Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes


Yes, I know this is a Christmas song.  I. Don't. Care.  I will see Marie Miller at the Behold Conference tomorrow, and this is my favorite song by her.  It was fun to see this video on tv this Christmas season and think that I "knew" her before she was big. I mean, I saw her at the Behold Conferences in 2011 and 2012- we are practically BFFs. I love her voice and her style and the instrumentals in her music.  She is seriously talented!
--- 2 ---
I'm sorry that I missed out on 7 Quick Takes last week.  My Thursday night writing slot was sadly interrupted by a visit to the ER.  You can blame that family member (hi mom!) and my 3 a.m. bedtime and 6 a.m. wake up call for not having seven random stories to brighten up your day.  My mom is probably the only one who was sad that I didn't post, so it all works out.  Don't worry, she is fine, and who doesn't love a good hospital visit when you are out of town, right? Yay for the ER!
Speaking of family, I have plugged my sister Stephanie's photography business a couple of times this month, so today I will plug my sister Emily's blog.  She is back after a too-long hiatus with three (three!) posts so far this week, all of which are eloquent and funny and making me miss her.  I loved this post that she wrote to answer the question, "What do you do all day?" in her role as a mostly-stay-at-home army wife.  Go visit her, and tell her I sent you.
Mo-vember was maybe a bad month for my brother-in-law.  Mo more mustaches, Luke.
--- 4 ---
On another (non-ER related) late night, I was having a hard time falling asleep even though I should have been in bed for hours.  I am a night owl through and through.  I was setting one of my three alarms for the morning (yes, I set three alarms.  Not three separate times on my phone.  I set multiple times on my phone.  On my ipod.  And on a normal alarm clock.  Because mornings are heinous.) when I was inspired to get a little creative.  While scrolling through a particular playlist and choosing songs that had great opening bars that might get me moving, I decided to coordinate the song, the time of morning, and a name for the alarm.  This is my sense of humor at about 2 in the morning.

5:14 a.m. The time I usually go back to sleep. The time at which I have to get up to make it to daily Mass.  
Title: "Makin' it to Mass! All the people say Amen!"
Song that plays: All the People Say Amen by Matt Maher.

5:50 a.m. The time that I have to get up to look like a put together human, eat breakfast, have a little prayer time, and start a productive day.
Title: "Time to do great things."
Song that plays: Great Things by Matt Maher.

6:15 a.m. The time that is the turning point of determining if I look normal or leave the house with mismatched shoes (it has happened) and have to drive with the windows down to dry my hair (also happened more than I care to admit.)
Title: "Blessed is the one who is well groomed."
Song that plays: Blessed is the One by Daniel Doss Band

6:30 a.m. The time that I have been getting up more often than not lately.
Title: "Jesus rose from the dead, you can rise from this bed."
Song that plays: Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford and Sons

6:42 a.m. The last call.
Title: "Only a miracle will get you there in time."
Song that plays: To the One by Harvest Bashta

I would really like to say that this creative technique has helped me to get up on time more often this week.
But it hasn't.

--- 5 ---
I had a personal-I'm-not-grading-papers-protest for about an hour one night this week.  I desperately needed to uncover my desk from stacks and stacks of papers.  I blame my students who decided that turning in homework was optional last week (or the whole month of February) and gave me everything on Monday.  Ugh.  So instead of digging out my desk, I productively procrastinated.  Are you familiar with the term?

pro-duc-tive [pruh-duhk-tiv] pro-cras-tin-a-tion [proh-kras-tuh-ney-shuhn]-noun- 
a task or series of tasks by which Katie delays necessary work which may or may not be time sensitive by occupying her hands and mind with an epic undertaking that will change life as we know it.

Or better known as Katie makes a craft.
Productive procrastination this week yielded me a new door decoration.  I have been meaning to decorate my "unused" second door for approximately 16 out of the 16 months that I have been teaching in this classroom.  It was critical to complete this week.
I do like how it turned out though.  All bright and cheery with an inspiring quote that goes along with our classroom curriculum and works the Pope in to boot.  Plus, he is just so cute with his little friendly wave, don't you think?

One of my students told me that I looked like a pistachio this week.  I am not quite sure what to make of that.

Are you praying the Fulton Sheen Novena for his canonization?  If not, you should be!  Also, if you are looking for a Lenten resolution that will add something to make you grow closer to God (instead of just taking something away), may I suggest reading Sheen's Life of Christ, with a goal of finishing it during Holy Week?  I did just that during last Lent somewhat accidentally, and it was so influential that I plan to start rereading it next Wednesday.  Watch for a post about that soon-mostly because Nancy at Reading Catholic is hosting a series and asked me to contribute.  Thanks, Nancy!

