IHM Catholic EdNotes Winter 2022-2023 Edition

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Sister Jeanne Baker IHM

Sister Mary Chapman IHM

Joellyn Cicciarelli

Karen Creely

Sister Mary Jo Ely IHM

Sister Theresa Duffy IHM

Sister Judith Kathleen Knowlton IHM

Kim Lamb

Sister Patricia McCormack IHM

Sister Sarah Ellen McGuire IHM

Sister Edward William Quinn IHM

Sister Eileen Reilly IHM

Sister Christina Marie Roberts IHM

Sister Stephen Anne Roderiguez IHM

Sister Amanda Marie Russell IHM

Sister Patricia Scanlon IHM

Sister Kathleen Monica Schipani IHM

Sister Monica Therese Sicilia IHM

Sister Eileen Tiernan IHM

Sister Stephanie Gabriel Tracy IHM

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Winter/Early Spring 2022-2023 issue of the IHM Catholic EdNotes!

Our cover this edition calls attention to our intentional emphasis during these post-COVID months to the important work of SEL: social-emotional learning and growth!

Our IHM Sisters and our dedicated lay colleagues, recognize the centrality of personal well-being to both best practice as a Catholic educator and to the ability of our students to more fully engage in their personal growth and learning. We have the added grace of our faith life to support our energy level and focus as we navigate the daily challenges we and our students may encounter.

We hope to inspire and assist you with the sacred work of Catholic education through these interesting and informative features that can support your best practices, Pre-K through Grade 12, whether in a catechetical parish program or a Catholic school setting.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact us: ihmcatholicednotes@gmail.com

God bless you for your dedication to Catholic education!



The word languishing has been used to describe an overall feeling of what could be called the blahs. In a New York Times article, Adam Grant describes it like this: “Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield.” A sort of stuck and empty feeling that lingers.

While the pandemic is somewhat under control, it is accurate to say we are all still dealing with its effects. So, in our post-Covid world, how do we regain our sense of well-being? How do we engage in flourishing instead of languishing?

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, psychologists in general suggest that we look to restorative activities to bring ourselves into some balance. So, you may pay greater attention to self-care which is always a good choice! Or you may want to find your “flow” – that means finding how to invest your time and attention in an engaging and purposeful activity.

St. Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorists, who has greatly influenced the spirituality of the IHM Sisters, focused his spirituality on the Incarnation, Jesus becoming one of us! Alphonsus is quoted as saying: “Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends.” Could St. Alphonsus have been on to something? Is it possible that we can discover our “flow” in making time for Jesus, God-with-us, in prayer? Perhaps daring such a personal relationship with God, can provide a social and emotional support to each of us as we navigate the complexities of our post-Covid world.

So, grab your cup of tea and find a comfortable and quiet space! Just maybe your “dearest and most loving of friends”, who is with you always, will help you to discover your “flow” and lead you closer to flourishing!


Carter, Christine L. 3 Steps to Finding Your Flow. (Posted September 3, 2015)

Grant, Adam. There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing. New York Times (4-19-21)

The Happiest Place on Earth! School and Classroom Culture Matters!

We are all aware that “the happiest place on earth” refers to the Disney experience! However, is it possible to imagine that a student might refer to her or his school, religious education program or classroom as that happy place? It may not be as extraordinary or perhaps in some minds as unattainable as it seems! Could the not-sosecret ingredients of creating “the happiest place on earth” in your school, religious education program or classroom really reside in the wisdom of three words – firm, fair & consistent?

Firm – Establishing expectations around appropriate and acceptable attitudes and behaviors supports and strengthens a safe learning environment.

Fair – Knowing I am accepted for who I am, and I will receive the support I may need to grow in my personal development creates a level of trust that makes one want to be the best version of themselves.

Consistent A certain level of knowing what to expect lessens stress and supports focusing on the more important matters. Planning and following routines or protocols, following through on what you say you are going to do and offering a level of predictability in the way you respond to persons or situations contributes to relationship building and a sense of security.

Through intentional practices, as Catholic educators who are motivated by Gospel values, we can provide a supportive social and emotional environment of welcome, mutual respect and purposefulness that strengthens a sense of belonging, ownership, and empathy. Remembering we are developing and nurturing not just minds but hearts and souls can motivate our attention to firm, fair and consistent! A Catholic educator recognizes each encounter or situation as a “teachable moment” where she or he can model for others through her or his responsiveness rather than reactions.

GPS for Success

Kindness the ability to be generous, kind and considerate.

• Literature Extension: Read Aesop's Fable "The Lion and the Mouse". Discuss why the Lion let the Mouse go and what the Mouse did to repay the kindness of the Lion.

• Show the Video "Sesame Street: Try a Little Kindness" found on YouTube.com.

Cooperation the ability to interact and work cooperatively, to take turns and listen to others

• Literature Extension: Read "Franklin Plays the Game" by Paulette Bourgeois

• Present examples of what Cooperation sounds like: "Please." Thank You." "Sorry." "Can I help?" "I disagree with you because..." "I agree with you because..."

Resolving Conflicts the ability to speak clearly... to use active and attentive communication skills, building on others' ideas to explore, learn, enjoy, debate, and exchange information.

Create a "Conflict Resolution Plan"

1. Take a deep breath and calm down.

2. Listen carefully.

3. Think about the situation.

4. Use "I" statements instead of "You" statements

5. Be willing to compromise.

Literature Extension: Read Matthew and Tilly, by Rebecca C. Jones. Use the Conflict Resolution Plan to discuss how Matthew and Tilly solved their problem.

Having a Positive Attitude to learn that an attitude is how someone feels about things. Having a positive attitude is a matter of choice which helps one to be healthier, more successful and to believe in oneself

Literature Extension: Read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst and discuss what Alexander's idea was to make his day better. Would his day have been better if he had changed the way he talked to himself?

Being Responsible the ability to demonstrate dependability, productivity, and initiative.

Literature Extension: Read and discuss It Wasn't My Fault by Helen Lester.

Being a Good Friend Students should be aware of the qualities of a good friend and put them into practice.

Literatue Extension: Read and discuss A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

Source: https://www.overcomingobstacles.org/portal/en/grade level

Recalculating Positive Social and Emotional Strategies which create healthy climate and learning in the classroom.
Fundamental skills which are necessary for children to develop in order to overcome obstacles
"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery."
- Mark Van Doran

Mindful Educator Social Emotional Learning with a Faith Perspective

We celebrated the Feast of All Saints on November 1. The saints, as we know, are the friends of God. Isn’t this one of the main reasons we do what we do in Catholic education? We hope that, with God's grace, our students and the school or parish community will develop a deep friendship with God. We have been loved into existence by a God Who wants to be a part of our everyday lives. He does not force Himself upon us, but at baptism He has infused within us a desire for God. As Saint Augustine reminds us, “My heart is restless, O God, until it rests in You.” How amazing is this? We have a God Who holds each of us in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49, 16). He is constantly inviting us to the banquet of His life and love through the Eucharist where we receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, our Savior. And in consuming Him, we are invited to become what we have taken in to become like Jesus.

