Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter Camp 2014

As part of my contract, I am required to teach a two-week English Winter and Summer Camp. What does this mean? Basically, it means anything I want it to mean. No Korean co-teacher and no guidelines whatsoever from the school, I have three hours with 17 to 20 students each day. My camps are divided by grade: the first week I had the 5th and 6th graders and the second week I had the 3rd and 4th graders. 

My main goal for Winter Camp was for the kids to have fun. They are here on their winter break and my perspective on this whole situation is that they will be learning English through the need to communicate with me. I'm really pushing them to speak in complete sentences when asking me for something (bathroom, more tape, teacher snack!). My other goals revolve around trying as many games/activities as I can, seeing what they like. One of my friends blogged that her co-teacher saw games as an opportunity for the students to learn about American culture - what games do they play in America? I liked that a lot. 

When brainstorming ideas for my Winter Camp, I thought back to my elementary school days and legitimately got excited when I remembered: castles. ALL of the kids play minecraft and the new animated film Frozen has been screenshotted on phones like crazy. Theme decided!

Camp Theme: Castles (What is a castle? / Castle Parts / Who lives in a castle?)
Camp Grades: 5th-6th (Week One), 3rd-4th (Week Two)
Camp Schedule:
9:30AM-10:15AM – Warm Up Activity & Intro PPT’s
10:30AM-11:15AM – Snack & Main Project
11:30AM-12:15PM – Game

Main Projects
1. Family Shields
2. Make your own Castle
3. Make you own Catapult
4. Protect the Princess (Egg Drop)

Notes: The level of collaboration on the family shields was amazing. They really worked well together, coming up with shield designs and dishing out who would do what. I started them with, "What to you like?" to give them ideas (favorite animal, color, food, sport, game). We started the castle building making a paper tower together as a class. This got them past the "how" phase and the motivation was impressive. Materials included paper, lightweight cardboard, and other recyclables. The catapults (built from chopsticks, rubber bands, and paper) brought some technical frustrations but they loved shooting things across the room. The egg drop designs were really innovative and a lot of tape was used.

Warm Up Activities
2. Hidden Picture Game
5. Make a Thunderstorm (rub hands together, snap fingers, hit thighs, bang tables)
6. Human Knot (don't hold hands with the person next to you, untangle)
7. Penguin Race (ball between knees, tag-team race)
8. Blind Obstacle Course (giving directions vocab)

Notes: The hidden picture game was a huge success. A powerpoint game (PPT), an image is slowly revealed and they have to guess what it is (vocabulary review). 

1. Touch and Go Game - Two teams start at opposite ends naming vocab; when they meet, "kawi-bawi-bo" or "rock, paper, scissors"! (See below) 
2. Bomb Games
3. Zombie Tag
4. Blind Pictionary - vocab practice (draw without looking)
5. Game board – review (make your own game pieces, roll a dice and move)
6. Scrabble/Bananagrams – spell as many English words as you can
7. 3-6-9 (numbers and counting game

Notes: They went absolutely bananas for the touch and go game and the bomb games.

All of the main projects and games (especially the touch and go game -- they didn't want to stop playing) took 20 minutes longer than I thought. I put them to work the first four days, crafting all they did, so I felt like a Friday Movie Day was justified. We went with Disney-Pixar's BraveTeaching them some basic film vocabulary (characters, setting, plot), I was happy with the small discussion. The sixth graders had learned about Scotland during the year ("In Scotland, men wear kilts on special days."), so that was a nice tie in for them. 

Winter Camp 2014


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