Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gospel Reflection- Answering God's call

This week I am going to show the students how the readings are chosen to compliment the gospel. The first reading (1 Samuel 3:3b-10,19) is the familiar story about God calling Samuel  while he is asleep. The gospel reading(John 1:35-42) this week talks about the call of the first disciples. I am going to have the students read these on their own and see if they can figure out how they are similar. During Religion class we have been learning about the Corporal Works of Mercy. What a great tie in to what God is calling us to do as Catholics today. The students created beautiful collages to represent each of the actions. They were asked to show them in pictures and words. Here is a wonderful example:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

St. Francis de Sales and Selena Gomez

I know what you're thinking, St. Francis de Sales and Selena Gomez seem like an unlikely pair, but leave it to 10 year olds to find a connection. Each month in my classroom, the students who have birthdays get together and choose a saint for us to study. This month we are learning about St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622). He was a bishop who lived in France. To read a short biography go to  After giving my students a brief overview of his life I decided to focus on a quote of his that I had read :  "Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly." Wow, what powerful words to live by! I divided the kids into groups and had them brainstorm what that quote means to them and then they wrote it on a dry erase board. Amazingly one group came up and said that they had put their quote to music and wanted to sing it for me. "Do not wish upon a star to be anybody else, na na na na na na na na na." They were using the Selena Gomez tune, Who Says! Basically the message of that song is the same one that St. Fraincis was trying to convey all those years ago. After each group was finished, I took their picture with them holding their quote and I'm going to make a bulleting board with their wonderful ideas. Here is my favorite quote:
Hope this will inspire you to learn more about St. Francis de Sales!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Focus on the Gospel- Epiphany

Happy New Year! This first week of 2012 is the beginning of my blog, Catholic Classroom. It is my hope that I can help other Catholic school teachers and homeschoolers make real connections to their faith and share ideas. Each week I hope to write about how I plan to reflect on the Gospel reading for Sunday with my students. I have found this practice has really enhanced my own experience at mass on Sunday and hopefully my students as well. Whether you have time to quickly read the Gospel together or have time to make some real life connections, I hope that what I do will help you find the time in your busy school schedules. Along the way I will add other great teaching ideas that I incorporate in my classroom.
This Sunday, January 8th, the Gospel reading comes from Matthew 2:1-12. We will celebrate the Epiphany. I plan to begin the lesson by asking my students what "epiphany" means and  make a graphic organizer on the smart board of their ideas. I usually do this on Friday so that it's fresh in their minds for mass. However, this semester I am going to try and pick one word to talk about earlier in the week just to peak their interest for what is to come. After we reading and discussing the Gospel, I will have a wrapped box in my prayer corner. Each student will have an index card and they will write what "gifts" (kind words and actions) they can bring to Jesus this week. Since I am also the English teacher, I plan to have my students do a journal writing activity as if they were one of the wisemen who had just returned to their own country after seeing the baby Jesus.
Have a wonderful week!