Monday, March 10, 2014

Pin Map Love

I love the pin maps. They are a useful technique for mastering geography without being all boring about it ;) 

We have modified this work for our local atrium spaces. 

In level 2 and 3, we have the following: 
  1. Cities and Regions
  2. Mountain Peaks
  3. Mountain Ranges, Desert, Bodies of Water
(this is the "old" set up which we have chosen to keep - they've been modified a bit)

In level 2, there is a control map for each map and a corresponding booklet with a page for each pin. We modified the booklets to include EVERY location with a Scripture reference. 

We also removed some locations that NO ATLAS or internet search could tell me the proper location for. We ditched those ones. 

This way, the child can read the corresponding booklet, see the Scripture reference, locate the city/etc. on the control map and pin the location on the blank map. They also have access to various atlases and a large wall map, but this helps them to focus in. 

In level 3, we have all three of the above maps AND we have a wooden blank pin map that contains all of those features on ONE. There is only ONE control map: it has everything on it. 
All features and All Features control - in level 3
No booklets. Instead, I hand them a chart of Scripture references - look up the Scripture passages, find the name of a geographical feature - when the chart is complete, I check it for accuracy. When all are accurate, they have earned the privilege to use the pin maps. 

At this level, they have to use the atlases in the atrium to find their locations, place it on the blank pin map of their choosing (they can work with any of the 4 wood map options) - then use the control map to check their work. If they get something wrong, they need to go back to the atlas and see what happened - maybe one atlas says one thing and another says something different..... Tricky! 

Two level 2 children working with the level 2 versions. The control maps are photocopies of the wood maps, then we used sticky labels for the names, mounted the copies onto tagboard and wrapped in contact paper. You can see the children are on their third map (the other two are finished, in the background). 

Yes, they should be working on rugs. We are having a scenario with rugs on this particular day ;) 

up close of the Cities/Regions blank pin map

The level 2 labels in our local atrium
These are not very sturdy as the labels like to slide off
and the pins bend
But they work for getting started! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sola Scriptura ???

Recently, a Christian company was asked about on one of my online groups - their "about us" has this to say:

To summarize, we at Lamplighter believe:
  • Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone presents the framework of final authority for faith (doctrine) and practice.
  • Sola gracia – Grace is not only essential, but is God’s exclusive method of redemption.
  • Sola Fide – Faith apart from works is the only means of receiving redemption, justification and all other gifts of God.
  • Solo Cristo – Only Christ is savior and Lord.  There is no saving merit apart from or in addition to Christ’s righteousness and sacrifice.  His work is sufficient and complete for accomplishing our redemption and cannot be supplemented with efforts of our own.
  • Soli Deo Gloria – To God alone the glory, the only appropriate response, recognizes no other as worthy to receive honor or praise."

I guess I just don't understand stuff like this.

The Bible ALONE? But the Christian Church began before the New Testament was written; the Hebrew people lived for centuries with an in-development Hebrew Bible canon. So "Tradition" came before "Scripture" - the two work together. But ok, let's go with Bible alone for a few more moments.

God's Grace? Yep. Agreed.

Faith alone? Maybe. But "By their works, they shall be known." (Matthew chapter 7) The BIBLE (Bible alone, right?) has Jesus' teachings about HOW TO ACT in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is faith alone that gets us in, but it is our works (the *fruits* of our faith) that KEEP us in. If we do not bear fruit, we will be pruned and thrown out to be burned for eternity (Book of John chapter 10).

Christ alone? Yep. But He is part of a Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) - and we can ALL intercede for one another. Christ wants us to pray for each other - and those praying includes those who have gone before us, those with us now and those who may not even personally know us.

To God alone be glory - YES! Here is where we have a difference in definition of words. Non-Catholics have one definition for worship; Catholics have THREE. WHY!? Those crazy Catholics! Going back to the original languages, how dare they?
Dulia, Hyper-dulia, Latria.

  • Latria is the highest of worship - TRUE WORSHIP - reserved for God alone. THIS is true worship and is reserved for God alone. 
  • Dulia is a high form of RESPECT/HONOR - reserved for those humans who have lived virtuous lives and have pointed others to Christ. 
  • Hyper-dulia is reserved for the one who carried God in her womb and nursed the Lord, the Creator, at her breast: Jesus' mother: Mary. DEVOTION to the one who said YES, when our original parents (Adam and Eve) said NO. Not worship ---- DEVOTION. 
But all of this is in the Bible - or part of the Tradition that was the Church before the Bible. The Bible itself says, "There is more outside of this writing - the entire world could not contain the works of Christ during His life on Earth alone - follow all that I taught you in person, this letter is only clarification and reiteration of specific points." (The Apostle Paul - serious paraphrasing there)

The Bible itself says that it should not be used as the ONLY source. 

Otherwise, guess what? Protestants agree with Catholics on more than they know - they only think they are disagreeing. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Plan of God: Vocation

Looking to lay a strong foundation in the youth I work with - for discerning one's life - I came across this beautiful poster:

SUCH a beautiful image! Scripture, all states of life, sacraments are all included in this beautiful image.

More information can be found at - they have a DVD, resource guide outlining all Scripture and Church documents referenced, and a set of 10 lesson plans for grades 4-8.
(I make no profit from sharing this resource - I just want to share!)

I do not own or use the lesson plans just yet, but I intend to do so. I intend to modify them so that they become an independent work for the children in the level 3 atrium - as a self-study of this poster to extend the work of the Plan of God and the Personal Plan of God.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Conformity and Red Flags

Some questions that come up that are perhaps not answered in the most succinct way by the CGS National Office:

Does the CGS have an imprimatur? 
Short answer: This isn't quite the right question.
Longer answer: CGS as a whole is not a published curriculum or teaching text. Imprimaturs and Nihil Obstats are reserved for publications addressing the Catholic faith. CGS is a method and an environment whose primary texts are the Roman Missal, Sacred Scripture and the Cathechism of the Catholic Church. Thus an imprimatur and nihil obstat do not apply to CGS as a whole.

Do CGS published texts have the imprimatur? 
Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: The published texts regarding CGS have both the imprimatur and the nihil obstat; these texts are not the ones utilized by the students - these are utilized by the adults during their formation, with the primary texts of study being the Roman Missal, Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Is CGS on the Bishops' approved list of religious ed texts? 
Short answer: No.
Medium-Long answer: the Bishops' list is ONLY for *published textbooks* - thus the question doesn't apply to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - even if the albums (lesson plans) were published, still the only "published text" the child uses is the Holy Bible and the Roman Missal.
Longer answer: Like the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat, the approval process to get on that list doesn't apply to CGS because the teaching program that the children receive is not a published text. The (arch)bishops of many (arch)dioceses approve the use of CGS and encourage its use among the faithful, but it doesn't fit within the scope of the "approved texts list".
Even longer answer: CGS Letter of Conformity with the CCC


Censor's stamp: NIHIL OBSTAT "nothing stands in the way"

Bishop's stamp: IMPRIMATUR "let it be printed"

UPDATE: 3/3/2014 - I think I might make this post a page of its own.
I am also downloading the protocol used to assess each published text - use the same form and the same format to correlate CGS as it stands at this moment in time. CGS serves to meet the needs of the children - thus is a work-in-progress in the fine-tune details.

But this still compares favorably to published texts - just because a lesson is there, doesn't mean it happens. Due to the 3-year nature of the atrium, if something is "missed" one year, it is picked up the next - or absorbed from the work of older children who already received that presentation.