Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What Every Catechist Needs To Know

I taught CCD for 16 years and some have asked me, “What does every catechist need to know?” Well, I’m no expert, but over the years as a special education teacher and as a catechist I have experienced a lot and have seen a lot and I try to learn from my mistakes and that of others. Here are a few things that I think every catechist should know about or do:

1. Catechist Training- Most dioceses and/or parishes require some kind of catechist training before they can teach a class each year. By providing assistance and training to all catechists before CCD starts it will prepare the catechist so they can be an effective teacher. Certified catechist should also participate in the training because no catechist can know everything and they could also benefit from new ideas and activities. Suggestions of what can be in the catechist training is posted.

2. Know The Curriculum- To ensure consistent progress and development the catechist must read, study, and learn the curriculum. A good lesson depends on how well the catechist understands the material. Providing essential information about the curriculum will help the catechists build their lessons on a strong foundation. The training should provide a concise overview of the curriculum and how to use it properly so the catechist will know what to do.

3. Co- Teaching- How to be a good co-teacher.

4. Get Parents Involved and Have a Contact List- Give detailed information on how parents can get involved in their child’s faith education and how they can volunteer at CCD.

Have an Introductory Letter To Parents. It is a great idea to take the opportunity to introduce yourself by welcoming the child and the parents in a letter the first day of CCD. It provides the parents with information of what is expected in the classroom and what the children will be doing during the year. It can also inform parents of the expectations and rules of the class that will help in making the classroom productive, creative, and enjoyable year for all (this can be a separate page that parents must sign and return to you). Teachers can also ask if parents are interested in volunteering and for any information that can help aid them in better understanding their child and their needs.

Provide Volunteer Sign Up Sheets for parents interested in helping at CCD. Volunteers in the classroom can be a blessing IF done correctly and IF it is planned ahead. Nothing is worse than having a volunteer not know what to do or be in the way. Here are tips that should be done to have a good volunteer program in your classroom.

Classroom newsletters are an excellent way to keep in touch with parents and help them be a part of their child's education. Parent’s love to know what is going on in their child’s classroom and frequent and regular class newsletters enable parents to sense the feeling and momentum of the class and gain insight into what their child is learning.

Parent/Teacher Communication Forms/Letters/Templates- Communication with parents is key to having a good CCD classroom. Here are some forms/letters/templates you can use in your classroom.

Have the parents fill out a Class Contact List to obtain information that can help aid the catechist to understand their child’s needs and how to contact them.

5. Inclusion of Special Needs Students in Your Classroom- What you as a catechist must do to enable your special needs student to participate in the classroom. You must also find out how you can best meet the student’s needs so they can learn to their fullest potential.

6. What Makes A Good Catechist- Tips on how to be a good catechist.

7. Know What Your Students Like To Do- The key to being a good catechist is knowing what your students like to do in CCD. Here are some tips and suggestions for activities to do in the classroom that are age appropriate.

8. Prepare Your Classroom to enhance your student’s learning.

9. How To Access Your Students’ Progress- Since students learn in different ways, they must be tested in different ways to find out if they have learned the information taught in class. Here are a few suggestions for your students to do that might come in handy for reading comprehension and assessment activities.

10. Discipline- Having a well behaved classroom is critical for proper learning. For the students to learn to their fullest potential they need an environment that is quiet, without distractions, and organized. Discipline is crucial in a classroom and all catechists must know how to keep disruptive behavior down to a minimum. When establishing classroom rules you should identify behavioral expectations for your classroom to promote a positive environment. Catechists must also use good behavior classroom strategies and games which is an approach to help manage classrooms behaviors with rewards to children for displaying appropriate on-task behaviors during instructional times. When behaviors become a problem in a classroom an effective strategy is to implement a behavior contract.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Special Events for September

*This month’s special events are: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows and The Exaltation of the Holy Cross and I have quite a number of activities for you to check out.

*Be sure to check out pflaum.com- for activities and worksheets.

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

americancatholic.org- Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

catholicism.about.com- Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

catholicicing.com- Ideas for Celebrating the Nativity of Mary (Mary’s Birthday!)

