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  #76  
Old Oct 24, '07, 8:59 am
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

With that much time (I too envy you, I have 50 minutes once each week)... Maybe Steve Ray's "Footprints of God" DVDs?
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  #77  
Old Oct 29, '07, 7:59 am
francesj francesj is offline
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Smile Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

Thanks for your replies, I think to be better structured with time is something I will work on,... in addition to some of the ideas you all gave me. My director of religious ed has some materials that are essentially plays of the OT stories. That along with things like the interview (of Abraham, Sarah, etc) would get them more actively involved in their learning. I read about the saints alot myself, and I try to find stories about saints that display their amazing virtues and Gods miraculous response. So far, St Catherine of Siena and Padre Pio are giving me lots of material. They will be picking confirmation names in a few years and it helps them if they are a little familiar with some saints.
Sorry it has taken me a while to respond. Class is tommorrow!
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  #78  
Old Feb 24, '08, 12:06 am
Fangsifu Fangsifu is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

Hello everyone,

First of all, God bless you all for teaching the word.

I guess it's pretty hard to share, or receive advise from close friends. I have a lot of friends who are active Cathecists.

I've been teaching for 2 years. I assisted 1 year. The first 2 years were pretty fun. I found lots of fun stuff we could do here and there. I teach 6th grade by the way.

I guess, I'm just tired of doing it now. I felt the calling a while back, but now it feels pretty empty. This year feels like baby sitting. I am a very optimistic guy. I'm very motivated most of the time.

I just wonder, is it ok to walk away from it after this year. I'm a Church every Sunday just about. But I think my ministry is not there. I did the choir thing, the cantor thing, youth group, Young adults, setup and take down for most events, and even help out once a while St. Vincent de Paul association.

I think I need to focus on my friends who are not Catholic or even familiar with Christianity.

I'm all ears, anyone have suggestions. It could be fun to hear something from a brother or sister in Christ that I have not personally met.

Peace be with you. Goto get ready for Cathecism in the Morning.
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  #79  
Old Feb 24, '08, 2:13 pm
DORCatholic DORCatholic is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

Hi Fangsifu,

Being a teacher - whatever the subject matter - isn't for everyone an I'd be the last one to tell you to stick it out if you aren't happy doing it. But if you're interested in a couple of tips that have helped me get past the feeling that all I'm doing is babysitting, then I'm happy to pass them along.

I'm in my 4th year teaching junior high religious ed and one thing I've found that works pretty well is to get to know something about each kid, if possible. I'm talking about things like their favorite movie stars, favorite types of music, favorite sports teams, hobbies – that kind of thing. Then during each class I try to work a little bit of that in, asking a girl when the (insert her favorite band here) are going on tour again, or asking a boy how well he thinks the (insert his favorite baseball team here) will do this year. It “wastes” a minute or two, but it shows them that I'm interested in more than religion and seems to help get them “on my side.”

Another thing I do during the first class each year is to give them a quick, 5 minute overview of the material we will be covering and then I ask them what else they would like to learn about. Last year's responses to that question were especially interesting. One girl asked, in essence, how we actually know there is a God. That prompted a boy to ask if I could prove to him that all this stuff in the gospels about Jesus wasn't just a fairy tale. A third kid asked why God lets bad things happen to good people (that's obviously paraphrased, but it's what he meant). And there were also a couple of other pretty good questions.

Now none of these subjects were in the official curriculum (which was Church history), but they all became a part of one class or another. And I can guarantee you that those classes were some of the best I've taught, mostly, I'm sure, because there was a real interest there on the part of the kids.

Some DREs might balk at this, but mine feels that the best time to teach something is when interest is at its highest. (Of course, that's the experience of a mother of four speaking!)

Hope this helps.
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  #80  
Old Feb 24, '08, 2:17 pm
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jmcrae jmcrae is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DORCatholic View Post
Some DREs might balk at this, but mine feels that the best time to teach something is when interest is at its highest. (Of course, that's the experience of a mother of four speaking!)
That's my philosophy, as well.
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According to Quentin Tarentino, (Kill Bill Volume 2) Clark Kent is Superman's opinion of the human race. It occurs to me that, using the same logic, Jesus of Nazareth is God's.