Happy Friday!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sacraments: Signs and Actions

As we cover the Seven Sacraments in my 5th grade class this year, we will be using this graphic organizer to summarize the key points of what we have been learning.  These notes fit the categories, CCC reference, minister, repetition, sign, and action of each Sacrament all on one page.

Click here for the printable:
You could use the notes in several ways with various levels of detail, but here is a (low quality) scan of my key, if it is of use to you:

Another great addition to our Sheen Notebook!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pray for Sheen's Canonization

Please join me in praying this novena starting today until March 6th for the intention of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen's canonization. 

You can read Msgr. Deptula's message here and find more information about the cause here.

Heavenly Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J Sheen. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.
If it be according to Your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Confirmation Facts Foldable

While working on developing an understanding of the Sacrament of Confirmation, my students and I created this easy foldable to record the most important info from our textbook.
We started with a sheet of red paper, short sides folded to the middle, and then cut horizontally so that there are four flaps in front.  To keep things simple, I had already created the "cover" with the four labels of areas we were going to summarize.
 We then all decided what needed to be recorded from our books about these topics:
  • The Sacrament of Confirmation
  • The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • The Signs and Symbols of Confirmation
  • The Celebration of Confirmation
Here are my notes, created with help from the kids:

 You can use the base of this foldable and then create your own need-to-know info by clicking on the image below.  This document is only the front side of the foldable.

You can use our notes as a whole and get the two sided document by clicking on this image:
This was a great addition to the Sacrament section of our notebook!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love Prayers

As I am teaching about the Theological Virtues this month, we are working in some practice with the Act of Faith, Act of Hope, and Act of Love prayers.  We are attaching them in our notebooks along with the virtue notes available in the links below. 

Click here for the Act of Faith Prayer printable:
 Click here for the Act of Hope Prayer printable:
 Click here for the Act of Love Prayer printable:
If you are working on teaching the virtues, you may want to check out these posts:
Printable Virtue Graphic Organizer
Notes on the Moral Virtues
Notes on the Theological Virtues
You are a Treasure in Clay- A classroom encouragement activity supporting growth in virtue
Coloring page with the symbols for faith, hope, and charity

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Bishop's Coat of Arms

As we continue to explore the seven Sacraments in my 5th grade class, we are currently studying the Sacrament of Vocation.  Last week we covered Holy Orders, with a special emphasis on what it means to be a Bishop.  (You can visit this post for the printable notes we used on both topics, as well as how we incorporated making origami miters!)

I would be remiss to not talk about Fulton Sheen's role as a Bishop during this portion of our study, so we also spent a class exploring Sheen's coat of arms.  The kids enjoyed figuring out that every symbol and color had specific meaning.

"Coat of Arms?" you may be wondering...You can read all about Ecclesiastical Heraldry here.

This was Sheen's coat of arms, and we were able to talk about the meaning of his Latin motto, the double barred cross signifying his role as an Archbishop, the dove and globe as a nod to the meaning of his name as well as a desire for peace in the world, etc.

Click here for a set of coloring notes with details about the meanings of the symbols on FJS's coat of arms:
(my info on the symbols was taken from a book that we use in our classroom called Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a Man for All Media.)

Click here for the plain coloring notes without the written details: (this would be if you just want the kids to color in the coat of arms, or if they will have to copy their own notes like mine did...because I am a big meanie)
I am going to use this as a springboard for an enrichment activity for some of my students.  After learning about the meaning of a bishop's coat of arms and specifically looking at Fulton Sheen's, I am going to send them on a quest to find the meaning behind our own Bishop's heraldry.  You could easily do the same, and have your students share what they find with their classmates.  It also would be interesting to look for similarities and differences them.  They could also think about what would be included on their own personal coat of arms if they were able to create one.  Lots of possibilities!

For example, here is where I will send my students to start researching Bishop Daniel Jenky's Coat of Arms (from our home Diocese of Peoria).

 Here is an exploring sheet with some guiding questions for them to look for as they research: (You could make something very similar for your own Bishop if you are not from the Diocese of Peoria)
 Click here for the key to that document:
 You also could have the students design their own coat of arms.  Here is a blank outline to start with (this one happens to be for an Archbishop) or they could make their own.  Encourage them to use symbols and colors that would represent the kind of leader that they would want to be.  Have them come up with a motto from a favorite Scripture verse or quote.  Then have them present it to you or the class and explain their choices!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Seven Quick Takes


It's St. Valentine's Day, so let's listen to some sappy music, shall we?
--- 2 ---
Thank you to all of you for not freaking out over my blog rant last week.  I was just venting about the weirdness of (typically) one sided online communication like this.  Thank you so much to those of you who commented with how you got connected with this blog and what you have found here that has been useful for you.  I appreciate your encouragement more than you know.

