Monday, August 28, 2017

Sweeter than Honey Psalm Coloring Pages {September}


The big idea of our Sweeter than Honey CCD theme this year is to encourage the kids to know and memorize Scripture, specifically the Psalms, so that they know that God's promises are so sweet.

Each month, I'll share a set of coloring pages, one for each Sunday, featuring the Psalm from Sunday Mass.  Using special fonts and simple decorations, they are meant to be a quick addition to your weekly class as an aide to memorizing the Responsorial Psalm.  Add it to your opening and closing prayer, give the students a few minutes to color it during class, and send it home to be hung up on the fridge or bathroom mirror.

Here are the coloring pages for the four Sundays of September:




 Click here for the full size Psalm coloring pages for September:


Click here for the half page size Psalm coloring pages for September:
(These fit perfectly inside the Scripture Book cover from this post)

I'll post coloring pages of the Psalms once a month, so stay tuned!  You can find the August Coloring Pages here. You might also like our Sweeter than Honey theme resources (folder covers, logo, signs, etc.), Sweeter than Honey theme decorations, and St. Abigail and St. Ambrose patron Saint coloring pages.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Saints for all the Smarts {The Multiple Intelligences in Religious Education}


As we start the school year, one of the first activities my students and I will do together is this Smarts Survey, both so that I can get to know them and also so they can see and celebrate their strengths.  I am excited to put more ideas into practice about the Multiple Intelligence theory in my faith instruction, especially as we learn about the Mass and the Sacraments.

Because we all relate to those that are similar to us, I thought it would be fun to have a list of Saints to match the multiple intelligences.  We are blessed to have so many holy people to follow in the footsteps of, and even as I am publishing this post more and more Saints are coming to mind.  Many of them could have easily fallen under several categories, but I chose one intelligence where I thought they shined.  There are Saints from various eras as well as at least one person from the New Testament.  Hopefully your students can find Saints that help them celebrate their strengths and guide them in their weaknesses.

(If I have corresponding activities for one of the listed Saints, a link is provided in purple.)

Picture Smart Kids (Visual-Spatial Intelligence)
St. Catherine of Bologna is one patron Saint of artists– she was a painter, musician and writer. Some of the talented art she created can still be seen in museums in Italy. An illuminated manuscript created by her was once owned by Pope Pius IX.
Other Patrons:
-St. Veronica- woman celebrated in the Stations of the Cross for receiving the image of Jesus's face when she offered Him her veil as He carried the cross
-St. Luke- traditionally said to have painted the first icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary
-St. Lucy- patron Saint of eyes and vision
-St. Clare of Assisi- while sick in bed, received a vision of Mass on her cell wall, making her the patron Saint of television
-Bl. Fra Angelico- Italian friar and painter from the Renaissance era known for his paintings of the life of Christ and of the Saints

Word Smart Kids (Linguistic Intelligence)
St. Catherine of Siena was technically illiterate, making it even more amazing that her fiery letters helped the Pope make decisions. Her autobiography “The Dialogue” records conversations she had with God.
Other Patrons: 
-St. Paul- his speeches and letters were (and are) responsible for spreading Christianity around the world
-St. Bernadine of Siena- popular preacher from the 15th Century
-St. Francis de Sales- patron of journalists because he is known as one of the first to write and print religious tracks to share Christianity with people he met
-St. Augustine-author of one of the world's most famous autobiographies
-Ven. Fulton Sheen- spent his life speaking and writing about Christ, as evidenced by his radio and television shows and dozens of books
-St. John Chrysostom- his name literally means "golden mouth" describing his ability to teach about the faith

Body Smart Kids (Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence)
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati was a talented athlete and active young man who also used his time and energy to serve the poor and share his vibrant faith.
Other Patrons: 
-St. Thomas- so hands on that he needed to touch Christ to believe in the Resurrection
-St. Sebastian- martyred by archers, patron Saint of athletes
-St. Genesius of Rome-comedian and actor who wrote and acted in a play mocking Christianity, and then experienced a conversion during that very play.  He was baptized and promptly martyred
-St. Julia of Carthage- early Christian martyr and patron Saint of hands