*You can have a birthday party for Mary and have the students plan it. Have them bake an angel food cake, cupcakes, etc. to celebrate her birthday.

catholiccuisine.blogspot.com- A Blueberry Waffle Cake for Mary’s Birthday

catholiccuisine.blogspot.com- A Birthday Cake for Our Lady

catholiccuisine.blogspot.com- Blueberry Cheesecake for Our Lady’s Birthday

*More activities for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary below under Activities For Both Feasts

Our Lady of Sorrows

americancatholic.org- Our Lady of Sorrows

ewtn.com- Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows

newadvent.org- Feasts of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

fisheaters.com- Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

catholicculture.org- info and activities

tiredtwang.blogspot.com- Our Lady of Sorrows (scroll down for this coloring page)

catholiccuisine.blogspot.com- Our Lady of Sorrows recipes

catholicicing.com- Our Lady of Sorrows Crafts

catholicicing.com- Seven Sorrows of Mary- Printable Mobile Craft

traininghappyhearts.blogspot.com- Lots of great ideas that you can use with this free printable

Activities for Both Feast Days

Rosary- references, activities, coloring, crafts, games, puzzles, worksheets

fcpeace.com- Memory game on the feast of Mary

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

americancatholic.org- The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

catholicculture.org- info and activities

catholiccuisine.blogspot.com- The Exaltation of the Holy Cross food ideas

Favorite Cross Crafts:

christiancrafters.com- Mosaic Cross
Easy cross necklace/magnet that all kids can make.

momontimeout.com- Stained Glass Cross Craft

kindercraze.com- Stained Glass Cross Craft

christiancrafters.com- The Colors of Christ Cross
*Neat tip at the bottom for younger students.

Sign of the Cross Activities


thewholetroubleis.blogspot.com- Sign of the Cross Lapbook


Sign of the Cross- with hand movements coloring sheet


Here is a cute craft I found to help little ones learn the Sign of the Cross.

loyolapress.com- Sign of the Cross Necklaces


catholicmothersonline.com- Sign of the Cross Prayer Handwriting Pages (print, cursive, and D’Nealian style of printing)

crusaders-for-christ.com- Sign of the Cross copy book, print and cursive (scroll down to this)

pflaum.com- I Know the Sign of the Cross (worksheet)
Trace the words at the bottom of the page. Then cut them out and paste them where they belong in the prayer. Say this prayer every day.

pflaum.com- Reviewing the Sign of the Cross (worksheet)
Can you supply the words missing from the Sign of the Cross? Follow the steps from 1 through 5, and choose the correct words from the box.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Gospel for the Mass: 9/18/16- Luke 16:1-13 or Luke 16:10-13

*Be sure to check out Gospel for the Mass Year C page right below the header for other days that you need Gospel for the Mass activities.

Disclaimer: The posts below contain links to other websites and the content of these sites are evaluated before they are included. These websites can change without warning making links inactive and/or the content altered. We have no control over other websites and we are not responsible for the content that they post.

Luke 16:1-13 or Luke 16:10-13


catholicmom.com- Click on the month. Scroll down to the date for Coloring Page, Mass Worksheet, Crossword Puzzle, Word Search, etc.

catholickidsbulletin.blogspot.com- Download a FREE bulletin to help your kids learn more about our Catholic Mass. Each week's bulletin contains coloring pages for a saint and activities based on the Gospel. The coloring pages may also include a maze, dot-to-dot, find the picture, and many other activities.

loyolapress.com- Background on the Gospel and activities for groups and families

4catholiceducatiors.com- Resources on the Sunday Readings

sermons4kids.com- Do the Right Thing object lesson with coloring page, group activities, puzzles, worship bulletin

sermons4kids.com- The Dishonest Manager object lesson with coloring page, group activities, puzzles, worship bulletin

word-sunday.com- Ernie’s Caught in the Middle (scroll down to Gospel)

The Catholic Toolbox- What Can Teens Do For Gospel For The Mass Activities?