And as promised, my rant had a bribe.  After putting the names of all those that commented or new followers last week into a hat (it actually was a plastic cup) I pulled out the winner...
GRETE!  Grete is a in-real-life friend who I work with on the Behold Conference!  I am so glad that she won.  Grete will get to visit my friends' and my little business venture [un]common workbasket and spend $25 on something pretty for herself.  Congrats Grete!

My apartment is filling up with boxes.
And, no I am not moving.  No way.  Long time readers may be reminded of this post from two years ago.  I am slowly but surely gathering up all of the donation that will go in the gift bags for the Behold Conference.  Our Catholic Women's Conference will be held on March 1st in East Peoria, IL, and there is still time to register. Speakers, food, ladies, and lots of beautiful touches to make the day special.  The gift bags are going to be lovely, my favorite from all of the conferences so far.  Not only is it a nice bag, but it will be filled with all kinds of awesome things. 
I won't give all of the contents away, but I will share a few of the highlights.

My favorite?  This box of many colors of Sharpies.  Lots of Sharpies.  In a rainbow of beautiful colors.  They are gorgeous.  Who doesn't love Sharpies?
These particular Sharpies have been personalized by our local Catholic radio station, 94.3 WPMJ. Brilliant advertising, if you ask me.  But I also happen to be a little obsessed with Sharpies.
We also have copies of Magnificat and MagnifiKid! for all of the attendees.
And an assortment of holy cards and pamphlets, including these lovely ones introducing our co-patrons for 2014 St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and St. Joan of Arc.  And there's Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, just for good measure.

And did I mention Sharpies?
Sharpies may not seem enough reason to come to the conference, but trust me when I say that you would love it.  Mother Assumpta Long, Jeremy Rivera, Diedre Folley and Mary Rice Hasson.
Marie Miller will be performing once again.  Bishop Daniel Jenky will be celebrating Mass with us.  Adoration and Confession are available all day.  What more could you want!  Go register!

--- 7 ---
On a non Behold note, here is a cute student story.
They were working on an art project, music playing in the background, talking at a reasonable level in their groups around the room.  I sat in the back grading papers and monitoring their progress on the Valentine's project.  Sometimes in situations like this, they forget that I am there, and the conversations that I overhear...are... interesting.  
After hearing one such "interesting" comment between Student A and Student B, 
without looking up, I pointedly said, "I heard that."
(Let them assume what that means.)
Student A said, "She heard that!?!"
Still grading papers, I said, "I hear everything. I just don't always care to comment."
Student B said, "What are you, a wizard? Can you read our thoughts, too?"
Across the room, Student C said, 
"Well, she does have eyes in the back of her head, so you never know."
I see that I have taught them well.

Happy Friday!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"A Friend Loves" Valentine's Coloring Page

Happy almost St. Valentine's Day!  Here is a scripture coloring page that you can use to celebrate the feast day!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Before My Eyes Valentine's Coloring Page

Happy almost St. Valentine's Day!  Here is a scripture coloring page that you can use to celebrate the feast day!
And don't forget, it's not too late to sign up for my bribe giveaway!  Find yourself something special for Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: A Blog Rant and a Giveaway

Thanks to Kayla for introducing me to this loveliness.  The Brilliance has been my jam during long grading-papers stints lately.  FYI, they have a free live album up for your perusal on NoiseTrade.
--- 2 ---
How is it that I seem to think that I have nothing to write about?  It has been a week, right?  There has been a gathering of crafting friends, another snow day, a great and challenging Bible Study, dinners with more friends, getting stuck away from home for two nights, lots of productive students, exciting projects starting at school...and yet I can't come up with any stories...

Let's just talk about blogs for a minute, then.  Recently I verbalized to a friend the thing that "scares" me about this little space.  I started this blog as a way to communicate with friends and family, those who love me, and actually know more about my life then what is posted here.  Then, later on and for various reasons, I started posting Religious Ed ideas as a way to share resources with people who are doing similar work. 

So in my head, I like to pretend that there are only two types of people who read my blog:
My closest family and friends.
And complete strangers.

I have no issues or concerns with either of those groups reading what is here.  However, there are a lot of people that do not fall into either category that still find their way to this space.  Acquaintances.  Friends I don't connect with frequently.  Friends of friends.  Extended family. Coworkers.  Students (eek!). 

Even though I am not ashamed of or regret anything that I post here, there is still something about finding out that a person that I don't know all that well knows a whole lot more about me, bases their opinion of me from on what they can find here, and then never mentions it to me during our in-real- life interactions...
I'm not telling those people to leave!  Stay a while; you are very welcome to browse and read and share.  But maybe consider actually following me, or leave a comment, or the next time you see me say something like, "Hey, this might be kind of weird, but I found your blog, and I am enjoying reading it."  And then I will respond with, "Glad you found it.  Forgive me for being the one weird enough to blog in the first place."
In #3, I mentioned that some of my students had found my blog.  Unlike most other forms of Social Media, I can't exactly block access to my students without setting the blog to be private.  How did they find me, you ask?  Well, apparently if you teach your kids about Fulton Sheen, and help them to grow to love him, they will start looking around online for more info about him.  And if you happen to post a lot of information about Fulton Sheen on your blog, they are going to find it.