People Smart Kids (Interpersonal Intelligence)
St. Teresa of Calcutta spent her life serving the poorest of the poor, and also traveled the world meeting all kinds of people, sharing the message of her faith and helping others.
Other Patrons: 
-St. Peter- after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter boldly proclaimed his faith in Christ to anyone and everyone he met
-St. Padre Pio- known for reading hearts, Padre Pio knew people and how to minister to them
-St. Maximilian Kolbe- reached thousands of people through his writing in pre WWII Poland, and then impacted more with his act of sacrifice saving another prisoner in Auschwitz 
-St. John the Baptist- without care for consequences, John spoke about about the coming Kingdom and drew scores of followers
-St. Frances Xavier Cabrini- she traveled across the ocean to minister to American immigrants, helping the people and their children keep their faith in a new place

Self Smart Kids (Intrapersonal Intelligence)
St. Therese of Lisieux’s “Little Way” shows a deep understanding of the interior life that Self Smart Kids will be able identify with. She led a simple life that centered around love and service of God and others.
Other Patrons: 
-The Blessed Virgin Mary- as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mary is intimately connected to the life of the Trinity
-St. Joseph- with no recorded words in Scripture, Joseph's interior life helped him listen and respond to the promptings of God as he led the Holy Family
-St. Gemma Galgani- deep prayer life and mystical experiences in the midst of physical suffering
-St. Faustina- known for her visions of the Divine Mercy of Jesus
-St. Teresa of Avila- her teachings on mental prayer and mystical experiences are among the reasons she was named a Doctor of the Church

Music Smart Kids (Musical Intelligence)
St. Gregory the Great is remembered for reforming the musical liturgy of the Mass and for traditional Gregorian Chant. Among his many writings were original song lyrics and poems.
Other Patrons:
-St. John the Apostle- recorded heavenly hymns and liturgy in the Book of Revelation
-St. Cecilia- patron Saint of music, known for "singing to Jesus in her heart" when pagan music was played at her wedding to a non-Christian husband 
-Bl. Solanus Casey- played the violin
-St. Rose of Lima- often pictured singing while playing a guitar
-Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich- played the organ

Nature Smart Kids (Natural Intelligence)
St. John Paul II loved the outdoors. He was known for hiking, skiing, and camping trips, often using that time in nature to teach and pray with others.
Other Patrons: 
-St. James the Greater- he was a fisherman before being called as an Apostle
-St. Kateri Tekakwitha- the first Native American to be canonized
-St. Francis of Assisi-patron saint of the outdoors and animals
-St. Isidore the Farmer- angels did his plowing so that he could attend Mass

Number Smart Kids (Logical/Mathematical Intelligence)
St. Thomas Aquinas is one of the greatest minds of the Church, so it is no surprise that he is a great patron for kids who love math and logic. His great mind is an inspiration to all.
Other Patrons:
-St. Matthew- tax collector before being called as an Apostle
-St. Hubert- a patron Saint of mathematicians
-St. Albert the Great- well educated with wide interests, including math, logic, and science

Click here for a printable handout with all the suggested Patron Saints for the different intelligences:


Who are some of your favorite Saints?  Which of the multiple intelligences do you think are their strengths?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Watercolor Bookshelf Printable


Ever since I started writing Katie Reads posts, I've been challenge to read more and to read wider.  I'm so glad for all the book recommendations and conversations that those posts have created, as well as the accountability to make time for reading.

On a lazy summer day a couple months ago, my sister and I broke out her watercolors during nap time, and on a whim I made this cute little bookshelf.   Before I taped it in my new planner, (fyi, The Catholic Planner, which I love!) I scanned it so I could print and use it again... and so I could share it with you!  I've already added the books that I've read in 2017, and plan to keep writing them in.  We'll see how full I can get the shelves, and then I probably will print a new one and keep track of what I read in 2018.  Considering I've been a list maker and book hoarder my whole life, I can't believe it took me this long to start making book lists.

If you'd like to use this watercolor bookshelf for you or your students, I have it available in two sizes below.  This little printable would be a fun addition to your planner or bullet journal, or would work great for a middle schooler's notebooking project.

Click here to print the large (full page) bookshelf:
 Click here to print the small (two per page) watercolor bookshelves:
Happy Reading!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Our 100 Year Old Family Baptismal Gown




Father, you give us grace through sacramental signs,
which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power.
In baptism we use your gift of water,
which you have made a rich symbol of the grace
you give us in this sacrament.
At the very dawn of creation 
your Spirit breathed on the waters,
making them the wellspring of all holiness.
The waters of the great flood
you made a sign of the waters of baptism,
that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness.
Through the waters of the Red Sea
you led Israel out of slavery,
to be an image of God’s holy people,
set free from sin by baptism.
In the waters of the Jordan
your Son was baptized by John
and anointed with the Spirit.
Your Son willed that water and blood
should flow from his side as he hung upon the cross.
After his resurrection he told his disciples:
“Go out and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Father,
look now with love upon your Church,
and unseal for her the fountain of baptism.
By the power of the Spirit
give to the water of this font the grace of your Son
so that in the sacrament of baptism 
all those whom you have created in your likeness
may be cleansed from sin
and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit.
(Blessing of water from the Baptismal Rite)


Thirty-two years ago on August 11th, my parents and godparents brought  me to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church to the waters of Baptism.  So many things were special about that day when I was welcomed into the Church and washed clean of Original Sin, but probably the most memorable was the Baptismal Gown that I wore.

It is a family heirloom that now is at least 100 years old.  This Baptismal Gown has been passed down through the generations, but there isn't a good "record" or set of pictures to preserve exactly who has worn it.  We know it was worn by my grandfather in 1917, my dad and his siblings in 1946-1953, and my sisters and I in 1985-1990.

Last summer, it was worn by my adorable nephew, making him the fourth generation to wear the same baptismal garment.

As we prepared for his Baptism, there was a lot of talk among the family about who had actually worn the gown.  My grandparents have passed away, but one of my aunts thought that the gown might actually be older and worn by more people.  I scoured family photographs, but with no one left to ask, we can only be assured of the people we already knew.   

My sister came up with a brilliant idea to change that for the future.  She asked if we could embroider the names of those baptized in the gown in white along the bottom of the garment.  We checked with other family members and everyone loved the idea, so I sat down and in tiny white cursive, added stitching with each name and year that we know the gown was worn.  

The gown already had rows of embroidery along the bottom, so I just followed the rows and added in each generation starting with my grandfather and ending with my nephew.  Up close, you can read the information, but from a distance or in actual pictures when a baby is wearing the gown, it just blends in with the other rows of embroidery.

As a history lover, a genealogy nerd, and daughter of the Church, I love that we not only have this heirloom but have also preserved the story of what it means to my family.  There is plenty of room for more names, so I look forward to adding many more babies as our family grows.

Does your family have a special Baptismal Gown?  Or a tradition about each Baptismal garment?  I have heard of gowns being made from wedding dresses, using a new garment for each child so they can keep it in their family when they are grown, or gowns like ours being passed down through generations.  What is your Baptismal Gown story?  I'd love to hear more about how other families mark the reception of this first Sacrament.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sweeter Than Honey Decoration Ideas

It's not every teachers' favorite part of back-to-school, but I really do love decorating my classroom and hallways to make them a welcoming and fun place to learn.  I finished up my decorations for the CCD hallway at church yesterday, and since so many of you have emailed me about using the Sweeter than Honey theme, I thought I'd share a few ideas with you!
(This post contains some affliliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I earn a small percentage at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for supporting my little blog!)

The bulletin board above is the main focal point of our CCD hallway.  The shelf below will feature stories from different children's Bibles, and books and coloring pages will also be available on the shelves for kids to take. The "Sweeter than Honey" letters are available for you to print at the bottom of the post.  I printed them on yellow and cut out loosely around the letters.  The St. Abigail and St. Ambrose patron Saint info pages can be found here and the cuuuuuute bee cut outs were an easy addition.  I used yellow paper lanterns in different sizes to mimic hives, and I think they are my favorite part of the display!  The honeycomb border is from Dollar Tree, and I can't find it on their site to link for you, but this one is cute too!  You also could print and cut my honeycomb printables and use them as a free border!

I've found a system that works well for our door signs: a 12x18" piece of construction paper, a grade level sign (you can print these here), border on the top and bottom (from Dollar Tree), and kids' names on cut outs like these. Bigger classes have more names stuck on the rest of the door.  Fast, easy, and cute!