textweek.com- Lectionary, Scripture Study and Worship Links and Resources

childrensministry.com- Lies and God's Eyes
In this activity, the children will make writing appear with water and crayons to show that even when we try to cover up our lies, God sees through it all.

ed.gov/parents- Activities I -- Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen

kidsource.com- Helping Your Child Learn Responsible Behavior with Activities for Children

familymanagement.com- Helping Your Child Learn Responsible Behavior with Activities for Children

education-world.com- Teaching Citizenship’s Five Themes
Activities from the editors of Weekly Reader can help develop K-6 students' understanding of the five citizenship themes---honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility, and courage.


servicioskoninonia.org- Make Your Choice gif

sermons4kids.com- I will follow Jesus when I’m tempted to do wrong.

freesundayschoolcurriculum.weebly.com- The rich man fired his manager for wasting his possessions (page 4)


sermons4kids.com- Do The Right Thing group activities (crafts)

sermons4kids.com- The Dishonest Manager group activities (crafts)


sermons4kids.com- Do The Right Thing group activities (games)

sermons4kids.com- The Dishonest Manager group activities (games)

The Catholic Toolbox- Liar, liar, pants on fire! (game)
Here is a fun game that helps children to recognize what lying is and how to resist it.


Introduce movie- What happens when you lie? How do you feel when you lie?

Veggie Tales: Larry Boy and The Fib From Outer Space (25 min.) and ask questions

1. What was the first fib that Jr. told? He said that Laura broke the plate.
2. Who broke the plate? Jr.
3. What happened to Laura? She got into trouble.
4. What happened to the Fib? It got bigger and bigger because Jr. kept telling lies.
5. How was the lie stopped? Jr. told the truth that he broke the plate.
6. Does God want us to always tell the truth? Yes.


abcteach.com- Honesty word search

sermons4kids.com- Luke 16:1-13 Word Search

sermons4kids.com- Luke 16:1-13 Word Search

joanyedwards.com- Word Search

sermons4kids.com- Luke 16:10 Word Shape

sermons4kids.com- Luke 16:10 Decoder

sermons4kids.com- Luke 16:10 Decoder

sermons4kids.com- Luke 16:1-13 Crossword

sermons4kids.com- Luke 16:1-13 Crossword

4catholiceducators.com- Crossword

joanyedwards.com- Crossword


sermons4kids.com- Luke 16: 1-2; 10-13 Fill in the Blanks

funtrivia.com- A Virtuous Quiz for Children

christianteens.about.com- Christian Teen Honesty Quiz: How Truthful are You?

teenadvice.about.com- Quiz: How honest are you? A quick and easy 20 question quiz to help you determine if you are as honest as you think you are.

cbsnews.com- The Honesty Quiz

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Assignment Sheets and Grade Sheets

Parents and students like having assignments written down so they can keep track of them and a good way of doing it is having a Classroom Assignment Sheet. This can be posted in the classroom, on the door, or even emailed to the parents and students. Keeping accurate records of student assignments is necessary for good parent/teacher communication. It also helps students be more organized and be able to turn assignments on time and lets parents know whether their child is turning in their homework. You can also give a blank sheet to each student so they can write down when assignments are due to become more independent with their CCD homework assignments. An organized student stays current on assignments and will achieve success in CCD. Assignment Sheets help students develop sound organization skills that will teach them a successful lifelong journey through school and CCD.

Here are a few free assignment/grade sheets that might come in handy.

teachervision.com- Assessment Forms

superteacherworksheets.com- Printable Gradebook

printablepaper.net- Printable Gradebook Paper

teachersprintables.net- Grading Sheets and Rubrics

teacherspayteachers.com- FREE Printable Gradebook Sheets

teacherspayteachers.com- FREE Editable Printable Gradebook Sheet

superteacherworksheets.com- Here's a terrific gradebook template designed especially for elementary classroom teachers. Download the gradebook and open it up on Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc. Enter your student names and grades. The spreadsheet will calculate student averages for each subject. It's completely free from Super Teacher Worksheets!