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  #81  
Old May 2, '08, 6:16 am
mercygate mercygate is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

OK, Guys. Reviving this thread for the end of the season.

How did it go for y'all?

What will you keep for next year and what will you do differently?

Here's my take on the season:

1) I will not allow ANY misbehavior. The first inappropriate action that is off the chart for this age group will be brought to the attention of the DRE. On the first night when I do my intro to the parents, I will ask them to work with me on this.

2) I teach Scripture from Sadlier's WE BELIEVE, and have asked the DRE to let me hand out Jeff Cavins' Bible Timeline with the "memory band" color coded to the periods of salvation history.

3) This year I tried to have each child do a little saint report. That did not go over well, and since it is not central to the theme of the curriculum, I'm dumping it.

4) Sword drills will be keyed to the lesson of the day (except the ones with youth themes).

5) Instead of just asking them to write out the memory verse, I will add a five-minute comprehension review to be sure they understand what the verse means. I have learned that 6th graders can "read" without having the least clue what their reading MEANS.
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  #82  
Old May 2, '08, 10:15 am
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jmcrae jmcrae is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

I need ideas for helping to improve attendance next year. The kids who came learned a lot and had a good time, but my groups were really, really small.

There were four kids who were going to graduate this year, but I could only allow one of them to graduate, because the other three had such extremely poor attendance.
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According to Quentin Tarentino, (Kill Bill Volume 2) Clark Kent is Superman's opinion of the human race. It occurs to me that, using the same logic, Jesus of Nazareth is God's.

Tiber Swim Team - Class of 2001
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  #83  
Old May 2, '08, 10:42 am
mercygate mercygate is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcrae View Post
I need ideas for helping to improve attendance next year. The kids who came learned a lot and had a good time, but my groups were really, really small.

There were four kids who were going to graduate this year, but I could only allow one of them to graduate, because the other three had such extremely poor attendance.
In our program, we take attendance, and the absentees' homes are called. So the teacher doesn't bear the whole responsibility for keeping the numbers up. We get pretty good attendance that way.

If I didn't have that backup, I would probably put it in my introductory letter to the parents that I need to be notified if a student will miss class and then follow up if somebody is absent without prior notification.
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  #84  
Old Sep 5, '08, 12:19 pm
miamijoe miamijoe is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

Are you all in for another revive of this thread for the new year? Well, it's ok if not. I'm new this year to 6th Grade CCD (I still call it that though it is now called Faith Formation at our church). I'm excited and even though I know I don't know enough about everything as I'm learning too, I think excitement about the subject matter and being in love with The Church will make up the difference. I only remember growing up and hoping every week that my Mom would forget to take me to CCD. That is really all I remember from CCD. Maybe I learned more and don't know it, but I've gained about 75% of the real knowledge of our faith in the past year alone (Scott Hahn gave a day long talk at our church and I went... I think you all know what happened next!)

Since then I've listened to just about every audio track I can download. I used to listen to music, now, everything Catholic, lectures, CA radio shows, debates, oh my you know I can go on and on! (Thanks Ryan at Sonitus Sanctus - http://catholicaudio.blogspot.com/ ) driving, cutting grass, everywhere I can! I've actually ordered books too from Amazon and other places. The only thing I've spent money on for reading before this has been the newspaper (and that's for the coupons).

So, I went back over this whole thread and wow, you are all awesome! I thank you for all the information and ideas which will be integrated into the lesson plan each week. We are teaching out of the "We Believe" series and as such 6th Grade is the Salvation History/Old Testament theme. I've been listening of recent to a thirty some-odd series called "Understanding the Scriptures" by Carson Webber which will be helpful.

Anyways, since it is my first year, I'm actually just an assistant so I'll humbly defer to the main instructor though he's mentioned me teaching a few lessons, which I'm salivating to do with all these great ideas from here! I hope this year goes well.

Oh, and maybe I can contribute with a few ideas I found while scouring the net... some are variations of sword drills:

Keep Your Seat
Here is a new twist to having a Sword Drill. Have 2 chairs set up front. Pick 2 students to start and have them sit in the chairs. Give a reference and whichever one finds it first gets to stay in the chair. Then pick someone else to go next. The object is to see who can keep their seat the longest.
You can combine this game with a lesson by choosing the Bible references along some theme such as verses about prayer, love, forgiveness, etc.

