A teacher’s time is limited and to be an effective teacher you must be prepared for any situation. Here are some of my favorite free teacher tools that just might come in handy in your classroom.
Handwriting/Copy Work Worksheet Makers- To learn various prayers, liturgical objects used in Mass, and other church activities, having the students write it down is a good way for them to remember. Here are a few of my favorite handwriting worksheet makers that are FREE so you can make personalized handwriting worksheets (print or cursive) for your students.
chartjungle.com- Free printables calendars and charts for baby, toddler, children, behavior, checklists, chores, Christmas, schedules, education, day care, school, holidays, homeschool, awards, business, car, computer, garden, health, holidays, home, internet, money, music, pets, safety, science, shopping, sports, teachers, travel, and webmasters.
educationalworld.com- TONS of forms to print out for free: Templates, Assessments, Award Certificates, Back To School, Bookmarks & Book Plates, Bulletin Board Resources, Calendars, Classroom Organizers, Election Templates, Flyer, Posters, Signs, Graphic Organizers, Holiday Gift Coupons, Holiday Work Sheets, Icebreakers, Newsletters, Parent-Teacher Communications, Setting Goals, Student Resources, Teacher Quote Notepads, Traffic Signs, etc.
teachertools.org- Free downloads of forms and letters for Discipline, Academic, Communication, etc. Tons of forms and letters provided. Just click on "Forms and Letters" on the left and it will take you right there.
teachervision.fet.com- These ready-to-use forms will help you keep your classroom, lesson plans, and paperwork organized. Get ready for the new school year with our printable passes, teacher stationary, and student information sheets. The forms below will help you keep track of attendance, homework assignments, and students' grades throughout the year. You'll also find great resources for parent-teacher conferences and group projects. Use charts to monitor behavior, and reward outstanding work with our many awards.
freeology.com- Dozens of free printable teacher forms for everything from record keeping to classroom management.
edhelper.com- Forms: Class attendance form (PDF Format) (set dates, use your classes, and more); Meeting Reminder; Parental Contact; Please Sign (w ... Failed Assignment; Homework Log; Bring to Class; Thank You (small); Behavior Contract; Behavior Contract Weekly; Behavior Report, etc.
teachervision.fen.com- Use these printable charts, forms, and contracts to monitor your students' behavior. Evaluate their ability to work as a team with forms on student productivity in group settings. In addition to student-teacher contracts that establish behavior expectations, you'll find a variety of behavior management forms to document discipline issues in your classroom. Encourage students to make better behavior choices with our decision making worksheets. Notes, awards, and certificates make great rewards for good behavior.
teachervision.fen.com- Assessment can be a tricky task. Our collection of ideas and forms will make it easier for you to evaluate and grade your students' work, no matter their grade level. There are as many variations of assessment as there are students. Look below to find ideas on assessment strategies, modifications, and enhancing your existing methods. These assessment forms and techniques will work across the curriculum, so use them for math, science, reading, language arts, social studies, and your other subjects.
dotolearn.com- Providing the proper expectations, interventions, and supports can help individuals with special needs to succeed and learn the skills they need to lead productive lives. While this material is based on techniques that have proven effective for special needs, the tips may be of value for individuals with a range of other disorders that result in behavior, social, and learning problems. Topics include: Classroom Management, Learning Strategies, Education Resources, etc.
From time to time a catechist must be absent for various reasons. When this happens a substitute must take over your classroom and be able to teach your students.
What should a catechist do when they are absent?
• Follow the procedure for being absent that is written in the catechist handbook that you signed to verify that you understood what your responsibilities are and the rules that you must follow. Contact the appropriate personnel when you find out when you will be absent. The sooner the better to allow the substitute time to make arrangements to come to your class and review your lesson plan.
• Have a complete lesson plan written up.
• Write up the normal procedures you do in the class in the order that you do them (attendance, homework, handouts, dismissal, etc.). Include the daily schedule (times, activity, etc.) accommodations for various students, rules for the classroom, discipline procedures, class reward system, how to communicate with parents, information concerning any special needs students in your classroom, seating chart, emergency information, list of students with behavior problems (give tips and suggestions for behavior), fill in activities (when the students have finished with all their activities and there are a few more minutes until class is over), feedback form, etc.
• Any suggestions or tips that can enhance the learning of the students.
• Create a substitute teacher packet. This can be put in a folder or binder to give to substitutes. (Put the above information in it for the substitute so they can do their job efficiently and effectively.)