vertex42.com- This free Gradebook Template for Excel started out as a very basic grade book spreadsheet, but it has evolved into something that is very useful, flexible, and powerful (and still free). The gradebook download includes 3 different types of grade books that can handle most of the major grading systems used in high school and colleges.

teachnology.com- This tool allows you to quickly create printable weekly assignments for your students.

teachnology.com- Weekly Multi Subject Assignment Maker

catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com- Homework Notification Sheets


Homework Collection Sheet with Homework Pass- Print a worksheet that includes a sheet to monitor homework collection and a pass for a free homework assignment. This printable is customizable. Tailor the PDF to your teaching needs by typing in the highlighted fields before printing. (Grade K – 5)

Homework Sheet- Do you have a student who frequently forgets homework assignments? This printable homework sheet will help students organize their assignments and will remind them of due dates. (Grade 4 – 9)

Homework Collection Record & Student Restitution Sheet- Document disciplinary needs and actions in your classroom with time-saving, printable forms. A homework collection record will help you keep track of students who are missing their assignments, while a student restitution sheet should be filled out when students are caught cheating.

teachertools.org- 2 Assignment Sheets to download. Click on Forms and Letters. Look under Academic.

friendsofpr.com- Assignment Sheet

Assignment Sheet for Individual Student- Student Name, Date, Assignment, Turned In (2 pages) Editable

Assignment Sheet for Individual Student- Student Name, Date, Assignment, Turned In, Grade (2 pages) Editable

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bible Alphabet Handwriting Books

I am trying to compile a list of Bible Alphabet Handwriting Books. I was wondering if anyone knew of any books that have any Bible alphabet handwriting activities using lines for the children to write on. Here are a couple of books that I found that will give you an idea of what I am looking for.

Bible Alphabet Handwriting Books (has lines for the children to write on)-

Bible Stories from A to Z by Mary Murray- Each of the 26 mini-units features a letter of the alphabet and includes a Bible story with questions, an activity page, a craft, a prayer, snack, take home story, and a handwriting sheet. Click here for another view of the book.

A Bible Alphabet by Alison Brown- Each Bible story provides a coloring/writing page that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet. Children have the opportunity to color the scene given with the Bible story and to write the word using the letter being emphasized. The sheets are perforated making them easy to remove from the book.

Do you know of any Bible Alphabet Handwriting books that have handwriting activities using lines for the children to write on? Please comment and I will add the book to the list.

Bible Alphabet Handwriting Sheets

Below is a list of FREE Bible alphabet handwriting sheets you can print out for your classroom or home.

christianpreschoolprintables.com- Bible ABC’s
A collection of the Bible ABC's and each topic starts with a different letter. There are Bible ABC coloring pages, handwriting worksheet, and Bible verse cards. These would make a great resource if your child is learning their letters or even learning to print.

biblestoryprintables.com- For children who can already write their letters, here is a set of cursive ABC's for children who are ready to write in cursive.

first-school.ws- Bible Alphabet Coloring pages & Handwriting Tracers
From A for Angels to Z for Zacchaeus (D'Nealian and Standard block). Includes links to Bible reference scripture links, additional printable resources: coloring pages and crafts.

preschoolpost.com- Free Printable Bible Coloring Pages for children to learn their ABC's. Each page has the letter for the children to color in, and for older students, there is a place to trace the letter and begin to write it on their own. These make great Bible Handwriting Worksheets to send home with children, or make their own Bible ABC Coloring Book.

Here are a few I made.

These activities are free, however they are only to be used for classroom and personal use. They may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit. All graphics/images/clipart etc. used on these activities are not my own and are from various internet sources.

B- Baptism of Jesus

C- Creation

F- Fishers of Men

G- Good Shepherd

H- Holy Spirit

J- Jesus loves me.