The saints are examples of people who faced life with courage. They put God and others before themselves. They were not perfect, but they were heroes who stood up and did the right thing, no matter the cost. We are called to do the same. As educators, we can relate this reality to some school circumstances, such as, recess problems. We can discuss with our students possibilities of how to act courageously when they notice one of their classmates being criticized or excluded from a game. “Acting courageously increases students’ resilience, creativity, confidence, willpower, and school engagement and is teachable” (Borba, 2018, p. 27). Conducting such a conversation with students and having them describe how they would feel if they were in the same situation will develop in them empathy for others and helps students to consider others’ perspectives. Using stories during language arts class, citing historical figures in social studies, and studying various genres in music/art classes are other avenues for discovering how different viewpoints assist us in appreciating the gifts, talents, uniqueness, and dignity of others. In Catholic Schools, the “focus is on teaching students the knowledge, the character skills, and the habits of virtue they need to achieve the ultimate goal: heaven” (Porter Magee, 2020).

One habit that can be fostered in students is to encourage them to stop and consider how what they say or do affects others. This practice is an essential strategy in building relationships in life. Explaining how we must keep our emotions in check by learning and recognizing our personal triggers will support a healthy and accepting classroom environment (Borba, p. 26). When these types of honest encounters take place in a forum that encourages diverse responses, trusting bonds will develop among peers. Additionally, reflecting upon Gospel passages in which Jesus healed the sick shows that those cured were once again welcomed back into the community. Such a dialogue regarding Jesus’ empathy for the outcast provides a faith perspective as to how one feels when his/her peers exclude someone. Furthermore, how we as teachers manage disruptive behavior models for students the importance of remaining calm, taking a breath, or saying a prayer before one reacts this witness becomes a most powerful lesson. Our personal and caring modelling is the most powerful teaching skill we have. It clearly demonstrates our belief that “In God’s eyes, all are equal – equally blessed, equally worthy, equally touched by the divine spark – for all are created in the divine image” (Frabutt, 2013, p. 40).

We are aware that some of our students may not experience caring models, but instead, deal with many stresses in their young lives, for example, poverty, family discord, violence in their neighborhoods, family physical and/or mental illness. These are realities we often cannot fix, but we can create our schools, programs and classrooms to be safe havens, places where students feel loved, cared for, respected, and accepted. Faculty and staff can foster such an environment by taking time each day to connect with colleagues and students. Greeting colleagues and students, giving them one on one attention, and asking how things are going is a great way to start the day.

Teachers understand that teaching and practicing social/emotional (SEL) competencies with our students is essential for their overall growth. For us educators in Catholic schools, implementing social/emotional skills is putting our faith into action Instilling aptitudes for respecting others, being empathetic to the needs of others, collaborating effectively, setting goals, solving conflicts in a peaceful manner, acting responsibly, persevering in tasks, and working hard are important abilities undoubtedly. These are actual hallmarks of Catholic education. We integrate these fundamental life skills with a faith perspective. Asking the question, “What would Jesus do?” in a particular situation is an effective strategy for handling life’s everyday happenings We also recognize that each of our students is a precious gift of God, and we demonstrate this truth through our daily kindnesses toward them. Setting aside time to connect with each student and meeting his/her individual needs academically, spiritually, and emotionally creates a compassionate, accepting, and engaging learning community. Porter Magee (2020) believes that “Catholic schools embrace the rituals and routine of prayer; they emphasize the importance of self discipline; and they prioritize the importance of serving others by serving the community. … We help the students we serve become who God meant them to be. And that is why Catholic education may be more critical today than ever before.”

I am not sure about your school, but I know in our school, we could use a school counselor every day of the week. Some students ask consistently if the counselor will be in because they need to discuss something important with her. Two days a week definitely does not suffice, and this is the reason why I believe emphasizing social/emotional learning is crucial to our students’ emotional health. You may think to yourself, “Are you kidding, we need to teach these skills too?” Actually, studies have shown that students who are familiar with how to implement social and emotional competencies are more ready for learning than those students without these abilities (Goodwin, 2018, p. 79). Wouldn’t we want students in our classrooms to be able to self regulate their behaviors without our intervention, to have the capability to establish attainable goals, to motivate themselves to accomplish learning tasks, and to interact with classmates in a respectful and collaborative manner? Attaining these capabilities is possible when students are introduced to and regularly practice social/emotional skills.

Social/emotional learning is not a new concept. Effective educators are naturally tuned into how their students are doing emotionally, socially, and intellectually on a daily basis. We can read their moods and know when something is just not right with a particular student. Establishing a considerate, respectful, and open relationship with our students begins on the first day of school. Students are also perceptive and recognize those teachers with whom they can feel free to discuss personal concerns and those with whom they cannot. Caring teachers are needed today more than ever. With such a fast paced society, with so much emphasis on the importance of social media, and with the pressures of everyday life, children are in desperate need of a kind and interactive learning environment where they can thrive and strive to reach their God given potential. Tomlinson believes, “In the end, and in the beginning, emotional and academic well being stem from a community in which students learn to recognize one another’s similarities, appreciate one another’s differences, and treat one another with dignity. SEL is not a program or curriculum, but a way to be together” (2018, p. 88).

Implementing SEL strategies does not require educators to become psychologists; rather, it supports all our efforts to enhance the learning atmosphere of our schools and religious education programs. According to the Committee for Children, students who learn and practice the skills to manage strong emotions effectively, solve problems and conflicts, relate and communicate well with others, and make decisions achieve an 11 percentile point gain in their academics than those who have not been trained in these skills (2019). In addition, in the same report, the Committee for Children stated that over 75% of employers identify social skills as strong indicators for success in the workplace. Moreover, 79 percent of employers overwhelmingly identify social emotional skills as being the most important qualities needed for success and at the same time, the hardest qualities to find in the labor force (Cunningham & Villaseñor, 2014). There are many programs available to schools today to teach and practice with students these crucial social/emotional skills, programs such as, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Framework, Second Step Program, PATHS (Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies Program, RULER (Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating Program, Positive Action Program, to name a few. These programs integrate the five key competencies: self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making that CASEL emphasizes as skills necessary for students to navigate life successfully now and in the future (2019). What a gift we are providing students by teaching and practicing such skills in a faith based environment for the purpose of living enriching and virtuous lives so that one day they too may celebrate the new life in heaven with the saints! Thanksgiving and Christmas blessings to you and your families!