Here's the bulletin board at the top of the stairs that will be used to display work as the year starts.  It has the same border and bee cut out.  Did I mention that I cover bulletin boards with plastic table cloths? Buying the big rolls of bulletin board paper is not in our CCD budget, so this is an economical way to keep the bulletin boards looking fresh.  I do tend to spring for the heavier weight table cloths- the dollar store version are more transparent and rip easily.  I've used plastic table cloths to make fabric-like buntings for a fraction of the cost, and even a display mimicking Mary's veil.  The possibilities are endless for only a few dollars!

A double wide staircase leads to our CCD classrooms, so I always try to decorate it to both tie in the theme and to make it welcoming.  This year I printed the Psalm coloring pages we will be using each week to memorize God's sweet Word (you can print August's verses here) and with extra bees from the classroom doors.

I also added a banner with the theme verse across the top of the doorway, which you can see in the picture below.  Now that the decorating is done, I need to wrap up all the registration paperwork and scheduling, and we'll be ready for kids in a few weeks!

Click here to print the Sweeter than Honey bulletin board letters:

Click here for printables like room signs, folder covers, and Sweeter than Honey verse coloring pages:

Click here for printable coloring pages about our patron Saints St. Abigail and St. Ambrose:

Click here to print August's Sweeter than Honey Psalm coloring pages:

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Smarts Survey {The Multiple Intelligences in Religious Education}


I love taking personality tests to help me get to know myself and other people better.  There are many quizzes related to the Multiple Intelligence theory (I added some on this Pinterest board) and I think it's interesting that no matter the quiz, I always have the highest scores in the same three areas- Visual, Intrapersonal, and Linguistic Intelligences.  Using a survey like this with students can be empowering for them and insightful for teachers.

As I have been writing and collecting ideas for this Multiple Intelligences series, I decided that it would be useful to have a quick quiz to use with students to help them see how they are smart.  This activity could be used as a tool for students to gain confidence in their talents and use those talents well.  It can also help us as teachers make the most of our students' strengths and ensure we are giving them opportunities to shine.


I created a simple Smarts Survey and matching radial graph that I plan to use with my own students the first week of school.  The survey has four questions for each of the eight intelligences and includes connections to our faith.  A few tips for using it in the classroom:
-As designed, I think it would be most effective with 4th graders and up.  You do have the opportunity to download and edit to make it more effectively fit your audience.  Just make sure to keep four total statements for each smart.
-Start the activity with an explanation that everyone is smart in their own way.  Talk about how God blesses each person He creates with unique and wonderful strengths.  There are no wrong answers on this survey or a certain number of spaces to color in, just a chance to get to know yourself a little better.
-Gather crayons, colored pencils, or markers in the eight colors used in the powerpoint.  (Again, you can edit this to suit your needs.)
-Post the slide for the first intelligence, have the students pick up a crayon that matches the color of the slide, and read the statements.  Show the kids how to color in one space on the radial graph starting from the center for each statement that matches their strengths.  If all four statements are true, color in all four pieces of that slice of the chart.
-Continue on with each intelligence until the chart is filled out.  Lead a discussion about strengths and talents, and use the 1 Corinthians verse posted on the last slide to remind the kids that God has made each member of His Church strong in different ways so that we can all work together.

There are many ways to use this idea in your classroom, especially as we are starting back to school.  Check out all of the resources posted below:

Click here to download the Smarts Survey Questions as a powerpoint or as a pdf:
-As a powerpoint, the fonts and formatting might not match my original presentation, but you can either download it or make a copy in Google Drive to edit.  You can change the fonts or other formatting, or even change the statements on each slide to better fit your group of students.
-As a pdf, the formatting will be correct but you won't be able to edit anything.  You can still use this for a presentation with your group by viewing it full screen one page at a time.

Click here for a printable Smarts Survey Chart that includes 1 Corinthians 12:4-7:

 Or click here for a printable Smarts Survey Chart without the Bible verse:
You might like this post about why I think the Multiple Intelligences have an important place in Christian classrooms:

And click here for how to use the Multiple Intelligences when teaching about the Mass: