I have been and always will be an advocate for integrating a “language of mystery” into our faith formation sessions—using signs, symbols, rituals, music, movement, silence, and so on to deepen our awareness of the mysterious presence of Christ in our midst. The following idea flows from that commitment but also has value as a practical, pedagogical tool to enhance the experience of reading from a textbook. I have written before about the role of […]
Welcome to part three of a four-part series on creative approaches to reading from a textbook in your faith formation sessions. In this series, I am sharing with you some creative ideas for reading from a textbook that make it, not only more engaging, but also more effective. The third approach I offer is known as a “Graphic Organizer.” Graphic Organizers A graphic organizer is a worksheet that is given to participants to help them visualize, identify, organize, and […]
Welcome to part two of a four-part series on creative approaches to reading from a textbook in your faith formation sessions. As I mentioned in part one, I have always been an advocate of teaching “beyond the book,” which means that we use the book as a critical resource but not as the be-all-and-end-all of a faith formation session. Since it is our job as catechists to present Catholic teachings fully and faithfully, we rely on […]
I occasionally encounter catechetical presenters who claim that faith formation should be done with no books because they consider reading from a book to be boring. I, on the other hand, have always been an advocate of teaching “beyond the book,” which means that we use the book as a critical resource but not as the be-all-and-end-all of a faith formation session. The fact is, we have important content in our faith tradition, and it […]
If you were on trial and needed character witnesses, who would you call to speak on your behalf? Naturally, you would want people who would speak favorably of you and who were capable of describing experiences in which they saw your traits, virtues, and character in action. You would want them to speak from the heart. You would want them to share stories in which they were personally impacted by you. You would want people […]
Do you employ active learning strategies in your classroom? Watch this video introduction to active learning strategies. Then consider ways to shine the spotlight on those you teach as you start planning this year’s sessions. Read the post that inspired this video: Engaging Young People with Active Learning Strategies.
Professional educators know that, for learning to be effective, it needs to be an active experience. Active learning ensures that learners actively engage and participate in the learning process by doing something other than simply listening and then, of course, thinking about what they are doing. Active learning is learner-centered as opposed to teacher-centered. I talk about this in my recent post: Shining the Spotlight on Those We Teach. What this means for us as […]
Thanks to the folks who shared some excellent advice for catechists of primary age children last week! This week, we turn our attention to those who teach children in grades 4, 5, and 6 – the intermediate grades. What works? What doesn’t work? What approaches are most effective? What skills, techniques, and strategies are needed? Allow me to begin since I taught 4th graders last year! My advice? Don’t “baby” this age group. They have […]
What advice would you give to someone who was about to become a catechist of primary age children (grades 1, 2, and 3)? What works? What doesn’t work? What approaches are most effective? What skills, techniques, and strategies are needed?