Bible Flash Cards
Make a set of flash cards with the books of the Bible on them. Be sure to make them big enough to be seen from the back of the room.
This can be done individually or divide into teams.

Show a card and have the student tell which book comes before and/or after it.
Variations include:

Have the student tell what the book is about.
Have the student name as many characters as he can that is in the book.
Tell whether the book is in the Old Testament or New.


Character Flash Cards
This is similar to the Bible Flash Cards but use Bible characters instead of Bible books.

Have the student tell what book the character is found in. Or…
Have the student tell whether the character is in the Old Testament or New. Or…
Have the student tell what that character is noted for.


Pairs Flash Cards
Another idea is to put letters in pairs on flash cards and have them guess what pair it is:
A & E- Adam & Eve
P & S- Paul & Silas
D & J- David & Jonathan
D & G- David & Goliath
M & J- Mary & Joseph
C & A- Cain & Abel
J & J- James & John
R & B- Ruth & Boaz
M & A- Moses & Aaron
M & M- Mary & Martha
J & C- Joshua & Caleb
A & P- Aquila & Priscilla
I & R- Isaac & Rebekah
A & S- Abraham & Sarah
R & L- Rachel & Leah
E & E- Elijah & Elisha
J & E- Jacob & Esau
S & D- Samson & Delilah

Thanks! Joe
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  #85  
Old Sep 5, '08, 12:54 pm
mercygate mercygate is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

Quote:
Originally Posted by miamijoe View Post
Are you all in for another revive of this thread for the new year? Well, it's ok if not. I'm new this year to 6th Grade CCD (I still call it that though it is now called Faith Formation at our church). I'm excited and even though I know I don't know enough about everything as I'm learning too, I think excitement about the subject matter and being in love with The Church will make up the difference. I only remember growing up and hoping every week that my Mom would forget to take me to CCD. That is really all I remember from CCD. Maybe I learned more and don't know it, but I've gained about 75% of the real knowledge of our faith in the past year alone (Scott Hahn gave a day long talk at our church and I went... I think you all know what happened next!)

Since then I've listened to just about every audio track I can download. I used to listen to music, now, everything Catholic, lectures, CA radio shows, debates, oh my you know I can go on and on! (Thanks Ryan at Sonitus Sanctus - http://catholicaudio.blogspot.com/ ) driving, cutting grass, everywhere I can! I've actually ordered books too from Amazon and other places. The only thing I've spent money on for reading before this has been the newspaper (and that's for the coupons).

So, I went back over this whole thread and wow, you are all awesome! I thank you for all the information and ideas which will be integrated into the lesson plan each week. We are teaching out of the "We Believe" series and as such 6th Grade is the Salvation History/Old Testament theme. I've been listening of recent to a thirty some-odd series called "Understanding the Scriptures" by Carson Webber which will be helpful.

Anyways, since it is my first year, I'm actually just an assistant so I'll humbly defer to the main instructor though he's mentioned me teaching a few lessons, which I'm salivating to do with all these great ideas from here! I hope this year goes well.

Oh, and maybe I can contribute with a few ideas I found while scouring the net... some are variations of sword drills:

Keep Your Seat
Here is a new twist to having a Sword Drill. Have 2 chairs set up front. Pick 2 students to start and have them sit in the chairs. Give a reference and whichever one finds it first gets to stay in the chair. Then pick someone else to go next. The object is to see who can keep their seat the longest.
You can combine this game with a lesson by choosing the Bible references along some theme such as verses about prayer, love, forgiveness, etc.

Bible Flash Cards
Make a set of flash cards with the books of the Bible on them. Be sure to make them big enough to be seen from the back of the room.
This can be done individually or divide into teams.

Show a card and have the student tell which book comes before and/or after it.
Variations include:

Have the student tell what the book is about.
Have the student name as many characters as he can that is in the book.
Tell whether the book is in the Old Testament or New.


Character Flash Cards
This is similar to the Bible Flash Cards but use Bible characters instead of Bible books.

Have the student tell what book the character is found in. Or…
Have the student tell whether the character is in the Old Testament or New. Or…
Have the student tell what that character is noted for.