In Mary’s Immaculate Heart, I am, Sister Mary C. Chapman, IHM, Ed.D. smaryihm@gmail.com

SEL resources: https://betterkids.education/blog/wisdom and casel 5 sel competencies

Borba, M. (2018). Nine Competencies for Teaching Empathy. Educational Leadership, 76(2), 22 28. https://casel.org/fundamentals of sel/ https://www.cfchildren.org/wp content/uploads/mission vision/what is sel/docs/sel e book.pdf (2019) https://www.classcraft.com/blog/best sel programs for your school district/ Cunningham, W., & Villaseñor, P. (2014). Employer voices, employer demands, and implications for public skills development policy [Policy Research working paper WPS 7582]. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group. https://doi.org/10.1596/1813 9450 6853 X Frabutt, J. (2013). Beyond Academics. NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc. Fundamentals of SEL CASEL and What Is the CASEL Framework? CASEL Goodwin, B. (2018). SEL: Getting the “Other Stuff” Right. Educational Leadership, 76(2), 78 79. Porter Magee, K. (2020) https://www.americamagazine.org/politics society/2020/01/31/age extreme individualism catholic schools are more important ever Tomlinson, C. (2018). Dignity in the Classroom. Educational Leadership, 76(2), 86 88.

The Forty Hours Devotion

A Social-Emotional Remedy

The Catholic Church in the United States is in the first year of a planned 3 year Eucharistic Revival to help us re focus on the great gift of the Eucharist, the True Presence of Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in this Most Blessed Sacrament. At each Mass we have the graced privilege of receiving Jesus into our very bodies and souls. We become one with him. This is the source and summit of our Catholic belief. Beyond the Mass, however, we Catholics have other Eucharistic devotions that allow us to show our love and affection to Jesus in his sacramental presence.

One of these devotions is known as the “Forty Hours Devotion.” The Blessed Sacrament, which is usually reserved in the tabernacle, is placed on the altar in a “monstrance” for a 40 hour time period for our adoration and prayer. A monstrance is an ornamental vessel with a clear center in which to place the sacred host so that anyone can gaze upon our Eucharistic Lord. The word monstrance comes from the same root word as demonstrate, therefore, “to show.”

The number 40 is a number that we see throughout the Bible, such as the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert, the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, the 40 days that Noah was in the Ark. We also have the 40 days of Lent. So, 40 is an important number in our faith tradition. With the 40 Hours Devotion, the time span is also honoring the approximate time that Jesus spent in the tomb from his burial until his Resurrection. The practice of this devotion began in the 1500s in Milan, Italy and then spread to other Catholic churches in Europe. St. John Neumann introduced this devotion in the United States in the 1850s when he was the Bishop of Philadelphia.

St. John Neumann was a member of the Redemptorists, an order of priests and brothers founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori. St. Alphonsus had great devotion to the Eucharist which permeated the spirituality of his community members. So, one can easily see why the Redemptorist St. John Neumann would be so instrumental in establishing the practice of the Forty Hours Eucharistic Devotion in the United States. The IHM Sisters (Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) were also co founded by a Redemptorist priest, Father Louis Florent Gillet, who passed on this same devotion to the Eucharist that now permeates the Sisters’ spirituality. Today there are Catholic parishes everywhere that continue to practice the Eucharistic devotion of 40 Hours. It is a graced time for the people of the parish, almost like a mini retreat experience, to come together to adore in quiet reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament, in the real and true presence of Jesus. Has your parish held this yearly observance yet? Watch for it to be announced, “The 40 Hours”, and plan your time to come before Jesus in the Eucharist, participate in the prayer services and in the Eucharistic processions.

O sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise, and all thanksgiving, be every moment thine.

Books Assist in Developing Social and Emotional

Learning Skills

Preschool through Grade 4 represents a unique time of openness for children to discover and practice ways to undertake life’s challenges in a healthy, productive, and cooperative manner. Books, and the stories within them, provide natural and effective guidance to help children learn and understand the facets of social emotional learning, including self-respect, self-management, empathy, social skills, and decisionmaking. A Whole Bunch of Values and What Would You Do? by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos and published by Loyola Press, are two books lauded by teachers and parents alike that engage and invite children to be curious, ask questions, and embrace differences in positive ways. Loyola Press offers additional activities and content for each book that are available for download free of charge.

A Whole Bunch of Values is a delightful book that teaches children about 46 values and encourages them to define their own personal values while embracing the differences of others.

In What Would You Do? children explore some everyday dilemmas, practice making difficult decisions, and understand the consequences of the choices they make.

Editor’s Note: Loyola Press is also the publisher of Voyages in English, a Grades K to 8 grammar and writing curriculum authored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


Football. Turkey. Cranberry Sauce. A brisk chill in the air. Gathering with family and friends. As we prepare to celebrate the great Thanksgiving holiday, these are most likely some of the first things which come to mind. While these are all wonderful ways to celebrate and give thanks to God for His many blessings, let us take moment to consider the heart of our Catholic faith, the Eucharist The word "Eucharist" comes from the Greek word "eucharistia," which literally means "to give thanks " At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Eucharist as an act of Thanksgiving We hear the Words of Institution at every Mass: Hetookthebread,andgivingthanks,brokeit. Jesus offers the substances of bread and wine as signs of gratitude, just as the priest, Melchizedek did to thank God for the fruits of the earth in Genesis 14:18-20. Just as the American holiday of Thanksgiving celebrates the first harvest in the New World, we as Catholics have an opportunity to give thanks to God not only for the fruits of the earth, but for the gift of His Son, Jesus, who becomes present under the forms of bread and wine each and every day during the celebration of the Mass. What better way to celebrate this Thanksgiving than to receive the great gift of the Eucharist and to learn to spend time with Him in Eucharistic Adoration?

N o v e m b e r 2 0 2 2 E d N o t e s
Y O U T H & Y O U N G A D U L T


Closeyoureyes EventhoughIwassilentandunseen,youcouldstillfeelmypresenceintheroom,right?In Adoration,Jesusdoesthesamething.Whenyouwalkintothechapel,you’llnoticehoweveryoneissilent,weareall reflectingandmeditatingonthepresenceofJesuswithusatthatmomentJesusispresentintheEucharistinthe monstrance,thelargegoldvesselMonstrancemeanstodisplayorshow,sothinkofJesusasbeingshownforyouto appreciate,tolove,inaspecialwayinwhichyoucancommunicatewithHim

DuringMass,thepriestpraysoverthebreadandwineanditbecomestheBodyandBloodofChristThisiscalled Transubstantiation,andinAdoration,thetransubstantiatedhostisondisplayforyoutopraytoJesusItisaspecial manifestationofGod’spresencehereonearth.SowhenyouenterAdoration,takesometimetobepresentwithJesus. HechosetosacrificeHisBodyonthecrossforyou,andHelovesitwhenyouspendtimewithHim.Soeventhough youcannotseeHim,thankHimforHissacrificeandtakesometimetobesilentandtalktoHimTheLordisalways aroundus,butduringAdoration,Hecomestousinaveryspecialwayandisphysicallypresentwithusinthatsmall host,completelyhumblingHimselfsothatHecanbewithyou.ShareyourthoughtswithHim,andbesuretolistento whateverHecallsyouto


First written in 1745, St. Alphonsus' Visits to the Blessed Sacrament have provided the faithful with reflections and ways to pray in the presences of our Lord while attending Eucharistic Adoration. Below is an example of a student interpretation of one of his visits,adaptedforateenagerlivinginthe21stCentury...