• Email or deliver the lesson plan and the substitute teacher packet to the DRE and/or substitute as soon as possible. This allows the substitute time to go over all the information and ask any questions if needed. You can also have a copy of the substitute teacher packet in your classroom or give one to the DRE so it can be found easily and given to the substitute.
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.
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. This will help keep students organized 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.
Here are a few that might come in handy in your classroom.
What preparation should you do to help this child learn to his/her fullest potential?
1. Meet with your DRE and determine what questions to ask the parents BEFORE CCD starts. Meet with the parents and gather all the information you can about their child.
ncpd.org- Samples of Registration Forms, Individualize Religion Education Plan, Alternative Religious Education Program Guidelines, Placement, Confidential Student File, Teaching Strategies, Permission for Classroom Observation, Release of Information, Volunteer Recruitment, Classroom Observation, Classroom Team Interview, Planning Meeting, Program Evaluation, and Report of Behavioral Incident.
3. Assign an aide or “buddie” to be with the student (if needed). Make sure the aide will be present each Sunday. Students with special needs do not like change. Train the aide on how the child learns best and their accommodations. Dismiss the aide when they are no longer needed by the student.
5. Organize your activities in your lesson plans in the same order each Sunday (this allows the student to become familiar with your schedule and it will calm them). Give the student a Visual Schedule and have the aide go over this with the student each day so they will know what will happen and what is expected of them. Use words or pre-made pictures, or cut some out of a magazine or catalog, and you can even take pictures with your camera (you can take pictures of them doing various activities and make a personal visual schedule). Use the format that fits their needs best.
When writing up your lesson plans be sure to include strategies and adaptations for the student so you can best meet their unique needs. Go over with the aide each Sunday the lesson plan and what they are supposed to do to help the student learn best.
6. Have the child come to class to see what Sunday School is like with no other students. Introduce yourself and the aide to him and go through a normal day in your classroom would be like. Show him what he will do step by step and give him an assign seat where he will learn best. Have his aide use his visual schedule to help him know what he is supposed to do and when.
Before CCD starts it is a good idea to have an Open House. Why is that important? Nothing is better than starting CCD off on the right foot and the best way to do that is to have an Open House prior to classes starting. Having a CCD Open House allows parents and students to meet the catechists, pick up class information, tour the classrooms, and ask questions. This gives the catechist a chance to greet each family individually and to collect requested items and information. By having a CCD Open House it will alleviate any worries and questions parents may have and it will give the family reassurance and encouragement of what the CCD program is all about. Students and parents will understandably feel more confident when they know exactly where they are going and what to expect the first day, and everyone will be reassured enough to get a good night’s sleep before CCD starts.
*We have a parent meeting at our church prior to the start of the CCD Open House in the Fellowship Hall. This allows parents to meet the DRE and it gives our priest and DRE the opportunity to express how much parent involvement is needed for their child’s faith education and to answer any questions that they may have. The CCD Open House is right after the meeting so that the parents and children can meet the catechist, see the classroom, and find out what they will be doing for the year. After the Open House we have a Church Potluck luncheon in the Fellowship Hall for everyone who would like to come.
Print out flyers letting parents know when and where the Open House will be and other information that parents will find pertinent. Have the flyer be colorful and enticing to grab anyone’s attention and make them want to come to this wonderful event. Be sure to have the church, priest, and Religious Program Director’s names on the flyer and the contact phone number if they have any questions. Put the flyers in the church bulletin; post them in various places around the church, the church website, advertize in the local paper, etc. way in advance so parents can make arrangements to come.
Meeting parents can be quite daunting, but if you remember to be yourself, it will make it a whole lot easier. The parents are nervous too and want to make a good impression as well. Maybe the following ideas will help keep the jitters at bay and allow you to have a great CCD Open House.
What should the catechist do during Open House?
Welcome everyone that comes into your class during Open House. Smile, introduce yourself, and give parents an introductory letter. The catechist can provide the parents at the CCD Open House with information of what is expected in the classroom and what the children will be doing during the year. They 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.
What should the catechist provide to the parents during Open House?
• Welcome parents to the open house and tell them how pleased you are to meet them.
• The CCD program’s discipline policy, including procedures regarding absence and tardiness.
• Describe the goals you hope to accomplish this year.
• The timing of report cards and progress reports.
• Emergency procedures for bad weather and other events.
• Go over class rules.
• Classroom attendance and tardiness guidelines. Make-up work policy.
• Classroom grading policy.
• Amount of homework and homework policy.
• Policy for addressing academic and behavioral problems.
