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Archive for September, 2010

We had our first real class session last night, and, to be honest, it did not go very well. The students are extremely “chatty,” and there are a bunch of them. New enrollees yesterday brought the class total to 24 – in a room with only 17 desks. (We’re going to have to do something about that.)

Parents can help me by:

1.) Discussing with your child the importance of appropriate behavior for CCD class. Specifically, they should stop talking when asked, and/or when others (like myself) are talking.

2.) Getting your child to class on time. Last night, we had a seemingly constant stream of students who wandered in after the door was closed and we had begun. They all needed to be instructed to get their book find a seat, etc.  The interruptions definitely make it difficult to maintain continuity.

Eventually, we started into the lesson on the biblical story of creation and what it means to us today. The textbook has an abridged, plain English, version of the first chapter of Genesis. We read that and talked about it. We especially focused on the difference between this account and what the students have learned or will learn in their science classes. We pointed out that some people do believe in the absolute literal version of Genesis, but that most people do not. As Catholics, we are not required to believe that Genesis is the literal and only acceptable account of Creation.

We described how the first five books of the Bible were supposedly written by Moses in approximately 1,400 BCE for a people who were mostly illiterate nomadic shepherds. They had no concept of the solar system, the “Big Bang,” or anything remotely close. We also showed the ancient Hebrew concept of the world (below). They believed the world to be like one of those “snow domes” with a flat surface and an overhead dome. We discussed the obvious differences between that picture and what we know the Universe to be today.

The Hebrew concept of the world

With that in mind, we probed the students to try to justify the two different stories of the same series of events. We pointed out that Genesis says that God created the world and everything that is in it, but is a little vague on exactly how he did it. We also told them that the “days” in Genesis should be thought of as time periods, not necessarily 24 hour days.  The answer to the dilemma of the two versions is this.

Genesis says that God created the world; modern science tells us how he did it.

This may sound an awfully lot like “intelligent design,” and I guess it is. However, please remember, we are teaching religion, not public school science. We also talked about why they would not hear about this in a public school.

We emphasized to the students that there are a few key messages they should get from Genesis.

1. God created the world and everything that is in it.

2. Everything God created is good.

3. It is our responsibility to care for God’s gifts of Creation.

There will be a substitute teacher on hand next week, so there probably will not be a blog posting. I’ll be back in two weeks.

By the way, we will NOT be doing an All Saints Day program at the end of October. Please note the change in plans.

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Hello, parents!

This blog is primarily intended for CCD parents, although students are welcome to check in.

I am looking forward to teaching your child’s CCD class on Wednesday evenings.

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.

I do not anticipate assigning any homework in the traditional sense. I may ask the children to read something during the week or to discuss something with you and your family. I appreciate your support.

Our 5th grade class will be responsible for producing one program for an assembly of all the CCD classes. This will be an All Saints Day program which we will present on October 27. I am going to ask each student to pick their favorite saint, or one they find interesting. They should research the saint and then prepare and deliver a short (1-2 minutes) first-person story about the saint. (“I am St. Peter. I was a fisherman before Jesus came to find me on the Sea of Galilee…etc.) Costumes are encouraged! We will be talking about this a lot over the next few weeks, but I just want to give you a “heads up.”

Please understand I 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 to real-life events in your child’s life (death in the family, divorce, etc.) If there is something I should know in order to be appropriately sensitive, please tell me.

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.)

You are most welcome to sit-in on the class at any time.

I hope you will stay abreast of what’s happening with your child on Wednesday evenings. To help you do so (and for the second year), I have created this blog to help you stay up-to-date. I will try to keep it updated on a weekly basis with reports on the class activity and announcements. Take a moment to bookmark it so you cn find it again.

I will leave the full rundown of last year’s class is here on this site, so if you would like to get an idea of what is ahead, you can look backwards and see.

Feel free to contact me for any reason.

Home: 898-9448

Office: 598-2325

Cell: 484-2622

savannahmike1130@gmail.com

Here’s hoping we have a great year!

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