Jesus, the Teacher bids you come
And be at peace in the mystery of divine love,
in the quiet places where wisdom waits.
Rest in this place of thinking and feeling,
Reflect on the STORY that tells us who we are; whose we are. Pray to understand.
Trust that God is with you!
Let the potter continue the work of forming you, preparing you, stretching you to be
- a keeper of memory,
- a teller of stories,
- a faithful companion on the journey.
Soon our young seekers will be here.
Wait for them on the edge of MYSTERY, a welcoming presence ready to share the joy found in believing, holding for them a place in sacred space, where they too will experience the delight of entering more fully the Kingdom of God
“Morning Meeting” resources
- Morning Meeting for beginners
- Video example of a Morning Meeting
- Morning Meeting games
- More Morning Meeting games and greetings
Advice for positive discipline/coaching in the classroom
- Setting classroom procedures at the beginning of school
- Management strategies and tips
- Positive discipline criteria – video
- Positive discipline being used – video
- Positive discipline strategies (Take a break; fix it plan; apology) – video
- Three types of logical consequences
- Changing your thinking – and getting better results
- The inspiration you can find in the Mighty Ducks ; a flip using this video.
- Books of the Old Testament
- Beginner’s Bible videos online
- What’s In the Bible? videos online.
- Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Video – Fr. Jim Martin SJ on YouTube.
- “Flying Over” Jerusalem and the Holy Land – a video trailer that shows a number of different sites.
- Genesis 1 in video
- The Passover in Playmobil
- The Exodus told as a modern news story
- Kids’ version of Moses and the Exodus
- The Passover set to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody
- The Nativity set to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody
- The Vatican Web Site
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Creighton U Online Ministries Home Page – incredible range of resources provided
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church
- How To Pick Out a Bible – a guide to various translations and editions.
- What Church documents are important to a catechist, what they contain and where to find them.
- Internet Links Useful for Catechesis – Check out these guidelines: Internet Use and Lesson Planning – to ensure that what you select is appropriate for Catholic catechesis.
- Go here to find many resources for prayer, Church teaching, and other resources.
- Cartoon bio of Pope Francis
Classroom management and teaching advice and tips
- Advice for creating a smoothly running classroom.
- Edutopia – Advice, techniques and professional development as a catechist or teacher. Many free downloads and handouts available.
- What is your learning style? Teachers teach most readily the way they learn. Becoming aware of your own style also makes you more aware of the need to vary the mode of instruction for different styles. This quick quiz will help.
- Students are used to learning in diverse ways, across a variety of platforms. Think about ways to integrate the arts into your lessons.
- How to build an engaging lesson plan.
- Ways of eliciting student feedback.
- Round up of student engagement strategies.
- Smart Classroom Management – Short articles with excellent tips. You can also subscribe to receive them weekly, free. How to avoid a bad start to the year
- How to use mystery to capture your students’ attention.
- How to begin an engaging teaching unit
- Using modeling to help students understand expectations.
- Making a routine you modeled unforgettable.
- How to make modeling succeed.
- The importance of modeling.
- How to give directions students can follow
- How to make transitions work.
- How to analyze what is going wrong with your routine/discipline strategy– and how to help it get corrected.
- How to use music to make classroom routines fun
- Twenty-five tips for organizing the classroom
- How to teach effectively
- Bloom’s Taxonomy ala Seinfeld; a flip using this video
- Charts are a great way to help kids see a process, procedure, system or sequence. They are most important for visual learners, but all can benefit.
Early Childhood Resources
- PreKinders.com – Various resources, ideas and downloadable activities
- Bible Stories for Kids – retelling of the major stories in the Bible, useful on smartboards/projected or as print-outs.
- Catholic Icing – source for good crafts and lessons up to second grade.
Games and Class Activities
- Making your own Jeopardy game online.
- This site gives you free craft templates, Bingo games, etc.
- Different short classroom games to play. You can use these to warm up the groups, or adapt to use to teach an idea or concept.
- Paper Dali – a very useful blog with games, activities and coloring sheets.
- Game Based Activities and Assessments – A long catalog of web based resources, along with some advice about how to successfully integrate games in learning.
- Complex coloring pages are all the rage. Here are some that might be useful.
General religion teacher resources
- Joe Paprocki has a very useful blog.
- The Religion Teacher has a variety of resources including a blog, sample religion lessons and guidance in teaching.
- The Catholic Tool Box has a variety of plans, games, review strategies, etc.
- Catholic Icing has a number of craft resources and teaching ideas – especially useful for younger children.
- A collection of resources for catechists
- Religion Teacher’s Guide to Lesson Planning which includes a great compilation of classroom activities and strategies
- Tips for communicating with parents
- St. Anthony Messenger has a very comprehensive site which includes links to its recent Catholic Updates and much more. They also have an archived site aimed at youth called Disciples Now.
- Catholic Online has links to hundreds of useful bits of information. Their saints pages give biographies, feasts, etc of everyone you have heard of and many you haven’t. (I always send kids looking for a confirmation name there first.) There is also an excellent section on prayers and practices.
- Another good reference source, although eclectic, is Catholic Resources.
- Resources for Catholic Educators
- America Magazine – America’s Jesuit National Catholic Magazine
- Claritian Publications – U.S. Catholic, Salt of the Earth, others
- A useful video about God as the cause of the universe
- Show your students a live video that approaches infinity – the deep field survey from Hubble that shows we are in the midst of billions of galaxies with billions of stars. This can spark a reflection on the infinity of God as the creator of all that.
- The Pale Blue Dot – both a picture from NASA and a video by Carl Sagan that helps us to see our place in the cosmos
- 3 in 1 – a video of the book, which we also own. It uses the analogy of an apple to explain the Trinity. Good for third and fourth.
- Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ of the Vatican Observatory on the intersection of science and religion
- Good advice about how to use video in class – and the wrong way
- Vision Video is a good source for current media available to purchase.
- Digital Catechesis is a membership based web site (free, but you have to register, which provides collections of online videos curated by other catechists.)
- How to download YouTube videos for offline use.
Middle School Resources
- Outside Da Box has wonderful videos on a number of topics that are easy to integrate into class or ‘flip’ using TedEd.
- Seventy years in someone’s life – can spark discussions about who I am and where I want to go.
- This is a pretty good documentary on three women discerning religious life.
- A music video by Jess Godwin about bullying.
- Global Poverty – a Ted talk by Bono
- Evidence of modern slavery
- Good overview of Catholic Social Teaching
- Catholic Social Teaching – using popular media
- A good explanation of Catholic Social Teaching and its roots in Rerum Novarum aimed at high school students
Moral Life and Virtues
- An excellent supplemental curriculum on virtues and the saints – covers three years and includes family component.
- A bingo game featuring Virtues and Values
- VCat is a production with many short, good videos illustrating aspects of the Catechism – designed for youth and young adults. New ones are issued often. Click on the tabs for past issues.
- Pauline has a good list of materials useful for kids. They only sell directly and not through Amazon.
- Autom is known for reasonably priced religious goods.
- Creative Communications has good seasonal resources – games, pamphlets, Advent calendars, etc.
- All Saints Press also has a number of good resources.
- S&S Worldwide: Arts and Crafts, Games, Party, and Sports …– Suppliers of fun arts and crafts, sports and physical education equipment, educational supplies, therapeutic activities,
- Interactive Online Rosary
- The Rosary – Month of the Rosary
- Helpful worksheets to take notes while learning the Mysteries of the Rosary
- Teaching the Rosary – Worksheets and activities from Jared Dees
- Scriptural Rosary for kids
- Prayer Habits – a blog about building a prayer life, with good tips and advice
- About using imagination in prayer
- Jesus and prayer
- Teaching Lectio Divina and Ignatian prayer with Scripture – Jared Dees
- How to make “sacrifice beads” which can be used as a one-decade rosary, to keep track of good deeds, to keep track of practicing the virtues, etc.
- A lesson helping students link the Hail Mary to Ave Maria
- Ascension to Pentecost – the first Novena. How to use the booklet and poster is explained with this resource.
- Some hints for doing lectio divina with kids.
- A video guide to lectio divina with Fr. James Martin.
- A video guide to Ignatian meditation with Fr. James Martin
- A video guide to the Examen – how people use it.
- Another video guide to the Examen
- A walk through of the Examen on YouTube
The following publishers have content on their sites that you can use in the classroom:
- St. Mary’s Press correlates with our middle school material. They have a very comprehensive resource center for all grade levels.
- RCL/Benziger has a number of subsidiary sites, and activities correlating to the Be My Disciples series.
- Sacraments – The Liturgical Catechist http://theliturgicalcatechist.weebly.com/sacraments.html
- The sacrament of baptism
- A short YouTube about a priestly ordination, with the elements of the rite. (Please note that the videographer did not get the laying on of hands, which is essential.)
- Review of all seven sacraments – Outside da Box
- A good review of penance for intermediate and middle school grades
- A good review on how to receive Communion – and why we do it – for the older grades.
- A ‘sketchpad’ video that reviews the Eucharist
- A collection of resources and activities about Baptism
- A very complete and rich resource on the mass – The Mass Explained web site and the Mass Explained app
- My Missal Picture app is intended for children with developmental disabilities, but could be used well with small children, up through second grade.
- All Saints / All Souls powerpoint
- Kateri Tekakwitha – option one and option two
- Lots of saints – a song sung to Gilbert & Sullivan
- A Day in the Life of St. Francis
- Linking Halloween and All Saints Day
- A lengthier video about the history of All Saints and All Souls . It might be wise to use only bits for most classes
- Ideas for teaching about the saints in the classroom
- Activities to teach about the saints from Jared Dees
- Saint of the Day is a useful site from St. Anthony Messenger.
- Saints and Angels index has everyone you’ve heard of and many you have not.
- Some very good resources from Loyola Press. Click on ‘activities’ for some plays to use in the classroom, too.
- A short classroom play on the life of Kateri Tekakwitha.
- Short online ‘retreats’ reflecting on the lives of some of the saints.
- Three saint apps which might be useful to you. And a fourth app.
Special Education Resources
- Fire Drill Social Story – helps special needs students understand and cope with a fire drill
Talking about God
- An online slide show that takes kids from the smallest to the largest in our our universe. A good way to talk about infinity – and an infinite God.
- A Google tour of the closest 100,000 stars and an idea of the immensity of our galaxy, let alone the universe. You can also refer the students to Amos 5:8.
- A helical model of the solar system moving through space Another example of the wonder of Creation
Using Media for Classroom or Home Learning
- About blended learning – combining traditional classroom and online
- Tips for using blended instruction
- Flip This Classroom – using online videos to deliver content, and use class time for students to learn to apply knowledge. Also helps mastery-based learning.
- Make viewing a YouTube video interactive with TedEd
- The Power of Mobile Learning
- Resources for blended learning
- A NY Times article on what a flipped classroom looks like
- How to do voiceovers in Powerpoint
- How to turn Powerpoints into movies
- Prezi – creating non-linear screen presentations.
- Download and save a YouTube video
Web-based services and software resources
- Sr. Carolyn Cerveny’s blog, CyberPilgrim, is a collection of ways to use digital media in the classroom and for catechesis.
- Teaching Religion in the Twenty-First Century: A great example of a blended lesson using online tools, including many of those mentioned below.
- A great collection of tech tools for the classroom
- Catechesis 2.0 is a blog which collects a variety of web based applications. The blog entries give examples of how these can be used to teach religion.
- Graphite reviews and sort educational apps for you, helping you to find apps and sites that might be helpful
- Mixbook – A digital storytelling tool
- Yodio – Provides voice over to a story or graphic
- Devolver Moviemaker – Makes animated movies to tell a story. (Note that there are six lines of dialogue possible, with three scenes per movie. There is no pause or rewind function. Using this tool, I made six ‘movies’ about kids explaining the precepts of the church to a space alien. Follow up activities on the handouts.
- Animoto – create your own 30-second videos
- Educreations – Make white board lessons with recorded voice over that can be shared. Easy for students to use.
- VoiceThread – a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam).
- Vuvox– WYSIWYG online multimedia layout and sharing.
- Quizlet – an online service to make quizzes, flash cards and study aids for your students.
- Quia – make online questionaires and homework assignments. Subscription needed.
- Glogster – a way to create interactive, online, collaborative ‘posters’ for class projects. There is a basic, free version, as well as subscriptions.
- Blabberize – a tool to add a voice over to any picture.
- Kidsblog – a way to create blogs for your students. Here’s an example of how to use it for RE homework.
- Boomwriter – ways for kids to create and share stories.
- Classbadges – create badges you can award to students as rewards or incentives.
- Create your own bar or QR codes
- How to make gifs
- A tool to make flashcards
- Sigil – a tool to make .epub books that can be read on devices
- Digital Storytelling with 30 Hands – mobile device app
- Free software to creating infographics and presentations. Think of ways older students can use these to design a project showing what they have learned. Here’s an example about sacraments, done for adults.