K- King Solomon

L- Loaves and Fishes

R- Red Sea

U- Uzziah

V- Virtues

W- Wedding at Cana

Y- Young Ruler

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

FREE Catholic Handwriting Sheets

Need FREE Catholic Handwriting Sheets for your classroom or home? Here are some that I found online.

crusaders-for-christ.com- Catholic Handwriting Books
Download handwriting books and sheets for free

The Catholic Toolbox- Bible Alphabet Handwriting Sheets


Liturgical Objects at Mass-

The Catholic Toolbox- Objects Used in Mass Manuscript Handwriting Worksheet #1 (chalice, ciborium, altar, stoup, pew)

The Catholic Toolbox- Objects Used in Mass Manuscript Handwriting Worksheet #2 (cruets, tabernacle, Body of Christ, Blood of Christ)

The Catholic Toolbox- Objects Used in Mass Manuscript Handwriting Worksheet (Body of Christ, Blood of Christ, tabernacle, bells)

The Catholic Toolbox- Objects Used in Mass Manuscript Worksheet (Book of the Gospels, ambo, lectern, Lectionary)

Holy, Holy, Holy/Sanctus-

crusaders-for-christ.com- Sanctus and Benedictus Latin and English translation in manuscript and cursive
(Scroll down to Holy Sacrifice of the Mass)

Lord, Have Mercy (Kyrie Eleison)-

The Catholic Toolbox- Lord, have mercy (Kyrie, eleison) in manuscript

Mystery of Faith-

The Catholic Toolbox- Mystery of Faith acclamation #1 in manuscript

The Catholic Toolbox- Mystery of Faith acclamation #2 in manuscript

The Catholic Toolbox- Mystery of Faith acclamation #3 in manuscript

Lamb of God-

The Catholic Toolbox- Lamb of God in manuscript
Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

crusaders-for-christ.com- Agnus Dei in manuscript and cursive
(Scroll down to Our Father: the Blessed Trinity)


Act of Contrition-

crusaders-for-christ.com- Act of Contrition in manuscript and cursive
(Scroll down to Holy Sacrifice of the Mass)

Apostles Creed-

crusaders-for-christ.com- Apostles Creed in manuscript and cursive
(Scroll down to Holy Sacrifice of the Mass)

Glory Be-

The Catholic Toolbox- Glory Be in manuscript

crusaders-for-christ.com- Glory Be Copywork, Glory Be in manuscript and cursive
(Scroll down to Catechism)

Grace Before Meals-

The Catholic Toolbox- Grace Before Meals Handwriting Sheet in manuscript

The Catholic Toolbox- Grace Before Meals Handwriting Sheet in manuscript
Traditional version: Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hail Mary-

saintanneshelper.com- Hail Mary in manuscript

saintanneshelper.com- Hail Mary in cursive

crusaders-for-christ.com- Hail Mary Copy Work, Hail Mary in manuscript and cursive
(Scroll down to Marian Handwriting)


crusaders-for-christ.com- Memorare in manuscript and cursive
(Scroll down to Marian Handwriting)

Our Father/Lord’s Prayer-

crusaders-for-christ.com- Our Father Copy Book, Our Father manuscript and cursive
(Scroll down to Catechism)

crusaders-for-christ.com- Pater Noster in manuscript and cursive
(Scroll down to Our Father: the Blessed Trinity)


crusaders-for-christ.com- Mysteries of the Rosary & Last Prayer of the Rosary in manuscript or cursive
(Scroll down to Marian Handwriting)

Sign of the Cross-

The Catholic Toolbox- Sign of the Cross in manuscript.

reallifeathome.com- Sign of the Cross in print, cursive, and D‘Nealian Print

crusaders-for-christ.com- Sign of the Cross Copybook, Sign of the Cross in manuscript and cursive
(Scroll down to Holy Sacrifice of the Mass)

Or make your own:

The Catholic Toolbox- Handwriting/Copy Work Worksheet Makers

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Make Your Own Mini Books

Mini books are a great way to help reinforce various Bible stories and topics. You can find some that you can buy and there are some that are free at various websites. But sometimes you want to have your mini book to go with your version of a Bible story or emphasize certain aspects of a topic. Or you may want your students to make their own mini book. Here are some templates that might come in handy:

homeschoolshare.com- Several different kinds of booklets you can print out for free

practicalpages.wordpress.com- One Page Mini Book Templates

vickiblackwell.com- Several different kinds of booklets you can print out for free

droakir.com- Free comic book template that can be made into mini books

brighthub.com- learn how to make mini books in MS Publisher without using a template

sparklebox.co.uk- Editable Fold Over Mini Book Templates

eslprintables.com- This template is a ready minibook to be fill in. You need to add your pictures and text.

