Monday, November 29, 2010

Lecture Bible

I have what I call my 'regular' Bible, which is a cheap Bible that is a mess of dogears, stains, highlighting, pen & pencil notes, stickytabs, tape. It's good for study, but lousy for class: full of distractions. To avoid teaching from its encrusted pages, for years I've simply printed out the verses I need for a given class in the order I'll use them. That's fine, but then I teach from a piece of paper instead of the Bible; it's not the same for 6th-graders. They need to see The Book Itself be held; pages turned; words read.

This year I've dropped  paper printouts and have a second Bible, the Lecture Bible, for class. It's the same as the Regular Bible, but new, i.e., a new copy of the same NAB edition. I only mark in it what will be used in class. Here it is opened to Isaiah 53, part of the Isaiah-through-Malachi classes:

First, notice the numbered stickytabs at the top: those are the passages for this class, numbered in the order that I'll refer to them. If I fumble around more than 5 seconds to get to the next passage, the kids start to zone out, hence the idiot-proof numbers. There are 10 total tabs for this class; I arrange them so I can see the next number if possible. Tabs at the bottom are from prior classes; I will reuse them at least once. In the meantime they are out of the way, but can still be referred to.

Also see how tidy this page is: highlighting is limited to exactly what I'll be reading during class. Only what's relevant, and what we have time for. This page in the Regular Bible is a mess: good for preparation, bad for class.

With these numbered stickytabs on clean pages I'll have at least one full 55-minute period of smooth teaching and discussion, and if we run over (as we did this year), we simply continue in the next period.


Michael Gormley said...

The Catholic Bible

As Catholics were responsible for writing the New Testament (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit), the Catholic Church doesn't "interpret" the Bible. We explain it.

Protestants can only "interpret", because they are not the author (guided by the Holy Spirit), and therefore, can only guess at the possible meaning of a chapter, passage or phrase, just as anyone can only guess at any author's intentions in any other book.

As the author, the Catholic Church is the only proper authority to consult in matters pertaining to the Bible.

kkollwitz said...

Ummm, yes.

Dorian Speed said...

Great idea - I am going to have to use this and, well, every other idea on this blog. Because this blog is wonderful.

I have the color-coded Bible tabs from Ascension Press that correspond with their Great Adventure Bible Study. I like showing them to the students (and, when I taught high school, I had my students apply them to their own Bibles) because the colors correspond to historical periods.

At the same time, the Bible that they're affixed to is the Oxford Study Bible, and it's so big and falling-apart that I rarely use it in class. Having a special edition just for class is a great idea. And you're right, just five seconds more of page-flippery can lead to five minutes more of getting the kids back on track.

These kids today, you know.

kkollwitz said...

Hey, the tab thing has me thinking. You know what I'd pay for? A set of tabs that are not for the books, but for themes. Like so: a blue set for Eucharist-related passages, red for the Papacy, green for Confession, white for Baptism, that sort of thing.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

The tab idea is really neat. I keep some sticky tabs around when I'm doing spiritual reading to mark pages I might need to come back to for some reason.

You're right about the kids needing to have the Bible in their hands and see you reading from it. I hope all your students grow up to be outstanding Catholics on fire for God.

kkollwitz said...

Hope springs eternal!