Google image search Fulton Sheen Activities and a chunk of the first couple hundred hits are links back to this blog.  Same thing if you start digging around on Pinterest.  Should have seen that one coming, but the greeting, "Miss Bogner, I found your blog!" isn't exactly music to my teacher ears.

So where are we?  Oh, yah, this thought process turned into an all out blog about blogging rant.  Point of the story, I am still not sure of the mission and purpose and audience of this little blog.  I will keep working that out, and some people somewhere will keep reading it.

--- 7 ---
But speaking of those some people somewhere?  Now is your chance!  Lurkers, come out of the woodwork.  Readers, announce yourself.  Help me know more about who I am writing to so that I can do my best with this little hobby. 

An incentive?  
Anyone who starts following my blog through blogger or blog lovin' 
or leaves a non-anonymous comment on any post 
including this one 
from today until my next Seven Quick Takes post next Friday 
will have their name thrown into an ultra scientific hat.  

One lucky winner will have their choice of $25 worth of handmade merchandise from my friends' and my little craft business, [un]common workbasket.  Go check it out- lots of cute stuff.  Totally worth making yourself known sometime this week!  Regular followers and friends, just leave a comment and you can be in the running too!

You could have this:
 or these:
 or this!

Hope to hear from you soon!

As you can see, my rant slid into bribery.  Whoops.
Good thing I know that we have a merciful God, just like the song above preaches.   

Happy Friday!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Cafeteria is Closed: Marriage

Back up if you are interested in the beginning of this little series go here: The Cafeteria is Closed: A Catholic Youth Group Series. You can also read about our first topic, Indulgences and Eternal Life, here.

Next Topic?  Marriage.
Marriage. Marriage is what brings us together today.

Main questions that the kids requested we explore:
  • Is everyone called to marriage?
  • Can a Catholic marry a non-Christian?
  • Can a Catholic marry a non-Catholic?
  • One Man and One Woman.  Why?
  • What is the Church’s teaching on divorce and remarriage?
  • What does it mean that a marriage must be Free, Total, Faithful, and Fruitful?

Here was the info card added to our Cafe Menu: (click on any image to get the printables)

Here is one side of the prayer card:

And the other side:

This was also the night that we did our tactile prayer stations, focusing on praying for our Vocations.  You can read about that (and get the printables) here: Vocation Prayer Stations

We used these songs to tie it all together:

Saturday, February 1, 2014

You are a Treasure in Clay!

This great man, Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, considered the gift of his priesthood a great treasure that was housed in a the humble clay vessel of his life.
That verse from 2 Corinthians so affected his life that he used it as the title for his autobiography.

As part of my classroom's study of Fulton Sheen and our continuing study of virtue and holiness, I wanted to create a place for encouragement for all of the students.  I want them to know that they are treasures, gifts of God, that have value and worth and are loved, despite the fact that all of us are housed in "clay" vessels. 

 So I got them each a little clay pot (3 for $1 at the Dollar Tree, fyi), and wrote on the outside "(name) is a Treasure in Clay."  We sent them up in an unobtrusive place in the classroom, where they hopefully won't get broken...and we are filling them with little bits of, well, love.

 I am not calling it that, however.  "Little bits of love" would not go over so well with 5th grade boys.  We putting "Treasure in Clay Sheets" inside the clay pots.  The idea is that the students will write little notes to one another, anonymously, when they see them do something showing what a treasure that they are.  This is especially great as we work on developing a specific virtue each week.  (Read about that here and here and here.)
 The kids can write as many notes as they like, they are left in my mailbox, I read them to make sure we don't have any pranksters, and then I put them in the pots.  At the end of study of virtue (which will take seven weeks for the seven Moral and Theological Virtues) each student will get their clay pot to keep and will be able to read all of the notes inside.  Keeping it focused on what they really see and not making it a popularity contest takes finesse, but I have been impressed so far.  All of the kids have something in their pots, and the stacks grow bigger as the weeks go on.

I like the way that this little encouragement system is just that- encouragement.  It really has nothing to do with me, is not about behavior management, and ties in so well to learning more about being children of God.

I know that everyone has a card or note we have saved and we pull it out to read when we need a bit of sunshine on a blue kind of day.  I am hoping that these little notes, and the message of being a treasure in an earthen vessel will resonate with the kids and become something that they remember.

I hope you try this idea in your classroom or with your family!

 Click here for the printable Treasure in Clay sheets: