as a traditional lenten food. I received an email from a 6th grade catechist named Marie who had quite a bit to say about the topic. Thanks, Marie! Enjoy! Joe, I’ve been on your mail list for about three months and have enjoyed the information and […]

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. […]

Blessed be the LORD, My Rock

For today’s class, we will be focusing on how we can trust in God, who is our “Rock” (drawing from Psalm 144:1). To reinforce the idea, I’m giving each of the students a rock with the words “Blessed be the LORD, my rock” Ps 144:1 Where did I get these from? It so happens that I live near some railroad tracks, so I went over there and picked out a number of gray rocks with […]

God Is Our Father

Here’s what I’m planning for this coming Monday’s session: Theme (from textbook) – God is Our Father Big Idea: We can trust God our Father to protect us The session focuses on how Jesus taught us to call God our Father and how we pray for the coming of the Kingdom. A king is someone who leads and protects his people. We can trust God to lead and protect us from sin. God arms us […]

Testing the 4th Grade Waters

As part of my lesson this past Monday, I wanted to emphasize how human beings are the greatest part of God’s creation and I wanted to incorporate the use of the Internet in my classes for the first time. I located a brief YouTube video that shows images of babies growing in the womb. I made sure that the video did not have any images relating to the act of sexual intercourse or the fertilization […]

God Creates the World

So, I’ve been doing some planning for my first class with my 4th graders! Here’s a look at what I hope to accomplish this coming Monday: Theme (from the text book) – God Creates the World My BIG Idea: We Care for God’s Gift of Creation ENGAGE STEP (10-15 min) As the students arrive, I will greet them at the door and hand them a worksheet that invites them to identify the names of some famous beautiful locations […]

The 4 Pillars of Our Faith: Prayer

This week, I’m featuring short excerpts from my book, A Well-Built Faith, focusing on the 4 pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here’s a brief look at the fourth pillar: Prayer. A survey conducted years ago asked people in successful marriages to identify the top ten qualities of a healthy marriage. One might think that sex, given all the attention it is given in our culture, would have been the number one quality. […]

What the DREs Are Saying

I spent a very enjoyable and productive day today with about 45 DREs in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, talking about caring for our catechists. We looked specifically at how we can offer them formation in the areas of being, knowing, and doing, as outlined in the General Directory for Catechesis. In the course of our day, the folks offered lots of thoughts and comments. Here is a summary of just a few thoughts […]

Summary of My Session on 9/21/09

I had a very enjoyable session last night! Here are the highlights: We began in church with an opening prayer service with the pastor. I met my group out in the parking lot and they were jovial and polite. I had a full class with the 2 absentees from last week being present. The kids were very well behaved in church…I was quite pleased to see that. My aide Lucy was there as well and […]

God Reveals Himself Through His Son, Jesus Christ

Here’s my plan for tonight, the 2nd session of the year. I was away for a few days, so I didn’t get to plan for this session as early as I usually hope to. But don’t we all face this from time to time? Anyway, here’s the plan: The theme (BIG idea) is “God Reveals Himself to us through his Son, Jesus Christ.” I will emphasize the notion that Jesus reveals to us who God […]

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