Archive for September, 2009

Mike writes on Thursday evening:

Sorry for the abrupt post last night.  Unexpectedly, I have some computer/internet access, so here is an update on last night’s class.

This is a good group of students. Once we got them engaged in the night’s lesson, they were active and enthusiastic. (We like enthusiasm.) It generally gets better each week for the first few weeks as they get to know us and vice versa.

Since it is only the second class, we did go over the class rules one more time, with an emphais on being polite.  We were impressed that most of the students really remembered Rule #3 “Don’t be a jerk.”

We covered some of the first chapter of the textbook, which is a very broad overview of the Catholic liturgy. We had the students complete a liturgy IQ quiz on page 7 . (I believe that is the page.  I don’t have a book with me right now.) Then we went through all the questions and talked about them. Most were very surprised that someone other than a priest could perform a baptism. One student had an excellent question. “Do you know anyone who has received all seven sacraments?” Actually, I think I do and we talked about that.

Next week, we may pick up the last couple of pages of that chapter. It covers the church year. We may go straight on to the next chapter, that deals with the creation story in Genesis.  We may play that by ear.

Each family should have received a hand out regarding an upcoming program on protecting children that will be taught in  CCD. The information packet should have gone home with the oldest child in each family. If you didn’t receive it, please check with your son or daughter. Or give Paula a call at the church to make sure you get a copy.

We also sent home a photocopied sacramental history questionaire with your child.  If you haven’t had the chance to go over this with him/her, please take a moment to do so. Please note: this is for their “self awareness.”  It is not for our records. We would like for them to bring it back to class next week so they can keep it in their workbook.

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Class #2 Sept. 23

Good class tonight. Don’t have time for a long entry tonight and I’ll be off the grid for a couple of days. I’ll post again by Monday. Thanks for the patience.

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Mike writes:

We had a good first class last night. It looks like we have about 16 students. We mostly took care of “housekeeping” details. Mrs. Worthington and I introduced our selves to the class and went over our goals and expectations. (If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet us in person, please take a glance at the “About” tab at the top of this page.) We went over the class rules (See the first entry in this blog.) and what they should do when they arrive in class each week. They should locate their work book and a pen and take them to their seat.

We issued them two sets of text/work books. The first is brand new and unmarked. They will  stay in the classroom for  use each week. The second book (same edition) is a used book from last year’s class.  We sent the used books home with them. You and your children may use them for reference between classes. They do NOT need to be returned.

We didn’t have a chance to clean out the old books before last night’s class, so some of them had papers, like some of last year’s hand-outs, still in them. We will issue fresh versions of these handouts this year. There is no need to save the old ones.

We asked each of our students to fill out a short information form which included their parents’ name(s) and phone number(s). We took a digital photo of each student. Mrs. Worthington and I will use a photo “cheat sheet” to help us to quickly memorize the names of all the students — we hope. Each student also stood up and introduced themselves to the teachers and their fellow students.

We issued each student a single sheet with the key prayers we use in class, the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Apostle’s Creed and the Act of Contrition. I have posted those prayers under the tab at the top of this page for your reference and use at home as appropriate.

We did send home one small “homework” assignment, if you could call it that. On page 10 of their book is a personal information form focusing on the child’s sacramental experience. Please take a moment to help your child fill this out. They can cut out the page and bring it to class next week. Please note – the purpose of the exercise is to improve the child’s self-awareness of their faith.  This is not something that we will collect and save.

From time to time, we will have a fifth grader in our class who, for whatever reason, has not received the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. I asked the class if they have received these sacraments and all indicated they had. In event one of the students was just too shy to speak out, please let me know. It’s not a big deal as it pertains to our class, but if we know a child has not received the sacraments yet, we can accommodate for that.

One student asked us a quiz game last night. I pointed out that we really needed to teach them something before we could quiz them on what they had learned.  However, bending to pressure, we tossed them a softball.

Question: “Who was the first Pope?”

Collective response: “Ahhhh…..”

They were astounded when we told them it was the name of the church they attended. (Of course one child pointed out that he didn’t go to this church. Oh well.) We do have room for progress. Yes!

The carpool pick-up process actually went a little better than we had expected for the first night. We do try to move everyone through quickly, but please remember our #1 concern is the safety of the children.

Next week, we will start with the first lesson in the textbook.

We’ll see your children next week!

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Mike writes:

We’ll have our first official class of the year tomorrow evening at 630 pm. We’re looking forward to it. In the first meeting, we’ll take some pictures  of the kids so  Susan and I can learn to connect names and faces quickly. When we started this in 2005, we used name tags. However, since we see the children for less than an hour, just once a week, it was nearly Christmas before we could dispense with the name tags. A “cheat sheet” with photos and names on it works much better.

We’ll also ask them to fill out a brief information form for contact information and a little background info.

We may actually get started on the first lesson, but we’ll play that by ear.

See ya tomorrow!

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Mike and I are excited and looking forward to having a great year. We encourage you to have discussion with your child about the Catholic church and beliefs. At this age children are a sponge.

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We are looking forward to teaching your child’s CCD class on Wednesday evenings. Our teaching team consists of Mike Sullivan and Susan Worthington. Please see our background and contact information in the “About” section of this blog.

The 5th grade curriculum will focus on the liturgy and the sacraments. We will work our way though the sacraments, the liturgical year, the Beatitudes and many other subjects. While we have some material to cover, including some memorization, we also hope to make the short time we will spend together rewarding and enjoyable for your child.  It has been our experience that, when they get going, 5th graders and full of interesting questions. If it has anything remotely related to God, the Church, religion, or living, we will talk about it.

We do not anticipate assigning any homework in the traditional sense. We have some books left over from last year’s class. We will be sending them home with the students. We will have a fresh set to use in class, so the used books are yours to keep and refer to as appropriate.  We may ask the children to read something during the week or to discuss something with you and your family. We appreciate your support. Please understand we will have your child for less than an hour just once a week. You can do several things to help us make this a productive experience for your son or daughter.

  • Ask your child if we have given them a task to do during the week and assist them with it.
  • Please have your child to the school before 6:30 p.m.
  • Please support us and encourage your child to come to CCD class willingly and with enthusiasm.
  • As we will be covering the sacraments, including matrimony and anointing of the sick, our class discussion may easily come in close contact real-life events in your child’s life (death in the family, divorce, etc.) If there is something we should know in order to be appropriately sensitive, please tell us.
  • Check with this blog from time to time.  We will try to update it at least on a weekly basis.

We have only three class-rules, and we hope you will help us reinforce these to your children.

1. Show up.

2. Participate

3. Don’t be a “jerk.”

(You might be surprised how well 5th graders understand Rule #3. It almost never requires any further explanation.)

Please feel free to contact us for any reason.  Our contact information is in the “About” section of this blog.

You are also most welcome to sit in on the class at any time. (If you want to bring home-baked cookies, so much the better.)

Here’s hoping we have a great year!

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