Anoftenoverlookedelementofourfaithiscommitmentandobedience SaintPaulpraisedtheunflinchingobedienceofChrist WhenJesuswasfacedwithconfusion,worry,andevendeath,heremainedcommittedinobediencetotheFather Havingtaken thesevaluestothecross,Christprovedhissteadfastdisciplineinfaith.However,Jesus’exampledidnotendathisdeath,rather, heobeyseventotheendoftheworld JesusobeyednotonlyGodbutalsoeveryoneofus Hecaresforussoinfinitely Hecomes downfromheavenandlivesintabernaclesallacrosstheworld.Hisinfluenceisnotlimitedtothealtar,buttricklesdownand sendsripplesthroughtheChurch IfweunderstandhowlimitlessGod’scommitmenttousis,thenweshouldalsoknowthe importanceofgratitudeforthisdevotion.


Hewrote:IwishIcouldgiveYouasmuchhonorandgloryasYougiveYourFatherinthisdivinemystery.IknowYoulovemenowwiththe samedegreeoflovethatcompelledYoutodieonthecrossforme.DivineHeart,introduceYourselftothosewhodonotknowYou.Iadore You,IthankYou,IloveYou,witheverysoulwholovesYouatthismoment Removemyheartfromallattachmenttoworldlythings,andfill itwithYourlove.Givemethestrengthtoconquertemptationandbeabletoask:WhowillseparatemefromtheloveofChrist?In conjunctionwithgratitude,wealsomustbegforhumilitybyunderstandingGod’salmightypower.Weknowthatwehavedebtstopayto God,weseekhumblehearts,andwewillmakesacrificesinordertoserveHim.


Saint Bernard referred to Mary as a “lifeboat” that will save us from the shipwreck of eternal damnation. These words are intimidating,buttheyaretruebecause,intheend,Maryisourrescue Shesavesusfromsomuchmorethanwewilleverrealize andweneedtounderstandthatwemustturntoheraswell Shewillalwaysbetheretocutthroughtreacherouswatersandsaveus ifwe’redrowningsowecannotforgetthelife savingabilitiesoftheMother.WemustpraythatMarywillmakeusalwaysknow hergoodnessandcomfortasweturntoherforhelpandencouragement

w w w r e a l l y g r e a t s i t e c o m

N o v e m b e r 2 0 2 2 E d N o t e s

Exchange “Pandemic-Haze” for “Productive Ways”

Part 2/3: Be an Agent of Self-Esteem

Covid has not been a friend to school aged children, particularly grades 6 12 Basically, a “critical mass” of students lost two years of normal school socialization practices and the social emotional maturity necessary for respectful relationships, academic rigor, school structures, and self esteem that lead to success.

Part 1 of 3 spoke of School Etiquette. It suggested ways that both HOME and SCHOOL could close the Covid Gap. This newsletter focuses on the components of positive self esteem that are within the power of parents, students, and teachers to acquire.

Four elements are crucial to the development of self esteem: Security (stability), Autonomy (self control), Initiative (self starter), and industry (accomplishment; personal work ethic).

SECURITY develops to the degree that a child experiences a sense of trust, emotional safety, and confidence that his/her needs will receive a predictable response from the significant people in his/her life and situation. With this assurance, he/she has energy available to deal with unpredictable stresses.

AUTONOMY, or self reliance, takes root when a child has a general sense of respectful independence, inner authority, and responsibility that permits him/her to make appropriate decisions without the need of supervision.

Keys to Security

• Establish routine, procedure, and system.

• Organize the environment.

• Offer attentiveness and inclusion.

• Provide consistency, continuity, and predictability.

• Keep promises.

• Anticipate needs and schedules.

Keys to Autonomy

• Provide prudent supervision not intrusion.

• Encourage rather than praise.

• Provide three choices

• Allow responsible independence.

• Encourage/Role Play respectful assertiveness.

• Expect accountability for choices & consequences.

• Model self control.

• Value effort more than results.

© IHM Formative Support Services. All Rights Reserved.

Website: www.ParentTeacherSupport.org

Dr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM

INITIATIVE, or self confidence, is the interior motivation and psychological energy to originate plans and the personal capacity to conquer tasks as a self starter without requiring the coaxing of another person.

Keys to Initiative

• Provide exposure to varied experiences.

• Give patient, respectful answers to questions.

• Allow Natural Consequences or Logical Consequences

• Establish standards & deadlines

• Balance freedom with responsibility and the “common good.”

• Encourage prudent “risk taking ”

• Intervene only when a child infringes on the rights of others.

• Model how to recover after a mistake.

• Provide materials, tools, and resources that support varied interests.

• Value ideas and process more than product/results.

INDUSTRY, or accomplishment, is the capacity to persist on a task, to be diligent, to follow through, and to create a systematic approach for problem solving. In a word, it means “work ethic.”

Keys to Industry

• Apply steady care over time.

• Affirm productivity, accomplishment and “stick to it tive ness.”

• Meet deadlines; finish tasks.

• Plan out long range projects.

• Model time management and pro active planning.

• Encourage organizational skills.

• Set realistic time expectations.

• Work side by side on difficult tasks.

• “Plan the work and work the plan.”

Pro-actively foster age-appropriate

Attention Span

Apply this formula: (Age x 2) + Age

For instance, a 12 year old child ought to be able to stay on task and/or be attentive for (12x2) +12 = 36 minutes. How many minutes ought your child be able to concentrate?

If the reality falls short, time a focus “baseline” and then, each week, increase by two or more minutes until your child can meet the age appropriate goal.


Study Habits

A daily expectation: Grades 1 2 (30 minutes); Grades 3 4 (60 minutes); Grades 5 6 (90 minutes); Grades 7 8 (120 minutes).

Establish a time and place for homework. Use the time guide to complete the day’s assignments or to review, read ahead, or practice maintenance skills.