melzwritingwiki.pbworks.com- Mini Book templates are created in MicroSoft Office. They are templates which include text boxes for you to include any question or instructions at the top of each page of the Mini Book. Clip-art can be inserted on any page. Instructions for folding.

ehow.com- How to Make a Mini Book Off of Word 2007

dedicatedteachers.wordpress.com- Here is a template for you to start preparing your own minibooks. It’s fully editable.

practicalpages.wordpress.com- MS Word (editable) and PDF mini book templates

Coloring Pages- you can add various black and white pictures that your students can color

Free Religious Coloring Pages

Clip Art/Graphics- clip art you can add to your mini books

Free Bible Clip Art and Graphics

Bible Story Mini Books

Bible Story Mini Books are a great way to review a Bible story or concept with young students. There are even some online for free to print out for the students to take home. I give one to each of my first grade students every week so they can read them to their parents for homework.

lambsongs.co.nz- are by far the best mini books online for free. They have color or black and white (students can color these) versions of several types of mini books in Word or Publisher format. Check this site often because they add new mini books all the time.

Old Testament

New Testament



dltk-bible.com- Bible Mini Books (7 posted that are color or black & white)

• Adam & Eve (2 versions)
• Creation
• Life of Jesus
• Lord’s Prayer (Catholic version posted)
• Men of the Bible
• Noah and His Ark

chrisitanpreschoolprintables.com- Old and New Testament Bible Story Mini Books

biblestoryprintables- (sister group of christianpreschoolprintables.com) Bible Story Mini Books that are in color or black & white

psscentral.com- Bible Story Mini Books (20 posted that are black & white)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

FREE Printable Mass Notes For Children

It’s no secret that kids often struggle to pay attention during Mass. Sometimes the problem is comprehension, other times it’s just listening skills. This post features downloadable resources to help the children in your church remember what was said during Mass.

lifeofahomeschoolmom.com- FREE My Mass Notes Printable {for Kids}

Use these for ideas to make your own.

notconsumed.com- Free Printable Sermon Notebook for Kids

lifeofahomeschoolmom.com- Sermon Notes for Kids Printables

paththroughthenarrowgate.com- Printable Sermon Notes Sheet

ouroakgrove.com- Free Printables Sheets for Sermon Notes

theministrymama.com- Sermon Notes Round Up for Kids

123homeschool4me.com- Sermon Notes for Kids Printable Worksheets

flandersfamily.info- Sermon Notes Printable for Children

blessedbeyondadoubt.com- Encourage Your Children to take Sermon Notes with FREE Printable!

aspiredliving.net- Training Children To Take Notes During Sermons

mmmcrafts.blogspot.com- It's a Christian worship activity page for your school-age kiddos that will keep them quietly occupied during worship while at the same time helping them to focus on what is going on.

childrenareablessing.org- Worship Notes for Kids

forestbaptistchurch.org- Sermon Note Worksheet for Kids

ministry-to-children.com- Printable Sermon Note Taking Sheet for Kids

raisingarrows.net- The worksheets contained a list of hand-written “church” words and the children were putting tally marks next to each of the words as they heard them in the service.

clarchatter.blogspot.com- In order to keep Christ the focus, we have tried out many ways to help our children attend and commit to memory what they learn on Sunday. I created this sheet for that purpose.

teacherspayteachers.com- This 5 page packet contains a study note outline for: PK-K, 1st-2nd Graders, 3rd-5th Graders, 6th-8th Graders. It aids children in focusing on what is happening during worship services, instead of focusing on coloring books or texting or the people around them or notes or daydreaming. I am making it free because I think it is an awesome resource that every church should incorporate.

momsbestnest.blogspot.com- Use these ideas to make your own.