Pairs Flash Cards
Another idea is to put letters in pairs on flash cards and have them guess what pair it is:
A & E- Adam & Eve
P & S- Paul & Silas
D & J- David & Jonathan
D & G- David & Goliath
M & J- Mary & Joseph
C & A- Cain & Abel
J & J- James & John
R & B- Ruth & Boaz
M & A- Moses & Aaron
M & M- Mary & Martha
J & C- Joshua & Caleb
A & P- Aquila & Priscilla
I & R- Isaac & Rebekah
A & S- Abraham & Sarah
R & L- Rachel & Leah
E & E- Elijah & Elisha
J & E- Jacob & Esau
S & D- Samson & Delilah

Thanks! Joe
Fun ideas!

I'm themeing my year on Indiana Jones. We're going to "discover" the Bible and figure out what it is, where it came from, who wrote it, who it belongs to, what it means . . . I even had a sign made for the class that calls us the Sixth Grade Investigative Expedition.

Site Director and Field Guide: mercygate. There's a caricature of a dippy female in a pith helmet with binoculars, a pick axe and a Bible . . .
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  #86  
Old Sep 5, '08, 1:52 pm
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jmcrae jmcrae is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

Those all sound great! I'm back in for three Youth Groups, Sacramental Preparation, and Grade 9 Catechism.

We have actual toy swords in our Youth Group area, so I'm having this really great idea for a fun Sword Drill.
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According to Quentin Tarentino, (Kill Bill Volume 2) Clark Kent is Superman's opinion of the human race. It occurs to me that, using the same logic, Jesus of Nazareth is God's.

Tiber Swim Team - Class of 2001
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  #87  
Old Sep 15, '09, 10:53 pm
marycozzens marycozzens is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

after attending the first teacher's meeting at my parish tonight, it seems there are hundreds of pages of ideas, suggestions and lists of available resources........
but no actual 6th grade text book.
I'm in a bit of a quandry, as I need to put together a lesson plan before our first class on monday.
I've always used a text book before, not huge mounds of papers to consider.
ANY advice?
Please.
Ginny
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  #88  
Old Sep 16, '09, 9:19 am
bgic bgic is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

This is my first year teaching CCD (grade 6). I have 16 students. Class started last weekend and went well. I could not imaging teaching without a book. We use the textbook from FindingGod.org.

If you would like, I could write down what we went over in week 1?
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  #89  
Old Sep 16, '09, 9:43 am
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KarenElissa KarenElissa is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

Quote:
Originally Posted by marycozzens View Post
after attending the first teacher's meeting at my parish tonight, it seems there are hundreds of pages of ideas, suggestions and lists of available resources........
but no actual 6th grade text book.
I'm in a bit of a quandry, as I need to put together a lesson plan before our first class on monday.
I've always used a text book before, not huge mounds of papers to consider.
ANY advice?
Please.
Ginny
No books for the kids or anything? Is there an overview of what you are supposed to be teaching this year? That would be the place to start, you need to at least know where you are going before you start planning on how to get there.

Once you have at least a basic idea of where you are going, you can start picking things that will help you get there. That will help you sort through all the resources.

As for the first day, mine was focused on three things, getting to know each other, general expectations, and having a basic framework on which to hang the rest of the year. I wanted to spend some time just learning who the kids are and where they are at both in terms of knowledge and actual faith practice. It is also good to let them know what is expected from early on.

As for the basic framework, I discovered last year that when I just jumped in, it was hard to make everything relate. So this year we started of with the basic gospel message. I teach RCIA for kids, so it is an overview of all Catholic teaching, so I should be able to relate it all back to the gospel.

I believe that 6th grade in many areas is the Old Testament, so you might want to start a big timeline. Put creation at the beginning, that should be at least familar to most kids, and Jesus at the end and explain that all this happened before Jesus. Then you might see if the kids can fill in anything else. That would also help you find out what they know.
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  #90  
Old Oct 1, '09, 1:39 am
mercygate mercygate is offline
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Default Re: First time Catechist (6th Grade)

The BEST thing I did last year was check out classroom management resources from Harry Wong (google) and a guy named Tom Daly, who specializes in teaching kids with ADD & ADHD. Since ALL my kids (and their teacher ) have ADD, it was a big help.

Writing out the class plan and following it was a great help also. Power teaching was fantastic. (google power teaching youtube)
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