Note: Rather than daily assignments, a teacher might assign a long range project. Portion it out day by day.

Dr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM

© IHM Formative Support Services. All Rights Reserved.

Website: www.ParentTeacherSupport.org

Intercambiar "Pandemic-Haze" por "Formas Productivas"

Parte 2/3: Componentes de la Autoestima Positiva

¡Covid no ha sido amigo de los niños en edad escolar, particularmente en los niveles/grados 6 12! Básicamente, una “masa crítica” de estudiantes perdió dos años de prácticas normales de socialización escolar y la madurez socioemocional necesaria para relaciones respetuosas entre pares, rigor académico y estructuras escolares que conducen al éxito.

La parte 1 de 3 habló de “Etiquetar o Estereotipar a los niños,” sugiero formas en que tanto el HOGAR como la ESCUELA podrían cerrar la brecha de Covid. Este boletín se enfoca en los componentes de la autoestima positiva que están al alcance de los padres, estudiantes y maestros para adquirir.

Cuatro elementos son cruciales para el desarrollo de la autoestima: Seguridad (estabilidad), Autonomía (autocontrol), Iniciativa (iniciativa) e industria (conquista de logro)

La SEGURIDAD se desarrolla en la medida en que un niño experimenta un sentido de confianza, seguridad emocional y confianza en que sus necesidades recibirán una respuesta predecible de las personas significativas en su vida y situaciones de vida. Con esta seguridad, él/ella tiene energía disponible para lidiar con tensiones impredecibles.

AUTONOMÍA, o confianza en sí mismo, se arraiga cuando un niño tiene un sentido general de independencia respetuosa, autoridad interna y responsabilidad que le permite tomar decisiones apropiadas sin necesidad de supervisión.

Claves de seguridad

• Establecer rutina, procedimiento y sistema.

• Organizar el entorno.

• Ofrecer atención e inclusión.

• Proporcionar coherencia, continuidad y previsibilidad.

• Mantener promesas.

• Anticipar necesidades y horarios.

Claves de la Autonomía

• Proporcione una supervisión prudente, no una intrusión.

• Anime en lugar de elogiar.

• Proporcione tres opciones.

• Permita la independencia responsable.

• Alentar/Juego de roles asertividad respetuosa.

• Esperar responsabilidad por las decisiones y consecuencias.

• Modele el autocontrol.

• Valorar el esfuerzo más que los resultados


Website: www.ParentTeacherSupport.org

Dr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM Translator: Sr. Eileen Reilly, IHM © IHM Formative Support Services. All Rights Reserved.

INICIATIVA, o confianza en sí mismo, es la motivación interior y la energía psicológica para originar planes y la capacidad personal para conquistar tareas con iniciativa propia sin requerir la persuasión de otra persona.

Claves de la iniciativa

• Proveer exposición a experiencias variadas.

• Dé respuestas pacientes y respetuosas a las preguntas.

• Permita el asumir las Consecuencias Naturales o Consecuencias Lógicas.

• Establezca estándares y plazos

• Establezca un equilibrio entre la libertad con la responsabilidad y el “bien común.”

• Aliente la “toma de riesgos” prudente.

• Intervenga sólo cuando un niño infrinja los derechos de los demás.

• Modele cómo recuperarse después de un error.

• Proporcione materiales, herramientas y recursos que respalden diversos intereses.

• Valore las ideas y los procesos más que los productos/resultados.

CAPACIDAD DE LOGRO, es la capacidad de persistir en una tarea, ser diligente, seguir adelante, perseverar y crear un enfoque sistemático para la resolución de problemas.

Claves de la Capacidad de Logro

• Aplique un cuidado constante a lo largo del tiempo.

• Afirme el logro adquirido.

• Cumpla con los plazos; incentive a que terminen tareas.

• Planifique proyectos a largo plazo.

• Planifique proactiva con intención de respetar los tiempos.

• Estimule destrezas organizacionales.

• Establezca expectativas de tiempo realistas.

• Trabaje codo con codo cuando se trate de tareas difíciles.

• “Planifique el trabajo y trabaje el plan”

Fomentar proactivamente los PERÍODOS DE ATENCIÓN y los HÁBITOS DE ESTUDIO apropiados para la edad.

Capacidad de atención

Aplica esta fórmula: (Edad x 2) + Edad

Por ejemplo, un niño de 12 años debería poder concentrarse y/o estar atento durante (12x2) +12 = 36 minutos. ¿Cuántos minutos debería poder concentrarse su hijo?

Si la realidad se queda corta, cronometre una "línea de base" de enfoque y luego, cada semana, aumente en dos o más minutos hasta que su hijo pueda alcanzar la meta apropiada para su edad.

Hábitos de estudio Una expectativa diaria: Niveles 1°s 2°s (30 minutos); Niveles 3°s 4°s (60 minutos); Niveles 5°s 6°s (90 minutos); Niveles 7°s 8°s (120 minutos).

Establezca un tiempo y lugar para la tarea. Use la guía de tiempo para completar las tareas del día o para revisar, leer con anticipación o practicar habilidades de mantenimiento.

Nota: En lugar de tareas diarias, un profesor/a puede asignar un proyecto a largo plazo. Divídalo día a dia.

Dr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM Spanish Translator: Sr. Eileen Reilly, IHM © IHM Formative Support Services. All Rights Reserved. Website: www.ParentTeacherSupport.org



In the story of St. Catherine Laboure, there are two special themes that can be presented:

1) the life of St. Catherine and the visits from Our Blessed Lady who asked her to have a special medal madeand given to as many people as possible 2) 2)

2) themeaning and symbolism of the Miraculous Medal and special cures credited to the wearing of the Medal.


Picture of the countryof France ▪ Various types of jewelry ▪

Miraculous Medal ▪ coloring page of the Miraculous Medal ▪ Prayer strips with thewords, “O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee.” ▪ Flash cards with wordsfrom story


Ask your students if they have ever been asked to keep a secret. Was it difficult to not tell anyone the secret? Were you finally able to tell the secret? Have you ever asked someone to keep a secret?

After this discussion, begin telling the story about St. Catherine Laboure who never told anyone, except her confessor, that she was visited byOur Lady and was responsiblefor thousands of people receiving special blessings and cures from Our Lady by wearing the Miraculous Medal.


You may wish to tell the story by:

✓ presenting a brief video and asking questions afterwards

✓ telling the story first and then having your students watch a short video,

✓ putting together a short Power Point Presentation noting special events and happenings. (Some older computer savvy students could helpyou with this,)


Some saints have been blessed to be visited by Our Lady. One of these saints is St. Catherine Laboure.She not only received the special gift of seeing Our Lady but was also given a gift that she was asked to sharewith others. Today, we call this wonderful gift, the Miraculous Medal.St. Catherine was born in 1806 in thesmall village of Fain-lesMouthers, in France. When Catherine was 9 years old, her mother died leaving eleven children. After her mother’s death, Catherine took down the statue of Our Lady from the mantle, and hugging the statue, softly cried, “Now you will be my mother.” After her mother’s death, Catherine worked tirelessly with the washing, cooking, cleaning and caring for her disabled brother. She did all these chores without complaining, but she had a deep desire to become a religious sister. When Catherine asked her father if she could leave home to become a religious sister, hefirmly refused to agree to her wish. Finally, at the age of 23, Catherine’s father finally allowed her to enter the convent. Withmuch joy in her heart, Catherine entered the Daughters of Charity who took care of sick and elderly men not too far from her home.

Our story could end here, but Our Lord and Our Lady had other plansfor Catherine. One evening, while Catherine was sleeping, she was awakened by thevoice of a young child excitedly saying, “Sister. Catherine, Sister Catherine, please get up. Hurry, Our Blessed Lady is waiting to seeyou.” In half a daze, Sr. Catherine followed theyoung child, dressed in white. Sr. Catherine later surmised that hewas her GuardianAngel. Catherine was led to the chapel. Thereshe saw a beautiful lady sitting in a chair in the sanctuary. At that point, Catherine knew this Lady dressed in dazzlingwhite, with a beautiful smile on her face was indeed Our Blessed Lady. Catherine quickly knelt in frontof Our Lady and placed her folded hands on her lap. As Our Lady spoke to Catherine, she told her of the many trials that she would experience but to always “Have courage.” A few months later, Our Lady again appeared to Catherine, but this time holding a shimmering ball in her hands which she said symbolized the world. Our Lady then extended her hands where rays of light shone forth showing themany graces that she wantsto give to her children. Then surrounding Our Lady there appeared in French, the words,” O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee”. Our Lady then commissioned Catherine to have medals made with this image and told her to give these medals to as many people aspossible. No small task for a young religious, who could barely read! But with Our Lady’s help she accomplished thismomentous task with the help of her spiritual director. All during this time Sr. Catherineforbad her spiritual director to ever say that shewas theone that was visited by Our Lady.All during her life Sr. Catherine never told anyone else that she was that special person that Our Lady visited. – Wow! Talk about keeping a secret!

Asmore and moremedals weremadeword of miracles began to be told, thus thenaming of the medal, The ‘Miraculous Medal’. And what did Sr. Catherine do until she died at the age of 70?She quietly did whatshe entered the convent to do, pray, and serve the infirmed and elderly. It wasn’t until after her death in 1876 that others learned about Sr. Catherine’s role in havingmany thousands of people wear the Miraculous Medal. She was canonized by Pope PiusXII in 1947.St. Catherine is thePatron saintof the elderly, infirmed, and the Miraculous Medal. Her feast day is November 28th


St. Catherine Laboure Saints & Angels Catholic Online SHORT VIDEO OLDER STUDENTS

St. Catherine Labouré The Miraculous Medal Shrine SHORT PODCAST PRAYER OF ST. CATHERINE Saint Catherine Labouré The Saint of Silence and Confidence | Heralds of the Gospel Magazine (catholicmagazine.news) SHORT BIOGRAPHY

My Catholic Family 2015 11 28 Saint Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal YouTube VIDEO 20 MIN. YOUNGER STUDENTS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2pF5XhNSJk SHORT VIDEO ALL 4 MINUTES

The Story of the Miraculous Medal Fr. Jose Maria YouTube 10 minutes grades 4 8


https://www.thecatholickid.com/miraculous medal consecration prayer coloring page c COLORING PAGE OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL

Saint Catherine Laboure Coloring Page TheCatholicKid.comCOLORING PAGE OF ST. CATHERINE LABOURE

St. Catherine Laboure Coloring Page Sophia Teachers ST. CATHERINE LABOURE COLORING PAGE

https://catholicshop.com/blog/might not know miraculous medal/ 20 Things you didn’t know about the Miraculous Medal

• You can visit the Miraculous Medal Shrine in PHILADELPHIA, PA.

• You can have someone from the Shrine visit your school on the 3rd Thursday of every month from 1:30 3:00. https://miraculousmedal.org/ Program is called ‘Backpack Blessings’.

• Our Lady is the Patroness of Pennsylvania under the title of ‘Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal’.





On December 3rd each year since 1992, the United Nations and communities around the world celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme this year is: “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world”. The UN reminds us that globally, one billion people in the world have some form of disability, that is 1 in 7. This statistic is similar to the numbers in the USA, as well as, in developing countries. In the USA, 1 in 6 children and 1 in 4 adults live with some type of disability. The theme for this year’s UN observance helps us to look within ourselves and the educational environments we create and work within, to set goals and work for transformative solutions in all the forms inclusion can take. Whether it be parish religious education or within a Catholic School setting, can we each be creative and innovative becoming agents of transformation ourselves and educating young people to become agents of innovations that fuel an accessible and equitable world for all

To assist in doing this, may we take inspiration from the

reflections of Pope Francis given to the world on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. May we also look to resources and practical ways that we can model inclusion and also form our students to become leaders of this noble initiative that is integral to the Gospel living and the mission of the Church.

The statements of Pope Francis for reflection:

“As we celebrate your International Day, I would like to speak directly to all of you who live with any condition of disability, to tell you that the Church loves you and needs each of you for the fulfilment of her mission at the service of the Gospel.” 12.3.21


“Inclusion should be the “rock” on which to build programs and initiatives of institutions meant to ensure that no one is left behind. The strength of a chain depends upon the attention paid to its weakest links.” 12.3.20


“A person with disabilities, in order to build himself or herself up, needs not only to exist but also to belong to a community. 12.3.19


“It is a demanding and even tiring journey, which will increasingly contribute to the formation of consciences capable of recognizing each of us as a unique and unrepeatable person.” 12.3.19

IHM Catholic EdNotes
Volume 3, Issue No. 2

Further, in speaking directly to educators Pope Francis reminds us:

Education is called … to form people capable of understanding that diversity does not hinder unity, rather it is indispensable for the richness of one’s own identity and that of everyone. Inclusion is not a modern invention, but is an integral part of the Christian salvific message" 2.20.20


I have no doubt that whichever form Catholic Education and our participation in it takes, we do participate in the salvific mission of Christ, can we aim to do this conveying the fullness of our faith and belief that all are created in the Imago Dei and our efforts at inclusive forms of education model this intrinsic reality of the body of Christ.