• Provide a calendar of the CCD schedule (days and times CCD meets), upcoming events, such as class field trips and future parent-teacher meetings, etc. and the policies concerning them.
• Give detailed information how parents can get involved in their child’s faith education and how they can volunteer at CCD. Provide Volunteer Sign Up Sheets for parents interested in helping at CCD. Have a Class Contact List for the parents to fill out to obtain information that can help aid the catechist in better understanding their child and how to contact them.
• Answer questions from parents and students.
• Provide copies of all information to give to parents.
• Have the classroom prepared and set up like it is a normal day in CCD. Students and parent enjoy seeing what the classroom will be like and it will also disperse any apprehension.
• Introduce the curriculum that will be used in the classroom and the supplemental activities that will enhance the lessons so the parents and students will be familiar with them and know what to expect. Show the students and parents some activities, crafts, games, etc. that will be done during the year in class. This is a great way to introduce how you make the aspects of what you teach more concrete and easier for the students to understand and how much fun they will have in CCD as well. Place these items on a large table to allow students and parents time to look through them at their own convenience.
• Be sure to thank the families for coming during the Open House. I would also send a thank you note to the families ASAP after the Open House. A card or email will reinforce communication and how much you as a catechist appreciate the parents enthusiasm for promoting their child’s faith education.
• Marilyn Western has a few creative ideas for Open House that are fun and educational too: You can put together a formal program or you could have a simple "Scavenger Hunt" in which the child and family can become familiar with his/her new room (parents can read the items to pre-readers). Make a list of items that are easily located in the room that will be useful for the students to know where they are (clock, bathroom, Kleenex, bulletin board, chalk board, cubbies, Prayer Chart, Homework Chart, their desk with their name on it, etc.) Include yourself as the last item to be found. This gives you an opportunity to talk once again with your new student. This is also a great time to take a photo of the student with their family (this really helps put a name to a face later at conferences).
• Marilyn also has a great idea for helping children recognize their teacher: With primary children, it's also helpful to wear something bright at Open House. If you wear the same outfit for the first day of CCD, younger children will be able to easily recognize you on the playground, or at the door, or wherever you collect your group.
*Problems can and do arise during Open House, but here are a few suggestions that might come in handy:
brighthub.com- Problems & Solutions for Middle School Open Houses (these are great ideas that can used for CCD as well)
Are you having a CCD Open House prior to classes starting?
Morality, in addition to raw academics, plays an important role in society. It raises an important question, “Who is responsible for teaching morality?” Is it society’s responsibility, including teachers, to pass on the virtues of civilized life to the next generation? Or is this strictly within parents’ purview to oversee? Who gets to decide which morals get attention and which don’t?
There’s little doubt that including some kind of character or moral education in addition to strict academics positively influences students. The question then is not if we should include discussion and education of morality in schools, but how.
Teach Positive Behaviors. One of the first ways that you, as an educator, bring moral education into your classroom is by directly speaking about positive behaviors. Sometimes we assume that students know the correct, moral thing to do in any given moment. But do not allow this assumption to cause you to overlook the opportunity to make “Teachable moments” out of situations in your classroom. Openly share with students what the “right” thing to do is, and engage them in a discussion that challenges them to evaluate for themselves what seems the most appropriate course of action.
Be a Role Model. It’s not just what you say; it’s what you do that counts. As one of the few adults in the life of a child, it’s important that you use your conduct to model for students what an ethical professional looks like. Make sure that you do the right thing and conduct yourself along the highest moral standards. Judge fairly, practice honesty and respect, share, demonstrate responsibility, and allow students to see how you embody these characteristics in and out of the classroom.
Connect It to Your Content. Sometimes learning certain content is straightforward learning. But look for those opportunities where aspects of your content raise the moral question or connect to character issues. Students enjoy being challenged to think critically about themselves, and connecting ethical discussions to your content both reinforces their content knowledge and their characters.
Talk with Parents. Your students are important to you, but you are not the sole adult interested in your students’ moral development. Share your aspirations of your students’ characters with parents, converse with parents about how students are doing academically and ethically, and always make sure you allow parents to remain in the driver’s seat of their children’s character development.
So how can we teach morality in the CCD classroom? Here is a lesson plan I did for middle to high school students. Both are in MS Word and can be changed any way you like according to your student’s abilities.
It is a good idea to have a Catechist Handbook to acquaint volunteer catechists with the policies and procedures in the Religious Formation Program. The Catechist Handbook will clearly define what the responsibilities are for the catechist and the procedures that they are to follow.
Mission Statement- Is a brief description of the overall purpose of the CCD program.
Goals- How the CCD program will accomplish and improve student performance.
Qualities of Catechists- What character traits the catechist should have.
Job Description- Responsibilities, Length of Commitment, Who you are accountable to, etc.
Code of Conduct- A code of professional conduct is a necessary component to any profession to maintain standards for the individuals within that profession to adhere. It brings about accountability, responsibility and trust to the individuals that the profession serves.
Absenteeism- Procedures to follow when catechists are going to be absent.
Classroom Policies & Procedures- Admission, Arrival/Dismissal, Attendance, Class Assignment, Child Care, Class Location, Class Size, Class Structure & Management, Classroom Use, Communication, Confirmation, Curriculum, Discipline, Dress Code, Early Dismissal, Emergency Procedures, Field Trips, First Communion, First Reconciliation/Penance, Food & Drinks, Grading, Homework, Inclement Weather, Inservice Training, Lesson Planning, Lost Books, Meetings, Participation at Sunday Mass, Records & Privacy, Registration, Report Cards/Progress Reports, Resources/Equipment/Supplies, RCIA for Children, Sacramental Preparation, Safety, Set Up/Clean Up, Student Supervision, Students with Special Needs, Tardiness, Tests, Visitors, Miscellaneous Forms/Lists, etc.
*In the back of the handbook, on a separate piece of paper that is to be given to the DRE:
Signature of Catechist and Date- I have received and reviewed the Catechist Handbook and the Parent/Student Handbook for the Religious Education Program. I understand the policies, rules and regulations stated therein and agree to abide by them.
*What else could be in the Catechist Handbook? Please leave a comment and add to the list.
The Catholic Toolbox- Make your own Spanish handwriting sheets/copy work. To learn various prayers, liturgical objects used in Mass, and other church activities, having the students write it down is a good way for them to remember. Here are a few of my favorite handwriting worksheet makers that are FREE so you can make personalized handwriting worksheets (print or cursive) for your students.
catholickidsbulletin.blogspot.com- Catholic Kids Bulletin in English and Spanish. 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.
sermons4kids.com- Click on Mensajes para ninos. There you will find Spanish object lessons with coloring pages, puzzles, worship bulletins, etc.
calvarycurriculum.com- Old and New Testament coloring pages, fill in the blanks, true or false, circle the correct word, puzzles, etc. in Spanish.
pflfaumweeklies.com- Four times during the school year, Pflaum Gospel Weeklies provides three ready-to-print activities for each level; Seeds (Preschool), Promise (Grades K-1), Good News (Grades 2-3), Venture (Grades 4-6) and Visions (Grades 7-8). Plus each season special features for the entire family. Free Spanish activities available.
go.sadlier.com- Advent Blooms Activity
Download a printable primary activity that encourages children to help other people see God’s love during the season of Advent. Download available in English and Spanish
go.sadlier.com- Living Out Lent Activity
Teach children that Lent is the season of preparation for Easter with an interactive activity that allows students to:
• Brainstorm things they can do to make Lent a time of simple living
• Focus on God and the needs of others
• Determine activities they will "live out” daily and weekly
Download available in English and Spanish
catholicicing.com- Printable Lenten Calendar for Kids
Blank printable to translate in any language
The Catholic Toolbox- Worksheet/Puzzle/Quiz Makers. Need to make a Spanish worksheet for your students? Well, here are a few of my favorite worksheet generators/makers that are online that are free and easy to use that you might like.
Before a person can volunteer to help in the religious education at your parish, they must fill out and sign a Volunteer Form. By having prospective volunteers fill out this form it will let them know what help is needed and what the responsibilities are for that particular job. It can also inform them what is required to be able volunteer at the parish.
*Some parishes require each family to participate in one of the activities listed below.
Suggestions of what can be included in your volunteer form:
It has been a long tradition at __________ that our parish family has offered their time and talents. It is through caring, sharing, and praying, that our community has grown in love and support of one another. The CCD Program could not exist if it were not for the efforts of our volunteers. In response to this need, we ask you to volunteer.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL volunteers must have the following two requirements done prior to the start of CCD: (Please check box next to statement if already completed.)
• Background check & fingerprinting
• Training Seminar- guidelines, policies, curriculum, lesson plans, discipline/classroom management, preparation, report cards/progress reports, etc. (for catechists, co-catechists, substitute catechist, aide, and special needs teacher, aide or companion)
• Catechist Certification (attach copy of certification)
• Previous teaching experience (attach information of previous teaching experience)
Please check what you are interested in.
• Catechist- You agree to teach once a week from (date) to (date). You will plan & teach weekly classes, attend catechist in-services and meetings as assigned by the DRE. You will be trained and provided with opportunities for personal Spiritual growth. There will be 2 teachers in a classroom unless you prefer to teach alone.
Do you want your child placed in your class?
Grade Preference- (also include day and time)
Who you like to teach with-
• Co-Catechist- You agree to teach once a week from (date) to (date). You will assist the lead teacher in weekly planning & teaching, fill the lead role as necessary, attend catechist in services and meetings as assigned by the DRE.
• Substitute Catechist- Fill in for Teachers or Aides when needed. Scheduled to be in office at least once per month.
• Aide- Assist the catechist in the classroom as needed; possibly fill in as lead teacher if able.
• Grade Level Coordinator- As members of the Religious Education Advisory Board, these coordinators represent their grade level and conduct sessions at staff meetings.
• Special Needs Teacher, Aide or Companion- (Circle one.) To teach or help with students with special needs.
• Activity Coordinator- Plan & attend large group activities 3-4 times per year. (Specify activities.)
• Librarian- The librarian will check-in and checkout books from the library (days and time library opened). The librarian will also shelve books and keep track of our resources. Scheduled at least once per month.
• Web Site Programmer- Periodically the CCD section of the parish web site needs to be updated. Basic knowledge of HTML programming and a willingness to collaborate with the Web Team are necessary.
• Hall Monitor- Help provide security in the building while classes are in session. Scheduled at least once per month.
• Child Care- Help watch the teacher’s children during class in the Child Care Room (days and times Child Care Room is open). Scheduled at least once per month.
• Clerical Help- Provide clerical help in the Religious Ed office while your child is in class. Scheduled at least once per month.
• Refreshment Committee- Provide refreshments for various meetings or celebrations of the Religious Education Program.
• Parking Lot Director- Help direct cars during CCD pick-up and drop off. Scheduled at least once per month.
Please Note: If you are volunteering during CCD classes your children can receive babysitting by the Religious Ed Child Care.
To establish what the responsibilities are for the CCD student and the parent(s) it is a good idea to have a CCD Program Parent/Student Handbook. The handbook can specify the rules and regulations that the students and parent(s) must follow so there will be no misunderstandings. Having a handbook allows the CCD program to run smoothly and without any problems. It can also inform how the CCD program plans to educate your child and answer many questions that the parents might have.
A CCD Program Parent/Student Handbook may consist of:
Mission Statement- Is a brief description of the overall purpose of the CCD program.
Philosophy- Why the CCD program exists, how the program will meet the needs of the students, the objectives, methods, and the results of the CCD program.
Statement of Goals- How the CCD program will accomplish and improve student performance.
Contact Information/Telephone Numbers- Office, DRE, etc. and their hours.
CCD Class Schedule- Days and times of all student classes, schedule of CCD classes for the year, etc.
Curriculum- What curriculum the CCD program uses and for what grades/classes.
Policies- Admission, Arrival/Dismissal, Attendance, Class Assignment, Class Size, Communications w/ Parents & Catechists, Confirmation, Discipline, Dress Code, Early Dismissal, Emergency Procedures, Field Trips, First Communion, First Reconciliation/Penance, Food & Drinks, Grading, Homework, Inclement Weather, Lost Book, Participation at Sunday Mass, Records & Privacy, Registration, Report Cards/Progress Reports, RCIA for Children, Sacramental Preparation, Students with Special Needs, Tardiness, Tests, Visitors, etc.
*In the back of the handbook, on a separate piece of paper that is to be given to the DRE:
Before your child can attend the CCD program this must be signed and dated by the parent(s) and child and returned to the DRE.
Signature of Parent(s) and child with date- I have read the information contained in the CCD Parent/Student Handbook and I agree to abide by its contents.
*What else could be in the CCD Program Parent/Student Handbook? Please leave a comment and add to the list.
All activities, games, information, etc. on this blog 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. Reproduction or retransmission of any materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, is not permitted.
Please do not link directly to any activity or game using its URL (the unique address for a file that is accessible on the Internet). You are always welcome to link to the specific post. Please take a moment to leave a comment and link back. We would love to see your blog or website! Thank you! :)
All graphics/images/clipart etc. used on the activities or games are not my own and are from various internet sources.
The information that is posted on this blog is general information. It is not intended to substitute for obtaining advice from your church or DRE. It is for informational and educational purposes only.
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