As educators, a step in fostering this goal, is forming ourselves to become innovators for inclusion. We can willingly participate in professional development that has the aim to assist us in inclusion practices such as Universal Design for Learning, differentiated instruction and collaborative planning. We also can become ambassadors to inclusive education by promoting and supporting the ABC’s in inclusive education as we work toward achieving it. A) All children, regardless of ability or disability, learn together in the same age

appropriate classroom. B) Based on the belief, that all children are valued equally, they deserve access to the same opportunities and C) Children with disabilities, and those without, achieve greater academic gains in inclusive classrooms. For many educators this may not yet be something they wholeheartedly support or can even imagine. What could widen these educators’ perspective? Possibly reading A summary of the evidence on Inclusive Education prepared by two professors at Harvard Graduate School of Education or reading other resources prepared by the Rising Together Alliance of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Another way of bridging personal or institutional motivation and preparation is being mentored by a teacher or partnering with a school that already has an experience of inclusive Catholic Education. To become an agent of change, often means we need to open ourselves to the possibility of change. The resources to help us in this endeavor are available and are increasing. There are many who have already taken to heart the theme of this year’s UN observance, they are thriving as innovators fueling accessible and equitable Catholic School environments. They are also eager to assist others in becoming part of the transformative solution.

Another vital step in promoting this goal is preparing those we teach to become young leaders in inclusive development within our schools and communities. Creating real life experiences in which children have the opportunity to both be included and practice being inclusive, fosters real growth

skills that have transformative effects for them and the impact they have in the future. Actual experiences of inclusive friendships as a child is shown to be a predictor of future inclusiveness. Also, research indicates that literature and conversation can offer a type of “extended contact” that can shape attitudes and action. The tool of 'extended contact' is effective in increasing positive attitudes to disability over an extended period of time even without direct interaction. This is where storybook reading and small group discussion are used to immerse children into thinking about and understanding diversity and inclusion through human characters and stories. (Children books on Inclusion.) Children who are nurtured with the skills of empathy and inclusion will become stronger effective leaders who build innovative teams comprised of individuals representative of society. Inclusion needs to starts early and be part of all stages of education as it will have great impact on every aspect of life from the home, playground and classrooms; to the boardrooms, parish counsels and legislatures where decisions that impact our society are made.

May the observance of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities be a catalyst for each of us to broaden our perspective on inclusion, learn something new and be determined to act as innovators of transformation within our communities.

Sr. Kathleen Schipani, IHM www.RisingTogetherAlliance.org Sr.KSchipani@archphila.org



Instruct the wise and they become wiser still. Proverbs 9: 9

Catholic Podcasts

The Catechism in a Year

Father Mike Schmitz is back. Beginning on January 1, 2023 Father Mike takes us on a journey through the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Catechism in a Year podcast follows a reading plan inspired by Ascension’s Foundations of Faith approach, a color-coded approach that reveals the structure of the Catechism, making it easier to read and understand. With this podcast, you’ll finally understand what it means to be Catholic and how the beliefs of the Catholic Faith come together. Each 15-20 minute episode includes: A guided prayer to help you enter each episode, A reading from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and an explanation from Father Mike about the reading. Sign up for the reading plan at ascensionpress.com. There is also a Facebook group-CIY to keep you up to date. Listen using your favorite podcast app.

Apps for Ipad, Iphone, Ipod Prayers

For Lent and Advent

Prayers for Lent and Advent presents a series of prayers, one for each day of the Lenten/Advent season to help you grow in your relationship with God and to deepen your commitment to a way of life that stems from our baptism. In our busy world, Lent/Advent provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our patterns, to pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we've done and failed to do, and to be generous to those in need. Nothing fancy, just a verse a day that you can easily share with others. Download for free at Apple.

Noah's Elephant in the Room

Noah's elephant in the Room is just a fun app. Take a ride on Noah’s pet elephant as he stampedes his way around the ark! See how long you can run without being caught by Noah’s sons in this fun and exciting Bible memory game. Navigate the many decks of the ark while discovering unique animals from around the world. Memorize 25 encouraging and truth-filled verses from the Bible to fully upgrade your elephant. Download for free at Apple.

Shared Wisdom

Two heads are better than one. Please submit your favorite technology resources for Catholic religious education at krantzihm@yahoo.com Submissions will be included in upcoming issues. Many thanks to those who shared tools for this issue.

IHM ABC Notes Winter 2022

Jesus, Model of all


As teachers, we have often reviewed and reflected on the qualities of Jesus as teacher as seen in the Gospels. Other than the passages recalling His birth. Presentation and finding in the temple, the scriptures tell us little of the childhood of Jesus. Yet there are several areas of the Gospel narratives that can serve as reflections on the need to be good students

Every classroom should have a bulletin board which reflects a religious theme. So many of our students look up to role models who do not reflect the values of a life rooted in the Gospels This provides us with an opportunity to focus on Jesus as a role model for students.

Jesus Models Love Born in Poverty

As we begin our preparation for the season of Christmas, students can be reminded that Jesus did not come into an affluent world, but a world of poverty and need. Use a compare-contrast chart to point out the similarities and differences between the world Jesus was born into and the world we live in today.

Verses that could be used for reflection:

Luke 2:1 2

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.


Following this scripture reading, have a students view the following video which is a reflection on caring for our earthly home. Use the compare and contrast chart To help the students realize that, even though we have so much more than those who lived in the time of Jesus, we have a lot to do to provide at home for future generations

LAUDATO SI https://www.crs.org/resource center/laudato si video elementary students

On your bulletin board, place a circular Nativity scene with the quote “I can build a better world.”

After completing the reflection above on Laudato Si, give each student a blank holly leaf on which they can write, “I can build a better world by______.” Place their completed leaves around the nativity scene to create a wreath.

For younger students, place a picture of the three kings bringing their gifts to Jesus. Play for them the video found at https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3i4mn2

Go over the words of the song and explain to the students that each of the gifts that was brought to Jesus had a meaning. Explain to them that they can give meaningful gifts to Jesus by taking care of everything that God has given to us to use. Explore the possibilities of things they can do to make the world a better place and have them write what they will do on a small gift box (provided below) and place it on the classroom Christmas tree or in a small basket under the bulletin board.

Jesus was a role model of obedience.

Reflection: Obedience is God’s love language, and Jesus was the perfect example of how to love God and obey Him completely. Jesus made it very clear that His focus was on obeying His Father. During the month of January, we reflect on the Holy Family and Jesus’ obedience to Mary and Joseph in their home at Nazareth. There are eight times in the gospels that Jesus models obedience The passage that is perhaps most relevant to students is the following verse:

Luke 2:51 (ESV): 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

Create a bulletin board reflecting the virtue of obedience . Place a picture of the Holy Family showing Jesus as a child on the bulletin board. Below the picture place a statement indicating that Jesus was a model of obedience.

As a child, Jesus showed us how to obey.

For older students: Ask students to identify ways they can. learn from Jesus. Ask them to search the scriptures to find references to obedience found there. One the template provided, have the students create an acrostic using the word obedience. Depending on the level, this can be a single word or a phrase or a sentence.

For younger students: have the students watch one of the animated videos about obedience. Have them complete the activity on the worksheet provided

https://youtu.be/H_4ne_XTe3I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbwwE4LKMaE

Jesus Modeled Acceptance of all people

Reflection: It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.” (Laudato Si, No 217)

When you examine the environmental fragility of low income people of different ethnic groups and nationalities and their often limited access to quality health care, housing, and nutrition and add in the strain of poverty and environmental hazard, it is no wonder there that there is such a disparate impact. We need to be sources of love to a hurting society.

Help students to understand that not everyone in the world has the advantages that they have. Lead them to a discussion of how they can help the world to become a happier place. Responses will vary at different levels. With younger children you can begin the discussion with the song, “Jesus loves the Little Children” found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vV-UnsZCXHo Relate to the image on the bulletin board showing all children around the world being in unison with one another. For older students, play “What the World Needs Now.” It can be found at WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE lyrics Bing video . The month of February is associated with love because of Valentine’s Day, but how we extend that love to others outside our own circle will make all the difference. Have the students write on a heart shape what they will do to spread love to others. Place the hearts on the bulletin board.

. We Three Kings of Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar, Field and fountain, Moor and mountain, Following yonder Star.

CHORUS. Star of Wonder, Star of Night, Star with Royal Beauty bright, Westward leading, Still proceeding, Guide us to Thy perfect Light.


2. Born a King on Bethlehem plain, Gold I bring to crown Him again, King for ever, Ceasing never Over us all to reign. O Star, &c.


3. Frankincense to offer have I, Incense owns a Deity nigh: Prayer and praising All men raising, Worship Him God on High. O Star, &c.


4. Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume Breathes a life of gathering gloom;— Sorrowing, sighing, Bleeding, dying, Sealed in the stone-cold tomb. O Star, &c.

5. Glorious now behold Him arise, King, and God, and Sacrifice; Heav’n sings Hallelujah: Hallelujah the earth replies. O Star, &c.

We Three
Name ____________________Date__________

Grades 3 & 4


Character is who you are Hold tightly to God in peace When only God is watching. Trusting in His love for you.

St. Francis de Sales

Grade 5 &6



A loving heart Is more important than being the best. Is the beginning of all knowledge.

Doing your best

Thomas Carlyle

Grades 7 & 8



“Speak little, To those who believe Do much. In the beauty of their dreams. Well done is better than well said.”

The future belongs


Grades 3 & 4

Grades 5 &6

St. Joseph was a special guardian Imagine with all your mind. For Jesus and Mary, too Believe with all your heart. He took good care of them Achieve with all your might. Because God asked him to!

Grades 7 & 8

Know how to give without hesitation, How to lose without regret, How to acquire without meanness.

Winter, 2023

Keeping Up With The Jetsons:

Part 2 of 3

When a student walks into a classroom, the guiding principles of the room should be apparent from the decorations and layout to each lesson and activity Harry Wong, internationally renowned educational speaker, sums it up best when he states “The most effective classes are those where the teacher has a clear idea of what is expected from the students and the students know what the teacher expects from them.” In this article, we will be covering how failing successfully and the 4Cs of 21st Century Skills guide an Educational Robotics class to be effective.

More and more, our society demands perfection. As teachers, we can see how this demand has trickled down to even our youngest students. The oxymoronic idea of “failing successfully” can be an uncomfortable concept for students and parents to consider in the push to have the high grade and to be the best. It is hard for them sometimes to understand that the journey of learning includes wrong turns and mistakes and requires stamina and effort from start to finish. It is just as important, even perhaps more so, for our students to learn how to be resilient and keep going despite obstacles. Sometimes, you understand how something works better from seeing how it does not work. That is why when speaking of the importance of this pedagogy to students and parents, I pull from the great wisdom of Master Yoda, who said it best: “The greatest teacher failure is.”

Educational Robotics is one of the subjects where the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and failures is immediate and tangible When students build and code a robot for a specific purpose and the robot does not work, the students see that right away There is no wait time for work to be graded and returned; there is no gray area for discussion or rationalization The robot works or it does not work (“Do or do not,” Master Yoda says “This is no try ”) And, as much as the students would like it to be, it is not the robot’s fault Should a robot fail to work, the students need to go back and reevaluate the build and the code (all their own work) to find and correct the problem It is through this self evaluative process that the hesitancy to fail lessens and the motivation to learn and discover grows. This catalyst boosts confidence in their robotics work and then can bloom in other areas of their lives.

Just as Han Solo and Chewbacca fly the Millennium Falcon together, the 4Cs of 21st Century Skills and Failing Successfully are the co pilots of an effective Educational Robotics classroom. The “C”s being referred to are Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. Amy Eguchi, in her journal article Educational Robotics for Promoting 21st Century Skills, states that the 4Cs are an important “key of success” for students’ futures.

Let’s take a closer look at each “C”. First is Collaboration. In the Robotics Lab, students are randomly paired up each class. Just as in the real world, we do not always get to choose with whom we work. By varying the partners, students learn how to collaborate. They are able to share their abilities and strengthen their weaknesses. It may seem ideal to pair a coder with a builder; however, real growth happens when two builders or two coders are forced to collaborate.

The next “C”, Communication, follows seamlessly from Collaboration. In order for two students to work together on a project, they need to be able to communicate effectively from brainstorming through the building/coding process. Students, no matter their grade level, are taught that communication involves both talking and listening. Body language and tone of voice also play a part in effective communication. Everyone's ideas should be respected and heard.

The third “C” of 21st Century Skills is Critical Thinking. Students work through building and coding problems by trial and error. This helps with learning “the why” and “the how” instead of being handed the answer. The next time a similar issue arises, they will be better prepared to solve it. The students will be able to draw from the newly created background knowledge and tackle the task at hand.

The last “C” is Creativity. This skill flows naturally when the students have a foundation in Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking. They are able to think outside of the box utilizing the tools they have learned. While this skill might be what most people recognize when they see or hear about the projects in the Robotics Lab, it is really a culmination of the guiding principles of the classroom.

May the 4Cs be with you!

Sister Sarah Ellen McGuire, IHM, MS is the Kindergarten - 8th grade Robotics teacher for St. Aloysius Academy in Bryn Mawr, Pa. She has her masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Scranton and has received a certificate in Coding and Computational Thinking with SPIKE Prime from Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy. Sister Sarah has won Outstanding Mentor for her FLL Robotics teams three years in a row. For more information or questions about Educational Robotics, please feel free to email Sister Sarah at ssemcguire@staloysiusacademy.org.

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